Meet the Board - Kin Brewer

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Mason Beuhring, Communications & Program Services Director at Marietta Community Foundation, sits down with Kin Brewer, member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, to get to know this prominent community member. 

Mason Beuhring: So, Kin, before we sat down here, you showed me a few pictures of the businesses you have either owned or still own. What inspired you to become a small business owner?

Kin Brewer: Well, I grew up in Memphis, TN and my dad was a small business owner. He was in the drive-in restaurant business, what would be considered “fast-food” today. It was a hamburger restaurant called “Filler Burger,” and when I was eight years old I started cooking fries for him.

MB: At eight years old, working a fry station, you decided you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

KB: Maybe not at 8, but I think when I was 12 -14 years old I decided I wanted to be in some kind of business, just not the hamburger business. Of course, by that time I had graduated from the fry station to flipping the burgers!

I worked for my dad and got into the business routine. I learned how business worked, so by the time I was going to go to college I chose to major in Accounting and Finance. I wanted to get a solid background of understanding how the numbers worked; thinking I would want to be in business after I got out of college.

I worked a few years, after college, as a controller in the oil and gas industry in Dallas, Texas. I also worked in the professional photographic business as a controller for an advertising agency. In the 1980’s, my father-in-law, who was in the grocery business here in Marietta, hired me to come up here and take over his accounting. He had four stores, so I consolidated all of his accounting into one corporate office and took care of the administration.

My father-in-law ended up passing away in 1998, and my wife and I had the opportunity to buy those grocery stores out of his estate. We took that opportunity and continued to expand and that’s what has brought us to where we are today.

MB: You mentioned you decided to study accounting and finance in college. Where did you get your degree from?

KB: I went to Harding College, of course now it is Harding University. It is in a little town called Searcy, AK.

During the semesters I lived there and then during the summers I would move back home to Memphis. My mom and dad were nice enough to pay for my college, but I always had to have my own spending money. So during the summer I would work two or three part-time jobs to have spending money throughout the year.

I would work at the restaurant in the evenings from 4 pm to midnight, then get up the next morning at 6 am to work construction through the day-time. My dad also had a side business running bulldozers, graders, and back hoes for different projects; so, in between my shifts, I would take freelance jobs doing that kind of work.

MB: Outside of the busy life associated with owning a business, do you have any hobbies?

KB: My wife and I have a camper, so we like to travel around to various locations. We go camping all over, but we really enjoy camping in Ohio; places like Salt Fork and Amish Country. Aside from traveling and camping, I do a little shooting. I’m a member of the Harmar Hill Rifle Club.

MB: Having over 40 years working and owning small business, what advice would you give to someone wanting to establish a small business today?

KB: If you want to start a small business you need to stay on top of the information required by the government; whether it’s Federal, State, or local governments. That has so many ramifications on small business today. You have to not only provide the product or service to your customers, but you also have to be able to handle all of the laws, regulations, policies, and procedures placed upon you by the different government agencies.

It’s unbelievable what has been piled on to small business owners since I started 40 years ago. I spend a large portion of my time in the realm of handling the ongoing requirements the laws have placed on my businesses.

That would be my key advice to anyone looking to start their own business.

MB: How did you get involved with the Foundation?

KB: When I was asked to serve on the board, I had known about the Foundation for years. I was thrilled to death when I was asked if I was interested. I had served on many boards over the years and I value what the Foundation does in this community.

What better things can you do than to not just give away money, but also have a truly great purpose and reason to give away money? It just really makes me feel good.

MB: In your opinion, what is the best part about serving on MCF’s Board of Directors?

KB: One thing that has always impressed me about the Foundation is that anyone can set-up their own fund and decide the parameters of how it is used. It is so interesting to me to see what our donors care about. It’s neat that not everyone focuses on the same thing.

The best part about being on the board is participating in the oversight of how those funds are used and making sure the grants go to causes important to our donors. I really take a great deal of pride in making decisions based on the perception of the donor.

MB: Kin, thank you. It was a pleasure getting to sit down and find out more about you.

KB: The pleasure is all mine.

Reading Between the Lines: The Generosity of Local Donors

Photo Credit: Picsea

Photo Credit: Picsea

Washington County, OH – Time and again the Board of Directors and Staff of Marietta Community Foundation are humbled by the generosity of our community. Whether it is through the sharing of time and/or resources, members of Washington County strive to exceed the needs of others when they arise.

In March, the Foundation released a story to encourage new and/or existing donors to support 19 local children who were waiting their turn to become a member of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Through an influx of donations from community members, the Foundation was able to register the 19 children on the waiting list and an additional 10 children who signed up after the original story was published.

“These 29 newly-registered children will now enjoy the excitement of receiving a new book each month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,” said Heather Allender, President & CEO of Marietta Community Foundation. “Our donors made that possible.”

With these 29 new registrations, the Foundation now supports 81 local children through our partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Children who register through the Foundation receive a free book sent to them from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in the mail each month. The book service program began in 1995 but soon expanded to a global entity in the following years.

In 2017, with support from The Owen Family Memorial Fund, the Foundation entered into an affiliation with the book service to increase early educational development for local children.

“Reading is so important for children of any age,” said a local parent whose children are new recipients, “it allows their imagination to continue to grow and thrive, which is why I think this program is phenomenal.”

Registrations continue to come in, so if you are interested in sponsoring children for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program or other programs that engage local children and youth, please contact Heather Allender at heather@mcfohio.org

Legacies Live Forever: The Short Family

Allen and Nancy Short - Photo provided by Short Family

Allen and Nancy Short - Photo provided by Short Family

Washington County, OH – May 28, 2019, marked an incredible lifetime achievement for two individuals who have had a profound impact in Washington County. Last month, Allen and Nancy Short celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary, and in those 64 years they have influenced thousands of lives together.

After serving in the Army during the Korean War, Allen became an educator. He would go on to spend the majority of his career as Principal of Warren Local High School after his family relocated in the 1970’s. Nancy was also a school teacher who predominantly spent her career teaching 6th graders at Little Hocking Elementary. Collectively, Allen and Nancy spent 63 years inspiring students, which included their four sons: Rodney, Darrell, Andrew, and Ken.

All four brothers were able to experience their formative years with their dad right by their side both at home and at school. For some, having a father as their principal would seem like a living nightmare, but for the Short men this was not the case.

“There might have been some tension once or twice,” laughed Ken Short, “but it was all a growth opportunity. My brothers and I are extremely proud of the decades and the thousands of students they impacted as an elementary school teacher and high school Principal at Warren Local.” The partnership that Allen and Nancy shared would be an “overarching guide” for their sons’ lives.

Tragically, while in his twenties, Darrell past away due to illness. Despite the loss of their brother, the remaining siblings rallied together to ensure that Darrell’s legacy was never forgotten. In 2004 Rodney, Andrew, and Ken Short created the Warren Local Schools Technology Fund through Marietta Community Foundation. This fund was established to memorialize their late brother and honor their parents’ efforts in the Warren area.

“When we created the fund, we thought ‘in the future, where will students need the capacity to grow,’” said Ken. “We believed that would be through technology.”

All of the proceeds from this fund go to Warren Local Schools because of the dedication Allen and Nancy demonstrated in their careers, but the technological component of the fund celebrates Darrell’s life.

After graduating from Ohio State University, Darrell began a career at IBM during the technological boom in the 1980’s. Prior to falling ill, Darrell worked for IBM for roughly 6 years and in that time motivated his family to embrace technological advancements.

Much like other aspects of the Short family, they took this motivation and found a way to share it with others. Since 2010 the Warren Local Schools Technology Fund has contributed almost $76,500 to various projects in the district, with their most recent funding project being allocated to Warren Middle School. This project will equip the middle school with a state of the art Wi-Fi system, costing over of $17,600.

If you would like to leave a legacy or honor someone else’s legacy, please contact Heather Allender, President & CEO of Marietta Community Foundation at heather@mcfohio.org.

Washington County Highlights - Devola

Marietta Community Foundation has had the privilege of serving Devola, OH for 45 years! Currently, the Foundation supports the Jane Case Memorial Fund for Devola VFD, the Devola Multi-Use Trail Maintenance Fund, the East Muskingum Civic Association Fund for Devola, and the Broughton Nature & Wildlife Education Area Fund. We look forward to continuing this service for a long time to come.


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MARIETTA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HAS HELPED SUPPORT THESE PROGRAMS

  • Broughton Nature & Wildlife Education Area

    Provided support for the Elizabeth Sugden Building

  • Devola Multi-Use Trail

    Funded asphalt sealing project for the trail

  • East Muskingum Civic Association

    Granted funds to renovate the tennis court and improve playground

  • Marietta Soccer League

    Provided resources for soccer field repair, soccer field completion, and new goals

MCF Gives Up To $322,000 in Scholarships to Local Students

Photo Credit: Vasily Koloda

Photo Credit: Vasily Koloda

Washington County, OH – In the past several weeks, Washington County high school seniors dawned their caps and gowns, received their diplomas while their families cheer, and moved their tassels from right to left, signifying a great achievement. During these ceremonies, almost 50 of these students walked across their school’s stage with an added confidence.

Marietta Community Foundation has awarded 44 scholarships to 49 local students in the past several weeks. The Foundation has already awarded over $145,000 in scholarships, including past recipients who have renewed their previously won scholarships.

This past January, the Foundation announced they had received the largest bequest in their 45 year history from the estate of Adriann “Arie” Janssens. According to Arie’s wishes, the majority of this bequest was to be used to set up a scholarship fund in memory of his late wife Carol Christy. The Carol Christy Scholarship is able to cover up to 50% of a recipients total tuition cost.

This year, several students were inducted into the Foundation’s history by being the first recipients of The Carol Christy Scholarship. While the exact amount has yet to be determined, this scholarship could add an additional $177,000 in scholarships; bringing the Foundation’s potential award total to over $322,000.

Ana-Sophia Beardsley, Carol Christy Scholarship and Jolene Craig Journalism Scholarship  Photo Provided by Ana-Sophia Beardsley

Ana-Sophia Beardsley, Carol Christy Scholarship and Jolene Craig Journalism Scholarship

Photo Provided by Ana-Sophia Beardsley

Madi Moore, Carol Christy Scholarship, Myra P. Berg Scholarship, and Kevin O’Brien Kelly Memorial Scholarship  Photo Provided by Madi Moore

Madi Moore, Carol Christy Scholarship, Myra P. Berg Scholarship, and Kevin O’Brien Kelly Memorial Scholarship

Photo Provided by Madi Moore


2019 Foundation Scholarship Recipients

Abigail Werry

  • Elks #477 Scholarship

Ana-Sophia Beardsley

  • Carol Christy Scholarship

  • Jolene Craig Journalism Scholarship

Andrea Siders

  • Connect to Success Scholarship

Andrew Rauch

  • Conlan Opportunity Award

Austin Offenberger

  • Myra P. Berg Scholarship

Bailey Harlow

  • Elks #477 Scholarship

  • *Warren Local Education Association Future Educator Scholarship*

Brookelyn Heiss

  • Marietta Soccer League Scholarship

Caileigh Moore

  • Faustena “Frosty” Haas Health Care Scholarship

  • Trae DeVolld Memorial Scholarship

Colby Sleek

  • Terry Huck Memorial Scholarship

  • Nancy A. Miller Memorial Scholarship

Derek Duckworth

  • John McCracken Memorial Scholarship

  • Charlie Spindler Athletic Memorial Scholarship

  • Elks #477 Scholarship

Derek Joy

  • Magnum Manufacturing Scholarship

Diamond Decker

  • Carol Christy Scholarship

Grace Arnold

  • Noon Lion’s Club Scholarship

  • Edwin V. Pugh Memorial Scholarship

Haley Davis

  • Art Fordham Memorial Scholarship

Halle Richards

  • James S. & Brenda A. Measell Scholarship

Hope Miracle

  • Myra P. Berg Scholarship

Hunter Gilbert

  • Connect to Success Scholarship

Jace Ward

  • The Mt. Moriah 506 Order of the Eastern Star Scholarship

Jared Farnsworth

  • Conlan Opportunity Award

  • Charles D. Fogel, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Justin Fouty

  • Edwin “Jack” Haas Memorial Scholarship

Julianna Bottomley

  • Peoples Employee Scholarship

Kaitlyn Engle

  • Edward Parrish Scholarship

Kaleigh West

  • Mellissa Ann Weckbacher Memorial Scholarship

Kaylee Ullman

  • David C. Barrett Memorial Scholarship

Kennedy Schuck

  • Marietta Soccer League Scholarship

Kristen Winstanley

  • Frontier Ag Science Scholarship

Kristyn Villarta

  • Lisa Marie Wesel Memorial Scholarship

Leah Wietrzykowski

  • Stanton W. Brock Memorial Scholarship

  • Warren E. Offenberger Scholarship

Leilani Lieras-Kelly

  • Myra P. Berg Scholarship

Lexi Mullen

  • Carpe Diem Scholarship

Luke Nelson

  • Greg Schilling Memorial Scholarship

  • Elks #477 Scholarship

Madi Moore

  • Myra P. Berg Scholarship

  • Kevin O’Brien Kelly Memorial Scholarship

  • Carol Christy Scholarship

Maggie Gottfried

  • Noon Lion’s Club Scholarship

  • Carol Christy Scholarship

Makayla Feldner

  • Trae DeVolld Memorial Scholarship

Matt Semon

  • Connect to Success Scholarship

  • Greg Schilling Memorial Scholarship

Matthew Goodman

  • Marietta Soccer League Scholarship

Morgan Connolly

  • Connect to Success Scholarship

Nadine Oliver

  • Carol Christy Scholarship

Natalie Brooks

  • Mark C. Studenic Memorial Scholarship

Nathan Bennett

  • Pete & Laura Pannier Scouting Scholarship

  • Penelope “Penny” J. Passavant Academic Scholarship

Nicholas Oliver

  • Peoples Employee Scholarship

Rachel Adams

  • The Mt. Moriah 506 Order of the Eastern Star Scholarship

Rachel Baumgard

  • Anna Laura Masters Memorial Scholarship

  • Howard & Molly Varner Scholarship

Shayla Honaker

  • Conlan Opportunity Award

Sierra Bayless

  • Conlan Opportunity Award

  • Charles D. Fogel, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Tia Jarvis

  • Anderson-Stage Scholarship Award

Tim Grosel

  • Dr. Richard Hille Scholarship For Medical Students

Tyler Hartline

  • Marie Adamson Senior Scholarship

Wyatt Miracle

  • Charlie Spindler Athletic Memorial Scholarship

Applicants submitted their scholarship application packets by the April 5th deadline. Depending on the scholarship, students had to provide academic information, financial information, and write multiple essays. Once the Foundation compiled all of the application packets, committees and funders determined who would be awarded each scholarship.

MCF Grants Most Money For A Single Cycle In 45-Year History

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Washington County, OH – Marietta Community Foundation has reached another milestone this year by awarding over $130,000 to local nonprofit organizations. This amount is the largest sum given to organizations in a single grant cycle in the Foundation’s 45-year history.

“This is truly exciting to experience,” said Heather Allender, President & CEO of the Foundation. “This is another record we have broken in 2019 and it is all thanks to our donors, Board of Directors, and our staff. Their hard work and generosity are changing Washington County in major ways.”

Eighteen applicants will be awarded grants, in various amounts, from the Foundation’s 2019 Spring Grant Cycle. Recipients of these grants include local charities, local non-profits, and community projects all across Washington County and the surrounding area.

2019 Spring Grant Cycle Recipients:

-   Betsey Mills Club

-   Boys & Girls Club of Washington County

-   Broughton Foundation

-   Building Bridges to Careers

-   Children’s Toy and Doll Museum

-   Christian Youth in Action, Inc.

-   Friends of the Museums, Inc.

-   Hippodrome Colony Historical Theatre Association

-   Marietta Children’s Choir

-   Marietta College – Nonprofits Lead

-   Marietta College – Summer Reading Camp

-   Marietta Sluggers

-   Ohio State University Extension – Washington County

-   Palmer Township

-   Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio

-   Salem Township Volunteer Fire Department

-   Washington County Career Center

-   Williamstown Elementary PTA

“This grant will help fund the automation of our outdoor industrial training facility,” said Dr. Tony Huffman, Director of the Adult Technical Training Program at Washington County Career Center, “WCCC is extremely grateful to MCF for their continued support of our project!”

“The award from MCF will help push our project forward and help us complete the building on time,” said Nancy Broughton, with The Broughton Foundation. The Broughton Foundation applied for grant funding to use in the construction of the Elizabeth Sugden Broughton Community Building located on the Broughton Nature and Wildlife Education Area. This building will be open for individuals and organizations in the community to use for various activities including meetings, training, and other programs.

Applicants submitted their proposal packets for the Foundation’s 2019 Spring Grant Cycle by April 1st. The Foundation’s Board of Directors and staff conducted research and site visits for multiple weeks leading up to the final approvals, determined by the Allocations Committee.

Grant recipients will often receive a combination of grants from the foundation’s unrestricted funds and donations from active donors who utilize the Foundation’s management and distribution services.

If you are involved with a local nonprofit, a local charity, or have an upcoming community project, please consider applying for the Foundations 2019 Fall Grant Cycle. The application deadline is October 1st, please click the button below for more information.

Meet the Board - Mike Buell

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Mason Beuhring, Communications & Program Services Director at Marietta Community Foundation, sits down with Mike Buell, member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, to get to know this prominent community member.

 

Mason Beuhring: So Mike, let’s start off by you telling me a bit about yourself.

Mike Buell: I grew up in Marietta. My dad was a Speech professor at Marietta College until 1976 and then he left to be Dean of Wilmington College.

Since my dad was a professor I took advantage of the tuition waiver and attended Marietta College. After that I went on to The University of Toledo for law school and then came back to Marietta to practice law until the end of 2015.

Mason: What kind of law did you focus on?

Mike: Well, we had a small firm. I was on my own for a while, but I and three colleagues decided to join forces. Eventually, it went down to two, me and Dennis Sipe. I handled almost all of the domestic relations, but I also focused on estate planning, real estate, and oil & gas.

Mason: A few months ago, the Foundation collaborated with a few organizations to help bring a supply of extra food to local food pantries. One of the organizations we collaborated with was Harvest of Hope, an organization where you are a weekly volunteer. What other organizations do you volunteer with?

Mike: I have volunteered quite a bit ever since I came back from law school 30 years ago. I was on boards for a lot of organizations that aren’t even around anymore. Currently, in addition to Harvest of Hope, I have been a 30 plus year member of the Lion’s Club; I’m very active in that.

Mason: A lot of people view retirement as a time to kick back, relax, and take it easy. Why did you choose to spend your retirement volunteering?

Mike: If you stop working 40 hours a week that is a major segment of your time. I never wanted to look at retirement and say ‘now I get to stop working and focus on what I want to do, when I want to do it.’ That shouldn’t be about what life is. My dad and mom were always service oriented and so it has always been natural.

It gives you a broader perspective on life and lets you know what is going on in your community. I feel connected with this community the more I get involved with different things.

I also volunteer up at the prison in Noble County. We take a 12 step program into the prison for the inmates. I serve on the board for Habitat for Humanity, and I’m the Local Sending Coordinator for American Field Service, which is a high school student foreign exchange program. That is how I came to have a scholarship set-up through the Foundation to help find students to go abroad. Many students don’t have the assets to go abroad and so we are trying to help stimulate that.

Mason: And that scholarship is the Felicia Buell Year Abroad Scholarship which helps local students experience a year immersed in a different culture?

Mike: Yes, my sister, Felicia, loved to travel. Speaking from experience, if there are any Marietta High School students who would be interested in studying abroad this would be a great opportunity.

I was an exchange student in high school. At 17 years old I flew to New York, was put on a plane with a bunch of other students, flew overseas to Norway, and lived in a home with people I didn’t know who spoke a language I didn’t speak. Things like that give you confidence.

Geirangerfjord, Norway

Geirangerfjord, Norway

Mason: Outside of volunteering do you have any hobbies?

Mike: My wife and I travel quite a bit. Three times in the last six or seven years we have driven west for three weeks or more. We take back roads and go up and down the Rocky Mountains.

We have been to Scotland, Norway, Ireland, Curacao, and Costa Rica. This year, in one trip, we are going to Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Prague, Budapest, Lake Bled, South Tyrol in Italy, and Lake Como. We booked it ourselves and it should take a little over a month!

Mason: Is there a specific location that has been your favorite so far?

Geirangerfjord, Norway

Geirangerfjord, Norway

Mike: We have been back to Norway since I was a student and, as I mentioned before, we are going back again. When I was an exchange student there, I lived on the Southeastern side and people didn’t travel much back then. So when we went back we drove through the Western Fjords [pronounced fee-yord-s]. There is a place above the town of Geiranger, and it is about one-mile high and roughly one-mile from the end of the Geirangerfjord. It is absolutely unbelievable to stand there looking out over the mountain tops of Norway, and yet one mile straight down is the end of the fjord, which is ocean level.

Mason: With this being your first year serving on the Foundation’s Board of Directors, how has your experience been thus far?

Mike: It’s been very good. I’m very impressed by how involved the board members are. Frankly, the level of intelligence on this board is pretty high! I’m impressed by some of the discussions that go on. You hear the kind of things that show a long term commitment to the community.

Mason: Is there is one thing you would like people to know about the Foundation, what would that be?

Mike: The amount of things the Foundation supports to make Washington County attractive and vibrant. In all the travels I do, I see the decline in ‘Small Town America.’ I think the Foundation does a great job in making the county more attractive for people to want to come here.

Grants in Action: Keeping Kids on the Right Path

Over 100 students enjoy a presentation during their lunch.

Over 100 students enjoy a presentation during their lunch.

Washington County, OH – Marietta Community Foundation has the pleasure of supporting local organizations and causes during our annual grant cycles. In 2018 we awarded a number of grants to various organizations who strive to change Washington County for the better. One of these grant recipients has already put their funding to great use.

Right Path is an organization that focuses on promoting healthy youth development by reducing and preventing youth substance abuse and offering community service activities. To accomplish this goal, Right Path offers youth and their families events and activities that drive their overall mission.

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“We work to engage youth and give them something positive to do,” said Cathy Harper, Right Path Coordinator for Washington County. “We help them realize that they are all future leaders.”

The Foundation awarded Right Path a grant for a workshop which took place this past Friday: The Young Women and Men of Promise Leadership Workshop. During this workshop young women and men experienced motivational presentations and collaborated with their peers to find means of dealing with current issues they face on a daily basis. They were also given the chance to interact with local community leaders and mentors over the course of the workshop.

While the focus of this event is on leadership, Right Path also wants to show local youth that Washington County is their home and they are valued here.

“We have a disparity in age in this community,” said Cathy, “we want to keep our young people and help them know that they are a part of the community.”

Marietta Community Foundation is a proud supporter of Right Path and the work members of this organization accomplish with local youth. “Right Path does a wonderful job in promoting healthy lifestyles, helping youth establish a foundation of service in Washington County, and equipping our local youth to be leaders,” said Heather Allender, President & CEO of the Foundation. “The activities and events they put on are instrumental in many young lives.”

Marietta Community Foundation supports many causes focused on youth development, if you are interested in partnering with one of these projects, please contact Heather Allender at 740-373-3286 or heather@mcfohio.org.

Grants in Action: Assisting Physician Assistants

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Marietta, OH – Though our community may be small in size, the 8.75 square miles that comprise Marietta, OH, is large in tenacity. A distinct characteristic of our city is the ability to leverage resources to influence our future development.

On April 24th, 2019, Marietta College’s Physician Assistant Program and its students celebrated its 101st in-class session with their own ultrasound machine. This machine was purchased in 2018 after the PA Program was awarded a collaborative grant from Marietta Community Foundation and Memorial Health Foundation.

“We are proud to be a part of this triumphant moment,” said Heather Allender, President & CEO of Marietta Community Foundation. “Projects such as this have a direct impact on these students’ professional development, their education, and the patients they will serve in the future.”

“…roughly 25% of each graduating class stay in close proximity to Marietta.”

“…roughly 25% of each graduating class stay in close proximity to Marietta.”

According to the PA Program’s data, almost 70% of their graduates continue their professional careers in Ohio and/or the Appalachian region and roughly 25% of each graduating class stay in close proximity to Marietta.

Prior to being awarded the grant, the program’s students were only able to interact with ultrasound equipment at limited intervals due to time constraints and availability. Now, after reaching this milestone, current students are able to gain the essential experience needed to develop their educational and professional careers.

“The extra time with the machine was quite evident in the skills the students demonstrated,” wrote John Grosel, MD, after observing students during the Spring 2019 assessment portion of the ultrasound curriculum. “In short [this grant] has been put to good use.”

Currently, the Foundation is underway with its 2019 Spring Grant Cycle. All grants are given due diligence by the Foundation’s Board and Staff. If you have an upcoming project in Washington County and would like to potentially receive funding, please refer to the Foundation website: www.mcfohio.org/grants.

Washington County Highlights - Cutler, OH

Marietta Community Foundation has had the privilege of serving Cutler, OH for 45 years! Currently, the Foundation supports Tri-County Food Pantry from the MCF Dominion Resources Food Pantry Fund. We also serve as manager and distributor for the Howard and Molly Varner Scholarship Fund which supports educational activities in the area. We look forward to continuing this service for a long time to come.

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MARIETTA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HAS HELPED SUPPORT THESE PROGRAMS

  • Cutler Elementary School

  • Fairfield Township

  • Decatur Community Association

  • Wesley Township Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.

Students Set Record For Most Scholarship Applications In Foundation’s History

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Marietta, OH – For many communities around the world, the transition from winter to spring symbolizes new beginnings. For the Marietta Community Foundation, spring doesn’t just bring about new weather patterns, but it marks the beginning of another year for making a difference in the Washington County community.

In last year’s scholarship cycle, the Foundation received close to 300 scholarship applications. However, this 2019 scholarship cycle yielded 467 total submissions: over a 150 application increase. The Foundation’s Board of Directors and Staff take this increase as a sign that the organization is building positive momentum.

“We are barely into the 2019 and already the Foundation has reached multiple milestones,” said Heather Allender, President and CEO of the Foundation. “We hired a third full-time staff person, we announced our largest bequest the Foundation has ever received at the beginning of the year, and now we have received the largest number of scholarship applications, for a single cycle, in our history.”

Several individuals, including Dr. Bret Frye of Frye Orthodontics and Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, cited several factors which may have led to this increase.

“I believe the greater than 50% increase in applications is indicative multiple factors. Soaring education costs, savvy students aggressively pursuing opportunities, and the marketing created by the Foundation’s staff: Heather Allender, Brittani Merritt, and Mason Beuhring,” said Frye.

Another contribution to this unprecedented increase could also be attributed to several new scholarships introduced for the first time in 2019, including the Carol Christy Scholarship which can cover up to 50% of a student’s tuition and fees.

For any questions regarding scholarships please contact Heather Allender at heather@mcfohio.org.

Meet the Board - Jennifer Christy

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Mason Beuhring, Communications & Program Services Director at Marietta Community Foundation, sits down with Jennifer Christy, member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, to get to know this prominent community member.

Mason Beuhring: I appreciate you meeting with me this morning, Jennifer. If you don’t mind, I’d like to begin with you sharing some personal background and how long you have been in the Marietta Community?

Jennifer Christy: I’m originally from Kansas City, but I have been in Marietta since I was three years old. The only time I left was for school, but I came back and married my husband, Jim.

MB: Was Jim from this area?

JC: Yes, he was a Marietta man, so we weren’t ever going to leave! We had a real estate business, which I sold in 2001, and we had four boys. Once we started our family, I stayed home to raise them.

MB: That’s awesome! So, how did you get involved with the Foundation?

JC: Jim worked very closely with Bob Kirkbride [a Board member and past Director of the Foundation]. I got involved when Bob recommended we create a fund in Jim’s memory, after his passing in 2000. Bob said it would be a great opportunity to honor his legacy, and it truly was! The Jim Christy Fund for Kids was established with contributions received from the community, in Jim’s memory.

MB: What an amazing way to honor Jim’s memory. In my brief time here, I’ve heard a lot about this fund and how it helps many children in our area. So how did you make the transition from establishing a fund to joining the board and to help others establish funds?

JC: Carol Wharff (past Executive Director) had asked me to join the board a few times, but I was very involved with my kids and couldn’t devote the time. Nine years ago, she came back and asked me again, and I said, “Okay!”

MB: So nine years after that conversation with Carol, two of which you served as the Chair of the Board of Directors, why do you continue to serve the Foundation, and this community, in this capacity?

JC: This has been one of the most gratifying boards I have ever served on. The board members are wonderful, knowledgeable people and our meetings are ran so well. Everybody brings something different to the table.

I love learning about the different nonprofits I didn’t know existed and being more involved in the community. We help nonprofits get to the next level.

Being here [in Marietta] for so long, I want to see this community thrive and flourish.

MB: Is there a specific philanthropic cause that you are passionate about?

JC: My oldest son was born with a lot of birth defects. I lived in Ronald McDonald House for two months, while he was in Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Then he was involved with Ewing School and integrated into St. Mary’s. Because of this, we have always been passionate about giving back to these type of institutions.

Jim’s fund was created to help kids in Washington County… and there is a huge need.

MB: Outside of your nine years as a board member, have you developed any hobbies?

JC: I am involved in three book clubs… I do a lot of reading!

I also play a lot of bridge. I’m involved in about four groups! One group is made up of 91 year old women, so I learn so much from them. It’s inspiring because they are very sharp! But, the game is great for your mind because it makes you think!

MB: Well we will begin to wrap things up, but before we close, do you have any last comments?

JC: I believe that people have this ‘longing to give’ no matter what. No matter what it is, I think we are just born that way. And, that’s how we receive, because it is so much better to give… it really is such a good thing.

MB: Thank you for your time, Jennifer.

MCF Looks Forward to Outdoor Facility’s Future Impact

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Marietta, OH – Last year a huge collaborative effort, geared towards education, innovation, and economic development, took place in Marietta’s very own back yard. The Career Center – Adult Technical Training has implemented a brand new facility on its main campus called The Outdoor Industrial Facility. The outdoor facility already has a proven track record for a positive impact, despite it being in its early stages.

The Outdoor Industrial Facility simulates an environment found in any industrial plant in the United States. Students who are interested in technical fields, such as, Chemical Operator, Instrumentation & Electricity (I&E), or Industrial Maintenance, are able to gain knowledge of what they will be facing on an industrial plant site, while in a safe and controlled setting.

This controlled setting gives students the opportunity to learn safety protocols and how to respond to potential risks associated with chemical operations. The system allows instructors to simulate different scenarios at the facility, including chemical leaks, spills, confined space entry, and valve replacements. In these simulations, students must respond in the appropriate manner according to the instruction they have received. After each simulation, instructors are able to evaluate and critique how the students’ handled each scenario. In this way, knowledge is converted into hands-on experience.

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“In the end, the training is going to be better and the plants are going to hire more qualified employees,” said Tony Huffman, Director of The Career Center – Adult Technical Training. “[These employees] will stay longer because they aren’t going to get frustrated as quickly. They are going to progress much quicker because they understand the job going in… so really it’s going to be a win-win.”

Another unique function of this facility is the fact that it is outdoors. Running these simulations in various weather conditions prepares these students for situations they will encounter in their profession.

“We wrote the [simulation] schedule months ago and we don’t know what the weather is going to be on those days,” said Derrick Lemley, Industrial & Customized Training Manager at The Career Center – Adult Technical Training. “If you’re an [chemical] operator, and your inside guy says the pump on the fifth level just went out in the middle of a blizzard, you don’t have the luxury of waiting until it warms up… you have to go right now.”

Though this new outdoor facility is located at the Career Center, it’s not just students who are benefitting from its development. In January 2019, the outdoor facility reached a milestone when it provided training to 18 newly hired Kraton employees. Custom training for companies will be offered by the Career Center. Greater education, instruction, and exposure to safety protocols will help workers develop their skills and knowledge of potentially hazardous areas. These trainings will not only produce safe habits and instruction for local chemical plants, but it will also help keep the surrounding communities safe. The Career Center estimates 150 or more people will be trained at this outdoor facility in the first year.

18 newly hired Kraton employees utilize the outdoor facility for training exercises

18 newly hired Kraton employees utilize the outdoor facility for training exercises

Many representatives from local chemical plants serve on the Career Center’s advisory board. As representatives, these plants help set the programs’ curriculum and competencies. By collaborating with the local plants, the Career Center has seen high job placement rates among their program graduates.

“Having this facility will only solidify and enhance our ability to place people,” said Huffman.

The initial idea for this outdoor facility was proposed in October 2016 during a Career Center advisory board meeting. Immediately the faculty, staff, and committee members saw the value in this proposition. The idea soon came to fruition and construction began in January 2017. To help with cost and garner community collaboration for the project, the Career Center staff approached a group of local funders: Marietta Community Foundation, Parkersburg Area Community foundation, The Ross Foundation, and The Bernard McDonough Foundation.

After receiving grants from these local funders and donated equipment from local plants, the outdoor facility became operational in 2018. Students then began training for various programs available at the Career Center, utilizing this new facility. The program is now entering its second fund-raising phase. The funds raised in this phase will be dedicated to converting the outdoor facility from a manually ran operation to a modern automated operation.

With the facility generating so many positive outcomes, other funders and plants have already begun to donate equipment and money for the second phase. Many see this program as widely beneficial to our region.

Washington County Highlights - Belpre, OH

Marietta Community Foundation has had the privilege of serving Belpre, OH for 45 years! Currently, the Foundation supports the Belpre Area Ministries and Belpre Church of Christ food pantries. We also serve as manager and distributor for the Bom Family Memorial Fund which supports educational activities in the area. We look forward to continuing this service for a long time to come.

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MARIETTA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HAS HELPED SUPPORT THESE PROGRAMS

  • Belpre Area Community Development Foundation

  • Belpre Historical Society

  • The City of Belpre Senior Center

  • Belpre Area Multi-Use Trail Committee

  • Helped Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley home for a family in Belpre

MCF Seeks Donors to Help Boost Early Educational Development for Local Children

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Marietta, OH – From birth to five years old, children go through important stages of early childhood development. Since 2017, Marietta Community Foundation has partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to enhance these stages of development for over 65 local children. With a growing waiting list of potential registrants, the Foundation is reaching out to local donors to sponsor children who could greatly benefit from this service.

“Education is one of the many service areas we focus on in Washington County,” said Heather Allender, President and CEO of Marietta Community Foundation. “We desire to help others of every age continue to learn and develop their skills… this program is just one example of how we are accomplishing that goal.”

Children who register through the Foundation receive a free book sent to them from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in the mail each month. The book service program began in 1995 but soon expanded to a global entity in the following years.

In 2017, with support from The Owen Family Memorial Fund, the Foundation entered into an affiliation with the book service to increase early educational development for local children. Currently, the Foundation is only able to register 52 children. With 19 children on the waiting list, the Foundation is seeking partners to help support any local child interested in receiving these monthly educational tools.

“It is truly delightful to receive a book every month from The Dolly Parton Imagination Program,” said a mother whose children participate in the program. “It is such a joy to curl up with my children right before bed and read them these books and talk about the different cultures and languages that these books teach and illustrate.”

Children can be registered from ages birth to five years old with an annual registration fee of 25$. The Foundation is hoping donors would pledge a gift of 125$ to cover all five years of eligibility for each individual child.

“Thanks to all that make this program possible. Can’t wait to see what adventure the next book brings to our family,” said the mother of the participants.

Inquiries and donations to fund this book giving program, or other programs that directly benefit local children and youth, may be made to the Foundation by contacting Heather Allender at 740-373-3286 or heather@mcfohio.org.

Meet the Board - Marcy Wesel, Secretary

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Mason Beuhring, Communications & Program Services Director at Marietta Community Foundation, sits down with Marcy Wesel, Secretary of the Board of Directors at the Foundation, to get to know this prominent community member.

Mason Beuhring: Hello, Marcy, I appreciate you sitting down with me! If it’s okay with you, I’d like to start by asking where are you from and what is your background?

Marcy Wesel: I was actually born in Memphis, TN where my dad was stationed in the Navy.  Around 6 months old, my mother and I came back to Marietta while my father continued to serve.  I have been here ever since, aside from my time in college. I attended the Ohio State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Nursing.

I would have continued working at the Children’s Hospital, but I married my husband, David, who is also from this area. So I moved back home, married, and we have two children, Alex and Olivia. 

MB: What is your favorite thing to do in Washington County?

MW: Well, my hobby is “birding.” I like to go birding with my friends because it’s a great way to spend time with them. I enjoy birding in Washington County, but have also traveled to different locations.

MB: Are there any specific species that you enjoy finding?

MW: Anything that is coming and going… especially the migrant species.  On rare occasions we get some unique birds that aren’t typically in this area because some will veer off of their migration path. We have a little network in town and we all find out where that bird is located. Then, everyone can go look at it and get excited just like “bird nerds” do!

MB: So do you do any photography to capture these birds you see?

MW: You know, I would say the majority of the birding community is into photography. While I appreciate the photography, I have hesitated getting into it myself. It would just be one more thing that would tie me to a computer and I don’t think I can keep up with it. I just like to stand there and watch the bird in its own environment.

MB: So how did you become involved with the Foundation?

MW: Eric Erb contacted me after I had recently retired from Marietta Memorial. I was very honored to be considered and it has been a very interesting experience. In a way [being on the board] I feel like I’m on the mezzanine looking over all of the many wonderful organizations within Marietta. I get to see how they run, who runs them, and how well they hold together. And, I get to see how they utilize the resources from the Foundation.

As I finish out a term here on the board, I feel like I can go to the particular organizations, that I have come to admire, to help volunteer in the future. This is a nice way to figure out where you want to go, but now it’s hard to determine because there are so many that I admire!

MB: Is there a specific project you have been involved with, while on the board, that you have been fond of?

MW: I particularly like being involved with the Allocations Committee. It has been a lot of fun to discuss each of the organizations and watch some of their leaders grow. We have a huge responsibility in that we have a “chunk” of money and we need to weigh which organizations are allocated funds. Even when an organization is not allocated money one year, it is wonderful to see Heather [Allender] (President & CEO of Marietta Community Foundation), help them for the next time they apply by giving suggestions. I have seen some of these organizations take her suggestions, readjust their plan, and then they are allocated funds for the next year. When it happens, it is really nice to witness.

I also like working with scholarships. I enjoy seeing some of these young, future citizens and hearing what they have to say. So many of them are deserving, and the hardest part is not being able to give all of them scholarships.

MB: You mentioned earlier that you earned a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and then you worked at the Children’s Hospital. When you moved back to this area, where did you continue your nursing career?

MW: I started at Camden Clark, moved to Marietta Memorial, worked at Washington State Community College as a nursing instructor, and then back to Marietta Memorial. Washington State was my favorite job, and it was the most exhausting. To see the progress of the students was exciting. Now I get to see a lot of them in the community today and see what they have become!

MB: As a board member, what objectives do you have for Washington County and its betterment?

MW: That is the main word that comes to my mind, “betterment.” It’s always impressive to see the assets this Foundation has. We are entrusted to allocate those assets in a very prudent way for the betterment of the community. I take it very seriously.

MB: What is one thing you would like others to know about the Foundation?

MW: Well, in your other interviews, you have asked each person if there are any board members they admire, and I thought, “I can’t do that, I can’t pick out one person in particular.” Everyone I have served with is extremely smart in his or her own unique way.

The board works well together. Various people have different opinions, but it all comes to a nice collaborative consensus. I never walk away thinking something is unresolved or there’s conflict. It’s always collaborative, everybody comes together regardless of their opinions, through compromise.

MB: Marcy, thank you so much for meeting with me! It was a pleasure getting to talk with you.

MW: Absolutely, thank you for having me.

Where Are They Now? - Embrey Roberts

Embrey Roberts, 2017 recipient of  Marietta Soccer League Scholarship

Embrey Roberts, 2017 recipient of Marietta Soccer League Scholarship

By: Kayla Tomlin

For years the Marietta Community Foundation has awarded the hard-working and dedicated students from Washington County high schools with scholarships.  Because of our donor’s generosity, we are able to help support students in our community as they embark on their higher education journeys. 

In 2017, Embrey Roberts received the Marietta Community Foundation’s, Marietta Soccer League Scholarship. At Marietta High School, Embrey was a starter on the varsity soccer team all four years and played a variety of positions. “My favorite position is definitely defense,” said Roberts. “It’s where I feel the most comfortable and where I have played pretty much my whole life.”

 Embrey received numerous soccer awards including league, district, and state honors.  As a long time active player in the Marietta Soccer League, Embrey says that it was a “no brainer” to take the opportunity to apply for this scholarship.

The Marietta Soccer League Scholarship is a $1,500 scholarship available to one male and one female player each year.  Like Embrey, applicants need to be past or current participants in the Marietta Soccer League Program.  Although the scholarship requires applicants to receive only one Varsity letter during their high school soccer career, Embrey would be awarded a total of four letters for the Tigers. Not only was Embrey a stand out soccer player, she also had success in the classroom, exceeding the minimum required G.P.A. to qualify for this scholarship.

When asked how this scholarship impacted her Embrey said, “Receiving the Marietta Soccer League Scholarship from the Marietta Community Foundation certainly made an impact on helping me achieve my dream of playing college soccer.”

Embrey is now currently a sophomore at Marietta College, where she double majors in Communication Studies and Marketing. She is a member of the Marietta College Women's Soccer team as well as other organizations such as the Pioneer Activities Council, 5th Street Consulting, and Pioneer Pipeline. Embrey is a two-year varsity soccer letterman and has made huge contributions on the field, both as a defender and in the forward position.

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“I have loved my college experience so far and a major reason for this is because of playing on the Marietta College Women’s Soccer team. Without local scholarships like the Marietta Soccer League Scholarship I may not have been able to attend this school and play soccer for them.” 

When asked about what advice Embrey would give future applicants she said, “My advice to future students considering applying for this scholarship, would be to absolutely go for it!  Every bit of financial aid you receive will be beneficial to you as a student.” 

According to Forbes.com currently there are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone.  Knowing this extreme need The Marietta Community Foundation and its donors are here to support local students by investing in their future. The foundation recognizes that any amount of money will help relieve the financial burden of college.

For those who are interested in applying for any Marietta Community Foundation scholarships, including the Marietta Soccer League Scholarship, visit mcfohio.org/scholarships. If you have any questions, please contact the Foundation at 740-373-3286.

Grants In Action: 8,000 Pounds of Community Collaboration

Several volunteers from Harvest of Hope and Tri-County Food Pantry unload over 700 lbs of donated food.

Several volunteers from Harvest of Hope and Tri-County Food Pantry unload over 700 lbs of donated food.

By: Mason Beuhring

Many may recall, in the wake of the government shutdown, Marietta Community Foundation announced a collaboration with multiple organizations to help bring support to our local food pantries at a time of uncertainty.

Through this collaboration, I have had the privilege of helping distribute over 8,ooo pounds of food to 13 different Washington County food pantries.

  • Marietta Community Food Pantry

  • Belpre Area Ministries

  • Salvation Army

  • L.A.M.B. Lowell Food Pantry

  • Beverly-Waterford Food Pantry

  • Newport Food Pantry

  • Cutler (3-C) Food Pantry

  • New Matamoras Food Pantry

  • Tri-County Food Pantry

  • Marietta Church of God

  • Gospel Mission Food Pantry

  • Western Washington Food Pantry

  • Belpre Church of Christ

Not only was I able to help with the logistics of this massive distribution, but I was able to help with a few deliveries to several food pantry locations. On my last delivery of this month, I accompanied Harvest of Hope volunteer, Darryl Ting, to the Western Washington Food Pantry. Darryl mentioned it is the willingness for community collaboration that will help Washington County succeed. He said that small towns across the United States are facing the same problems, but the towns who pull through the hardships are the towns which do it together.

During the past few weeks I have been able to observe, and participate, in a collaborative effort where many organizations have come together to share resources for the benefit of others. This has given me the opportunity to meet some amazing people who serve our Washington County community in major ways. I have met directors, volunteers, donors, and community partners; all of whom come from assorted backgrounds.

Mason Beuhring (Left), Communications and Program Services Director at Marietta Community Foundation and Mike Buell (Right), Harvest of Hope Volunteer and Marietta Community Foundation Board Member delivered food to Lowell and Beverly Food Pantries on February 11, 2019.

Mason Beuhring (Left), Communications and Program Services Director at Marietta Community Foundation and Mike Buell (Right), Harvest of Hope Volunteer and Marietta Community Foundation Board Member delivered food to Lowell and Beverly Food Pantries on February 11, 2019.

Among these individuals, is Ruth Griffin and she serves as the Director of Tri-County Food Pantry. She has served with the food pantry for almost 14 years and by her own admission she is “at the age where she could retire for a second time.” However, I can attest, this has not slowed her down.  After unloading the food from the Harvest of Hope truck, I was able to gain a little more insight into Ruth’s efforts in the Lower Salem area.

Ruth and her team of 14 volunteers serve meal baskets to roughly 110 people on a weekly basis. 110 people in need of basic food accommodations may seem like a lot, but after a month of interacting with local food pantries, this number did not surprise me. What did surprise me was Ruth’s desire to leverage these meals into an educational opportunity.

From left to right: Joe Baker (Harvest of Hope), Ruth Griffin (Director of Tri-County Food Pantry), LeRoy McCarty (Harvest of Hope Volunteer)

From left to right: Joe Baker (Harvest of Hope), Ruth Griffin (Director of Tri-County Food Pantry), LeRoy McCarty (Harvest of Hope Volunteer)

Ruth and her team pack these food baskets in a very purposeful manner. Not only do they want to put food on the plates of those in need, they want to empower those people to create healthy meals for themselves. Every week, Ruth and her team create a list of four recipes and then stock the meal baskets with the appropriate ingredients.

The tenacity and passion Ruth displays serves as an inspiration to never stop creating a legacy in your community. Over 100 people are impacted and empowered every week because of the work she is doing. I am thankful that I was able to meet Ruth, her team, and all of the other volunteers who serve our community well.

I would like to give a special thank you to our partners and we look forward to future collaborations. May we continue to serve our county together.

  • Peoples Bank Foundation matched Marietta Community Foundation’s $5,000 pledge, bringing the total to $10,000

  • Warren’s IGA provided over 8,000 pounds of food at a discounted rate

  • Harvest of Hope picked up and delivered the donated food to each food pantry location

Washington County Highlights

Marietta Community Foundation has had the privilege of serving New Matamoras, OH for 45 years! Currently, the Foundation manages and distributes the Frontier High School FFA Scholarship Fund. We look forward to continuing this service for a long time to come.

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MARIETTA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION HAS HELPED SUPPORT THESE PROGRAMS

  • Renovation and repairs to New Matamoras Museum

  • Purchasing radios for New Matamoras’ first responders

  • Install a t-ball field at Matamoras Community Park

  • Quarterly support for New Matamoras Food Pantry

  • Update and expand Frontier Local Schools weight training and fitness equipment for organized athletic teams

  • EpiCenter field trips for Frontier Local Schools

Meet the Board - Eric Erb, Vice Chairman

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Mason Beuhring, Communications & Program Services Director at Marietta Community Foundation, sits down with Eric Erb, Senior Vice President at Peoples Bank and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Marietta Community Foundation, to get to know this prominent community figure.

Mason Beuhring: Eric, thank you for sitting down with me to chat. Let’s start with where are you from and what is your background?

Eric Erb: Well I was born and raised in Marietta, but went to college at Mercer University in Macon, GA. My undergrad was in Business Management and I went down there on a golf scholarship. I tried to get as far south as I could get. And, like most youth, when I left I did not intend on coming back.

But then, through maturity, I realized the value of a small town and the benefits of a close-knit community. So when I had an opportunity to come back, I took it.

MB: What are some of your hobbies and interests?

EE: I’m very involved in church, I still play a little bit of golf, try to play basketball a couple times a week, and I’m very involved in my family. My wife, Lynn, and I have two amazing daughters. Our oldest daughter, Elissa, is a sophomore at Taylor University, and our youngest, Isabelle, is a senior at Williamstown.

MB: You mentioned a few different sports as hobbies, do you have any favorite sports teams?

EE: I love the Ohio State Buckeyes. Outside of that I don’t really have a favorite [pro-sport] team, but I won’t miss a Buckeye game on T.V.

MB: Okay, I’m going to shift the conversation a bit and ask why did you choose Financial Advising for your career?

EE: My wife and I met with a financial planner. I had always had an interest in financial planning, an interest in investment analysis and management. From that initial meeting with that planner, it developed in to me joining his practice. I later moved my practice to Peoples Bank in 2006.

MB: How did you end up getting involved with Marietta Community Foundation?

EE: I was invited to join the Board [of Directors] about 12 years ago. I always had tremendous respect for the Foundation, always looked at how the Foundation was ran, and always respected the quality of the Board of Directors. For me I was kind of shocked and surprised that I was invited. I was really honored by the opportunity to join that group.

Marietta Community Foundation’s Board of Directors serve two consecutive five-year terms. After completing two full terms, and then taking a year off, Eric Erb has just started his third five-year term.

MB: So after completing two terms [total of 10 years] as a board member, what prompted you to take up this mantle again and serve as the Vice Chairman of the Board?

EE: I love what the Foundation does… I love to see people having charitable intent. I love to see people trying to assist other organizations and people in need… It’s neat to see people give. It’s fun to be a part of the Foundation and assist money going to where it is most needed.

It is wonderful to see donors get engaged with the Foundation with ideas that they have. I enjoy seeing us [the Foundation and its Board of Directors] do the best we can with our unrestricted funds, but I also like seeing the restricted funds from donors. Giving them our thoughts and ideas on where to give and how to give.

I have enjoyed seeing Heather [Allender, President & CEO of the Foundation] develop into a strong professional. I have gotten to see her work from a part time employee all the way to where she is running the place. So, seeing her professional development has been something special.

Also, the Board has had such quality people. They have helped me grow in my role on the Board and as a person. They are talented, smart, and interesting people to engage with. The Board meetings aren’t one of those meetings where you say, “Oh, darn I have to go to this meeting.” I look forward to them because they are engaging and challenging.

MB: Are there any particular board members who have greatly influenced you over the years?

EE: For me many of them stand out, but I think the one who stands out the most would be Karen Osborne.

MB: That seems to be a general consensus from everyone I have talked to so far.

EE: She’s a genius! I had the opportunity to interact with her while she was still in accounting and she helped myself and my clients tremendously. She also has a great style and demeanor about herself. She can get her opinion across without causing friction and people turn to her if there are tough decisions to be made. Her intellectual and historical knowledge of the Foundation is invaluable.

MB: What is one thing one you would like people to know about the Foundation?

EE: I wouldn't say it would just be one, but three things.

First, they should have confidence in how the Foundation is run. We bench-mark ourselves against other foundations our size. They are getting a well-oiled machine, it is very efficient with no waste. We try to get every penny we can out of expenses to give it back in the community. Also, the fact that there are no fees is unusual for organizations like ours.

Second, would be our unrestricted giving. Let us do the due diligence for the donor. Let us do the due diligence on what organizations are most in need and most worthy.

And, lastly, if restricted [funds] is where you want to go, use the capabilities of the Foundation. Make a lump sum deposit and then let us cut the checks based on your wishes throughout the year. It saves on your checks and it saves on your accounting nightmares.

MB: Thank you for your time, Eric.