FOUNDATION … The 2022 Bryan Area Foundation officers and trustees pictured are front from left, Amy Miller President/CEO, Dr. Carolyn Dorsten Trustee, Diana Moore Eschhofen Chairman. Back row from left, Steve Hess Vice Chair, Dr. George Brown Trustee, Tom Turnbull Trustee, Dave Schumm Trustee, Mike Shaffer Secretary, George Gardner Treasurer, Jason Beals Trustee, Mark Miller Grant Making Chair. Trustees and Officers missing from photo: Jason Kunsman Trustee, Emily Ebaugh Assistant Treasurer, Diana Savage Trustee, Martin Killgallon III Trustee. (PHOTO PROVIDED
By: Lindsay Phillips
Bryan Area Foundation Members held their annual meeting with guests on October 20 at 5:45 p.m. at the Bryan Eagles Club to share the work of the Foundation through the past year.
The 2022 Bryan Area Foundation also recognized the 2022 Good Citizen Recipient.
Bryan Area Foundation Chairman Diana Moore Eschhofen opened the evening extending a warm welcome to members and guests, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to gather and for the great work of the Foundation to date.
Eschhofen announced, “just a little more than a week ago, on October 11, the Bryan Area Foundation launched Foundation Week by bringing to town Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, an extreme wheelchair athlete, to speak with K-5 students in the Bryan City and St. Patrick Elementary Schools.”
Eschhofen added, “I had the opportunity to go to lunch with Aaron and his wife, along with Stuart James, Executive Director of the Ability Center of Greater Toledo, and several Ability Center staff members.”
The foundation’s current strategic plan includes four priority areas; the first on the list is community leadership.
The intent, it says in the plan, is to provide leadership that stimulates and encourages citizens and supports improvements to the quality of life in Williams County.
This past Tuesday the foundation brought two Ohio State University football icons together, Jim Tressel and Mike Doss, to Bryan for a “Conversation on Leadership.”
Eschhofen then went on to acknowledge the work of the Bryan Area Foundation staff.
“Amy and her team – Kelly, Jenny, Carma, and Linda – are incredible. They manage meetings, events, projects, marketing, and activities with such skill and positive attitudes that they make the work look easy.
They too continue to give of themselves on behalf of the work that we do. In fact, in just in the last 8 days, the foundation has sponsored two major community events, and while many of our members were involved, this foundation office team did all the coordination and management, and pulled together the presentations, paperwork and planning for this meeting and celebration tonight. We are capital B – Blessed by this team. Let’s give them a BIG round of applause!”
Bryan Area Foundation President/CEO, Amy Miller then addressed the group providing the highlights of the Foundation from the past year.
Miller shared, “It is an absolute honor and pleasure to work alongside each of you as we strive to fulfill our mission to “enhance the quality of life for all citizens of our area now, and for generations to come by building community endowment, addressing needs through grant making, and serving as a leader, catalyst and resource for charitable giving.”
“As many of you will recall, I stood in front of you in this exact location a year ago, touting a 32% increase in foundation assets at the conclusion of fiscal year 2021.’
“Fast forward to today, and that picture is just a little bit different as we ended FY 2022 with a 12% decrease.”
In the grant area, the foundation addressed a need for access to smaller grants of $2500 or less, which are available through an abbreviated application process and are able to be applied and awarded outside of the quarterly review process.
These founder’s grants have been widely embraced and allowed the Bryan Area Foundation to respond in a timely way.
In infrastructure and operations, the foundation transitioned from their outdated operating system to a new ERP system with greater functionality, which has already, and will continue to increase productivity and reporting, and last December they had launched a new Bryan Area Foundation website with a modern look and feel and a responsive interface.
After 53 years of moving from donated space, to leased occupancy, the foundation will finally own a home in the heart of downtown Bryan.
The building was gifted via donation by two foundation members and will be located 124 S. Lynn St.
Miller went on to transition into the Committee reports and began by sharing the Treasurer’s report on behalf of Treasurer George Gardner and Assistant Treasurer Emily Ebaugh.
The committee reports were shared in the following order with the following presenters:
Treasurer-Amy Miller; Audit-Jack Brace; Grant Making-Mark Miller; Scholarship-Tom Turnbull; Development-Scott Benedict; Investment-Amy Miller; Community Impact-Diana Moore Eschhofen; Nominating-Steve Hess
At the close of the committee reports, Mike Shaffer, Implementation Chair for Project 2020, presented on the completion of the Interactive Fountains and the kick-off of Project Next, sharing that the new Project Next group has 44 members committed to collectively giving around $44,000 per year for the next 10 years to invest towards a future project to benefit the community of Bryan.
Diana Moore Eschhofen then introduced the 2022 Good Citizen, Robert Rowan, and stated, “It is my honor to present the 2022 Good Citizen Award this evening.”
“This prestigious award, endowed by the Hawk family in memory of their parents, Howard and Mary Hawk, is presented annually to one of Bryan’s outstanding citizens, and this year’s recipient absolutely is.”
Seventy years ago, Rowan joined the Air Force and served four years of active duty in the Korean War, followed by many years in the Reserves.
In 1962, he joined American Legion Post 284 in Bryan and has been active there for 60 years.
He served as Legion Commander for the post’s 50th anniversary in 1969, and for its 100th anniversary in 2019. It’s no surprise that he is the post’s historian.
In 1975, he joined an effort to put 500 American flags around Bryan for the city’s bicentennial, and he’s been selling and repairing flags ever since.
He does this as a volunteer; any money that comes in benefits the American Legion.
He serves as trustee for the Williams County Veterans memorial, and as secretary and board member of the Williams County Military Heritage and Museum.
He is a member of the Williams County Genealogical Society and the Williams County Historical Society.