Lenawee Community Foundation 2019 Annual Meeting

(Adrian, MI) Over 180 people gathered on April 17, 2019 to learn why the Lenawee Community Foundation says that “Lenawee is first in our hearts, and first in our name”. On the heels of National Volunteer Week, it was the perfect time for the Foundation to host its annual meeting honoring the legacies of local individuals, organizations and businesses, while recognizing the work of its donors, volunteers and community partners.

“The Lenawee Community Foundation assists individuals, businesses, communities and organizations in achieving their charitable goals for our Lenawee County community,” said Dave Hickman, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We work for the future, like the community savings account – permanently investing donations and utilizing the earnings to address community needs.” Hickman added that the Foundation works in five areas: health, education, culture, civic projects and human services.

Hickman announced that the Board of Directors of the Lenawee Community Foundation included: Kris Schmidt, Vice Chair; James Kapnick, Secretary; Scott Hill, Treasurer; as well as Merri Jo Bales, Frank Dick, Doug Gray, Charles H. Gross, Rick Gurdjian, Paula Holtz, Dave Pray, Nicole Underwood, Bob Vogel, Joe Williams, and Youth Representatives Amy Higgins and Raina Lohr.

Scott Hill received The Lenawee Leadership Award. The prestigious award began as the Maple Leaf Award in 1953 and was expanded to include all of Lenawee in 2012 when the Lenawee Community Foundation accepted responsibility for the award. Hill serves on the Adrian Dominican Sisters Development Advisory Board; Lenawee Community Foundation Board of Directors, serving as Treasurer and on the Executive and Development Committees; Old National Bank Advisory Board; Siena Heights University Board, serving as Secretary; and the Stubnitz Foundation Board of Directors. He also is part of the Hidden Lake Gardens Project Planning Committee, which is developing a Tree Canopy Walkout and a Tree Top Tower. Hill is the CEO of Krieghoff Lenawee and has shared his expertise with projects at local colleges, hospitals, the Croswell Opera House, and more. He leads by example, is a great listener, believes in collaboration, and is an ambassador for improving the quality of life in Lenawee. The Lenawee Leadership Award was presented to Hill after remarks from Sister Rosemary Abramovich, OP.

Three additional awards were given, which the Lenawee Community Foundation agreed to continue when Lenawee Cares was established, as a program of the Foundation. They included the Stubnitz, Community Pillar and Incito Awards.

Janis Montalvo was the 38th annual recipient of the Stubnitz Award, honoring exemplary commitment to Lenawee and volunteerism. She serves on the Lenawee Cares Advisory Board and chairs its Year of Caring, which connects businesses to nonprofit volunteer opportunities. She also serves as President of Zonta of Lenawee, past chair of the Community Action Agency Board, and has served in a variety of
leadership positions with many local nonprofits. Montalvo is an Associate Broker and Owner of Living in Lenawee Realty.


Brazeway, Inc. was honored as the 4th recipient of the Community Pillar Award. For the last two years employee plus the matching corporate gifts have catapulted Brazeway to the #1 Lenawee Cares campaign. Brazeway is a successful corporation with an incredible group of employees, who consistently display a culture of caring through volunteering and generous gifts to help others. Employees of Brazeway volunteer in a variety of ways with local nonprofits, including service on the Lenawee Cares Advisory Board, and employee participation in the Year of Caring.

David Heriman was honored with the 9th Incito Award, which recognizes a person under the age of 40, who has emerged as a community leader and demonstrated commitment to philanthropy. Herriman co-chaired the 2017 and 2018 Lenawee Cares campaigns, and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Lenawee Cares Advisory Board. He co-chaired Tomorrow’s Pillars in 2016, encouraging leadership giving among individuals under the age of 40. He is a board member of Associated Charities and served as the Board President in 2016 and 2017. Herriman is President of Kemner Iott Benz.

Christopher Phillips and Dave Herriman, Lenawee Cares campaign co-chairs, reported that $516,736 had been raised in the Lenawee Cares campaign with 132 Pillars Club members donating gifts of $1,000 or more that totaled $270,000. They honored Frank Dick for chairing the Pillars Club. Jen Haracourt was thanked for chairing Tomorrow’s Pillars, while Matt Bell of Bell Automotive was acknowledged for sponsoring Tomorrow’s Pillars activities. Phillips and Herriman reported that more than $422,000 from the 2018 campaign would be distributed to nonprofits, while 10% of the campaign revenue would be placed in a permanent endowment with earnings utilized to assure that future needs were addressed. They stated that a competitive grant process would review community needs, rank the nonprofits and their programs, and assure the greatest impact.

The Lenawee Community Foundation works 24/7, 365 days a year, through its programs, as well as services for which it provides funding. Foundation programs include Lenawee YOUTH Council, Lenawee Imagination Library, Hunters Helping Lenawee, VOLUNTEER! Lenawee, the Community Resource Guide, and more. The Foundation also serves as a fiduciary for the Lenawee College Access Network, and Weekend Snack Sacks. Grants of $2.2 million last year provided assistance for abused children, food for people in need, shelter from domestic violence, school supplies, eviction mediation, preschool education, and much more.

The Lenawee Community Foundation works to assist people in creating legacies and investing in Lenawee. You can donate $30 to send Imagination Library books to a preschool child for a year; volunteer; leave 10% in your will or trust to benefit Lenawee; endow annual gifts to your favorite nonprofits; or make gifts or bequests to your home town. Contact the Foundation for help in creating your legacy.

Additional information about the Lenawee Community Foundation or any of its programs or services can be obtained by contacting Sue Hammersmith, President & CEO, at (517) 423-1729.

“The Lenawee Community Foundation is truly blessed to work with so many caring, community members, who exemplify that ‘Lenawee is first in our name and first in our hearts,’” stated Hammersmith. “It’s incredibly rewarding to know that our gifts and our legacies work for Lenawee County for good, for ever.”

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