The recently merged Huntingburg Foundation and Dubois County Community Foundation announced several key decisions Monday including naming Brad Ward as the new CEO.
“It’s a humbling opportunity,” Brad Ward. “I am glad to see this coming together. This has been an exciting venture from the start and I am looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of that process now and to assist in the efforts to unify the two under one mission and vision.”
Ward was one of 17 applicants reviewed for the position. He is a 2001 graduate of Jasper High School and received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from DePauw University in 2005. Before assuming the role of Executive Director of the Huntingburg Foundation four years ago, Ward served with international organizations such as American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity International. Besides the Huntingburg Foundation, Ward currently serves in a Board capacity with the Dubois County Leadership Academy.
During his time with the Huntingburg Foundation Ward has been instrumental in reaching out in new philanthropy efforts including the recently formed Emerging Leaders Giving Circle. Emerging Leaders is designed for young professionals under the age of 45 to give, grant, and connect for as little as $120/yr. Their funds will be pooled together to grant thousands to the community.
Ward stated his goal as the CEO is to smooth the transition to the new foundation. Although the new Foundation will be located at the newly built Dubois County Community Foundation building in Jasper, Ward stated due to the unifying efforts of the boards he may be a “man without a home” as he fills the role of an outreach coordinator throughout the county. “We plan on holding community conversations,” said Ward, “about how the new Community Foundation can be a part of the success of the larger community.”
Ward explained they are looking at Dubois, Ferdinand, Holland, and Ireland and elsewhere to strengthen their presence in those communities. The board plans on arranging satellite offices in Huntingburg, Ferdinand and Dubois to ensure all of their constituents can meet with the Dubois County Community Foundation staff in a location close to their homes.
The newly merged Foundation has yet to decide on an official name but the choices have been narrowed to the Dubois County Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Dubois County. The name will remain the Dubois County Community Foundation until an official decision is made after input from the community is taken.
The Board of Directors has also formed a countywide initiative to receive nominations to the permanent governing board. This team will consist of corporate, education, government and service leaders from throughout the county. Initially the board will have members from the DCCF and HFI with an additional member recently appointed from the southeast portion of the county.
The Board Chair and Officers:
- Brent Sternberg – Board Chair
- Sue Hubster – Board Vice Chair
- Kurt Fuhs – Board Secretary
- Ray Schwenk – Board Treasurer
In addition to the board officers, there are the following general at-large board members:
- Mitch Clark
- Larry Fuesler
- Bill Kaiser
- Tom Krodel
- Jeryl Luegers
- Pat Miller
- Debbie Seger
The foundation stated its grant making will be community driven and reflect the county. As part of their plans to incorporate the entire county they will be conducting countywide community conversations. They will also be releasing a countywide matching grants program to go toward projects in the county that drive the countywide vision of the community foundation.
The official launch of the new foundation is scheduled for June 1.