September 22, 2017
Legacy: We use that word a lot in the nonprofit sector and especially here at AAACF as an organization committed to building endowment, or permanent community capital. Legacy derives from the Latin verb, legare, which means “to appoint by a last will, send as an ambassador.” We now often think of legacy only in the terms of someone’s will and the monetary testament left behind. Yet, and I say this as a finance professional, legacy is about much more than just money!
The second sense of the word—acting as an ambassador—has been an important theme for my family, tied inextricably to the goal of working towards the common good. Legacy has meant that we represent the family by acting to help better the community in which we live. My grandparents and then my parents actively engaged in community service as agents of social justice and social change. However, for many years after completing my MBA, I strayed from that path that they had established, as I focused on building a career on Wall Street that left little time for community service.
After we moved to the Ann Arbor area in 2003, I felt a yearning to take up the mantle of my family’s legacy of community engagement. Volunteering for nonprofits and even serving as Executive Director of the Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic and as President of the Saline Area Soccer Association helped to nurture my deep-rooted desire to make a difference. Just a couple months ago, I was extremely fortunate to have my professional and personal goals align when the opportunity to work for AAACF as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and VP of Operations presented itself. In a very real sense, joining AAACF felt like coming home. My dream job combines my experience in investing banking, financial planning and tax preparation, working for a community organization devoted to the lasting legacy of endowment, and getting to work with an amazing group of people that are deeply passionate about their work.
In my new role, I feel not only that I’m now continuing my family’s legacy of community engagement, but also that I am furthering the vision of the many citizens of this community who came before me. Washtenaw County is such a vibrant place to live and work because people deeply care about helping others and contributing to the common good, and AAACF’s work today is largely due to the generosity of citizens many years ago who invested in this community.
Read on to learn about the grants and scholarships made possible last year. We are especially excited to share news about a new endeavor to reward “Bold Ideas” by nonprofits who are pursuing innovative solutions to community issues. We look forward to sharing more news about 2016 in the coming months, especially at our Annual Community Meeting on Monday, May 8, at WCC’s Morris Lawrence Building from 5:30-8:00pm. I look forward to continuing to meet even more supporters of AAACF and could not be more grateful to carry on your legacies!