2016 Annual Meeting Held May 24, 2017

The board of directors of the Community Foundation of Noble County held its Annual Meeting to celebrate the year 2016 at the Kendallville Event Center on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.


Approximately 130 invited guests including donors, fund representatives, volunteers, and grantees attended the luncheon.  The luncheon theme “Cheers to a Terrific Year” was used as a tribute that best describes the community foundation’s late executive director, Linda Speakman-Yerick, who passed away on March 16. Guests were asked to raise a “Linda Paddle”, an image of Linda placed on a wood stick, every time the word “terrific” was used.

Mark Demske, Interim Executive Director welcomed the group stating “Noble County is a tremendously generous county, evidenced by our success. Just last year we celebrated with assets of $27.5 million dollars….in 2016 we ended our year with assets of $28.3 with 182 funds.  An Increase of $830,000. Terrific!” Demske stated “In 2016 the community foundation receipted over 645 gifts totaling $1,103,063! Terrific! We have been busy! Just last year, in 2016, the community foundation distributed 373 grants and scholarships of approximately $1,248,649 back to Noble County! Terrific!”
The community foundation got a new name and a new logo in 2016! Now known as The Community Foundation of Noble County and with the name change, it was decided it was time to update the logo.

Demske stated “Inside the outline of our county are 3 leaves.  The leaves stand for:

  1. Catalyst for positive change to put the right people around the table to solve the tough issues that face our county. 2. Serve as a vehicle for donors to give through and align their passions with causes that will positively benefit Noble County. 3.  Serve as a grant maker to the community to empower our nonprofit organizations and various agencies to make a difference and promote a better quality of life in Noble County.”


Demske continued with “It’s our donors that wish to leave a legacy to support their organization that has great meaning and someone they are very passionate about. That’s why they give and the one thing we continue to hear over and over is they love knowing their gift will last forever…in perpetuity and continue to make an impact for those organizations they love.”


In 2016 the community foundation created three new funds. The Cromwell High School Alumni Scholarship Fund, Dave and Barb Thomas Fund, West Noble After School Program Fund.


Jarrod Ramer, President of the Board of Directors, who has served the last two years as the board president stated “It has been a privilege and honor to have served as president of the foundation. Even when times were lean we continued to have successes to celebrate each year and this year is no different. The community foundation was successful in 2016 in receiving accreditation with the nation’s highest standard for philanthropic excellence. National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® establish legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations everywhere.”
Recognition of outgoing Community Foundation of Noble County board members was given to Jolene Durham of Ligonier and Rick Zollars of Kendallville, whose terms have ended. Other board officers and members included

President – Jarrod Ramer, Vice-President – Rebecca Schroeder, Secretary/Treasurer – Barb Thomas

Member at Large – Chuck Wysong, Leigh Ann Pranger, Josh Munson, Dr. Craig M. Lichlyter, Mark Demske, Robert C. Probst, Deborah L. Spidel, Dick Owen, Chris Mershman, Barb Thomas. The supporting organization of the community foundation, Community Initiatives Board are: Dr. Greg Johnson President, Deborah L. Spidel, Debra Hockley, Nancy Egolf, Jane Doyle –  Secretary/Treasurer, Joseph Atz –  Vice President, Robert Kirsch, Curt Gierhan, Marge Kavanaugh, Bill Emmert, Dan Parker and Chris Mershman. The Community Initiatives Board is the grantmaking arm of the community foundation awarding grants to community projects.
The family of Linda Speakman-Yerick joined the annual meeting including her widower John Yerick and daughter Jessica Gromaski. Ramer presented them with the Resolution of Honor and Appreciation in Memory of Linda.


Recognition of Noble County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholar was given to Kellie Waring who attended along with her mother, Deb. Kellie is a 2017 West Noble High School senior and will be studying Dentistry at IUPUI.


In lieu of the “Giver of Gifts” program where the community foundation recognized those special non-profit volunteers in our community that make a difference, the community foundation offered recognition to the Volunteers of the Year, Youth in Philanthropy, Outstanding Board Leadership and Philanthropist of the Year Awards. The community was asked to submit their nominations in early spring. With each Award, the recipient will have the opportunity to award a grant in their honor to their favorite charity.  The Board of Directors and P.U.L.S.E. of Noble County graciously donated the funds to help keep this Circle of Philanthropy continuing.


Youth in Philanthropy Award was awarded to West Noble Primary 1st Grade Secret Agents of Kindness

Each 1st grade classroom at West Noble Primary chooses at least one random act of kindness to complete during the school year.  In addition to that, every month the entire 1st grade completes monthly kindness missions within our school or community.  These “Kindness Missions” range from hosting community meetings, to leaving encouraging notes on the lockers of high school students.  The mission of the program is to build a kindred spirit in the community by teaching the students the joys of acting in kindness and compassion that leave our school corporation and our neighborhood a safe and loving place to learn and grow.


Three individuals were awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Nicole Lowe – Friendship Food Pantry

Nicole has volunteered at Friendship Food Pantry for 2 years.  Nicole has eagerly learned about the new direction of the pantry of helping our neighbors without hurting them.  She strongly supported the concept of helping our neighbors identify their own gifts, skills and abilities while developing opportunities for those assets to be used in leading our neighbors to greater levels of economic freedom and empowering them to independence.

Thank you Nicole!


Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Scott Cole – Town of Albion

Scott has an energetic “can do” attitude for the community.  Scott is a real leader in the Albion community and an inspiration to others who volunteer.  Scott has volunteered to help with activities for the Albion Chamber, the Chain O’Lakes Festival, the Albion STAR Team and numerous others.  Thank you Scott!


Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Timothy Tew – Kendallville Public Library

Tim has volunteered at the Library for the last 5 years and started the Minecraft group at the Library.  For those of you who do not know, Minecraft is more than just a video game.  By bringing this to the Library, Tim has created a foundation from which youth can gain valuable abstract thinking and problem solving skills.  It helps them create goals and establish a plan to achieve those goals.  Tim has been a role model for the kids who play the game.  Tim’s gift of time and talents has also opened the door for other volunteers at the library.  Other students see his accomplishments, and want to know how they can get involved with volunteering, too.

Thank you Tim!


Three individuals received the Outstanding Board Leadership Awards.

Rev. Curryanne Hostetler – Common Grace Ministries

Curryanne accepted the Board Chair position in 2013 just as the organization was beginning the process of organizational restructuring.  With her help, in December 2016, the organization hosted a workshop that attracted participants from five counties and multiple non-profits, churches, schools, and others to learn how to help our neighbors without inadvertently hurting them.  This movement has continued to attract attention and other organizations are also moving in this direction which has the potential to change lives throughout Noble County.  Thank you Rev. Curryanne!


Kemuel Prince – Kendallville Public Library

Kemuel has served on the Library Board of Trustees for 6 years, a majority of the time as President.  His reason for being on the Board was “to find a way to serve the community that has provided such a great place to raise a family.”  His experience with finance and project management made the construction process of the library’s Lower Level smooth, even though the library was without a director for most of the project.  Kemuel’s leadership in choosing the director will have a lasting impact on the library and the entire community.  Thank you Kemuel!


Sharon Leitch – Chain O’ Lakes Festival and Albion Chamber of Commerce

At 75 years young, nothing stops this gal!  Sharon has been a giver and volunteer for longer than many of us have been alive.  Sharon keeps others on track with the many projects that are going on concurrently. She is the Treasurer for both the Chain O’ Lake Festival and the Albion Chamber of Commerce.  Sharon makes a real difference in our community.  Thank you Sharon!


Philanthropist of the Year Award was awarded to David and Marjorie Kile of Kendallville.

Long time residents of Noble County, David and Marjorie Kile have dedicated their lives to making a difference, and giving back. As a retired teacher, Marjorie has seen first hand the difference a scholarship can make when awarded to a student in search of higher learning, regardless of age. David and Marjorie know that as a traditional or non-traditional student, access to higher education can be difficult. Thanks to the generosity of the Kile’s, this new fund is an opportunity for both traditional students and non-traditional students to pursue their dream.  Thank you David and Marjorie!


Demske concluded the meeting with thanking the board for their support while serving as Interim and especially thank the staff.  “Trust me, I have needed them far more than they have needed me!  On behalf of the board of directors we will strive to improve the quality of life by serving as a catalyst for positive change and helping donors with their charitable intent and addressing issues throughout the county with our grants.”


The community foundation’s annual report is available on its website www.CFNoble.org