Press Room

|Press Room
13 02, 2016

Michelle Mickle Foster: Data-informed community investment is the future of regional philanthropy

2016-05-27T18:13:55+00:00

In 2014 The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation launched its “Investing in Our Communities — West Side of Charleston” place-based initiative, which aims to strategically concentrate funds and other assets in the area surrounding Mary C. Snow Elementary School. To directly engage community residents, the foundation commissioned the Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action Inc. to conduct a community-needs assessment.

The assessment was conducted between July and December 2015 and included a review of secondary data, a door-to-door survey of 241 residents and focus group discussions. The foundation seeks to invest in health, housing and civic engagement programs in this particular footprint, so these areas were the assessment’s focus.

The community-needs assessment was an effective strategy. Those within and outside the community more fully understand the area’s needs, why they exist and the importance of addressing them.

Residents had the opportunity to share how the needs impact the quality of life for the larger community. Local engagement increased because residents were included in discussions about needs, assets, and the community’s response.

The community’s strengths and weaknesses were identified, so community-based organizations may alter or enhance their service delivery. Perhaps most importantly, data now exists to inform decisions and actions that will better address community needs and more effectively guide resource allocation.

– See more at: WV Gazette

Michelle Mickle Foster: Data-informed community investment is the future of regional philanthropy2016-05-27T18:13:55+00:00
5 08, 2016

Michelle Mickle Foster: New target at Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

2017-04-17T17:55:16+00:00

Community economic development is The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation’s newest priority area. This priority area addresses the “economic disparities and lack of a diverse economy” root cause that was identified during the organization’s strategic planning process.

Community economic development can be defined as the actions taken by an organization or a group of organizations representing an urban neighborhood or rural community in order to:

1. Improve the economic situation of local residents (disposable income and assets) and local businesses (profitability and growth); and

2. Enhance the community’s quality of life as a whole (appearance, safety, networks, gathering places, and sense of positive momentum).

Community economic development is both people-based and placed-based, which means that individuals, families and communities are positively impacted. Individual and family impact encompasses increasing the economic standard of living for low-wealth persons in low-wealth neighborhoods. This includes increasing residents’ discretionary income (income available after paying necessities) and wealth (assets and savings).

Community impact encompasses rebuilding the prosperity and livability of an entire community for the benefit of existing residents and businesses. This can include rebuilding the community’s social fabric through economic means such as:

Creating new community gathering places — restaurants, childcare centers and coffee shops.

Strengthening community pride and confidence through continual visible improvements.

Providing long-term stability and affordability through local ownership of businesses and properties.

Generating inspiring new role models through local entrepreneur development and career development.

Community economic development differs from development projects led by the private or public sector alone. As mentioned above, it is multi-purpose, with desired individual and community impact, as well as financial returns. Traditional economic development is solely focused on financial returns. Furthermore, community economic development has a long-term focus within one targeted area, versus moving on after a project or two.

Additionally, community economic development is carried out in accord with a plan of ongoing, multiple projects and goals, created and controlled by residents, businesses and institutions. Finally, CED involves smaller-scale solutions versus the large-scale solutions of traditional economic development.

Community economic development focuses on four pivot points, which may operate as economic engines for family and community impact. These are the four most common and potentially powerful approaches that groups can use to change the economy of their community:

1. The community’s workforce.

2. Job opportunities.

3. Microbusinesses.

4. The commercial district.

These pivot points are crucial to local economies and are often used as primary strategies.

The large number of unemployed and underemployed residents in low-wealth communities is a major economic problem.

These residents face many challenges, including the lack of work skills, networks and support necessary to obtain and retain steady employment. Workforce development and placement in jobs with livable wages and advancement opportunities, usually lead residents on the best path to economic stability. Community economic development initiatives can work to increase the number of residents in these types of employment opportunities.

There are particular types of expanding businesses that grow a steady stream of entry-level jobs that pay livable wages with some benefits and the possibilities of career advancement.

Community economic development initiatives are tasked with identifying these opportunities. Initiatives can work to attract these businesses to their community and assist in the elimination of barriers to their growth.

Businesses with five or fewer employees are referred to as “microbusinesses.” Microbusinesses in low-wealth communities often lack the resources that they need to thrive, including access to capital.

If supported, these businesses can generate significant economic activity in a community. Owners can serve as role models and inspire others. They can also work to restore life to vacant storefronts. These businesses can bring goods and services to the community and create jobs. Most of all, their efforts can spark positive momentum in a community. Community economic development initiatives can find and support microbusinesses which are certainly assets to their communities.

Commercial district revitalization is critical for low-wealth communities. The “Main Street” in a community represents its “face.” It is this street that forms the perceptions (good or bad) of a community. These perceptions often lead to a community’s reality. Deteriorating commercial districts are undesirable for customers and businesses. Therefore, commercial district revitalization in low-wealth communities is critical and presents another opportunity for development initiatives.

A diversity of investors and actors are needed to rebuild an economy. Organizations engaged in community economic development are only one set of actors, and the Foundation is only one investor. The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation will work to attract other actors and investors to address the economic disparities and diversification needs in our region.

Michelle Mickle Foster is president and CEO of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation.

– See more at: http://www.wvgazettemail.com/gazette-op-ed-commentaries/20160731/michelle-mickle-foster-new-target-at-greater-kanawha-valley-foundation#sthash.94gNU6Ve.dpuf

Michelle Mickle Foster: New target at Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation2017-04-17T17:55:16+00:00
6 01, 2016

New Board members Announced 2016

2017-04-17T17:55:34+00:00

Charleston, WV:  In January, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation elected three new members to their Board of Trustees. Ted Armbrecht III, Dr. Jason A. Castle, and Sandra Thomas will each serve a five year term. The Board has 13 elected Trustees  who will work with incoming President & CEO Dr. Michelle Foster to implement the mission, vision and values of the Foundation.

Ted Armbrecht III graduated from Hobart College with a B. A. in English Literature. He is the Managing Partner of The Wine Shop at Capitol Market and travels to many of the world’s great wine producing regions. Mr. Armbrecht is a member of The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation’s Distribution Committee.  He is also a board member of The Kanawha State Forest Foundation and on the Board of Trustees for The Nature Conservancy West Virginia. He is married to Heather Hill, and they have two children.

Dr. Castle is a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Physics) at Emory University in Atlanta. He is a graduate of the Emory University School of Medicine. During medical school, Dr. Castle developed an interest in the Electronic Health Record. His background in computer consulting and database design served him well, focusing on clinical medical informatics solutions during his pursuit of a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management at the Rollins School of Public Health.  He completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at Wake Forest University, where he was the first Orthopedic Research Resident.  Dr. Castle is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery and is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Castle joined Bone and Joint Surgeons in August of 2007. His wife Elizabeth is a native of Charleston, West Virginia. They have three children.

Sandra Thomas is a Partner in the Western Mid-Atlantic market of Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP. She has over 30 years of tax and business consulting experience and has served in strategic advisory capacities for numerous clients involved in mergers and acquisitions, capital structuring, tax restructuring plans. She is also widely credited as the first women to attain Partner status at a major accounting firm in West Virginia. A graduate of Marshall University, she is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Charleston Chapter of the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. She also serves on several community boards and committees including serving as chairman of the Charleston Building Commission, audit committee chairman of the Garden Club of America, board member for the Maier Foundation, board member and finance committee member for the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences, and trustee of First Presbyterian Church. Sandra is the past Chairwoman for the Charleston Area Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors, past president for Fund for the Arts and past board member for the Kanawha County Public Library.

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is the largest community foundation in Central Appalachia and celebrated 50 years as a community foundation in 2012. Currently $221 million in assets and 500 philanthropic funds are under management. TGKVF is a 501 c (3) tax exempt, public supported organization and one of the top 100 community foundations in the nation.

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

For Immediate release: January 6 2016

Contact:
Patty Majic, interim President & CEO
304.346.3620

New Board members Announced 20162017-04-17T17:55:34+00:00
19 02, 2019

New Board of Trustees Announcement 2019

2019-02-19T20:48:49+00:00

Charleston, WV:  The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) elected Georgette Rashid George to their Board of Trustees at the December 12, 2018 meeting.  She will serve a five-year term.  The Board has 13 elected Trustees and includes Dr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO of the Foundation.

Georgette Rashid George is a principal in many retail, office, and hotel business enterprises where she manages the administrative and financial operations. She serves on several boards including WV Regional Tech Park, Summit Financial Group, Inc./Summit Community Bank, and the Tamarack Foundation. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Georgette is also a member of the Federal Reserve WV Advisory Community Bank for the Fifth District.

TGKVF is the largest community foundation in Central Appalachia and celebrated its 56th anniversary in 2018. The Foundation has approximately $250 million in assets under management and over 500 philanthropic funds.  TGKVF is a 501 c (3) tax-exempt, organization and ranks 82nd among community foundations in the United States.

New Board of Trustees Announcement 20192019-02-19T20:48:49+00:00
3 01, 2018

New Board of Trustees Announcement for 2018

2018-05-23T13:37:29+00:00

 

 

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

For immediate release: January 3, 2018

Contact:

Dr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO, TGKVF

304.346.3620

 

Charleston, WV:  The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) elected Dickinson Gould to their Board of Trustees at the December 13, 2017 meeting.  He will serve a four-year term.  The Board has 13 elected Trustees and includes Dr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO of the Foundation.

Dickinson Gould is the President of Buzz Food Service and a third-generation owner of Buzz, a specialty meat and seafood distributor.  He is a graduate of George Washington University.  Mr. Gould is active in the community, serving on several boards including Charleston Main Streets, East End Main Street, Charleston Area Alliance, Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), American Culinary Federation, and WV Cattleman’s Association.  He is widely acknowledged as the motivating force behind Charleston’s Restaurant Week, now planning its fifth annual event.

The largest community foundation in Central Appalachia, TGKVF celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2017.  The Foundation had $236 million in assets and over 500 philanthropic funds were under management as of September 30, 2017.  TGKVF is a 501 c (3) tax-exempt, organization and is one of the top 100 community foundations in the United States.

New Board of Trustees Announcement for 20182018-05-23T13:37:29+00:00
3 01, 2018

New Board of Trustees Announcement for 2018

2018-05-23T13:54:07+00:00

 

 

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation

For immediate release: January 3, 2018

Contact:

Dr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO, TGKVF

304.346.3620

 

Charleston, WV:  The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) elected Dickinson Gould to their Board of Trustees at the December 13, 2017 meeting.  He will serve a five-year term.  The Board has 13 elected Trustees and includes Dr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO of the Foundation.

Dickinson Gould is the President of Buzz Food Service and a third-generation owner of Buzz, a specialty meat and seafood distributor.  He is a graduate of George Washington University.  Mr. Gould is active in the community, serving on several boards including Charleston Main Streets, East End Main Street, Charleston Area Alliance, Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), American Culinary Federation, and WV Cattleman’s Association.  He is widely acknowledged as the motivating force behind Charleston’s Restaurant Week, now planning its fifth annual event.

The largest community foundation in Central Appalachia, TGKVF celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2017.  The Foundation had $236 million in assets and over 500 philanthropic funds were under management as of September 30, 2017.  TGKVF is a 501 c (3) tax-exempt, organization and is one of the top 100 community foundations in the United States.

New Board of Trustees Announcement for 20182018-05-23T13:54:07+00:00
7 07, 2016

President’s Message: Dr Michelle Foster 2016

2017-04-17T17:55:17+00:00

Presidents’s
Message

Dr. Michelle Foster,
President and CEO

“CED is multi-purpose, with desired individual and community impact, as well as financial returns. Traditional economic development is solely focused on financial returns. ”

“Commercial district revitalization is critical for low wealth communities. ”

Community economic development (CED) is The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation’s newest priority area. This priority area addresses the “economic disparities and lack of a diverse economy” root cause that was identified during the organization’s strategic planning process.

CED can be defined as the actions taken by an organization, or a group of organizations, representing an urban neighborhood or rural community in order to:

  1. Improve the economic situation of local residents (disposable income and assets) and local businesses (profitability and growth); and
  2. Enhance the community’s quality of life as a whole (appearance, safety, networks, gathering places, and sense of positive momentum)

CED is both people-based and placed-based, which means that individuals, families, and communities are positively impacted. Individual and family impact encompasses the increasing of the economic standard of living for low-income persons in low-income neighborhoods. This includes increasing residents’ discretionary income (income available after paying necessities) and wealth (assets and savings). Community impact encompasses the rebuilding the prosperity and livability of an entire community for the benefit of existing residents and businesses. This can include rebuilding the community’s social fabric through economic means, such as:

  • Creating new community gathering places — restaurants, childcare centers, and coffee shops;
  • Strengthening community pride and confidence through continual visible improvements;
  • Providing long-term stability and affordability through local ownership of businesses and properties; and
  • Generating inspiring new role models through local entrepreneur development and employment career development.

CED differs from development projects led by the private or public sector alone. As mentioned above, CED is multi-purpose, with desired individual and community impact, as well as financial returns. Traditional economic development is solely focused on financial returns. Furthermore, CED has a long-term focus within one targeted area versus moving on after a project or two. CED is carried out according to a plan of ongoing, multiple projects and goals, created and controlled by residents, businesses, and institutions. Finally, CED involves smaller-scale solutions versus the large-scale solutions of traditional economic development.

CED focuses on four pivot points, which may operate as economic engines for family and community impact. These are the four most common and potentially powerful approaches that groups can use to change the economy of their community. These pivot points are the community’s workforce, job opportunities, microbusinesses, and commercial district. These pivot points are crucial to local economies and are often used as primary strategies for CED.

The large number of unemployed and underemployed residents in low-wealth communities is a major economic problem. These residents face many challenges including the lack of work skills, networks, and supports necessary to obtain and retain steady employment. Workforce development and placement in jobs with livable wages and advancement opportunities usually lead residents on the best path to economic stability. CED initiatives can work to increase the number of residents placed in these types of employment opportunities.

There are particular types of expanding businesses that grow a steady stream of entry-level jobs that pay livable wages with some benefits and the possibility of career advancement. CED initiatives are tasked with identifying these opportunities. Initiatives can work to attract these businesses to their community and assist in the elimination of barriers to their growth.

Businesses with five or fewer employees are referred to as “microbusinesses.” Microbusinesses in low-wealth communities often lack the resources that they need to thrive, including access to capital. If supported, these businesses can generate significant economic activity in a community. Owners can serve as role models and inspire others. They can also work to restore life to vacant storefronts. These businesses can bring goods and services to the community and create jobs. Most of all, their efforts can spark positive momentum in a community. CED initiatives can work to find and support microbusinesses, which are certainly assets to their communities.

Commercial district revitalization is critical for low-wealth communities. The “Main Street” in a community represents its “face.” It is this street that forms the perceptions (good or bad) of a community. These perceptions often lead to a community’s reality. Deteriorating commercial districts are undesirable for customers and businesses. Therefore, commercial district revitalization in low-wealth communities is critical and presents another opportunity for CED initiatives.

A diversity of investors and actors are needed to rebuild an economy. Organizations engaged in CED are only one set of actors and TGKVF is only one investor. We will work to attract other actors and investors in order to address the economic disparities and diversification needs in our region.

Reference

Temali, M. (2004).The community economic development handbook: Strategies and tools to revitalize your neighborhood. St. Paul, MN: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

President’s Message: Dr Michelle Foster 20162017-04-17T17:55:17+00:00
26 01, 2016

Results of the West Side Community Needs Assessment

2019-04-10T19:28:50+00:00

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation to share results of the West Side Community Needs Assessment
Tues. January 26, beginning 10 am at
Second Avenue Community Center
1411 2nd Avenue, Charleston, WV 25312
Media Invited at 10 am –for Speaker Remarks

 Charleston, WV- The Greater Kanawha Valley working with KISRA has completed a Community Needs Assessment Report for the West Side of Charleston. The geographic area of this reporting was expanded beyond the Foundation’s original target footprint, to include the area bordered by Kanawha Boulevard, Stockton Avenue, the railroad tracks and Glenwood Avenue.

The purpose of the assessment was to provide the Foundation with information obtained directly from residents, beyond census data.  The information gathered by the assessment will facilitate educated decisions about the types of projects that would be beneficial to the West Side Residents. This information was gathered through door-to-door, boots on the ground conversations with the survey information preloaded on electronic tablets.  Conversations took place on Saturdays, Sundays and during the evenings from July to September 2015.

10:00am Welcome Melvin Jones, Chairman, Board of Trustees, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF)
10:10am Highlights from Assessment Carl Chadband, Chief Operating Officer Kanawha Institute for Social Research & Action (KISRA)
10:20am What does this mean? Michelle Foster, Incoming President & CEO, TGKVF
Results of the West Side Community Needs Assessment2019-04-10T19:28:50+00:00
7 07, 2016

State of the Foundation

2017-04-17T17:55:17+00:00

STATE OF THE FOUNDATION

Dr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO, gives first address to the community.

Leslie Crutchfield, keynote speaker

Charles Loeb, Vice Chairman, TGKVF

Michelle Foster, Ph.D,. president and CEO of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, gave her first address to the community during the Foundation’s 15th annual report Tuesday, May 17, 2016 in the Clay Center Grand Lobby.

Leslie Crutchfield, a senior research fellow at Georgetown University, delivered the event’s keynote address titled “The Courage to Change.” Crutchfield is a nationally recognized speaker and has co-authored two books, most recently Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World.

Foster was introduced by Charles Loeb, vice chairman of the Foundations’ Board of Trustees. Loeb recounted the “highly competitive, year long process” of finding the Foundations’ new president. He then congratulated Foster for being chosen out of 95 applicants from a number of national, private, and community foundations.

Foster thanked the Board of Trustees for choosing her and recognized the 147 active TGKVF volunteers for their contributions to the Foundation. Additionally, Foster offered her thanks to predecessor Becky Ceperley, who was the president and CEO of the Foundation for 15 years prior to her retirement in December 2015. “My chief aim in taking over the reins from Becky is to preserve the vitality of this renowned organization while encouraging its progression to the next level,” Foster said.

Foster said that the Foundation received more than $4.7 million in contributions and distributed more than $6.2 million in grants and scholarships during the 2015 fiscal year. At the end of the fiscal year, the Foundation had more than $216 million in assets under management. “Ladies and gentlemen, I have examined the many facets of our community foundation, including our assets, our community investments, our operations, and our relationships and it is my pleasure to report that the state of the Foundation is strong,” she said.

After Foster reported on the state of the Foundation, Crutchfield delivered her keynote address. Crutchfield celebrated the act of philanthropy but said that modern philanthropists need to go beyond writing checks and volunteering in order to solve the complex problems society faces today. “So many of the problems seem to persist and grow,” said Crutchfield. “The way that philanthropy traditionally operates just isn’t adding up to the change that you all seek in your community and we seek nationally.”

A book signing with Crutchfield was held at the end of the event as well as a reception for those in attendance.

– Reprinted from the Charleston Gazette-Mail

State of the Foundation2017-04-17T17:55:17+00:00
14 05, 2018

TGKVF Annual Report to the Community – May 15, 2018

2018-05-23T13:58:41+00:00

For release: Monday May 14, 2018                                                       

Contact:
Dr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO,TGKVF

304.346.3620

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) will hold its Annual Report to the Community

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 beginning at 4 pm at the Clay Center in Charleston, WV

More than 200 donors, fund holders, and grantees are expected to attend

Guest Speaker will be Dr. Jean Bennett, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Regional Administrator

Media is invited anytime between 4-5:30 pm

(Charleston, WV-May 11, 2018) On Tuesday May 15, 2018 at 4 pm, TGKVF will present their 17th Annual Report to the Community on the main stage of the Clay Center.  Those attending will include donors, grant recipients, community, and government representatives. The event has grown into a premier showcase of the importance of philanthropy, leadership, and community involvement.

SAMHSA’s Regional Administrator Dr. Jean Bennett will be the guest speaker. Dr. Bennett has served as Regional Administrator since 2011, her Region III territory includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Dr. Bennet carries out SAMHSA’s mission to reduce the impact of substance use and mental health disorders on America’s communities by identifying emerging policy issues and opportunities for collaboration, and facilitating the formation of partnerships and implementation of solutions.

TGKVF is a community foundation established in 1962, administering over 500 funds, with assets of $243,710,253.

#

4:15 pm           Welcome                                             Charles Loeb, Jr., Chairman, Board of Trustees, TGKVF

4:25 pm           State of the Foundation                     Dr. Michelle Foster, President and CEO, TGKVF

4:45 pm           Movie Premiere                                   “West Side Stories of Becoming More”

5:00 pm           Keynote                                               Dr. Jean Bennett, SAMHSA

5:20 pm           Closing                                                            Dr. Michelle Foster

5:25 pm           Reception

TGKVF Annual Report to the Community – May 15, 20182018-05-23T13:58:41+00:00