The Brown County Community Foundation is one of the 36-plus nonprofit organizations in our community. Our mission is to support our nonprofit partners through grant-making that helps to build community assets, develop new programs and award grants and scholarships every year.

In almost all cases, these mission-driven organizations depend on charitable donations to keep the doors open and volunteer power to deliver services and programs. Upon closer inspection, you will discover that almost all of these organizations have a very dedicated, all-volunteer board of directors as well as volunteer committee members who invest their time and share their expertise to help deliver services efficiently and effectively.

Nonprofits work hard to maximize the community impact of their limited funding and by design are managed by minimal staff. These dedicated staff members, however, provide the daily strategic focus on mission; manage financial activities; cultivate partners; and complete whatever is required — those “other duties as assigned” to maintain the integrity of the organizations.

Longtime staff are truly rare and a blessing. They importantly carry forward and share institutional knowledge to allow new staff members and volunteers alike to have the most effective and enjoyable experience.

The Brown County Community Foundation operates with a similarly lean but dedicated staff. We have been especially blessed with the long-term professional services of one office manager for the past 11 years: Judy Bowling.

Judy has provided support for three CEOs, 48 trustees and well over 300 different committee members. She has coordinated board of trustee meeting agendas for more than 120 meetings. She has handled contributions from thousands of local donors, opened hundreds of funds and written thank-you letters and annual fund statement letters to all of them.

Judy has been an invaluable and patient mentor to staff and volunteers as they have tried to grasp the complicated business of developing a community foundation. It is a fact: The BCCF would not have successfully completed two Lilly Endowment challenge grants, awarded annual community grants and scholarships, and passed 11 audits and two rounds of U.S. Council on Foundation Standards assessments without Judy’s professional attitude, integrity and service above self.

Betsy Lease was a member of the Governance Committee in 2004, the year Judy joined the BCCF, and has continued to work with Judy through the Fabulous 50 Women’s Circle of Giving. Betsy reflected that “Judy’s body of work, always shared with a pleasant smile and always focused on your needs, is exactly what an organization like the BCCF needs on a day-to-day basis.”

Betsy also stated, “Judy is leaving a legacy of hard work that reflects wise decisions, innovations, accurate and transparent procedures, graciousness, in-depth knowledge of the workings of a community foundation — all a body of work that will remain as a standard of excellence for those who will take on her work. I will miss her.”

Bob Kirlin was the one of those three CEO Judy has worked with. He reflected: “Her work ethics was one of the best of any person that I every worked with in my business career. She cared about the BCCF, and more important, she cared about her ‘community’ and her ‘family.’ I wish her well in her future. BCCF will miss her.”

Your Brown County Community Foundation’s business model is to serve and support Brown County forever. Forever is a long time, and many volunteers and staff have and will continue to provide invaluable energy, expertise and loyalty to this county through the BCCF.

We are a better, more capable and more caring community thanks to the financial support and leadership your community foundation is capable of delivering. In the organization’s 20-plus years of existence, it has become a legacy organization, and Judy Bowling is certainly an integral part of that legacy.

If you see Judy around town, tell her congratulations on her long and valued career at your community foundation, and more importantly, say thank you!