In his 24 years of life, John expressed his passion for the outdoors and beauty of Benzie County.
The endowment in his memory was established in 1993, allowing his spirit to live on through grants supporting environmental education in Benzie County communities and preserving his passion for generations to come.
What impression will you make? Let's give it forward, together.
DAVID G. MENGEBIER
David G. Mengebier has been named as our next Executive Director/CEO. Mengebier will come to the Community Foundation after more than 25 years with Consumers Energy, where he is currently senior vice president and senior policy adviser.
“The Community Foundation is a strong and vibrant organization, with impressive accomplishments and a strong foundation on which to build,” said Mengebier. “I am honored to be joining an exceptional group of staff and Board and look forward to working together to build on our current strengths for the benefit of our donors and communities.”
Prior to assuming his current position at Consumers Energy, Mengebier served for 17 years as the company’s senior vice president of governmental, regulatory and public affairs, and president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. In this role, Mengebier led a range of corporate functions, including governmental and regulatory affairs, communications, charitable giving, community relations and sustainability. He also served for eight years as the company's chief ethics and compliance officer.
Mengebier holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, public administration and political science from Michigan State University and a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He earned an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in 2006.
Mengebier serves on the boards of a number of northern Michigan-related non-profits, including TraverseConnect, Little Traverse Conservancy and the Great Lakes Water Quality Board.
“My role with the Community Foundation will officially begin in January and, over the next several months, I will be working closely with the staff and Board to ensure a seamless and smooth leadership transition,” said Mengebier.
Mengebier will succeed current Executive Director/CEO Phil Ellis, who provided notice in early-2016 of his plans for retirement from the position, saying that it was important to provide sufficient notice to allow for a smooth and thorough planning process by the Board. Ellis has been with the Community Foundation since 2009 and will remain in the Executive Director/CEO position through 2017.
“It has been my honor and privilege to serve our communities for more than eight years, working with our incredible staff, Board, donors, and community partners” said Ellis. “I am excited for Dave and for our organization; he brings experience and leadership that will serve the Community Foundation and our region well.”
Mengebier was selected after a national search process that was completed over the last several months and was part of a defined planned departure plan for Ellis.
“As we approached selecting our next Executive Director/CEO, we were seeking a strategic, creative, visionary leader to come alongside Board, staff, donors, and our community partners and continue to build upon our strengths and accomplishments,” said Virginia Mouch, Board Chairman. “This leadership transition represents an exciting time for our organization as we honor those that have been part of our first 25 years, while also looking forward to the future.”
The Community Foundation is currently home to $53 million in endowed assets and provides services and support for donors, grants to support nonprofits, and collaborative leadership around several community initiatives. Over the last five years, it has seen its endowment assets double, which provides resources for approximately $2 million in grants annually to benefit the five-county region.