{   The Annual Report   }

Begin, be bold and venture to be wise. - Horace

Executive Director's Summary

Recently, I was reading some archived documents about Mr. Johnson, the Foundation's founder, and about some of the various projects that he worked on in the community. Though I never knew Mr. Johnson prior to his passing in 2006, these documents helped to shape a narrative for me of who he was and what was important to him. What I am coming to understand through documents and recollections from Foundation Board members, is that this was a man intensely curious, careful on details but also willing to take risks. A man with a constant eye on the future, preparing for whatever new opportunities might lie on the horizon that would kindle his interest. As I think of Mr. Johnson, I think of all the other community stalwarts that have gone on before us; men and women that have shaped our communities by their dreams, their hard work and their focus on the future. As a Foundation, we have an enormous responsibility to use the resources that have been left to us by Mr. Johnson to help shape the communities in our service area. Of course, as a foundation we are privileged to do this work by providing funding for important projects, small and large, that positively impact communities and with scholarships awards that change individual lives. In this annual report you will read about the nonprofits doing great work in our area and you will see the faces of scholarship students as they begin their academic journeys, in search of their dreams and their place in the world.

Looking back over 2015 we are excited to report that we were able to expand the options for our scholarship program to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, award eight new scholarships to Lake Superior College for Cook County High School students along with four renewal scholarships and five second renewal scholarships. We sadly said goodbye to long-term Board member Heidi Johnson and the Foundation's dedicated Executive Assistant Nora Breems as they retired from their positions, and happily welcomed Sarah Goldberg in a newly created positon as Administrative Support and Scholarship Program Assistant.

As we look back on this past year and towards 2016, we are honored to carry on in the tradition of our founder, careful on details, willing to take risks to improve communities and always moving forward with an eye to the future. “Begin, be bold and venture to be wise” ~ Horace

Joan Gardner-Goodno
Executive Director