Career theater manager invests in Mooresville’s Movies

By Bob Sullivan
Morgan County Business Leader

The CFMC oversees and collects donations in grants and contributions on behalf of individuals and charitable organizations–Tom calls these dedicated funds “buckets.” The Foundation then oversees the distribution of those funds for their intended purpose.

The CFMC also oversees the Kendrick Foundation Scholarships, established in 2001 from the proceeds of the sale of Kendrick Hospital and awarded annually to Morgan County college bound students pursuing health care-related degrees.

Tom estimates that this year, the Kendrick Foundation will award scholarships to 41 students, totaling up to half a million dollars, plus an additional $1M in grants for medical-related projects to benefit the county. For students, combined with two Lily grants and a grant created by the Foundation, the foundation will award up to $1M in scholarships this year. The amount has increased every year.

When Tom came on board, “The total grants and contributions from the county ranged around $100,000-$200,000 per year. We weren’t in anyone’s will. Nobody was soliciting the community for planned gifts. That was our future.
This year we’re at $1.2M in grants and contributions. Our gross revenue was $7M, with half a million for operating expenses.”

Tom grew up in South Bend and lived much of his professional life in Bloomington. “I had such an odd and interesting career. Many of my choices related to family. Don’t move when the kids were doing well at school, don’t move when you’re taking care of your parents; don’t move when your wife has a good job.”

In 2005, Tom left a position with the IU Foundation to help the Harmony Education Center. “They operate a nationwide K-12 program, a music program, and youth center in downtown Bloomington. They’d never had a capital campaign, so I helped them form one. We raised several million dollars. So I started looking for what would be next. I ended up President of the Arts Council at IU. “

“I’m a good fundraiser. I’ve run corporate factories; I’ve been head of advertising and public relations for big companies. I’m pretty good at building teams, so when the opportunity came
up to apply for a spot for the Monroe County Community Foundation, I thought I had a good chance, but I didn’t. Morgan County’s position opened up shortly after, and I proved a good fit
The Community Foundation’s previous director had stepped down and the board wanted a change in direction. They had just acquired a Lily Sustainable Resource Development Grant, a $250,000 grant which the community had to
match. “It became clear that this job was way more than communications and fundraising.”

Download the full July 2013 Edition here.


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