I usually am pretty forward thinking, but I cannot stop reflecting on our 25th anniversary event that we held two weeks ago. What a great day we had with our NCCF family! It was a wonderful way to celebrate the impact that each one of you has had – not only on our Foundation – but also on philanthropy in general. Your inspiration has helped us to grow philanthropy across North Carolina.

Two things have stayed on my mind: the compelling talk that Dr. Jim Johnson, UNC Kenan Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, provided our audience on what is ahead for our state. He presented information about the significant challenges we face, particularly in some of our rural communities where the death rate now exceeds the birth rate. His remarks provide some context and the facts and figures we need to help develop some of our strategies for the future and also highlight the need to act now. His remarks will stay on the forefront of our board members minds as we move forward. (His slides are available on our website here.)

The other thought that has remained in my mind is how much we missed Elizabeth Fentress, our founding CEO, who was unable to be with us on the 25th due to her travel schedule. We owe her so very much: her vision, leadership and dedication combined to help make NCCF what it is today. I know many were disappointed not to be able to see her that day.

Our days went quickly, but the deep appreciation for our founders and also for the challenges ahead continue to play in our minds…

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