One of the best parts of working at KZCF is the connections we make with community partners and colleagues.

In my more than 15 years here, I have been incredibly lucky to build relationships with folks who have been involved with KZCF for decades as well as those just learning about the Community Foundation and the work we do.

Saying goodbye to long-term teammates

This year, a few of our long-term relationships enter new chapters. Valerie Mitchell, who started at the Community Foundation in 2000, and Susan Springgate, who joined KZCF in 1995, retired. Their combined 49 years of service has made KZCF stronger, more welcoming, and more innovative. Please consider celebrating these extraordinary individuals with a gift to the Valerie Mitchell Loves Where She Lives Fund or, in honor of Susan, to the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Endowment Fund. Contributions will support programs that make our community safer, healthier, and more just.

Honoring legacies and new beginnings

We also thank Si Johnson and the Hon. Carolyn Williams for their many years of service on our Board of Trustees. They served selflessly -- advising, inspiring, and sharing, all with their trademark common sense and hopeful vision. Their board terms may be ending, but they leave endearing and enduring legacies. As we honor these outgoing members, we are also excited to welcome new members Xiaoan Li and Lucas Mansberger. Lucas and Xiaoan bring tremendous community knowledge and critical expertise to the board.

In our latest newsletter, you'll find information and stories that show how our relationships help transform Kalamazoo County into a place where everyone can love where they live.

We hope you'll join us on this mission.