Always around Thanksgiving, we take stock of all for which we are thankful.
The list usually includes family, friends and good health.
At its core, the New Albany Community Foundation is the people who invest in the community through the foundation. Whether it be donating their time, talent or treasure, these people make New Albany a better place.
For the foundation's monthly guest column, I wanted to recognize three people who have meant so much to the foundation and its success.
David Ryan was chairman of the foundation board for three years and served on the board for nearly nine years.
During that time, and largely because of his leadership, the foundation accomplished moved from a fledgling organization to one that could bring together various partners to advance a shared vision.
Perhaps most impactful was building and endowing the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts. Ryan and his wife, Ellen, were early supporters of the project. When they announced their support, it sent a strong message to the rest of the community that the project was credible because the Ryans were so respected in the community.
David and Ellen Ryan have supported so many not-for-profit organizations in central Ohio, including the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Church of the Resurrection in New Albany and many others.
Through their fund at the foundation, they recently made grants to the New Albany-Plain Local School District's robotics programs and a significant gift to the new amphitheater.
We're grateful for all they've done for the community.
Another former foundation board chairman, Dennis Welch, is completing his last term on the board in December. Welch, too, has been an outstanding leader for the foundation.
During his time as board chairman, the foundation's grant-making capacity expanded so that local organizations received more support.
The relationship between New Albany and the American Electric Power Foundation has been impactful to the community. Always at the center of that relationship, and in a quiet way, was Welch, promoting partnerships and collaboration.
Lastly but equally impactful has been the leadership provided to the foundation by Keith Berend.
Berend has served three years as board chairman. Few families have been more generous to the community than Berend and his wife, Cindy.
In particular, they have supported programs that provide resources to families dealing with mental-health challenges. Additionally, they have made grants from their fund to support academic and athletics programs at New Albany-Plain Local.
Berend, like Welch and Ryan before him, was so respected by the other board members and community leaders that he was able to build alignment around shared aspirations.
Fortunately for the foundation, Berend will remain on the board, and we are grateful for that.
As we approach the end of another year, we express our thanks and admiration toward these amazing leaders who have given so much to our community.
Craig Mohre is president of the New Albany Community Foundation.