August 31, 2015

President’s Report: Leadership in Saginaw


Mai Lee, SCF Executive Assistant/Office Manager

With all the great things that have happened at the Saginaw Community Foundation over the spring and summer months, I want to mention that we added a new member to the SCF team. On March 9 we welcomed Ms. Mai Lee as a member of the staff as our Executive Assistant/Office Manager. Mai, a Saginaw native, is a recent graduate of Saginaw Valley State University, where she also worked for the Dean of the School of Business. The next time you stop by our office, Mai will be at our front desk to greet you with her friendly smile.

As referenced on page 3 of Cornerstone, SCF proudly recognized some special people for their amazing accomplishments during our Annual Celebration. At the event, we recognized and bid farewell to two outstanding SCF Board Members. One of those outgoing members was Ms. Kari Shaheen. Kari joined the board in 2008, and during her time on the foundation board, she served on the Events Planning Committee and the Marketing and Asset Development Committee. In addition, Kari served as a liaison between SCF and the Junior League of Saginaw Valley. Considering that the League is responsible for the establishment of SCF through its initial grant of $50,000, we have found it necessary to keep a close bond and partnership with the Junior League. Thanks Kari for your dual leadership.

Our second outgoing Board member was Ms. Bridget Smith. Bridget has been a member of the SCF board since 2007. As a board member she served two years on the Executive Committee as the Assistant Treasurer. In her role as Assistant Treasurer, she chaired our Finance Committee and served on the SCF-Morley Building Committee. Recently, she’s been serving on a newly organized SCF committee responsible for developing a process for SCF to consider some social impact/community leadership activities. We are extremely thankful that, even though she is retiring from the board, we think we have convinced her to stay on this new committee. Thanks Bridget for your outstanding service.

In addition, there were three other individuals who retired from the SCF board earlier than expected, and unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to publicly recognize them for the time they served on the board. Those individuals were Dr. Carlton Jenkins who moved last summer to pursue another job opportunity; Dr. Richard Syrek who moved to Grand Rapids shortly after retiring as the SISD Superintendent; and Cherie Sammis, who’s position with St. Mary’s doesn’t allow her to spend much time in Saginaw County. All three joined the Board in 2012 and we extend our thanks for the time they served on the SCF board.

With the exit of five Board members, five new members were elected to the Board of Directors. Those members include Fr. Daniel Cannon, St. John’s Episcopal Church; Elian Fichtner, attorney, Smith Bovill PC; Jodi McFarland, editor, MLive/The Saginaw News; Felicia Rose, staff assistant, Congressman Dan Kildee’s office; and Kathy Stewart, superintendent, Saginaw Intermediate School District. We welcome our new Board members and thank them for their commitment.

As you can see, SCF is well equipped to provide leadership wherever called upon in the Saginaw County community.