Van Wert County Foundation Staff

Seth Baker

Chief Executive Officer

Seth is the leader of The Van Wert County Foundation and has an impressive list of credentials. He has worked in economic development, downtown revitalization, and community planning. He continues to work on his family farm where he is knowledgeable about local agricultural practices.

Renee Thatcher


Renee is well-versed in all things Van Wert County Foundation. She is a familiar face in the office and helps keep the ship running smoothly. Renee leads our scholarship program, manages day-to-day office operations including customer service, accounting, and keeping our staff on track.

Joel Germann

Engagement + Outreach

Joel brings a fresh perspective and charisma to our team. His professional experiences in hospitality management mean he values the “spirit of service.” Joel manages our brand voice, works with area non-profits, and coordinates community engagement and outreach efforts for us.

Hall Block

Property + Development

You can find Hall walking the streets of downtown Van Wert maintaining and monitoring the quality of buildings. Hall also leads the development and restoration of Van Wert Forward properties. Van Wert Forward is a project that directly works to retain that downtown historical network and rebuild the heart of our community.

Laney Nofer

Planning + Resources

Laney is a Van Wert native returning to her hometown to move Van Wert Forward with her planning and project management experience. Laney is most excited (maybe even giddy) about maximizing investments through writing grants to increase impact.

Whitney Bowen

Operations Assistant

Whitney assists staff in the day-to-day operations at The Van Wert County Foundation office on a part-time basis while pursuing her higher education. She works in an administrative capacity and brings valuable energy to our team.

Supporting Organizations

Tafi Stober

Executive Director of Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation

With each new day, Tafi leads the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation with faith and passion to provide the best in entertainment to the Van Wert community. Tafi impacts Van Wert culture by making it a destination for live performing arts.

Hope Wallace

Executive Director of The Wassenberg Art Center

Hope leads with creativity and infuses local and regional culture by inspiring and informing others through art at The Wassenberg Art Center.