During the 95th annual meeting of The Van Wert County Foundation’s Board of Trustees, they honored a retiring long-time trustee, selected a new member, designated scholarships to 303 area college students, and awarded grants to local nonprofit organizations.

The board approved the establishment of five new funds at The Foundation, one of which includes the Norman L. & Mary E. Marxen Scholarship Fund that is an acquisition from an out-of-state institution bringing funds back to the community.

Bruce Kennedy retired from the Board of Trustees on June 16, 2020, after 30 years of board service. Mr. Kennedy joined the board in 1990. During this time, he served on the property, investment, scholarship, and executive committee.

“We are grateful for his commitment to The Foundation and our community. During his time on the board, Bruce served in various roles, but was most passionate about the work of the Property Committee, and making sure that local students had access to higher education through The Foundation’s Scholarship Program. He served as President of the Board from 1999 – 2001, shared Seth Baker, VWCF Executive Secretary.

The newly-elected trustee is Tim Stoller. Tim is married to Kari Stoller, and they have four children –  Kasee(16), Ashlyn(14), Brock(12), and Jaxon(3). Tim is a 1996 graduate of Van Wert High and 2000 graduate of The Ohio State University. After college, he worked at an investment advisory firm for 12 years before leaving to start what is now Strategence Capital in March of 2012. Strategence Capital is an independent investment advisory practice that serves businesses and individual clients in over 25 states with offices in Van Wert, Ohio, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Morris, Minnesota. Tim serves on the board of directors for Stand For Truth Ministries/LifeWise Academy.  He is a member of the Leo Indiana Apostolic Christian Church, Gideons, and the Van Wert Service Club. He enjoys reading books, traveling, and spending time with family.

Over the last decade, Tim has served as The Foundation’s investment advisor.  As he transitions into a new role with The Foundation, per industry regulations, he will not be a voting member of the Investment Committee.  In keeping with industry policy, he will serve in other roles as a trustee, and his business partner in Fort Wayne, Graig Stettner, will assume The Foundation’s investment advisor role.

“I am honored to serve on The Van Wert County Foundation board of trustees.  Van Wert is a great place to raise a family, work, and live life. I am looking forward to helping with the continued growth and development of the community through the work that The Foundation has done over the decades,” states Stoller.

The June meeting also saw Executive Committee role changes. Andy Czajkowski ended a transformational two-year term as board chair. Highlights of which include the completion of Franklin Park, a three-year strategic planning process,  and the creation of Van Wert Forward, a vision-driven initiative of VWCF to redevelop and preserve the historical assets of downtown Van Wert. Chuck Koch, incoming board chair, looks forward to leading the organization through the next phases of essential operations to enhance the quality of life in our community.

Board of Trustee members for 2020 – 2021  listed below:

Chuck Koch, Chairman

Gary Clay, Vice Chairman

Brian Renner, Secretary

Andy Czajkowski, Past Chair

Tom Burenga

Larry Greve

Cindy Hurless

Thad Lichtensteiger

Randy Myers

Bill Purmort

Tim Stoller

Gary Taylor

Tom Turnwald

Mark White

Eva Yarger

The Van Wert County Foundation is a nonprofit community organization serving Van Wert County and surrounding areas by inspiring philanthropy and mobilizing resources to create a well-resourced and thriving quality of life for our community. More information is available at www.vanwertcountyfoundation.org.