We believe the Community Foundation resembles the unique traits of the distinctive ginkgo tree. The ginkgo has a strong root system and resembles strength and hope to those who recognize it – inspiring good. Its leaves have been used for remedies, just as the Community Foundation strives to support nonprofits and various endeavors that improve the health of our community, our businesses, and our people – impacting success. To learn more about the seeds of generosity being planted by the Community Foundation, read our 2015-2016 Annual Report.

Mission and Values

MISSION: To Improve the quality of life in Elkhart County by inspiring generosity.


The Community Foundation of Elkhart County is dedicated to transforming Elkhart County by: 

Advising donors of all types and their professional advisors on charitable giving.

Awarding grants to effective nonprofit organizations that are doing invaluable work in our communities.

Providing leadership to address critical needs with a focus on youth development, vibrant community and quality of life.

Our People

Community Foundation Staff

President and Operation

Dr. Pete McCown


Phid Wells

Board Administrator

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Pamela Hluchota

Chief Operating Officer

Tressa Huddleston

Office Manager

Finance and Administration

Cole Patuzzi

Chief Financial Officer and Controller

Garett Hiester

Staff Accountant

Advancement: Development, Communications, and Philanthropic Services

Jodi Spataro

Chief Advancement Officer


Justine Lightfoot

Director of Marketing and Communications

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Carrie Colborn

Donor Engagement Specialist

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Renee Mansfield

Advancement Office Associate

Program: Grants, Scholarships, and Community Initiatives
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Shannon Oakes

Senior Program Officer
Vibrant Community and
Quality of Life

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Karla Copenhaver

Program Assistant
Vibrant Community and
Quality of Life

Amanda Jamison

Program Officer
Youth Development and Scholarships

Samantha Crooks

Program Associate
Youth Development and Scholarships

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Marla Unger

Scholarship Associate


Community Foundation Board of Directors

Dzung Nguyen – Chairperson
Mike Schoeffler – Vice Chairperson and Treasurer
Megan Baughman – Secretary
Rick Jenkins – Chair Emeritus
Richard Armington
Cien Asoera
Deb Beaverson
Randy Christophel
Rob Cripe
Steve Fidler
David Findlay
Del King
Levi King
Sharon Liegl
Gordon Moore
Tom Pletcher
Bob Schrock
Jill Sigsbee
Brian Smith
David Weed
Jeff Wells

In addition to the Board of Directors, the Community Foundation has 13 committees that are devoted to improving the quality of life in Elkhart County.

List of Committees
Our History

While vacationing in Naples, Florida in the mid-1980’s, Elkhart County resident Oscar Schricker observed people being approached for financial contributions by the local community foundation. Thinking about the abundant wealth in Elkhart County, he and a friend, Jim McNamee, began talking about the possibility of forming a community foundation in our county.

Each talked to colleagues and friends, including Bill Myers, who became the first president of what was to become the Community Foundation, and Dr. John Foreman, who generously made the first significant contribution. Others who became founding directors were Charles Ainlay, Jon Armstrong, Lehman Beardsley, Wilbert (Bill) Budd, Arthur J. Decio, Samuel Hoover, William Johnson, Lee Martin, Richard Pletcher, Laura Rydson and Thomas Warrick.

According to Schricker, “a lot of people had foresight and saw the possibilities…” One of these caring individuals was Wilbert (Bill) Budd, a Community Foundation founding director and former treasurer, Budd was an engineer who served in many capacities at CTS corporation including that of executive vice-president and senior director. He was best known, however, for his quiet dedication to numerous Elkhart-related philanthropic causes and organizations, most notably the Community Foundation.

Budd is credited as the Foundation’s single largest contributor. He passed away in early August of 2006 at the age of 93. While his presence and generosity are sorely missed, he is warmly remembered. Budd always hoped to inspire successful men and women to make the most of what they earned. “If you have been prosperous in this community,” he often said, “be a good steward and continue to give something back.”

Because of caring individuals like Budd, founding directors, and many other generous volunteers and donors to the Community Foundation, we are now in our 26th year of service to Elkhart County. With more than $235 million* in assets, 350+ funds, and more than $62 million* in grants and scholarships since our inception, we are making a positive impact for future generations.

*per the 2014-2015 fiscal year-end report

Your Community Foundation at a glance (1989 – 2015):

  • The Community Foundation of Elkhart County was established in 1989.
  • We have awarded nearly $62 million since our inception to over 275 nonprofit organizations.
  • Each year the funding available for grants is 5% of the endowment’s average value for 16 previous quarters.
  • Our largest single donor was Guy “David” Gundlach, giving an estimated $150 million.
  • We hold three unrestricted funds: The Fund for Elkhart County, Fund for Excellence, and Scholarship Fund for Elkhart County.
  • We have partnered with the Lilly Endowment Community Scholars Program since its beginning in 1998.
  • We are a nationally accredited community foundation through the Council on Foundations.

Community Foundation facts:

  • The first U.S. community foundation was established in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • There are more than 750 community foundations nationwide and 1,650 community foundations worldwide.
  • There are 92 community foundations in the State of Indiana.
  • Community foundations nationwide hold more than $66 billion in assets and annually give more than $4.9 billion in local grants and scholarships.

Founding Donors

Founding donors are those individuals or organizations that contributed $50,000 or more from the inception of the Foundation through June 30, 1995.

Bashor Children’s Home, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Goshen Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert H. Budd, First Congregational Church, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Corson, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Deahl, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Decio, The Decio Family (Terrence, Jamee, Lindy, Reilly, Jay, and Leigh), Sherrill and Helen Deputy Family, Elkhart County Council on Aging, Elkhart County 4-H, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Fidler, Dr. and Mrs. John Foreman, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Hartman, Mr. F.L. Hascall, Goshen College, Goshen Rotary Club Scholarship Endowment, Greencroft Foundation, Gunden Family, Paul and Joyce Hultin Family Endowment, KeyBank, LaCasa of Goshen, Lilly Endowment, Inc., Mervin D. Lung Family, Martin Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Martin, Mr. William F. Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Naquin, Northridge High School Dollars for Scholars, Oaklawn Foundation, Mrs. Lee A. Rieth, Ms. Martha Reith, Mr. and Mrs. Marly Rydson, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Sailor, Salvation Army of Elkhart, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Sherman, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Schricker, Ina L. Strasser Endowment, Trinity United Methodist Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Basil S. Turner, United Way of Elkhart County, Mr. and Mrs. Richard VanDerKarr, Maynard W. Wells Family, YMCA/YWCA Joint Community Project.


Community Foundation Brochure Series

Annual Reports


Career Opportunities

The Community Foundation team members enjoy serving Elkhart County by responding to current and emerging community needs and providing efficient service to our donors, nonprofit organizations, volunteers and community. Team members are encouraged to be self-directed, motivated, highly professional and creative.

Whether you are applying for a full-time, part-time or internship position at the Community Foundation, please email a cover letter and current resume to

There are no job opportunities available at this time.

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 2932
Elkhart, IN 46515

Physical Address

101 South Main Street
Elkhart, IN 46516
Driving Directions

*1st Floor: Finance, Administration
and Advancement Departments
*2nd Floor: Program Department

Phone: 574.295.8761

Fax: 574.389.7497