Marly and Laura Rydson

Laura Rydson; Founding ECCF Director

When you are blessed…

“Our gifts, made quietly through the Foundation, provide the opportunity to make people’s lives better,” Laura says.  And thus the Rydsons see others’ dreams being realized…

Laura (Turner) Rydson has a history of Elkhart County philanthropy in her family, expressed through the generosity of her father, Basil Turner, former CEO of CTS Corporation, and her mother, Ethel Turner. Their gifts were instrumental in developing the Elkhart Area Career Center and continue to benefit Goshen College and Purdue University.

“Yes, I came from a philanthropic family,” Laura says. “A life lesson learned was that if you are blessed, you are duty-bound to give back… to return the blessings.”

As a founding director and the first woman to serve on the ECCF board, Laura noted at that time community foundations were the “wave of the future.” Since the organization’s founding, she is pleased at the growth of the Foundation, both in asset attainment and its sphere of influence in shaping the county’s future.

Laura’s husband, Marly, a retired financial and insurance executive, is impressed by the integrity of the Foundation and its relationships with responsible financial institutions. He is convinced that “the only way to have successful endowments is through your local community foundation.” He touts the benefits of gifting through the ECCF vs. having a private foundation and appreciates the long-term relationships with local not-for-profits that gifting through Designated Funds encourage.