Spring 2017

Craig J. Brown Is New Board Chair

Craig Brown and his wife, Becky Appenzeller

Craig J. Brown believes in hard work and community service. This longtime Dayton volunteer and new chair of The Dayton Foundation’s Governing Board grew up in a small, northwest Ohio farm town and was raised with modest, Midwestern values that helped shape his life and his belief in the importance of giving to help others.

“My dad never said a word about volunteering or contributing to charities, but he set a strong example as president of the school board, treasurer of our church and a member of several service organizations,” said Craig, retired senior vice president, treasurer and CFO for The Standard Register Company. “He quietly went about doing good works, and that had an influence on me.”

Craig first became involved with The Dayton Foundation as a member of its Finance Committee in 2004, and as a member of the Foundation’s Governing Board beginning in 2009. He later served as chair of the Finance Committee. He believes the Foundation’s branding, “We help you help others,” neatly summarizes the role the Foundation has played in the region since its founding nearly a century ago.

“I’m very proud of the Foundation’s record in this community. Among all U.S. metropolitan areas, Greater Dayton ranks 72nd for largest population. But, in the most recent ranking of nearly 800 community foundations, The Dayton Foundation ranks 28th in grant dollars made and second in the number of grants awarded,” Craig said. “More than a half-billion dollars in grants have been awarded from the Foundation and its more than 3,500 donors over the last 15 years alone. These figures speak volumes about the depth of generosity of individuals who invest in our community and the Foundation’s commitment to fulfill their charitable goals. Together, we have the power to change lives that no one individual can accomplish alone.”

Craig Brown skiing with friends

Craig’s strong commitment to doing good is evident in his many community activities, as well as with his involvement with The Dayton Foundation. He currently serves on the boards of CareSource, Citywide Development, The Dayton Region New Market Fund and the YMCA of Greater Dayton, where he is a past chairman and has been a board member for more than 25 years. He previously served on the boards of the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Dayton Performing Arts Alliance and Family Services Association.

He and his wife, Becky Appenzeller, also are donors of The Dayton Foundation, with a Charitable Checking Account℠ and a deferred endowment fund that includes an unrestricted portion for the Foundation’s community grantmaking.

“We can’t possibly know what the needs of the region will be in the future, but the unrestricted portion of our fund says that we believe in the Foundation’s leadership to use our funds in the best way possible for the next generation,” Craig said.

He especially is appreciative of the leadership role the Foundation plays in fostering collaboration among the myriad of public and private organizations that seek to make Dayton a better place to work and live.

“Whether it’s helping individuals achieve their philanthropic goals or taking on a community initiative, the expertise and dedication of the Foundation’s management and staff makes it happen.” – Craig J. Brown

“Not only is the Foundation a conduit for charitable contributions, but it also brings people together to collaborate on community issues and incubate new initiatives that make a positive difference,” he said. “So many organizations come to the Foundation seeking counsel, and the Foundation helps. That’s an integral part of what we do.”

A prime example of this, according to Craig, is the Nonprofit Alliances Support Program (NASP) which grew out of the 2008 economic decline. This Foundation-led initiative is a collaborative effort to assist the region’s nonprofits in finding alternative operating solutions. Through NASP, nonprofits can use the Foundation’s strategic expertise and funding to assist them in exploring new and more efficient ways to structure their organizations through collaborations, partnerships or mergers.

Craig and his granddaughter, Madelyn

The groundbreaking merger in 2012 among the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra is one example of the program’s effectiveness.

“The result was the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance - a first-of-its-kind merger among U.S. arts organizations that has produced great art and improved operational effectiveness,” said Craig, who was a member of the Ballet’s board during the merger. “A lot of good people leading the three organizations made this happen, but the leadership and support of the Foundation was a critical enabling factor.

“Whether it’s helping individuals achieve their philanthropic goals or taking on a community initiative,” Craig continued, “the expertise and dedication of the Foundation’s management and staff make it happen.”

As he steps into the role of chair for The Dayton Foundation, Craig is thoughtful about its future, particularly as its centennial anniversary approaches.

“Growing the Foundation’s unrestricted assets so that we can better support immediate community needs always will be a focus,” Craig said. “My goal is to take the baton and continue the good work of the Foundation. We’re on a strong path, and we have the right team in place to move the organization into its next 100 years. We stand ready to continue to help this amazing community of caring and talented individuals help others.”

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File date: 3.20.17
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