The Community Foundation of St. Clair County has elected Patti Manley as its new Board Chair, effective January 1st. She follows Hale Walker who completed a two-year term as the Foundation’s Chair.
“As we begin our 80th year, I could not be more pleased to have the honor of chairing the board of trustees,” said Manley. “The Foundation is an amazing group of more than 200 volunteers and a dedicated staff of 11 whose focus is to match the wishes and vision of our donors with the needs, challenges and opportunities within our community.”
The Community Foundation of St. Clair County is the largest and oldest foundation in Michigan’s Thumb Region, having been founded in November of 1944. Its total assets heading into 2024 exceed $100 million and include over 300 endowments as well as property and buildings such as the Blue Water River Walk, Knowlton Museum and its offices in downtown Port Huron.
Patti is originally a Port Huron native but has lived in St. Clair with her husband, Tom, for the last 20 years. She started with McBride-Manley & Co. back in 1988 and this year will celebrate 42 years with the firm. She joined the Community Foundation board in 2016 and has served on both its Finance Committee as well as its main Grants Committee.
Patti has an extensive volunteer history including many years with the United Way, National Association of Career Women and River District Hospital. For fun, Patti loves the outdoors, riding her bike, spending time with friends, and she says she’s trying to love golf!
Joining Patti as Officers of the Foundation in 2024 are Bill Schwarz, Vice Chair; Will Oldford, Treasurer; and Steve Schweihofer, Secretary. Other members of the Executive Committee include Hale Walker, Immediate Past Chair, along with At-Large members Cliff Thomason and Korissa Kramer. The Foundation had previously announced three newly elected board members; Randa Jundi-Samman, Sushma Reddy and Lindsey Adams-Fitchett.
Hale Walker is looking forward to the continued growth and impact of the Community Foundation. “Our donors and grantmaking committees were very busy in 2023,” he said. “Last year our grantmaking topped $4.7 million and scholarship awards topped $500,000 for the 2nd year in-a-row.” Walker will remain active with the Foundation and is busy with his other business ventures in and around the Port Huron area. He is well-known as one of the founders of Michigan Mutual and is also the Co-Chair of the regional Blue Meets Green coalition.
On May 16th the Community Foundation will celebrate its 80th Anniversary. “I’m really looking forward to that evening,” said Patti Manley. “In part because we’ll celebrate the collective impact of our philanthropy, and also because we’ll honor Donna Niester and Chuck Kelly with our Lifetime Achievement Awards.” Tickets for the dinner will go on sale later in January.