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OWU's Holm to Head Delaware County Community Foundation


January 15, 2002

DELAWARE, OHIO -- Philanthropic success can be greatly enhanced through collaborative relationships -- a fundraising trend that will be tried and tested as the leadership of The Community Foundation of Delaware County changes hands this month. As part of a loaned executive arrangement with the Foundation, Ohio Wesleyan's Robert A. Holm will head that organization, announced the Foundation's Board Chairperson, Jane Van Fossen. He continues with his primary responsibilities as Executive Assistant to President Tom Courtice, focusing on major gift fundraising for OWU.

Holm, a 1960 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan and long-time Delaware resident, is excited about what promises to be an enriching relationship, both for OWU and the Delaware community.

"There are so many worthy non-profit organizations in Delaware County, supported by residents," says Holm. "The Foundation can provide opportunities for support of community non-profits during donors' lives and in perpetuity, as new endowments are created." His responsibilities at the Foundation will focus largely on fundraising activities, complemented by his 38-year OWU career including directorships of the Annual Fund and Development Office and a vice presidency in the University Relations Office.

"The position of President of a young community Foundation is both challenging and rewarding," says Van Fossen. "The challenge is the task of educating a community about the many benefits of establishing or contributing to an endowment fund in the Foundation," she says, explaining that "the reward is the satisfaction of helping to build permanent funds that will benefit our community in perpetuity, and being part of establishing something that will benefit this Delaware community that we love, long after our lifetime."

Holm believes everything is in place at the Foundation to move on to the next step, which, as he explains, is "to encourage and significantly increase new gifts from Delaware County residents, but also from former residents, family members and friends." Whether through designated funds, or unrestricted giving, Holm believes that the Foundation can provide resources to improve the quality of life for many in Delaware County.

"But more of those people need to also learn about the Foundation, and as they learn, they will want to be part of it," he says.

Holm replaces Bill McCartney, who has served as the five-year-old Foundation's president for the past 16 months. He has decided to retire. McCartney praises the accomplishments of the 12-member Board with which he has worked, and especially the contributions of President Courtice, one of the appointed Board members.

"Tom has been marvelous because of his understanding of the collaborative nature of philanthropy," says McCartney.

It is that synergy within the Delaware community that is inspiring to Holm, who has served on numerous boards or been a member of such groups as the Delaware Liberty Community Center, the Delaware Children's Home, The Delaware Wastewatchers recycling project, Kiwanis Club of Delaware, and Main Street Delaware, to mention a few.

"Bob's portfolio of fundraising experience and community involvement result in a good match for the Foundation," says Courtice, pointing also to what promises to be even further enhancement of community and college relationships.

Holm is married to the Reverend Mary Steele Holm, also a 1960 OWU graduate. He is father of one daughter, two sons, and grandfather to five granddaughters.