by Sherry Ristau
If I had to name one asset that keeps the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend moving forward, efficient, organized, effective, and genuinely partnered with the people in this region in a way that no other organization can, it is our incredible staff.
One of the best parts of my job is witnessing our staff members, in all departments, discover new ways to do their job better and build on success after success. They pursue their work with passion and excitement, and deserve much credit for who we are today, and where we are heading tomorrow.
The region is better because of their work.
Our staff goes out of their way to fulfill our mission of transforming the region through the generosity of our donors. They do so within the walls of our centrally located office near I-74 in the Quad Cities and the bridge, where we work together to build consensus, encourage, and challenge. And, they do it across our region, where each point of contact with a donor, business leader or partner is met with enthusiasm, flexibility, and professionalism.
It is manifested in the first moment you walk in our doors, where Melanie Jones and Cory Sellers greet our guests and often provide that first impression—that our organization is filled with hardworking, diligent and honest people.
It is seen in the thoughtful way Kelly Thompson, Dana Berggren, and Andrew Blessing ardently work to ensure that our donors’ wishes are lived out in the most meaningful ways that transform our regional community.
It is visible in our finance office, where Kathy Graves, Krista DeJoode and Sabrina Dale makes sure we steward our resources in the best way possible… that we are wise with every dollar and every donation that comes through our organization.
It is demonstrated in the work of people like Barbara Melbourne with the help of Colbie Andes whose decades of experience in philanthropy helps donors to build the very best course of action so they can live out their legacy and philanthropic wishes.
I wish I could truly put in words and describe the value of their work, because that’s what they are to this Community Foundation—valuable. They are valuable for their commitment, their desire to continue the tradition of our work, and their vision to help us usher in positive change in this regional community and help people walk out their philanthropic goals today plus leave legacies for our future.
When we draw together the incredible strength of this team, we are an agent for good. Inside our organization, we continue to use the FISH philosophy principles, where we are focused on building a culture of unity and a workplace where people desire to do their best. And, we will continue to link arms inside and outside the office, participating in community events like the United Way Campaign, where we came together to help the downtown Rock Island community, and Q2030, which is visioning a stronger region for the Quad Cities.
To our staff: Whether you have been here for years, or are like me, and are relatively new to the Quad Cities, please know that every hour you spend here pouring into our mission is important and integral to what we do.
Know that you are appreciated and that every extra mile you walk—that additional phone call, the double check of a document, the extra time you spend with a donor—is time well spent for the greater good. We recognize you. We value what you bring to the table. And we are so grateful for you.