Foundation Leaders to Retire

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Three executives with Rising Sun Regional Foundation Inc. have announced their retirements. President Marianne Wiggers, Executive Director Ed Sullivan and Associate Director Jascia Redwine say they will retire from the Ohio County organization at the end of this year.

October 28, 2013

News Release

At the Rising Sun Regional Foundation's board meeting on October 23, 2013, foundation President Marianne Wiggers, Ed Sullivan, Executive Director, and Jascia Redwine, Associate Director, all announced that they plan to retire from the foundation effective at the end of this year. In making this announcement, Ms. Wiggers, the sole serving founding foundation board member and elected president for its full 17 years, stated, "Speaking for all three of us, I think I can say that our association with RSRF has been a terrific experience for these many years, especially in light of what the foundation has been able to achieve as compared to what was envisioned in mid-1996 when it was created and incorporated by then Rising Sun Mayor Mark, Guard, Monte Denbo, consultant to the city for the Grand Victoria Casino project, and Neil Comer, legal counsel to the City of Rising Sun at the time."

Ms. Wiggers highlighted the following achievements by the foundation to date:

• Awarding to date over $27 million in total grants, which have been instrumental in leveraging approximately $320 million in additional government, foundation, and personal contributions to over 1,300 grant projects in the region;

• Assisting in creating through both multi-year grants and staff technical assistance, four new community foundations in Dearborn, Ohio, Ripley, and Switzerland counties that already have and will continue to comprise a major philanthropic resource in the region for many years to come;

• Granting some $780,000 in personal $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors of all of the schools in the RSRF region;

• Providing both professional consulting services and granting several millions of dollars for a very aggressive education technology program for all of the school corporations in the RSRF region;

• Awarding grants and providing professional consulting services in the program areas of both economic and retirement community development in Rising Sun and Ohio County;

• And, most recently, creating a unique economic development partnership with another local nonprofit organization, Rising Sun/Ohio County First, Inc., to which RSRF is providing an $8.2 million loan from its Reserve Funds to build and own a new 104-room hotel in Rising Sun that will be both opened next month and leased to the current casino owner, Full House Resorts, Inc., to increase the hotel room capacity by 50% of its Rising Star Casino.

Ms. Wiggers concluded, "We all are very pleased and proud of this foundation’s team record, and I am sure that even though the three of us will miss this active participation with the foundation in future years, we have individually concluded that it is time to move on for our own personal reasons. I have been privileged to represent the Ripley County towns of Holton, Milan, Napoleon, Osgood, and Versailles on the foundation’s board and plan to continue both my work and my membership on several other nonprofit organizations in Ripley County for the foreseeable future. Ed, RSRF's first and only Executive Director for 17 years, and Jascia, having served 15 years as Associate Director, have provided excellent staff administration and leadership to the foundation. They both are currently exploring a number of consulting opportunities in Indiana and in other states to continue their respective careers."

The remaining members of the RSRF board will begin the administrative transitioning process of the foundation as well as plan for its future regional grants program for 2014 and beyond. In doing so, the board members will continue to inform their respective appointing authorities and citizens of Ohio and Ripley Counties and the City of Aurora, all areas that comprise the RSRF grantmaking region, of the foundation’s decisions and plans.

Source: Rising Sun Regional Foundation