The Michigan Women's Foundation is pleased to welcome our new Board President, Tessie Baltrip Sharp. Tessie is the Director of the Liberal Arts and Science Doctoral program at Wayne State University. She received a masters degree in Social Work from Michigan State University and has completed additional graduate work at the University of Michigan. Aside from being a devoted volunteer on MWF's Board since 1987, Tessie was the Chairperson for United Way of Flint, Board President for Hamilton Avenue Health Center, and Treasurer of Flint Urban League. Tessie has four children and now resides in Detroit with her husband James A. Sharp.
We believe that women and girls continue to face significant barriers and challenges to reaching their full potential. Therefore, the Michigan Women's Foundation promotes economic self-sufficiency and personal well-being for women and girls to maximize their contributions to society. We do this by providing assistance and funds to non-profit organizations serving women and girls, by educating the general public, policy makers and donors; and by encouraging women and girls to exercise their responsibilities as philanthropists.
The Michigan Women's Foundation Board and staff met for their annual retreat, consisting of facilitated strategic planning meetings lead by Susan Newton and Sheri Wilkins of Development Strategies Plus.
This year's retreat focused on synthesizing the results of strategic planning focus groups held earlier in the year and coming to a consensus for future direction in three major areas: grant making, fund development and internal practices. Each board action group had the additional task of examining image as it related to their subject area.
Finally, trustees reviewed, discussed and agreed on core values and revised the mission statement to lead MWF into the 21st century. (See above) Board business included the adoption of a conflict of interest policy and revised endowment policies.
As MWF's incoming president, I feel very honored to have the opportunity to represent this organization. I was moved by the diverse opinions, thoughtful analysis and intelligent discussion offered by these women of strength and conviction. With the assistance of our many donors and volunteers, this Board is clearly ready to move into the future.
In this and future issues of the Trillium, you will read how we will collectively strive to increase and strengthen our leadership, grant making, and endowment in preparation for the new millennium.
The staff energy emanating from MWF's offices is electrifying as we assume our new positions. We all feel a special debt of gratitude to Andrea Larson who left us with detailed notes and clearly labeled files, not to mention the hours of telephone consultation.
As we implement a regional marketing and fund raising approach, we will be seeking new partners throughout the state to help us spread the word about MWF.
We're doing this by establishing regional fund development committees and seeking marketing and media volunteers who are familiar with their geographic areas, in particular the lakeshore and northern communities.
Our city receptions, as mini fund raisers and mega friend raisers, have grown in popularity over the last year. Traditionally hosted to draw women from a specific community, we are now exploring city receptions which draw women from particular professional groups. We're also interested in talking to sororities, professional associations, church groups, and civic organizations. These speaking opportunities can explain the mutual benefit of engaging in philanthropic activity and explain how to establish a donor advised fund within The MWF. Call us for further information.
As you take time to gaze upward at this Fall's harvest moon, note the multitude of twinkling bright lights charged by the MWF staff!
Kathy Tkach comes to MWF after 15 years at Marygrove College in Detroit as Assistant Director of Admissions and Assistant Dean of Students. Kathy is the Director of Programs and Regional Development responsible for the Michigan Women's Foundation General Grants cycle and city receptions.
Louise Motoligin is the new Director of Major Gifts and Fund Development Coordinator. Previously, Louise was the President of Collaborative Management Consultants Inc., where she specialized in strategic planning and training in donor cultivation and board development.
Jennifer Steiner is the Director of the Women's Health Funding Initiative and coordinates the annual Detroit benefit dinner. She will also implement Young Women for Change, a program currently in Kent County that educates adolescent girls about philanthropy. Jennifer comes from the American Cancer Society in Washtenaw County.
This fall, MWF revised its mission statement, adopted core values, and completed the strategic planning cycle begun last year with the generous support of the Nokomis Foundation. This work represented a victory of sorts. The Board has devoted many hours to the careful consideration of needs, resources, and dreams for this organization. I am thrilled that our mission statement now describes not only what we do but also why we do it.
One of the longer discussions about core values focused on the definition of compassion. Was it sympathy? Empathy? A feeling or an action? Why was this value ranked as one of the most important? (I should add that the Board considered more than 20 characteristics before the final seven were selected). In the end, it was felt that compassion was critically linked to respect for the issues that women and girls face and to the resolution of these challenges. We desire that all of our grant making and service be based on this quality.
Just weeks after the Board discussion of our core values, we experienced the deaths of Mother Theresa and Princess Diana. Say what you will, these women exuded compassion. If we needed to put a face to this value, there it was. As I consider how to make compassion a part of my personal and professional life, I have a benchmar. Hold me to it.
Detroit Edison declared a sweet good-bye to Kay Hunt, MWF outgoing president, who retired in August as their Administrator of Corporate Contributions. All reception proceeds went to MWF! A heartfelt thanks to Detroit Edison and Kay who will be missed, but not forgotten.
We support our mission by committing to the following seven core values.
Integrity. Committed to honesty an fairness in all of our activities and to respect for all of our stakeholders.
Empowerment. Inspiring independence, thus enabling women and girls to achieve their full potential.
Equity. Assuring justice and fairness to those that we serve and for all who work for and with us.
Leadership. Demonstrating responsible risk taking, as well as supporting innovative initiatives and programs.
Sisterhood. Developed through our common identify and bonds.
Compassion. Act with respect and empathetic understanding to improve the lives of women and girls in Michigan.
Quality. Expecting that all we do and all we support will adhere to the highest standards of quality.
Whether in your basement, garage, or "fitness room", your exercise equipment may be collecting harmful dust that is dangerous to your mental health. MWF can help relieve your guilt, by donating all unexhausted exercise equipment to an admirable grassroots project.
Located in rural Upper Peninsula Hillman, Thunder Bay provides women with a support group setting where fitness and wellness are the focus. Established in a newly renovated school house, women unite weekly for companionship on the stationary bikes or laughter on the stretching mats. Although Thunder Bay initially aimed to combat long lethargic winters through physical exercise, they now offer monthly health presentations covering topics from menopause and ■Heart Smart■ eating, to Hospice care and CPR certification classes. Currently 25-30 women a month utilize their wellness program, thus they are seeking our help for more exercise equipment.
MWF will not only orchestrate the transportation of equipment, but will dust and clean all donations. If you are interested in contributing any type of exercise equipment for the Thunder Bay Well Program please contact Brook Eddy at the MWF office immediately (313) 542-3946.
Bobbie S. Butler
Hilda Patricia Curran
Lynn A Feldhouse
J. Kay Felt
Judith C. Frey
Sondra C. Hardy
Barbara A. Hill
Pearl M. Holforty, C.P.A.
Mildred M. Jeffrey
Barbara Goldman Kratchman
Marjorie Peebles-Meyers, M.D.
Mary Jo Pulte
Tessie Baltrip Sharp
Jane R. Thomas, Ph.D.
Terri D. Wright
Teresa S. Decker
Deborah I. Dingell
Ruth R. Glancy
Linda M. Gobler
Helen W. Milliken
Hon. Maureen P. Reilly
Margaret Taylor Smith
Marilyn Steele, Ph.D.
Margaret A. Talburtt, Ph.D.