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Foellinger Foundation names Todd Fleetwood the Carl D. Rolfsen Stewardship Award winner

Friday, October 25, 2013 - 6:21 am

Todd Fleetwood, a current board of directors member and former board president for Community Action of Northeast Indiana (C.A.N.I.), was awarded the Carl D. Rolfsen Stewardship Award during a ceremony Thursday.

The Foellinger Foundation has presented the award for eight years to recognize outstanding work by volunteers who serve on the boards of directors of local nonprofit organizations, a foundation news release said.

Fleetwood was named award winner from among nominees from 27 local nonprofit organizations, the news release said. The award also includes a $15,000 grant to the winner's organization for operating support, plus a $10,000 grant for board governance training.

Nominees must exemplify at least three of the Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards, a list created by BoardSource, a national organization working to strengthen nonprofits' boards of directors.

“We want to uplift these volunteers to their peers and the community and to encourage others to promote quality nonprofit leadership,” Cheryl Taylor, Foellinger Foundation president, said in the news release. Taylor also described top nonprofit board volunteers as “cherished assets for Allen County.”

Fleetwood, the business manager/transportation director for Smith-Green Community Schools in Churubusco, became board leader at C.A.N.I. during a time of major transition following the retirement of the organization's longtime executive director, background information said. Several board members also were leaving because of term limits on board service.

“As Todd entered his new role (as president), he led an effort to analyze the entire operation of our board to determine areas that we could build on our strengths and improve our weaknesses,” the C.A.N.I. nomination said. “This effort … resulted in a 'board building' outline that became a road map for us as we went about improving our board operations.”

Before becoming board president, Fleetwood led board efforts to update C.A.N.I.'s organizational planning methods and to develop a new strategic planning process, the background information said. Fleetwood also designed a job appraisal process for the organization's CEO.

C.A.N.I. assists people living in poverty by providing access to opportunities and teaching them skills needed to be self-sufficient, the news release said.

Last year, the organization provided 4,200 children and 2,200 households with quality child care; 9,337 families with utility bill assistance; and 818 children with immunizations, medical and dental care, the news release said. It also helped with independent living needs for 4,608 people with disabilities and 3,748 senior citizens, and it offered workshops for 800 people on topics such as money management, interviewing, resume skills and improving relationships.

The Foellinger Foundation is a private charitable foundation created in 1958 by Helene R. Foellinger, the publisher of The News-Sentinel from 1936 to 1980, and her mother, Esther A. Foellinger.

The foundation created the Rolfsen Stewardship Award to honor Carl D. Rolfsen, who served 25 years on the Foellinger Foundation board of directors before retiring in 2005. He continues to serve on the foundation's investment and finance committee.