How a community foundation gives modest givers strength in numbers and major givers on-the-ground expertise
It all started with what Mike Workman describes as "the most demoralizing thing that happened in my business life." He had been president of a furniture manufacturing company employing 160 people in Morgan County, a rural community of 15,000. His company was owned by an investment-banking group that decided to sell all of its assets to a larger bank in Cincinnati.
"As it turned out, the regional bank was not interested in manufacturing, or any other assets of the purchase, except for the investment-banking group’s seat on the New York Stock Exchange," he says. Workman’s company was liquidated. "I had no idea how painful rejection could be, and worse, how fearful my employees would be for their futures. I felt personally responsible for the loss of jobs and security in my community, and I was determined to do something about it."