On January 26, 2021 the AdNet board held its Annual Retreat and welcomed Michele Beisker, Kay Steine CFRE and Loren van Allen CAP as our newest board members. While we wearn’t able to sit down with them one-on-one during the virtual event we asked them to tell us a little more about themselves so that our members could get to know them better…

Michelle Beisker

Michelle Beisker

Senior  Vice President of Development
Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

What makes you laugh the most?

Due to the pandemic, I have spent a year isolated on our 15 acres with my husband of 32 years, 13 chickens, six cats and two goats. They saved me. I began to write more. It heals me. Two words forever changed me, pandemic and derecho.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Can be homemade or from a restaurant.

Taco pizza from Godfather’s is the best and I don’t have to cook!

What is your favorite thing about your career?

Being able to help connect donors to causes they are passionate about and creating a vibrant community in my hometown.

What led you to this career?

A friend and colleague suggested I would be a great fit at the community foundation and urged me to apply three different occasions because I kept saying no. I finally said yes and seven years later I am thriving.

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?

Creating a high-functioning team with donor engagement platforms that allowed us to successfully launch family philanthropy to our top 30 donors.

Kay Stine, CFRE

Kay Stine, CFRE

Vice President for Development
Hampton Roads Community Foundation

What’s one thing that surprised you about working in the Community Foundation field?

I’m most surprised that I love working with donors on bequests and planned giving. Over the years many generous people have left bequests to the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, and it was a privilege to work with each and every one of them. Some were public figures while others were only known by friends, colleagues and family. They were lawyers, nurses, teachers, bankers, seamstresses and small business owners. They were devoted daughters and sons and loving wives and husbands. These people were our friends and neighbors – “regular folks” who did something. They were thrilled to be part of our Legacy Society and cared deeply about our community and made plans to support it forever after their lifetimes. Some of my favorite legacy donors are no longer with us, but their legacies live on forever. While I miss them, I know they would be pleased that their generosity has helped the Foundation make grants to nonprofit organizations that run the gamut from homeless shelters to arts organizations. I smile when I think of how they would be proud and humbled to be called “philanthropists.” The common threads among all our Legacy Society members are optimism and a sense of doing what they can to improve the lives of people the will never know. This is a supreme act of love, replete with confidence in the future and trust in those who carry out their philanthropic ideas.

What’s your go-to productivity trick?

I usually try to get those most difficult tasks out of the way first. After getting the hardest task out of the way, the rest of my day is freed to complete everything else. Not only do I feel better, I’m much more productive too. Since I’ve been working remotely due to COVID-19 pandemic for the first time in my career, I’m using technology more now to organize each day so I can zero in on these critical tasks and accomplish them efficiently and effectively. There just isn’t enough time for everything on our to-do list—and there never will be. Successful people don’t try to do everything. They learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure those get done. Read This: Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

What is the best thing you like about your job?

In 2012, I was thrilled when our president and CEO of the community foundation invited me to be a traveling companion in doing good in our community while doing well. Even though I was familiar with the community foundation, until joining its staff, I did not fully realize the glorious diversity of the giving opportunities it offers. With each donor I meet I am fascinated by the unique ways he or she has partnered with the community foundation to craft a lasting legacy that helps other forever. The favorite part of my new position is helping potential donors and their professional advisors explore the multitude of ways people can put ideas into action through the community foundation. Donors inspire me as the share stories of their passions. So much of their generosity springs from the desire to give something to others in return for what they have been given in life. I love hearing how donors chose the Hampton Roads Community Foundation as their trusted partner for doing good. California philanthropist and author Laura Arrillaga-Andreesen calls what so many donors do “a journey, a calling, a way of living.” I am struck by her belief that “individual contributions of every size are important.” That is certainly true at the community foundation whose donors come from all walks of life. But no matter the size of their charitable gift, our donors share one thing in common – their excitement and exhilaration in helping others.

Loren Van Allen, CAP®

Loren Van Allen, CAP®

Donor Relations
The Boston Foundation

What makes you laugh the most?

My nephews.

What’s your go-to productivity trick?

Lists.

What’s one thing that surprised you about working in the Community Foundation field?

How passionate some donors are about their philanthropy.

If you could add one thing to your foundation’s office, what would it be?

A gym.

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of?

Securing several multi-million dollar legacy gifts for TBF’s endowment.