HALSTEAD—As the new executive director of the Halstead Community Foundation, Macey Mueller says she is excited to build awareness of the great things the organization is doing in Halstead.
“We do a lot of great things in Halstead, but I don’t know that everyone knows how they get done, so just letting people know how the foundation works and what we’re here for and then encouraging them to get involved—I think that’s a big mission of ours, right now,” she said.
Mueller took over as director at the beginning of March. So far, she’s spent her first few weeks getting acquainted with the foundation’s board members and with staff of the Central Kansas Community Foundation.
“I work with them very closely on all aspects,” she said of CKCF. “They manage our funds and they help with our scholarship and granting cycles, so I’ve been meeting with them and figuring out what’s going on.”
Mueller’s background is in communications and public relations. She brings previous experience volunteering and fundraising for non-profits, as well as coordinating events. She also keeps busy farming and writing freelance articles for agricultural publications.
While she hadn’t been seeking a new job, she decided this role with the foundation was too good to pass up.
“I’ve loved being a farm and ranch wife the last few years, but I just really thought this would be a great opportunity for me to use the skillset that I’ve developed in my professional career to really benefit the Halstead community,” Mueller said.
Her husband, Josh, is a fourth-generation farmer in the area and she said she wants to ensure that the Halstead community will be a place where the fifth and sixth generations of their family want to continue living.
“I want to make this a place that they want to come back to and raise their kiddos, too. So, it just kind of fit that I had this experience and it was something I was already passionate about and was getting involved with,” Mueller said.
She noted that she had served on the foundation’s grant selection committee, last year, which had shown her some of the great things the foundation was doing.
The foundation will be opening its grant cycle later this spring. Mueller expects it to be able to award a similar amount of funding to community projects as they did, last year.
“About $10,000 was what we awarded last year and that does depend on how the funds are doing, market-wise. So, we’ll get those numbers and know what we have to work with,” she said.
In addition, scholarship selection committees are currently meeting to determine which students to award various scholarships to that the foundation manages.
At the end of 2017, the foundation’s total assets under management surpassed $1 million, and Mueller hopes to continue growing that.
“I think, looking forward, that will be something we try to do, is set a new goal,” Mueller said. “I don’t know what that number will be, but we’ll set a goal and use that as a catalyst to build, not only the amount in our funds, but also the variety of funds that we have.”
She said the foundation would like to help community members identify their passions and then set up a fund that can benefit these projects.
The community foundation board is comprised of chairperson Cory Harrington, Tom Alstrom, Bill Charlsen, Dan Evans, Tricia Weber and Ed Campbell. Mueller noted that the board has open seats for more members of the community who are interested in joining their fundraising mission.
“My main job is to just help facilitate the board’s mission of raising funds and then making those grants and scholarships available to community members,” Mueller said.
Those interested in giving to the foundation may do so at givehalstead.org or by contacting Mueller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jared Janzen, Harvey County Independent