What attracted you to becoming involved with the OCF?
Bill – The opportunity to impact varying needs within the community. Coming from years of service helping to protect our natural resources, I started to realize that my passion to help and serve extended beyond just one cause.
Liz – Honestly, I love what the OCF does for the community.
In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does?
Bill – The most important work of the organization is serving as a conduit. On one side, we inventory and access the needs of the community. On the other side, we engage organizations and individuals with the desire and ability to achieve solutions.
Liz – The most important work of the organization is the involvement with youth in our community.
What’s it like to volunteer for the OCF?
Bill – Volunteering for the OCF is engaging, inspiring, challenging, and rewarding. The other volunteers who serve on the board and committees represent all walks of life and different areas of the county. When you melt it all together, you get nothing but great ideas and outcomes.
Liz – It’s a good feeling to be part of an organization that gives back so much to our wonderful community.
What OCF committees have you been involved with?
Bill – I’ve been involved with the asset development committee since joining the board in 2016. I’ve also assisted with the Friends of the Foundation raffle and 100 Men Who Care.
Liz – I’ve been involved as an ambassador for both 100 Women Who Care and Extreevaganza.
What do you hope the organization will achieve soon? In the long term?
Bill and Liz – In the very near future, we hope the organization will attract sufficient endowments to cover the costs for all the programs administered throughout the community. In the long term, we hope and believe the OCF will stand out in the region and state as the gold standard for foundation operations and impact.
Does anyone in your life play a role in supporting your involvement? In providing inspiration?
Bill – My wife is extremely supportive of my roles with the OCF. She makes concessions so that I’m able to be involved as much as possible. She also volunteers her time and talents to organizations we regard so highly. As for inspiration…if you haven’t met that staff at the OCF, you are missing out on lots of good energy!
Liz – My husband, Bill, who has been involved with the OCF for some time now. Just hearing him talk about the OCF really inspired me to become more involved in some of the events the OCF facilitates.
What do you wish other people knew about OCF?
Bill – The large variety of programming that we administer throughout the year impacts so many different causes. You would be hard pressed to not find a common thread between something you care deeply for and something the OCF hasn’t impacted in some way, shape, or form.
Do you have a message to share?
Bill – It is not often that you come across an organization that can execute and accomplish so much, with modest resources relative to other foundations in our area. This is a testament to the hard work, passion, and discipline that is delivered by the board, staff, volunteers, and donors!
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering for the OCF?
Bill – Think big and jump in with both feet! I love the fact that after 3 years on the board, the gratitude, fulfillment, and excitement continue to grow.
Bill: I am a 3rd generation resident of Otsego County and my wife moved here in the early 90s. We both graduated from Gaylord Community Schools and reconnected by fate years later. We’ve been married for 13 years and have 4 beautiful children, and we were recently blessed with our first grandchild. It’s an amazing privilege to be able to raise our family in the community that helped raise us, and we look forward to giving back as much (or more) than the community has given us.