Volunteer Spotlight: Peter Amar

Volunteer Spotlight: Peter Amar

What attracted you to become involved with the OCCF?

In 2002, I was invited to join the OCCF Board.  At the time, I knew very little about community foundations but the organization’s mission spoke to me and so I agreed to serve. I was on the board for nine years and really enjoyed the opportunity.  During the last few years, I have volunteered on a few short-term projects; and am currently a member of the Grant Committee.

In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does?

Developing and growing endowed funds that benefit the community now and for generations to come is certainly number one.  A very close second is convening key community players (business, service organizations, non-profits, etc.) to talk about and develop innovative ways to benefit Otsego County.  The Community Grant Program is a great example.  Because of discussions that OCCF began a few years ago, seven local funding partners now utilize a common application process that helps each partner more effectively award funds to address community needs.

What’s it like to volunteer for the OCCF?

It’s very energizing!  My fellow volunteers and the staff are creative, thoughtful, positive people.  I enjoy the wide mix of people involved.  It runs the gamut from high school students, business owners, community leaders, non-profit staff, concerned individuals, etc.

What OCCF committees have you been involved with?

In the past, I served on Governance, Executive Committee, YAC, Personnel, Grants and Strategic Planning.  Currently I’m on the overall Grants Committee and its Capacity Building effort.

What do you hope the organization will achieve soon? In the long term?

OCCF has grown tremendously from the organization I first got involved with 16 years ago.  It has matured into a very effective, impactful community member.  Moving forward, I hope its dedicated leadership and talented staff continue implementing the strategic plan that was developed a few years ago.  Those efforts have already resulted in enhanced donor and grant services, to name a few.  Long term, I look forward to the time when OCCF will annually distribute 500,000 dollars in grants and scholarships!

Does anyone in your life play a role in supporting your involvement? In providing inspiration?

Both my wife, Mary Fox, and our daughter, Katie Amar-Fox, support and inspire me.  They truly lead by example and are involved in volunteer and community service projects too numerous to mention here.  Most of all, they know me well and do their best to not allow my “inner couch potato” get the better of me!

What do you wish other people knew about OCCF?

That it positively touches so many aspects of our lives here in Otsego County.  Some examples are the arts, youth, economic development, education, human services, and the environment.  The list goes on.

Do you have a message to share?

Whenever possible, listen first; pause, reflect and only then speak.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering for the OCCF?

First, think a bit about your time and talents and how you wish to use them.  Then pick-up the phone and talk things over with Dana, Karin and Amanda.  You’ll be glad you did.


 Short Bio:

I am a retired “macro level” social worker.  Most of my work life focused on program development, grant writing and interagency collaborative projects.  My wife Mary and I moved to Otsego County in 1991.  (Technically she returned as she’s Otsego County born and raised.)  It was the best move we ever made.  Our daughter Katie is a third year student at Michigan Tech.  Go Huskies!