Will County, IL (August 18, 2014) – The people of Will County are always helping their neighbor in ways that are as unique as their fingerprint. No two philanthropic visions are exactly the same. At The Community Foundation of Will County’s Annual Donor Recognition and Celebration of Philanthropy we heard from honorees that shared their visions.
Board Chair, Br. James Gaffney, FSC welcomed guests and introduced Janet Viano. Jan is a lifelong resident of the Will County community. During that lifetime, she has shown a dedication to her professional work in banking, and personally, to improving the quality of life in her community. With forty years as a banking professional, it is no surprise that she has spent the last 30 with a strong community–focused bank, First Midwest Bank, where she is now Executive Vice President, Director of Channel Sales and Retail Banking Administration.
Her volunteer work has taken her in directions that could be defined either as philanthropy, or an interest in developing women’s leadership into the next generation. She has been a part of the Zonta Club of Joliet; a Past President of the Will County chapter of the National Association of Bank Women; a charter member of the New Lenox Rotary Club; and founding Director of First Midwest Charitable Foundation.
Jan became an early Board member of The Community Foundation of Will County in 2007, and has served as Treasurer of the Foundation for the past several years. During her time on the Board, she took advantage of an opportunity to blend both her driving interests – philanthropy and women’s leadership. A little over a year ago Jan had a vision to create a Fund that would provide resources to support the issues of importance to women leaders today, and to inspire generations to come. With a quick outreach to her colleagues at First Midwest Bank, who matched her gift within an hour, the Women’s Leadership Fund was born, and is now nearing $20,000.
“The Foundation gave me the platform to give back in a more global way,” noted Viano. “Together with my colleagues we worked as a united group to support women’s leadership. We hope this Fund is a catalyst for collaboration to build talent as women continue to be leaders in their families, businesses, and communities.” Jan recognized her parents for instilling in her a philanthropic mindset by modeling the behavior throughout their lives, whether it was baking bread for a friend in need, supporting the local fire department, or helping out at the Men’s Club in Homer Township.
Executive Director, Michael Trench introduced Sentinus, LLC represented by Scott Reynolds and Tyler Qualio by sharing some of the company’s history. “Lieutenant Commander Richard Reynolds returned to Joliet after serving as a ship commander in both the Pacific and Atlantic in WWII. And, once again, he charted new waters, forming an Estate, Business Planning and Insurance Firm, Reynolds & Associates, long before the idea of a comprehensive planning firm came into vogue,” said Trench
Living out his message of business succession and exit strategies for successful entrepreneurs, he later turned over operations of the firm to his son, Scott Reynolds, who with his son-in-law Tyler Qualio and son, Britton Reynolds, run the successor firms of Sentinus for the advisory and wealth management piece; and Premise Capital as an asset management company. “Dick’s death last year in 2013 didn’t end what he started, but allowed his vision to continue through the legacy of his family,” said Trench.
When introduced, Scott Reynolds explained that, “Back in 2001 after 911, we had a discussion at the end of the year about NOT sending out our usual gifts to clients, but rather making a donation to the victims of 911. We sent a letter to our clients and shared our decision and we received tremendous support. Some of our clients followed suit and gave to the 911 victims as well, while others chose to give to local charities that they cared about.“
“Over the years we continued to make year-end donations to local charities. We realized that sometimes when the end of the year came around we were in a crunch and didn’t always know the most urgent needs of the community,” noted Scott. Tyler had joined The Community Foundation on the Professional Advisory Council. “Tyler suggested a Donor Advised Fund at The Community Foundation. We could put the funds into the account and disburse them throughout the year when the needs arose,” said Reynolds.
Over time Scott and his wife Deb, Tyler and his wife Stephanie, and Sentinus, LLC all established Donor Advised Funds at The Community Foundation. As they learned more about the Foundation and DAF’s they realized that DAF’s could be beneficial to their clients as well. Discussions lead to a new financial partnership between The Community Foundation and Sentinus, LLC where Senitnus can offer their clients Donor Advised Funds that operates on The Community Foundation platform for grantmaking, while Sentinus retains management of those funds on behalf of clients. Tyler is now on the Board of The Community Foundation and Chairs the Professional Advisory Council. At Sentinus, one charitable thought has grown into philanthropic opportunities for many.
Michael Trench updated the guests with a “State of the Foundation” presentation. “Community Foundations are celebrating their 100th birthday this year. The first community foundation was formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914 by a group of community minded leaders. Today there are over 700 community foundations serving the United States and over 1,700 globally. They hold nearly $50 billion in assets and distribute over $4.5 billion annually to support communities,” noted Trench. “The Community Foundation of Will County is a geographic affiliate of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the earliest community foundations, established in 1915.” Community foundations serve donors and the communities they care about so that the donors can leave their prints behind. In Will County, The Community Foundation promotes philanthropy, connects donors to community needs, and builds partnerships to improve the quality of life in our region. For more information regarding The Community Foundation of Will County visit www. cfwil.org or reach Michael Trench, the Executive Director at (815) 744-9223.