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Frey Foundation Expands Board of Trustees

Family foundation appoints three new members from its next generation
May 21, 2012

Frey Foundation Chairman David Frey today announced the appointment of the first members from the family foundation’s next generation to the board of trustees. The board expanded to include Mary Frey Bennett, 40, Sarah Frey Rose, 36, and Eleonora “Ellie” Frey, 35.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome our three new trustees. They will bring fresh perspectives and diverse experiences to our board, especially at such a critical juncture as we plan for a generational leadership transition in the ensuing years,” said David Frey, Frey Foundation chairman. “The Frey family is very fortunate to have such an impressive group of interested, passionate and skilled individuals from the next generation.
We are delighted to begin our succession process with Mary, Sarah and Ellie.” According to David Frey, additional members of the next generation are anticipated to join the board when the time is right for them personally and professionally in the future.

“Various community conversations of late have been focused on West Michigan’s long history of philanthropic giving and the challenge of how to continue that legacy from generation to generation,” said Steve Wilson, Frey Foundation president. “These appointments to our board are reflective of the Frey Foundation’s long-term commitment to the communities it serves.”

Ellie Frey
Ellie Frey currently serves as the director of the Family Business Alliance (FBA), an independent, membership based non-profit organization that helps family businesses in West Michigan succeed through generations. Previously, Ellie worked as a commercial Realtor with a local firm that specialized in adaptive reuse of historic buildings and was the first executive director of Local First West Michigan, a network of locally-owned, privately held businesses. Her involvement with the Frey Foundation dates back more than 20 years, when she joined her siblings and
cousins on a “next generation” advisory board. Ellie earned a bachelor’s degree in international business and economics from Boston University and currently lives in Grand Rapids, Mich. “I’m honored to serve at the request of my family as a trustee of the Frey Foundation. The generations before me have created an incredible legacy of sustainable philanthropy. I look forward to continuing this tradition and learning from my family and the many others who have committed their time and resources to build dynamic communities,” said Ellie Frey.

Sarah Frey Rose
Sarah Frey Rose also served on the “next generation” advisory board for over two decades. She currently resides in Harbor Springs, Mich., with her husband, Randall Rose, and their three children ages 4, 6 and 9. Previously, Sarah was engaged in early childhood and education initiatives in the Charlevoix/Emmet County area, including serving as a family services worker for a local Head Start pre-school program. She received a liberal arts degree in human services from Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. “As my children grow older, I look forward to becoming more involved in the communities our family foundation serves,” said Sarah Frey Rose. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve as a trustee and to continue our legacy of giving from generation to generation.”

Mary Frey Bennett
Mary Frey Bennett comes to the Frey Foundation Board with an extensive background in nonprofit management, fund development and philanthropy. Originally from Michigan, she now resides in Gainesville, Fla. with her husband, Dr. Richard L. Bennett, II, and their three young children: Luke, Eric and Emma Bennett. Mary began work in family philanthropy 20 years ago while an undergraduate at Kalamazoo College. She worked for the Council of Michigan Foundations and also interned at the Frey Foundation, researching succession in family philanthropy.
She earned a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Organizational Development from the Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy at the New School University in New York City. From 1996 to 2007 she managed a small, socially progressive family foundation in New York, The Albert A. List Foundation. Her experience in fund development includes work at New York City Opera, and The Little Orchestra Society. As an account executive with Susan Ulin Associates, a national special events consulting firm, she coordinated
large fundraising events for many nonprofit institutions including the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Fresh Air Fund. As a volunteer, she directed the New York Region Interlochen Alumni Board and also served on the National Board of the Interlochen Center for the Arts Alumni Organization. Currently she serves in leadership roles on the Parent Teacher Organizations at her children’s schools and at Celebration United Methodist Church where she coordinates community outreach and service projects. “I look forward to working with people dedicated to addressing the economic and social issues, education, healthcare and the arts,” said Mary Frey Bennett. “As trustees of the Frey Foundation, we have a unique opportunity to continue to serve the communities in which our grandparents lived and worked. A strong community is one where come together to support and serve one another. I am excited to see these communities continue to flourish.”


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