Board of Directors – 2021
James C. Daniels, CPA, Chair
Of Counsel, Davidson Fox & Company
Whitney Racketa, Vice Chair
Senior Career Advisor, School of Management, Binghamton University
Paul F. Wood, Secretary
Trust Officer, Community Bank, N.A.
Tyrone Muse, Treasurer
President/CEO, Visions Federal Credit Union
Dr. Tomás Aguirre
Vice President of Student Life and Chief Diversity Officer, SUNY Delhi
Dr. Laura Bronstein
Dean, College of Community and Public Affairs, Binghamton University
Susan A. Burtis
Group Manager, M&T Bank
Rajesh Davé, MD
Executive VP, Chief Medical Officer, UHS
Dean, Clinical Campus, SUNY Upstate
Executive Director of Suite(K), Retirement Plan Navigator, S.E.E.D. Planning Group
Mark S. Gorgos
Managing Partner, Coughlin and Gerhart, LLP
Partner, Hinman, Howard & Kattell, LLP
President, Sentry Alarms
Jamye L. Lindsey
Partner, Levene, Gouldin & Thompson, LLP
Senior Research Analyst, Dawnbreaker
Supporting Critical Needs and Beyond
When the 2019 Annual Report was written and subsequently published in early 2020, little did we know how critical needs would soon be defined as the COVID 19 pandemic and the fight for racial justice became front and center in the region. From March to December of 2020 we funded over $723,000 for emergency food needs, PPE, rental assistance, micro-loans to individuals for basics of daily living, child care for essential workers, tutoring for at-risk students, and much more. As philanthropic leaders in south central New York, we stand with those who seek to eliminate racial injustice. We are committed to do our part both internally as an organization, and in the region. We invite all our supporters and community partners to join us.
Our commentary below reflects where we were in 2019, please continue to “watch this space” as we consider our direction for 2020 and beyond.
At the Community Foundation for South Central New York, we’re proud of our mission to increase charitable giving in the community, connect donors to causes important to them and take the lead on addressing critical community issues. Our ultimate goal is to improve life in our region, now and for the future.
We pursue that goal largely by funding grants to organizations, schools and municipalities that provide a wide array of projects, programs and services to communities in the Southern Tier of New York.
In 2019, the Foundation enjoyed another record-setting year. We raised over $5.4 million from 963 donors and opened ten new funds. We awarded $2.1 million in grants to 309 organizations, municipalities and educational institutions, carefully choosing projects that will enhance the quality of life for residents in all our communities.
Many of those grant awards support what anyone would recognize as critical needs. In our 2019 Annual Report you will find stories about programs that alleviate food insecurity for seniors, children and families; deliver emergency medical services in an isolated and underserved area of the Catskills; arrange for training and equipment to help farmers stay safe as they work the land; and give seniors rides to doctors, grocery stores and essential appointments.
At the same time, we continue to fund arts and cultural institutions, business incubators and entrepreneurial enterprises. At first glance, those programs might not seem as essential as the ones that focus on health or safety. But along with food, clothing, shelter and medical care, a vibrant and healthy community also needs museums, history centers, theaters, libraries, parks and all the rest.
Besides awarding grants to organizations that help our communities flourish, the Foundation also focused in 2019 on convening community partners around areas of mutual concern. Not only do those discussions highlight deficits that we can address together, but they give us a chance to collaborate on solutions.
To that end, we commissioned a Community Assessment as a follow-up to our 2015 Regional Needs Assessment. The new study looked at economic and workforce development, the impending leadership gap and the need for increased diversity, equity, and inclusion in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. The results of that study are now available to anyone who wishes to use them. Along with that assessment, we also funded a master plan for Ross Park in Binghamton. In addition, we led our Planning Committee in learning more about social determinants of health, always asking ourselves what we can do to address those concerns from a philanthropic perspective.
Our volunteers, board, donors and supporters dedicate significant time and resources to our mission. We take their efforts seriously, and we thank them for helping to fulfill our mission. The annual report illuminates the important and critical work your friends, colleagues and neighbors are accomplishing in their communities. We hope you will consider joining them, and us, in making the Southern Tier a great place to live.