Tribute to Ann Reynolds for Her Work on CFFK Board and in the Keys

Ann Reynolds retired from the CFFK Board of Governors in June 2020. CFFK prepared this tribute to her dedication and legacy.

Prominent Key West resident and nationally-known educator Ann Reynolds has helped guide your Community Foundation from what was a starry-eyed 15-year-old to a sharp and savvy 24-year-old. And like any parent, this dearly generous woman used a combination of handholding (not always literally and definitely pre-pandemic), dedication, patience, boundaries, and tough love.

Since joining the Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys nine years ago, Ann has invested thousands of volunteer hours into one of the “forever” institutions of Key West and the Florida Keys.

Thanks in part to Ann’s active involvement on the Investment Committee, the Community Foundation’s assets under management have tripled, peaking over $20 million just before the recent market shift. Its number of donor and agency funds has grown from 100 to over 150 today. The Community Foundation has facilitated over $25 million in charitable donations during the nine years when Ann served on the board, plus it anticipates more legacy gifts from individuals and families. In fact, Ann’s work “behind the scenes” already helped the Foundation land some of the largest bequests in its history, including the David Wolkowsky gift.

The Community Foundation has grown from a one-person shop highly dependent on volunteers and donations to a self-sufficient organization employing two full-time and two part-time professionals. It maintains accreditation status with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, an affirmation of having met or exceeded the most rigorous benchmarks in philanthropy.

Ann is one of the top 10 donors of all time to CFFK’s own operations. This is incredibly important to an organization specifically designed for its donors to give pass-through gifts that benefit other nonprofits. The Foundation’s operating endowment fund has grown from $130,000 ten years ago to nearly $3 million today.

Community Foundation board chair Ron Burd says, “Ann Reynolds has all of the attributes of an ideal trustee. She speaks her mind, she rolls up her sleeves, she embraces the mission and she demands excellence for today and for the future. She never hesitates to tell me when I’m on the wrong track, and help me return to the right one. Her impact on the Community Foundation and our vibrant Keys community will be felt for years to come. For Ann, that is all the appreciation she desires.”

Ann has actively served eight of her nine years on the Executive Committee in a variety of key leadership positions, including three terms as chair of the Grants Committee, three terms as chair of the Investment Committee, chair of the Nominating Committee, and Board Secretary.

She brought to the board her leadership experience in higher education, including years as president of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, chancellor of The City University of New York, and chancellor of the California State University System.

Having served on the boards of Humana, AEP, Life Technologies, Maytag, Abbott Laboratories, and Owens-Corning, Ann brought savvy, thought-provoking discussion to board meetings and helped grow the Community Foundation’s own board training program. The Leadership Success Academy has now equipped more than 450 volunteer board members throughout Monroe County with nonprofit best practices.

During Ann’s tenure on the Board, the Community Foundation’s annual Unsung Heroes volunteer recognition event reached the milestone of having honored more than 1,300 nonprofit volunteers. The Board also launched the Partners in Paradise Awards Program to annually celebrate local giving and recognizeinspirational civic service.

An active community leader since she moved to the Keys 16 years ago, Ann serves on the Key West Citizenadvisory board, chairs the board of the Tennessee Williams Theater, serves as an Elder at Peace Covenant Presbyterian Church, and more. Her keen knowledge of nonprofits throughout the Keys comes from lots of research, and she’s known to stop by charity facilities without an appointment to see what they’re doing and learn about their good work.

With Ann’s leadership of the Grants Committee and during her tenure on the board, the Community Foundation and its donor partners awarded nearly $14 million through approximately 2,000 grants to local nonprofits, scholarships and program services, assisting thousands of residents from Key West to Key Largo. The amount of annual grant making from the Community Foundation and its generous fund partners – over $1.3 million annually through an average of 200 grants per year – has propelled the organization into the top 5 percent of community foundations nationally for active grant making per capita.

Notably, Ann served on the Grants Committee in 2017, when the Community Foundation led a major Keys-wide disaster relief initiative after Hurricane Irma, disbursing $1.4 million to nonprofit partners providing direct aid to residents. And this year, she has participated in what has already been three rounds of grant award meetings to discuss how to serve residents most by COVID-19’s economic effects. The Grants Committee has awarded over $260,000 for food, rent assistance, health care, and other needs.

Ann Reynolds has left a huge mark on an organization that seeks to provide payouts to nonprofit operations and programs, scholarships, and teacher awards. Her board stewardship will leave an indelible impact as the Community Foundation turns a wise 25 next year and soars into the future. As she completes the maximum three terms on the board, Ann will always be a welcome advisor to the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, which will remain forever grateful for her service. Thank you!

Special Chair’s Award to Star of the Sea Foundation: Outgoing Chair Ron Burd asked Ann Reynolds to choose the nonprofit to receive a $500 grant from the CFFK Chair’s Award Fund. Ann chose Star of the Sea Foundation. The Chair’s Award Fund was established by the Board of Governors to honor the outgoing chair with a grant to a local charity of his or her choice.

CFFK Board of Governors Resolution for Ann Reynolds:

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