The Community Foundation of the Florida Keys has appointed 11 Lower Keys residents as charter members of a new Regional Advisory Council for the area from Big Coppitt Key to Big Pine Key. The Lower Keys Advisory Council will help the Keys-wide charitable foundation increase its grantmaking, donor base, and public awareness in the Lower Keys.
The founding community leaders of the Lower Keys Advisory Council are (pictured, clockwise):
- Bill Becker, Retired Radio Personality and News Director
- Susan Eanes, Retired Business Owner
- Josephine Gueverra, Retired University Counselor and Choir Manager
- Ann Hunter, Artist
- Heidi Morris, Owner, The UPS Store, Big Pine Key
- Nancy Noblitt, Retired Teacher and Mentor
- Lainie Plotnik, CPA, Financial Manager at Keys Fisheries
- Rita Troxel, Author and Artist
- Leslie Valant, Owner, Leeward Wealth Management
- Jeremy Wilkerson, Property Manager
- Dr. Susanne Woods, Community Foundation Board Chair
More information on the Regional Advisors is available at cffk.org/lowerkeys
“Following Hurricane Irma, we provided relief grants to Lower Keys organizations and saw how effective it was to have local residents advise on the needs of their neighbors and neighborhoods. We’re taking it one step further by creating a permanent advisory council to be the eyes and ears of the Lower Keys, including unique and dynamic challenges of its residents and wildlife, emerging and long-time nonprofits, and potential donors,” said Dr. Susanne Woods, a Sugarloaf resident and board chair of the Community Foundation. Woods, a retired academic dean and provost, will chair the council until June 30, when she retires from the Community Foundation board after 10 years of service.
The Lower Keys Advisory Council members, who will meet quarterly throughout the year, will help build awareness of the Community Foundation and philanthropy in the Lower Keys, advise on local needs and initiatives, identify potential nonprofits as grant applicants, and make funding recommendations.
“The networks of each of these individuals together with those of our Middle Keys Advisors and Upper Keys Advisors is exponentially multiplying awareness of the Community Foundation throughout the county. We are poised to add and serve new donors and funds outside of Key West, and significantly increase our grantmaking throughout the county,” said Jennifer McComb, President and CEO of the Community Foundation.
Contributions to the Lower Keys Future Fund are currently being matched dollar-for-dollar by the Community Foundation to provide grants to nonprofits and faith-based organizations providing services in the Lower Keys. To make a gift, visit cffk.org/lowerkeys.