Community Foundation Receives Pillar Award

Women’s Resource Center honored Grand Rapids Community Foundation at its 2011 Pillar Awards luncheon on Wednesday, March 16. The Pillar Award recognizes employers who make significant efforts to empower women in the workplace.

 The Community Foundation received the 2011 Pillar Award alongside fellow “pillars” in the community, Plante Moran and Priority Health.

“The Women's Resource Center's Pillar Award has great significance and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation is pleased to receive this honor,” said Diana Sieger, President of the Community Foundation. “We are committed to empowering our employees to provide great service to our community and the impact is much more positive and strong when we work together to accomplish our mission. We are here to lead and manage our community's permanent endowment and to strengthen the lives of people in our community.”

The Community Foundation advocates for diversity and inclusion throughout Grand Rapids and therefore aims to serve as an example within the organization. In the recruitment of staff, Board of Trustees members and Foundation committee members and through communication materials, the Foundation works to be inclusive and to reflect the ethnic, racial, age, gender and religious diversity of the community.

A smaller organization, the Community Foundation employs 23 staff members, 22 of whom are female, and has experienced a 0% turnover rate the past 3 years. This high employee retention can be attributed to an atmosphere and corporate culture that recognizes the importance of a work-life balance by providing flexible schedules, telecommuting, and a designated kid’s room for when staff need to bring their children to work. 

The Community Foundation values the professional development of its staff by encouraging them to attend workshops and seminars and offering tuition reimbursement.

“The management continues to empower each and every one of us to think, behave and take action in our professional growth. With this empowerment we take ownership in our work and responsibility in the results,” said Barb Forseman, Administrative Assistant, Finance and Administration, at the Community Foundation.