As I look back on 2022 and my first year as Chair of the Frey Foundation, I am excited to have been able to continue the legacy of so many of my family members, by leading our organization into the future with zest and passion for the communities we serve. I want to start by thanking Mary Frey Bennett, our past chair, who has, for the past five years, wonderfully guided the organization as the first third generation board chair at our organization. I am honored to follow in her footsteps and to continue leading the foundation toward deeper connections with our community.
The passing of my uncle, Ted Frey, last year, was a significant loss for our foundation. He was a remarkable leader and a staunch advocate of our work. Ted’s insistence on “doing our homework”, asking tough questions, and remaining humble has inspired me to carry on his legacy. This loss was further compounded by the passing of my father, David G. Frey, earlier this year. In such moments of transition, we have an opportunity to reflect on what we want to change, and, of equal importance, we reflect on what is most important to us. I want to let our community and grantors know that we will enthusiastically continue our focus as a place-based funder, we will strive to remain open in our grantmaking process, and we will always continue to treat our role as trustees with professionalism, compassion, and humility.
2022 was an action-packed year. Internally, we embarked on a journey to better understand what “impact investing” might mean to our organization. It is clear we have some amazing opportunities to align our endowment with our mission and, on the grantmaking side, to deploy new and innovative tools. I’m excited to see how we embrace these tools and opportunities in the years to come. Another highlight from 2022 was our continued focus on housing. I’m incredibly proud that the Frey Foundation continues to be out front on this very important need. Again, I look forward with optimism for how we can continue to have a positive impact and believe there are some exciting opportunities on the horizon.
As we near our 50th anniversary, let us take a moment to reflect on the progress made in our community through partnerships and investments. Lots to be proud of, yet lots of work before us. We, as trustees, thank our staff and our community for continuing on this important journey. Looking ahead, we recognize our privileged position and responsibility to West and Northern Michigan. We remain committed to our values of openness, learning, listening, collaboration, and putting in the effort needed to achieve meaningful improvements in our communities.