Tuesday April 26, 2011
MIDDLEBURY, VT – The Vermont Community Foundation announced that Tom Roberts will join the Foundation as its Upper Valley Philanthropic Advisor. The position was formerly occupied by Lisa Cashdan, who announced her retirement earlier this year.
Roberts comes to the Community Foundation after serving the past 8-1/2 years as director of the Ottauquechee Health Foundation (OHF), based in Woodstock, Vermont.
During his tenure at OHF, Roberts helped grant out more than a million dollars to organizations addressing healthcare needs in Woodstock and the surrounding towns. Those grants came in many sizes and supported a broad range of projects, from smaller grants that allowed local organizations to purchase basic healthcare equipment to larger grants that paid for initiatives like creating a local community care coordinator position or providing transportation for hospital and pharmacy visits by seniors.
Roberts is particularly proud of OHF’s Good Neighbor Grants program, which works with local service providers to help residents purchase needed healthcare supplies or services, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, or dental care. “It’s been very rewarding to help people get the healthcare they need and get back on track,” he says.
Roberts says that his new position at the Vermont Community Foundation will allow him to expand his focus well beyond healthcare while continuing to serve his passion for helping communities remain healthy and vital. In his new role, Roberts will work actively with donors in the Upper Valley and beyond to build charitable resources that benefit communities. “What’s wonderful about the Community Foundation is that its work encompasses so many levels: neighborhoods, towns, regions like the Upper Valley, the entire state of Vermont—which is itself a community—and beyond.”
Vermont Community Foundation President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay says that Roberts’ blend of professional experience and personal passion made him a natural choice. “The Community Foundation, at its core, is a place where people’s hopes for their communities are realized through their giving,” he says. “Tom has an intimate understanding of how philanthropy and community connect, and he’s eager to share that understanding with people to help them grow as philanthropists and community leaders.”
Roberts lives in Hartland, Vermont with his wife and two children. He is a graduate of Stanford University and has a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to Vermont, Roberts was the director of the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, a partnership between the East Bay Community Foundation and the city of Oakland, California.
The Community Foundation is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. It was started in 1986 with a mission to grow philanthropy in Vermont and ensure that Vermont nonprofits have the resources they need to be effective. Since then, the Foundation has grown to include more than 575 funds established by individuals, businesses, and organizations for a broad range of charitable purposes. The Community Foundation awards approximately $10 million dollars a year in grants, thanks to the donors who work under its umbrella. Additionally, the Foundation offers planned giving, nonprofit agency endowment management, and other services that help charitable partners achieve their missions. For more information, visit www.vermontcf.org.