To say that Charles Allen has a vested interest in our community is an understatement at best. Born and raised here in Columbia, Mr. Allen graduated from the University of Missouri with a business degree and then worked for Shelter Insurance Company as the Director of Personnel for the next 42 years. In addition, he actively participates in Rainbow House, United Way, Minority Men’s Network, and Columbia’s Board of Parks and Recreation.
When asked to join the Board of Directors for CFCM, Allen jumped in feet first. His efforts as a new member of the Development Committee have been a natural extension of what he has already been doing in Columbia for decades. Allen is most excited about providing viable means of fundraising that address the greater community need.
Formerly a Senior Minister in Columbia and Atlanta, GA., John stepped in as Executive Director of CFCM almost five years ago. With his twenty years of experience leading congregations and passion for community giving, he has fostered tremendous growth and success in our organization.
John holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia, and terminal degrees in Theology from Southern Seminary, located in Louisville, KY. Fueled by a strong desire to improve the lives of others, John is excited to press on with his team to tackle future goals. In his free time, John cherishes time with family and friends, enjoys woodworking, and is an avid music lover.
In 2011, Dr. Wilson Beckett retired after 34 years as an orthopedic surgeon. Graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1972, Dr. Beckett spent time in the U.S. Navy in California before returning to our community in 1977. As the years passed, he remained in Columbia, serving his patients with the utmost in care and expertise.
Dr. Beckett was asked to join the CFCM Board in 2014 and serves on the Community Granting committee. In his retired years, he enjoys spending time with family, gardening, cooking, reading, and staying active in the community.
As a Columbia native, John Blakemore has been active in the community as an advertising professional for twenty-two years and an award winning marketing professor at Stephens College for nineteen. Building his life here in Columbia has strengthened his desire to give generously, and when an opportunity opened to serve on the CFCM board a year ago, John jumped in feet first. He is now serving on the Foundation’s Marketing Committee and is focused on developing an effective marketing plan.
In learning more about CFCM, John was so impressed with the advantages of giving through the foundation that he and his wife, Patti, started a fund of their own, The John and Patti Blakemore Charitable Foundation. To them, giving back to Columbia in perpetuity just felt right. John currently teaches at the Osher Life Long Learning Center at Mizzou, and holds degrees in English Literature and Journalism from the University as well.
Anne Churchill joined CFCM in the beginning stages of the organization. As Chair of the Marketing Committee, she thrives on the way CFCM helps our community as a whole. An enlightening takeaway from her experience at CFCM is that giving time is just as important as giving money. She has witnessed how the time given by board volunteers goes a long way to guide the organization and achieve its goals.
Anne is humbled to be among those who personally give to CFCM, which she does yearly through CoMo Gives. Her passion for the continued growth of our community is also evident as she invests time and talent into her local business, AnnaBelle Events. Prior to opening AnnaBelle, Ms. Churchill held positions with Inside Columbia Magazine and Learfield Sports. In 2011, she was named Emerging Business Woman of the Year by the Columbia Daily Tribune.
Kee Groshong spent nearly 40 years at the University of Missouri where he served as Vice Chancellor of Campus Operations. His strong interest in the betterment of the community is evident in the list of organizations he’s worked with. These include Regional Economic Development, Inc., Treasurer of the Daniel Boone Regional Library Foundation, Chair of the Missouri Credit Union Board, and as a board member for Job Point.
In the five years that Mr. Groshong has spent on the board, he has witnessed how individual funds allow donors to develop and maintain their legacy long after they’re gone. The progress these funds instill in the community are the core reason Groshong works with CFCM. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
Marie Nau Hunter is currently in her first term on the CFCM Board. Combining her passion for the arts with a desire to improve lives of those in our community, Marie uses her extensive experience in arts advocacy and education to serve on our Granting Committee. In her eyes, charitable giving is crucial, and with CFCM it couldn’t be easier. Marie established her own Hunter Family Fund in 2014, and also holds a joint scholarship fund in her father’s name through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks in Springfield, Missouri.
After a thirteen year stint as the Manager for the City of Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs, Marie took a step back from the career world to stay at home with her family. Though she now spends her days administering a house full of busy kids, she remains heavily involved in the community as an arts leader and advocate. In addition to serving on the CFCM Board, Marie is active in the Missouri Arts Council as a State Appointee and is the Regional Vice-President for Missouri Citizens for the Arts. She is a recent recipient of the Stephen’s College School of Performing Arts “Women of Courage” Award, and was named an honoree for Leadership in the Arts by the Missouri Arts Council in 2010.
Chris Janku is currently the Director of Programs for the Missouri Bar in Jefferson City, Missouri. Prior to this appointment, he spent 18 years leading Columbia’s Second Ward through many progressive transitions—mainly related to city trails and other recreation areas. An avid runner and trail user himself, Janku also served on Columbia’s Parks and Recreation Commission in the 1980’s.
Mr. Janku has been a member of the CFCM board since its inception in 2010. To him, the most important aspect of the foundation is its ability to facilitate individual and family charitable giving. With his experience pushing for positive growth in our community, he brings a wealth of value to our board.
Don Laird joined the CFCM board two years ago and serves on the Marketing Committee. Prior to his involvement with the foundation, he was familiar with the mission and values of CFCM and was flattered to be asked to join the effort. He is most impressed with the foundation’s successes in increasing philanthropy in Central Missouri and by generous donors who contribute “behind the scenes.”
Laird is passionate about the betterment of our community—something he has been actively involved in over the span of his 33 year working career. Don retired in 2013 after serving as the President of the Chamber of Commerce here in Columbia for 24 years.
Ben serves on the Granting Committee at CFCM because he firmly believes in serving an organization that can make a lasting difference in our community. In fact, Ben established CFCM’s inaugural fund after seeing the impact of a similar foundation in St. Louis. Surrounded by other like-minded board members, Ben is excited to continue making Columbia a better place to live.
As a state title winning tennis coach at Rockbridge High School for the past several years, Ben’s life goal has always been to teach kids how to enrich themselves through sports and the psychology of sports and performance. In his time off, he wholeheartedly devotes himself to his son—and of course–tennis.
Jerry Murrell has been on the Foundation Board for the past 5 years. Prior to becoming a CFCM member, Jerry faithfully served the Columbia community for 49 years as a Radiologist. He holds certifications in Radiology and Therapeutic Radiology, and Nuclear Medicine and holds degrees from the University of Kansas Hospital, Barnes Jewish Hospital, and the University of Texas Medical Branch. With extensive experience and education in the medical field, Jerry offers broad insight into health related issues in our community and how they can best be served.
Service is the core theme of Cindy Mustard’s life. From serving as Executive Director of the Voluntary Action Center for 20 years to being involved with other local non-profit agencies such as the Boys & Girls Club, Rotary, and the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, she constantly puts the needs of others ahead of her own. This explains her passion for CFCM. She enjoys seeing how CFCM funds help meet the needs of organizations with goals that improve our community in a variety of ways.
Cindy helped create an endowment when she was at the Voluntary Action Center that, upon her retirement, became the Cindy Mustard Endowment. Since CFCM was founded, that endowment has been a part of our organization. It’s another example of how Cindy completely throws herself into what she’s involved with.
A native of Cabool, Missouri, Bill Powell has been a resident of Columbia since 1972 when he entered college at the University of Missouri. He has been practicing law at Smith Lewis LLC since graduating and passing the Missouri Bar in 1981. Mainly dealing in estate planning and trusts, Mr. Powell has also found time to publish hundreds of articles ranging in subjects from outdoor travel adventures to history and law.
Though Bill was an integral part of the beginning stages of CFCM, he recently became a member of the board and serves on the Granting Committee. One of the most important things he has learned since joining CFCM is how many options and services are available through the organization.
When he isn’t practicing law and serving on the CFCM board, Mr. Bill enjoys outdoor adventures, traveling, writing, making wine, and preserving local history.
Dean Runyan is one the newest members of the CFCM Board of Directors and serves on our Marketing Committee. He joined the foundation out of a strong desire to give back to the community and is excited about how CFCM can make focused charitable giving more accessible to individuals.
Passionate about issues surrounding animal welfare, he spends his own charitable efforts focused on supporting animal rescue and advocacy organizations. Runyan works as the Web Programming Manager at Columbia Insurance Group, a position he has held for fourteen years.
David Russell joined the CFCM three years ago because he believes in the power of community foundations to enable charitable giving. As chair of the Executive Committee and member of the Development Committee, David enjoys bringing people in contact with worthy causes and making the process easy and convenient. The most important thing he has learned since joining CFCM is that you don’t have to be wealthy to establish a charitable fund. Anyone can give and have the satisfaction of knowing they are invested in the betterment of our community.
Mr. Russell serves as Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Missouri. Prior to his appointment in 2010, he spent 19 years as Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for the University of Missouri System. He is passionate about the students of Missouri and has tirelessly worked to provide ample opportunities for high school graduates to continue their studies at the collegiate level.
Eric Staley may be a newer addition to the CFCM Foundation Board, however he was integral in the beginning stages of our organization. Serving on the Development committee, Eric is excited about the ability of CFCM to further the specific endeavors of each individual donor. In his eyes, the Foundation is the main catalyst for broader philanthropy in Central Missouri.
In his personal and professional life, Eric has always been passionate about advancing the public good. This has been evident in our community as he spent two decades each in higher education administration and non-profit/philanthropic work, respectively. Currently an adjunct professor in the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs at MU, he also keeps active in consulting through his company, Missionmapping.
As Founder and President of New Chapter Coaching since 2008, Carolyn Sullivan is no stranger to building up community leaders. In fact, it’s her life passion. Sullivan also believes in the power of giving and the importance of creating a culture of philanthropy. This desire to invest in the Columbia community spills over into her valued service to the CFCM board.
Joining the CFCM board in 2013, Ms. Sullivan is an integral member of our Marketing Committee. When asked what she has learned so far, here’s what she had to say: “…if everyone in Missouri gave just 5% of their estate over the next 10 years to their local community foundation this could result in $6.74B in donations. And that would positively change a lot of mid-Missouri lives!”