The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Sue Hartwick has been named as Executive Director of the Foundation. Hartwick has served the Foundation as the Program Administrator since 2012 and the Board of Directors decided it was time to better match her title with her duties. “Over the past seven years, Sue has become an invaluable asset to the Foundation. Her ability to develop processes for managing our many funds and programs, and her efforts to promote the Foundation’s work has been of great service to the Foundation Board. She has also become very fluent in foundation issues and is developing a network with other community foundations in the state to learn best practices,” shared Kristin Wallace, Foundation Chair. “It is with this in mind that the Board of Directors decided to retitle the position.”
Hartwick, a native of Natick, Mass., earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Ripon College and her master’s degree in modern European history from Marquette University. She and her husband Jude, a fellow Marquette graduate, and their four young children moved to Fort Atkinson in 1992 when Jude took a teaching position at nearby Palmyra-Eagle High School.
A part-time job working at the Dwight Foster Public Library led Sue to being offered the job as the assistant director of the Hoard Historical Museum in April of 1998. She took over as director of the museum in 1999 and led the historical society through the $4 million Hoard Legacy expansion and renovation project. After 10 years at the helm, Sue left the museum to devote more time to her family. In 2012, she began working as the Program Administrator for the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation.
Since 2000, her husband Jude has been the director/teacher of the alternative high school Crossroads in the Fort Atkinson School District. They have four adult children – Olivia (Adam) Nichols, Samuel (Megan), Kerry, and Timothy – and one grandchild, Weston Hartwick, who is almost 2 years old.
For her part, Hartwick is very happy to be leading the Community Foundation. “When Jude and I moved to this area 27 years ago,” she noted, “we chose to live in Fort Atkinson largely because of the hospital and excellent schools. However, it didn’t take long for us to notice other surprising amenities – the modern aquatic center, beautiful library, substantial museum. We quickly realized there was a unique spirit in our new community – a ‘give-us-a-great-idea-and-we-can-make-it-happen’ attitude – that is uncommon elsewhere. It is a positive, uplifting philosophy that is both embodied and engendered by the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation. I feel very lucky that I get to work for an organization that helps make so many great things happen for our community.”
According to Wallace, it’s that commitment to the community, so evident in Hartwick’s work and in her appearances representing the Foundation at local events and venues, that led to the new title. “Sue’s dedication and knack for going ‘above and beyond’ her job description is the very reason we want to recognize her in this way,” concluded Wallace.
The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation began in 1973 with a gift of $25,000 from a local citizen who wanted the money to benefit a future Fort Atkinson community, whatever that community might look like and need. Inspired by this thoughtful gift, community-minded citizens set up the Foundation to be able to accept gifts, like this initial one, intending to enhance the quality of life in Fort Atkinson. Run by a volunteer five-member Board of Directors, the Foundation has received many donations – both large and small – over the past 46 years, now holding assets of approximately $27 million, all while pouring over $21 million in grants back into the community.
Anyone wishing to make a gift to a particular fund, apply for a grant or scholarship, or just learn more about the Foundation, can contact Hartwick at (920) 563-3210 (office), (920) 222-1191 (mobile) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.