Paul Lessard GIVING 101

Having grown up in Asia, I was introduced to the idea of long-range strategic plans that unlike our five- and 10-year plans, look out to 25 years and beyond. With this in mind, I sometimes wonder what our Founding Foundation family must have been thinking the evening of our first Annual Meeting in May of 1998. That night I closed my remarks by predicting that one day, we would see the Foundation grow to become an organization managing $100 million in assets. As I spoke those words, I saw Jim Millis Sr. leaning toward Jim Morgan and whispering something into his ear. Later that evening, I got Jim Morgan off to the side and asked him what Jim Millis Sr. had said. Jim laughed as he put his arm around my shoulder and whispered, “He was wondering what you had been smoking before the meeting.”

I have always believed that a small, committed group of like-minded people who share a common vision can achieve anything in this world. And so it was, with those nine original members of the Founding High Point Community Foundation Executive Committee who had a vision to create a permanent financial resource that could serve as a safety net for the community they all loved. Jim Millis Sr., Jim Morgan, Bill Horney, Dr. Nido Qubein, Phil Phillips, Bill McGuinn, George Erath, Charlie Greene and Charles Odom were all highly successful community leaders, in the prime of their lives, who understood the long-term value of this “reservoir of hope.” Their willingness to plant this tree whose shade they might not personally enjoy exemplifies the inestimable value of servant leadership.

Trending Videos