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One of the exciting aspects for work ongoing at the Amarillo Area Foundation is the impact that our initiatives have throughout our region but also on programs throughout the country.  The Amarillo Area Foundation has developed a strong national reputation as a leader on educational initiatives and community leadership.  We are excited to pursue the opportunities that this position affords us. 

In December the Area Foundation’s reputation provided for not one but two invitations to participate in White House convenings in Washington DC.  To my knowledge, this is the first opportunity provided for our organization to meet with top administration officials.

The first convening was a meeting of community foundation executives to celebrate the 100th anniversary of community foundations in America. The invitation was made to a select few community foundation leaders and the final group consisted of CEOs from approximately 30 foundations from all regions of the United States.  The conference focused on the role philanthropy can play in addressing community needs and the unique challenge that all nonprofit organizations face in measuring the impact of their efforts.  Our Foundation was invited to participate in discussions specifically focused on the Administration’s educational outreach and to provide feedback on our community’s needs and plans for improving postsecondary achievement.  This day-long conference was truly helpful in identifying innovative concepts utilized by our peers to address needs in their own communities.

The second convening included Russell Lowery-Hart, President of Amarillo College, and Rod Schroder, Superintendent of Amarillo Independent School District.  This meeting focused on postsecondary achievement and on innovative ways that organizations throughout the US promoted student success.  We heard from Secretary of Education, the Governor of Tennessee, the First Lady, the Vice President and the President himself on administration initiatives to promote student achievement.  We also participated in breakout sessions to focus on our specific area of success – community partnerships.   The three Amarillo reps represented our community proudly and were excited to share the success of our local initiatives with our peers from around the country.

Although the focus of the Amarillo Area Foundation is the top 26 counties in the Texas Panhandle, it is always an honor to be recognized by our peers throughout the country (and by the Administration) as leaders in our field.  We take pride in the work we do for the residents of the Texas Panhandle and we work hard to learn as much as we can from our peers to improve the quality of service that we provide. 
President and CEO
Amarillo Area Foundation President/CEO