Given the Covid-19 pandemic backdrop and all the related implications, 2020 was not a normal year for anyone, let alone the Harder Foundation. Against this challenging backdrop, we also had to contend with the untimely passing of our former Executive Director, Kay Treakle. Nevertheless, I am pleased to report that we did end this past year with several positive outcomes.
After a thorough recruiting process, we made a successful job offer to our top candidate, Cathy Lehman, who accepted and is now ensconced as our new Senior Program Officer. More on Cathy, her background and her own communication is included on this website.
We did end the year with our highest portfolio value yet — $42.5 million — after a surprisingly constructive year in global equity markets. And while our grant budget last year was reduced from 2019; we are anticipating an appreciable increase in our 2021 grant budget – maybe our largest grant budget yet – as result of our recent investment success and growth in assets this past year.
We have started the process of incorporating a Program Advisory Panel (PAP) into our Program area stewardship. Over time, we expect this PAP to help provide depth and added strategic thinking to our program work. Our initial members to this PAP are great grandsons of our Foundation’s founder, Del S. Harder, and both have followed our work and orientation for many years. We welcome them to this role and are excited that they will work more closely with our staff.