At their December 2013 meeting, The Summit Foundation trustees elected Jeff Leigh, Susan Propper and Mark Spiers to the board.
Board members serve two-year terms, though there is no limit to the number of terms a member can serve. Members have a number of duties and responsibilities, including attending each of the board’s nine annual meetings.
“The responsibility of the board and the trustees is to provide the leadership and policy direction for running The Summit Foundation organization,” said Lee Zimmerman, the foundation’s executive director. “They have staff that implements those policies in that direction, but it’s the responsibility of the board to oversee the operations of the organization.”
Board members serve on various committees. One committee, which Zimmerman estimated is the organization’s largest, reviews and makes recommendations to the board about the grants and scholarships that the foundation awards throughout the community.
The board also assists in directing fundraising plans, and members receive monthly finance reports, Zimmerman said. Last, board members also act as representatives of the foundation.
“We really look at them as being ambassadors in the community, as the leaders of the foundation and the ones who set the direction,” Zimmerman said. “It’s incumbent on them to be able to tell members of the community what’s happening with the foundation and answer questions so we’re transparent and so people know what’s going on.”
The new members
Each of the new members has been previously involved in philanthropic endeavors, including many in Summit County.
Jeff Leigh has lived in Summit since 1981, and currently resides north of Silverthorne with his wife, Sherri. Leigh is a general contractor and serves on numerous planning commissions and homeowners’ boards, including the County Open Space & Trails Advisory Council. Leigh has also spent time as a counselor for a youth cancer program.
Susan Propper is a retired attorney who practiced in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Don Dankner, have been part-time residents of Breckenridge for 24 years and have lived there full time for the last four years.
“Since becoming a full-time resident in Summit County about four years ago, my husband and I have gotten involved in a number of local organizations, including FIRC, the Community Care Clinic and CMC,” Propper said. “We are also longtime contributors to The Summit Foundation. Joining the board was a way for me to give back to our community in a more broad-based way and I am very excited to have this opportunity.”
Mark Spiers, a retired pharmaceutical executive, has been living full time in Breckenridge for the last four years. Spiers has served on several national boards and locally volunteers for Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center and Wounded Warriors.
With Spiers, Leigh and Propper, the board consists of 33 members.
“We’re thrilled to have new members,” Zimmerman said. “We do have turnover and I think that’s a good thing; having new people come in is good for the organization.”
He added that the foundation will look to increase the funds it offers to community organizations.
“We continually have a goal of distributing more funds to different organizations in the community than we have the year before,” he said. “So that’s still a consistent goal of ours, is to be able to grant more funds to organizations and to do more scholarships in the community.”