Foundation Changes

Ball Brothers Foundation lists changes

New leadership, a realignment of responsibilities and the unveiling of a streamlined Web site are among recent changes announced at Ball Brothers Foundation (BBF). Effective July 1, Jud Fisher assumed duties as executive director and chief operating officer of the foundation, and Neil Schmottlach was named as a program director. The upgraded Web site went “live” on July 16 after several months in development.

“It’s a work in progress,” noted Fisher about the foundation’s revamped online presence. “We’ll continue to fine tune it, but we were anxious to post our new grant guidelines because preliminary proposals are due in August and regular proposals have a September deadline. Prospective grantees now can download all the necessary forms from the Web site.” Fisher also noted that preliminary proposals are regularly due in July, but the new guidelines were only recently made available.

In his new assignment Fisher will manage daily activities of the 81-year-old family foundation. Fisher attained his undergraduate degree from DePauw University and received his Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies from The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. He replaces Douglas A. Bakken, who retired after 24 years at the regional philanthropic organization. Bakken will maintain a scaled-back presence, serving as a consultant and monitoring selected grant initiatives. “Doug’s experience adds depth and dimension to our efforts,” said Fisher, who worked closely with Bakken as associate executive director for four years. “We’re grateful for his willingness to assist us with the projects he knows so well.”

Schmottlach, a veteran of foundation service, will oversee several grants programs. He previously managed BBF’s wellness initiatives. Prior to joining the foundation, Schmottlach had more than 35 years of experience in wellness, physical education and teacher education at Ball State University. He was the first John and Janice Fisher Distinguished Professor of Wellness and Gerontology at BSU and directed the university’s Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology for 14 years.

Donna Munchel, executive assistant, has assisted BBF’s recent addition of new grant tracking software as well as other information technology. “Donna has been the lead staff member involved in implementation of our software improvements as well as coordinating our video conferencing system,” Fisher said. “Our staff remains relatively small, but we are making adjustments to continue our highly effective grantmaking capabilities.”

Fisher sees the changes at the Foundation as the natural progression of a mature organization. “Our goals remain firmly rooted in our mission. Ball Brothers Foundation has been successful at local and regional philanthropy based upon adhering to boundaries, discipline and persistence in tackling specific community issues,” he said. “Our family-based philanthropic aims will continue to support society in several beneficial ways, including trying new ideas as well as supporting established organizations. We know we’re just one part of the puzzle, so we are dedicated to being the most efficient and effective part we can be.”