From a Keweenaw Community Foundation release:
After eight successful years of guiding the Keweenaw Community Foundation (KCF) into a thriving and vibrant future, Executive Director Barb Rose is ready to retire. Named to her post in 2006, Ms. Rose brought enthusiasm for the foundation’s mission, passion for the Keweenaw community and a vision for growth. Her exceptional tenure included the development of 37 endowments and other funds worth $2,685,000. She established KCF as the go-to organization for long-term philanthropy in Houghton and Keweenaw counties.
Established in 1994, the Keweenaw Community Foundation is one of more than 600 community foundations in the United States today. KCF’s mission is to promote philanthropy, develop and manage permanent endowments from a broad range of donors, and award charitable grants that enhance quality of life in the Keweenaw.
The foundation’s stated leadership role – serving as “a catalyst for change, an innovator to solve problems, a partner with other community organizations, and as a resource for solutions to emerging community needs” – also describes Ms. Rose. KCF Board Chair Brent Peterson appreciates her unique ability to bring people together. “Her greatest strength is her passion for the Keweenaw. This passion drives her dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to the KCF,” he said. “When she meets with people in our area, folks sense this and want to be involved, whether it’s through a financial gift, starting an endowment or volunteering.”
Among Ms. Rose’s many accomplishments was her work in developing Keweenaw Health Farm, a youth food initiative designed to improve the health of local children through a diet of fresh, locally grown foods in school lunches. The program was implemented at Adams Township Public Schools, serving several hundred children at South Range Elementary School and Jeffers High School.
Prior to KCF, Ms. Rose spent her professional career working as an educator and later as a consultant to major corporations including Ford and Bose. She also provided organizational guidance to key local institutions including Michigan Technological University and the Copper Country Intermediate School District.
Ms. Rose’s legacy will live on in the many connections she has forged and in KCF’s organizational stability. Former KCF Board Chair Jim Bogan notes, “She took the time to build relationships with the other organizations throughout the community,” he said. “Even more importantly, she kept the ship on course.”