WCF History

Connecting People Who Care With Causes That Matter Since 1999

1999FOUNDING—February 1—The Greater Williamsburg Community Trust was formed.  Founding Trustees:  Bobbye B. Alexander, James Baker, Robert Cornelius (Vice President), Mary Lee Darling, Vernon “Bud” Geddy, Jr., John Jamison (Secretary/Treasurer), James Kelly, Trist McConnell (President), Joseph Montgomery and Roger Thaler.

The Trust announced its launch with a million-dollar challenge from Jim Ukrop of Ukrop’s Super Markets.

Proceeds from the 300th Anniversary Gala of the City of Williamsburg, an event chaired by Mary Humelsine, and a fundraising dinner presented by John Curtis at The Trellis, are used to create the Community Endowment, the Foundation’s permanent grantmaking fund in December 1999.

2002—FIRST GRANTS  First five grants totaling $5,000 are awarded by the Distribution Committee

2004FIRST STAFF  Nancy Sullivan and Marge Gonyea hired as first staff.  The Trust moved into donated office space behind the Food Lion.  5th Anniversary Gala raised $31,000 for the Community Endowment.  Dan & Ingrid Jones became founding members of the Legacy Society when they pledged a gift in their estate plan to the Trust.

2005—FIRST AWARD CEREMONY  WCF held its first grant award ceremony in August.  $7,350 was presented to eight organizations at the event.  At that point, over $1 million in grants had been awarded over six years.

2006THE CHALLENGE  $300,000 challenge from former chair, John Jamison, the “Chairman’s Challenge,” kicked off a campaign to raise funds for the Community Endowment.

2007—A NEW NAME  The “Trust” became the Williamsburg Community Foundation to better align with the community foundation field.

2008—FIRST BEQUEST  The first bequest, from the estate of Benjamin Altshuler for $1.2 million, made a major impact on transportation and amateur sports.  We all learned about singlets.  Van Ruckman joined as WCF’s volunteer Webmaster and is still with us today.

2009—100 FUNDS  Surpassed 100 named funds established.  10th Anniversary Gala raised $95,000 for WCF and set the bar high with a professional dance duo. Williamsburg-James City County Community Scholarship Fund merged with the Foundation and the Scholarship Endowment Fund was created.

2011—A NEW HOME  WCF moves into the little green house on Scottland Street.  The parking was great, the roaches were friendly.

2012—PERRY SCHOLARSHIPS  Donald Perry Foundation ($500,000 private foundation) was transferred to WCF to establish a statewide scholarship fund.

2013—FIRST SCHOLARSHIP AWARD CEREMONY  WCF presented $51,500 at its first Scholarship Award Ceremony at Bruton Heights.  $81,262 was awarded at the Spring & Fall grant luncheons.

2014WCF 15TH ANNIVERSARY.  Received a donation of three office condos from Bobby and Hope Beck.  This gift provided a home and a source of income for WCF over the last ten years.  15th Anniversary Gala provided over $90,000 for the Community Endowment.

2015—VISION 2020 WCF campaign began with the creation of the Arts & Culture, Children & Young Adults, Environment & Conservation, Health & Community Wellness, and Senior Services Endowment Funds to support its grantmaking work.

2019—20TH ANNIVERSARY. Jenny Wible (2018), Bihin Perisie & Gwendolyn Sawyer estate gifts have a major impact on the growth of WCF assets.  Five Year Strategic Plan included a goal of representing all members of the community by engaging diverse individuals and groups in the work of the Foundation.

2020—PIVOT  The Covid Pandemic leads to the creation of the Community Emergency Response Fund and the Greater Williamsburg Small Business Relief Fund.  Over $800,000 in grants to support local residents were distributed from March 2020 to March 2022.  The Diversity Workgroup developed a diversity plan for WCF while meeting on Zoom.

2021—RECOVERY & CHANGE  WCF Ambassador Program created to bring current and past Board and Committee Members together for educational and social purposes.  Grant programs restructured to better serve our community.

2022—IMPLEMENTATION  Established a position of Program Officer to implement changes and Ginny Gasink moved into that role.

2023—TODAY  WCF staff and board are learning about Local Impact Investing.  Diversity efforts have resulted in a shift in more grants to minority led nonprofits. Scholarships are being provided to a more diverse and larger group of students.  New Capacity Building grant opportunity added to help smaller nonprofits. 

WCF Trustees and Past Trustees

  • Bobbye B. Alexander
  • Jim Allburn
  • Betsy Anderson
  • James E. Baker
  • Linda T. Baker
  • Carol S. Beers
  • Jan M. Brown
  • Joseph Burkart
  • David E. Bush
  • Dian T. Calderone
  • Thomas A. Cardwell
  • Linda R. Caviness
  • Lori Conen
  • Anthony Conyers III
  • Robert Cornelius
  • John Curtis Jr.*
  • Mary Lee Darling
  • Paul Dresser
  • Margaret Driscoll
  • Rex M. Ellis
  • Geoffrey Feiss
  • John Fogarty
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Corinne Garland
  • Laura Geddy
  • Vernon “Bud” Geddy Jr.
  • Vernon Geddy III*
  • Paul Gerhardt*
  • W. Fanchon Glover
  • Ellin Gordon
  • Merry Guernsey
  • Jack Haldeman
  • Joseph Harrow
  • Peter Henderson
  • Susanna Hickman
  • Kathy Hornsby
  • Mary Humelsine
  • Karen Jamison*
  • John C. Jamison*
  • Kathy Kammer
  • James S. Kelly
  • Kendall Kerby*
  • Robert E. Kiley
  • Stephanie H. King
  • Alison Lennarz
  • Ronald E. Lodzieski*
  • Albert Louer
  • Lisa McDonald Lucas
  • Michael Maddocks*
  • Aashish Matani
  • Nancy Mathews
  • Trist B. McConnell*
  • Eric McDonald
  • Kerry C. Mellette
  • Mark Monroe
  • Joseph W. Montgomery
  • Melinda Morgan
  • Bill Morrison
  • Paul Muse
  • Randy W. Myers
  • Frederick “Rick” Nahm
  • Sterling M. Nichols
  • Michele M. Orabona
  • Richard D. T. Overy
  • Joe Poole III
  • Iris Porush
  • Samuel Powell
  • Margaret Beck Pritchard*
  • Henry K. Ranger
  • Robert Rathert
  • William L. Roberts Jr.
  • Elizabeth Schmidt
  • Roger E. Schultz
  • Dean Sculthorpe
  • Marc B. Sharp
  • Wilma R. Sharp
  • Kathleen F. Slevin*
  • Frank J. Smith
  • Howard Smith Sr.
  • Carter Sonders
  • Scott Stabler
  • Craig Stambaugh
  • Timothy Sullivan
  • Russell Tabb
  • Anthony “Tony” Taylor
  • Jane Taylor
  • Roger F. Thaler
  • Robert C. Topping
  • Barbara E. Watson
  • Peter Wendell
  • Millie B. West
  • Christine Williamson
  • Dixie Wolf
  • Kenneth M. Wolfe
  • Alfred L. Woods
  • Benming “Benny” Zhang
Roger Thaler, past Trustee and Trist McConnell, founding President
John Jamison, past Chair
John Curtis Jr., past Trustee and Trustee Benny Zhang
Millie West, past Trustee and Vernon Geddy III, past Chair
Mike Maddocks, past Chair, Nancy Sullivan, President & CEO, and Karen Jamison, past Chair
Margaret Pritchard, past Chair and Mary Humelsine and Kerry Mellette, past Trustees
Craig Stambaugh, past Trustee and Paul Gerhardt, past Chair
Ron Lodzieski, past Chair and Trustees Lori Conen and Tom Cardwell
Kendall Kerby, past Chair, Kent Harrell, Joe Steele, Jane Taylor, past Vice Chair and Bob Taylor
Kathleen Slevin, Chair, Hank Wolf and Dixie Wolf, past Trustee

Past & Current Honorary Trustees

  • Colin Campbell
  • Cliff Fleet
  • Frederick “Rick” Nahm
  • Timothy Sullivan
  • Taylor Reveley
  • Katherine Rowe

*Board Chair