It was with much sadness that we learned our board member Joseph Ignat of Nord Family Foundation passed away on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. We dedicate this annual meeting to Joe and his devotion to philanthropy and the Colorado Association of Funders.
Joe co-chaired our public policy committee for multiple years and leaves big shoes to fill. His guidance and leadership – and keen sense of humor – proved pivotal in helping us make strides in the advocacy arena and he was adamant we begin taking public positions that made sense for the field even if he didn’t personally agree with them.
Joe served as Board President and Treasurer of his family’s foundation before passing the torch to other members of the extended Nord family. Nord has invested heavily in many Colorado nonprofit organizations over the years and Joe and his wife Pam have also been personally involved in supporting many local causes.
Joe is one of only a few family foundation trustees to have served on CAF’s board. He was nominated by John Mullaney, Executive Director of Nord, which is based in Ohio but invests in the communities where members of the extended Nord family live. Joe had to be out of town when he was first elected as a director at our annual meeting several years back. We sent him the following email: “Good news! You’re a CAF board member starting in January. The election yesterday was quite civilized and unanimous with no attack ads or alternative candidates.” He responded: “Just goes to show you that you can’t trust elections to select good people.”
Joe was a champion for the sector and for the importance of CAF’s ability to take stands on important issues rather than remaining silently neutral. CAF’s policy committee and board has engaged in many healthy debates about policy issues and has since taken many thoughtful public positions. Joe actively took part in many of our sojourns to Washington for our trip to Foundations on the Hill. (He is pictured on the cover of this program holding the chair’s gavel in the House Rules Committee hearing room on our 2014 trip.)
Many thanks to all who joined us at our annual meeting to honor Joe’s memory, to look to the future, and to connect with colleagues in Colorado philanthropy.