In honor of her servant leadership to Ottawa and the surrounding area over the past 20 years, our Founder, Pamela Beckett was awarded the 2022 Chairman Award!
DeWayne Cronkright, Chairman of the Board of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, presented the 2022 Chairman's Award to Pamela during the Chamber's Annual Dinner on May 19. Also pictured is Jeff Hettrick, the Executive Director of the Ottawa Chamber.
Pamela’s career in Philanthropy spans the past 26 years, following an 18-year career with Metropolitan Life in the Naperville-Aurora office. In 1994, she joined the Easter Seals organization in Peoria and then accepted the position of President/CEO of Easter Seals of LaSalle and Bureau Counties in Ottawa in 2003. Under her guidance, the organization returned to a profitable position, expanded services to Seneca, Peru, and Princeton, and created the first regional Autism Resource Center and a mobile Autism Resource Center. In 2009, Pamela accepted the position of Regional Foundation Director with Lutheran Life Communities, the parent organization to Pleasant View Retirement Community in Ottawa and the Luther Oaks community in Bloomington, to create a Foundation presence at each campus. She retired in June 2015, and in October of the same year, along with her husband, Chuck, founded the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation, one of 850 community foundations in the United States. Now only six years old, the SRCCF has accepted over $3.7M in charitable gifts from generous donors who are committed to the Starved Rock region. More than 76 individual funds, endowments and scholarships have been created, and nearly $1.7M has been returned to the community in grants to local non-profits, disaster funds and scholarships.
Surprised and humbled by the award, Pamela thanked the staff, Board of Directors. volunteers and the hundreds of donors for their faith in the mission of the SRCCF; their encouragement; and, of course, their friendship. She is also grateful to the non-profit community for the excellent work they do to deliver service worthy of community support. As she frequently says, "The opportunities to enhance the quality of life for our community are truly endless."