The Board of Directors are the current embodiment of RB Price Jr’s goal to give back to the Community of Columbia and Boone County. There are four Directors, one representing the Central Bank of Boone County, formerly Boone County National Bank and RB’s beloved institution, one representing the Price family, and two from the community. These four unique individual bring diverse backgrounds, life experience and a love of our community to the Board.
The Board Members take no salary and all of the income from the Trust’s investments is paid out annually. The greatest perk received is a wonderful lunch twice a year to review the requests for funding and the intense satisfaction of giving money to worthy organizations. As Trustee, Central Bank of Boone County administers the Trust’s assets and provides the Administrative services for the semi-annual review meetings.
Lynda Baumgartner, Former Administrator, Stephens College
Dave Knight, Attorney at Law
Robbie Price, Architect
Vick Russell, Former Publisher, Tribune
Jan Witherwax, Trust Administrator, Central Bank of Boone County
A thought from current Board Member, Vicki Russell, sums up the spirit and duty of the Board.
RB Price certainly demonstrated his love for Boone County by creating the Trust. I think the way he structured it says something more profound . . .
Mr. Price put one requirement on the use of the proceeds . . . which is to benefit Boone County residents. He didn’t add other boundaries. He didn’t say, “Only use proceeds to support the arts, or you may only fund medical services for the needy.” By leaving the decision-making up to future Boone Countians, he demonstrated complete optimism and faith in his successors – people he would never know.
That faith gives the trust board members luxurious latitude in making decisions but it also carries a heavy responsibility. Each of us realizes what an extraordinary gift the trust is to the community and we are committed to using the funds in ways we hope would make Mr. Price proud if he were sitting at the table, deliberating with us.
We take our duties seriously. Fortunately, our collective community knowledge helps considerably in that we are familiar with most of the not-for-profits in the community and what they do. When we get a request from a new organization or when we don’t really understand a request, we delegate board members to do research to help guide our decision-making.
To maximize the effect of our resources, we – at times – ask agencies to use Trust gifts like challenge grants to leverage donations from other sources. One of the beautiful benefits of having so much freedom in awarding gifts is that the Trust is among the few organizations in the community that can respond to emergency needs or to provide funding outside the purview of other traditional sources, such as United Way or the Missouri Arts Council.
None of us is a rubber-stamp for anyone else’s agenda. It’s not uncommon for our deliberations to be pretty energetic. Dave Knight, I think, especially likes the meetings in which we disagree and have to persuade one another to reach consensus. Maybe that’s the lawyer in him? All this, of course, is done with good humor but more important, with a strong sense of obligation to respect the incredible community asset Mr. Price created for the good of us all.