By RAY BALOGH
Priscilla Brown is the grateful recipient of blessings from a trio of prolific gift givers: her dad, her mom and Mother Earth.
She described her father, a cardiologist who served as a battalion surgeon during the World War II battle on Iwo Jima, as “probably my biggest role model.”
“He lived through the atrocities of war and all the trauma that comes with it, and he lost his first wife to cancer. He never gave up. He would say, ‘When you are going through hell, just keep going.’”
Her mother worked as a nurse and “from the start, taking care of others was always modeled for me, as was hard work.”
Brown said her parents were “practicing conservationists and loved being outside anytime they could, no matter the weather. We lived out in the country where we grew our own food, cut our own wood, etc.” She absorbed their fascination, love and respect for nature and “fell in love with lake life” during summer vacations at the family cabin in Michigan.
She said she also learned “the earth is the biggest gift giver and it’s our responsibility to take care of it,” a lesson which prepared her for her current job as development officer of Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, a position she entered Oct. 1, 2020.
Acquiring a strong work ethic was propitious for Brown, considering her plate “runneth over” with vital duties at WACF. According to her job description, she is responsible for:
- Spearheading the foundation’s annual fund campaign.
- Developing strategies to cultivate, strengthen and upgrade donor relationships.
- Assisting in soliciting major gifts and corporate sponsorships.
- Helping with donor and prospect site visits.
- Managing the foundation’s donor database, including issuing tax receipts and maintaining the online donation platform.
- Implementing and maintaining documentation of communication with donors.
Not that she’s complaining. In fact, she has nothing but praise for her colleagues and others interfacing with the conservancy foundation. “I am incredibly inspired by the foresight, diligence, hard work and collective efforts of the founders, donors, volunteers and staff of WACF,” she said. “This community is so fortunate to have this work going on right in our backyard, and we can be proud of our neighbors for all they are doing to keep our lakes safe, clean and pristine, not only now but for generations to come.”
Brown studied education and communication at Cedarville University in Ohio and “married into the military,” where she “learned there is always a bigger mission than myself — taking care of soldiers and taking care of their families, especially their children.”
She counts herself “so fortunate to live in many places, experience different cultures, meet many wonderful people and be surrounded by such inspiring selfless servants.”
Born and raised in Yorktown, a smallish community 5 miles west of Muncie, Brown taught speech and English, working with international students at Purdue University, then moved to Kosciusko County to serve as director of marketing and development at Camp Crosley in North Webster, a position she held until the COVID pandemic shut down operations last year.
She is currently working on her master’s in philanthropic studies from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.Brown, who is raising twin teenage daughters, both of whom attend Wawasee High School, stays busy on and off the clock. She said she is motivated by “my amazing girls. I don’t know two more resilient, honest, hard-working young people. We keep each other moving forward, and forward is the only direction I know how to lead.”
Brown may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.