Sherri Stephens led the Community Foundation's Board of Trustees during a critical time in its history-the 2008 recession. A financial advisor who has earned national accolades, Sherri was the right leader during this tumultuous time. Her skills, experience and calm perspective helped the board of trustees navigate the recession's impact on the Community Foundation's endowment.
When she handed over the gavel in 2011, the Sherri E. Stephens Fund was initiated by the Board of Trustees in recognition of her outstanding dedication, service and leadership.
Born and raised in Davison, Sherri still lives there today and has a passion for her hometown. Her parents moved to Davison when her father accepted a teaching position in the Davison schools. To earn extra money, Sherri recalls her father taking on extra duties at the school-he taught driver's training, worked as a coach and even drove a school bus. Her mother also worked in the schools as a paraprofessional.
"It was the type of safe place where you could raise your family, and knew all your neighbors," Sherri recalls. "Kids played outdoors for hours and went to church and school together. School activities, including sports, were a major part of our life."
She married her high school sweetheart and raised two boys in the Davison Schools who were active in sports. Just like today, the close-knit community is supportive of its youth, sporting events, concerts and plays, Sherri says.
"Because of my generational connection to the schools, I was privy to the needs that some of the families had," said Sherri. "We would do things behind the scenes when we knew of a special situation. But now, life for many families and their children is a struggle. The Fund will help Davison students participate in activities that I, my siblings, and my own children took for granted."
Grants from the Fund will be advised by members of the Davison Community Fund Advisory Committee.
"I believe in endowment because in my business as a financial advisor I have seen how generations can benefit from the vision and stewardship of funds built to last," Sherri says. "Done well, it can be very impactful. My experience with the Community Foundation reassures me that well after I am gone, this Fund can carry on!"