New Hanover Community Endowment Board moving forward with new strategic plan, grant applications

New Hanover Community Endowment Board moving forward with new strategic plan, grant applications
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 7:45 PM EDT
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover Community Endowment Board is moving forward with two new members. Woody White and Pat Kusek, former New Hanover County Commissioners, were appointed to the Endowment Board by commissioners on Monday.

“We look forward to working with Woody and Pat as we continue our efforts to further improvements in health, economic development, safety, economic opportunity for all the citizens of New Hanover County, so we look forward to working with them,” New Hanover Community Endowment Board Chair Bill Cameron said.

Cameron said the board recently finalized their strategic plan with a focus on social and health equity, education, community safety and community development. He said the plan establishes a solid foundation for the Endowment and without this plan in place, it was difficult to write any big grants.

“We clearly expect to have significant grants and good grant opportunities in education, and housing, affordable housing, workforce housing, health, health improvement, health workforce, community safety, working with youth,” Cameron said. “I have heard that maybe we haven’t thought big. And I think that’s a misnomer, we were not in a position to responsibly make large grants a year ago, this year. And that’s not the case. We are very much in a position to responsibly make some really, really large grants. So, I think if there’s a feeling that we’re not thinking big, there, they don’t see the whole picture, because we are thinking big, and we are going to be big.”

Now, Cameron said they’re focused on going through applications for some multi-million dollar and multi-year grants.

“This is what we’ve worked for work towards but for three years going on three years, and finally beginning to see it come to fruition. And I think this is going to be the year and the time where we can begin to move the needle it will take a while to move the needle. But this grant cycle should put forth programs that will begin moving the needle,” Cameron said.

WECT has reached out to White and Kusek multiple times to see how they will contribute to the board’s efforts, but we have not heard back yet.

NHC Commissioner Dane Scalise sent WECT a comment on Wednesday about his decision to appoint White and Kusek to the NHCE Board.

“We appointed these past New Hanover County Commissioners because it is critical that the New Hanover Community Endowment is properly aligned with the NHC Commission and its strategic plan. We are eager for the Endowment to do the large-scale, transformational work that was promised to the people of New Hanover County. These appointees are uniquely qualified and ready to help the Endowment do just that.”