Introducing MCCF board member Ann Friend

Introducing MCCF board member Ann Friend

Our next featured board member is the lovely Ann Friend. Ann is truly an asset to the Miami County community and to the Foundation. She is such a generous, caring person. We enjoy having her at our small events, such as our ladies’ teas, where she is eager to talk with others about her passion for our community and the Community Foundation. Learn more about Ann here:

1. Where did you grow up, and where did you go to school? Also, tell us about your family.

Mexico, Indiana is where I grew up, the oldest of the 5 Rusie children. I graduated from North Miami High School in 1970 and was married with children when I went to IUK for an Associate of Nursing Degree, graduating in 1984. Much later, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree and then became a Certified Diabetes Educator. Over the years I worked at Logansport Memorial Hospital, Miami Correctional Facility and retired from the Veteran’s Administration. My husband is Bill Friend, State Representative for District #23 and will be officially retired in November. We are pork producers and live on the family farm, which was established by the Friends 149 years ago. We have 3 grown children and a grandson. Our son, Chris Herrell, lives on the family farm near Macy with his wife, Lori, and son, William. Our daughter, Mandy, lives in North Richland Hills, TX with her husband, Brian Galyean. And our youngest son, Daniel, lives in Itajuba, Brazil, South America with his wife, Debora.

2. What are your hobbies and interests?

Staying active is important to me, so I walk 3 miles most days. Recently, I’ve learned to enjoy taking care of my yard since I’m retired and now have more time to do that.
Cooking for friends & family is something I love to do. Being a nurse, wellness is an interest, so I try to keep up on natural remedies and treatments. When neighbors, friends, family or church members are ill or in need, I love to take them a good meal or transportation to the doctor, etc.

3. What is your job title and/or what organizations are you involved with in the community?

Registered Nurse, Certified Diabetes Educator was my job title to which I added “Retired” in 2015. When working, my employment was outside of Miami County for 26 of the 31 years that I worked. Now that I am retired, being involved with the community where I have always lived is a real joy. Bill & I are both active in our church at Mexico Baptist in various roles. I volunteer at JAM (Jesus And Me), an after school weekly program in the North Miami School District. Serving on the Miami County Community Foundation Service Board has led to several roles: Nominating Committee, Scholarship Committee, Grants Committee, 25th Anniversary Committee and Lilly Scholarship Committee. I also enjoy Boomerang Sisterhood, a charitable group of women in the community who grant funds to Miami County projects.

4. What do you like most about your community?

I like knowing my neighbors and feeling safe; having confidence that we look out for each other in times of need and to be there to celebrate the good times as well. I also like having my family nearby. We grew up with cousins and grandparents 2 to 4 hours away. It makes me feel grounded to have some of my children, grandson, siblings, etc., nearby.

5. How did you become involved with the Community Foundation?

We established a Memorial Fund for Bill’s parents, Gerald & Eva Friend; our daughter, Leanna; and Bill’s brother, Jim. So, we were in contact with Jay Albright to set that up. When Jay learned that I was going to retire, he asked if I would be interested in serving on the board. At first, I declined, thinking I would need to be a financial “pro” to do that. After assurance that I did not need to be a Wall Street academic, I’m happy that I said “yes”.

6. What do you like about the Community Foundation? What role do you think it plays in the community?

The Community Foundation is a body of caring citizens who are committed to Miami County’s brighter future, and I like being a part of that. I see it as a vehicle to help us grow in many different areas; education, arts & culture, science, youth development, recreation, support for those in need, community development. In general, the public is more aware of the Foundation and as a result, it has grown exponentially in recent years. The result is increased funds to help our community be a safe, attractive place to live, go to school and do business. We’re better together!