Starke County Community Foundation Jacque Ryan Q&A

Starke County Community Foundation Jacque Ryan Q&A

Question: How long have you worked at NICF?

A: I started as the Starke County Community Foundation’s Director of Development in April of 2021. However, before becoming an employee of the Foundation, I frequently covered projects supported through SCCF as a local reporter and also worked closely with the previous director Jessica Martinovic and NICF Associate Director Corinne Becknell Lucas on regional development efforts in Starke County. Prior to that, the Community Foundation made a difference in my life as a young student who participated in Prairie Fire Theater plays, which were put on thanks to funding from SCCF. Those plays helped me gain confidence and the experiences played a role in shaping me into who I am today. It’s great to now be a part of the organization that helped provide me with those opportunities years ago. 


Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: The best part of my job is being in a position where I get to coordinate with people from all walks of life to help them accomplish their goals. I get to work with donors who establish funds that benefit the organizations and causes they care about and with grantees who receive funding from the Foundation to carry out programs and projects that benefit our community. It’s incredibly fulfilling to see the direct impact that the Starke County Community Foundation continues to make on the community that I grew up in. I also get work with so many great colleagues and community partners who are fun to work with and inspirational in their own ways.


Q: What is something you want people to know about the foundation?

A: Something truly inspiring about the Starke County Community Foundation is that we have this mechanism for providing community support that’s solely funded through the generosity of donors who care about Starke County. I think it’s important for people to know that philanthropy isn’t something that’s reserved for the wealthy. Every dollar goes a long way toward making a difference, so no contribution is too small. That sentiment stretches beyond monetary contributions as well. It’s vital to have dedicated community members promoting SCCF funds that benefit causes they care about, serving on our boards and committees, and spreading the word about the grants we offer to charitable organizations and scholarships we provide for preschoolers and students seeking post-secondary education, training, and certifications. 


Q: What do you do for fun?

A: I enjoy spending time outdoors; biking, boating, wandering through the woods, essentially anything that gives me the chance to admire nature. I also like playing different kinds of board and card games with friends and family. My family is a fun bunch of folks, so I enjoy whatever time we get to spend together.  I find a lot of joy in writing and like to dabble in poetry and short story-writing. I also love catching live music whenever I can and appreciating art and creativity in its various forms. Additionally, I think it’s fun that I’m able to be involved with various community groups that exist through SCCF including The Hive and the Constellation of Starke Creatives Network. Anyone wanting to learn more about those groups can reach me at 574-772-3665 or