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BRAF Assets Rise; Board Members Elected

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation announced that three nonprofit leaders have won the 2016 John W. Barton Sr. Excellence in Nonprofit Management Award. At its annual meeting of members Wednesday evening, the Foundation also elected new directors and reported on its finances.

On the strength of its real estate portfolio, the Foundation’s assets climbed to $574 million at year-end 2015 from $550 million a year earlier. Contributions from fund donors to their charitable funds, which are managed by the Foundation, totaled $34 million; and donors and the Foundation together granted $26 million to nonprofits last year.

The Foundation’s members elected new directors and the board elected officers. Dr. B. Eugene Berry and Francis Jumonville Jr. are new board members. Rose J. Hudson, Mary Terrell Joseph and John Noland Jr. were picked to serve second terms. The board elected S. Dennis Blunt, chair; William E. Balhoff, vice chair; Annette D. Barton, secretary; Jumonville, treasurer; and Joseph, at large.

A highlight of the meeting was announcement of Barton Awards winners: David Aguillard, executive director of Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge; Teri James Casso, executive director of St. Elizabeth Foundation, and Janet Simmons, CEO of Hope Ministries. Each Barton winner received $10,000.

In its 15th year, the Barton award is a tribute to the late Mr. Barton, who led a group of civic leaders that formed the Foundation in 1964. Donors with charitable funds at the Foundation nominate nonprofit executives for the award, and former Foundation chairs choose up to three winners each year.

Meantime, Foundation CEO and President John G. Davies was named the first winner of the Marcia Kaplan Kantrow Baton Rouge Visionary Award, which was established independently by friends and family of the late Ms. Kantrow, who was the first director of programs for the Foundation.

Presenting him the award were Miriam Kantrow del Rio, Byron Kantrow and Josh Kantrow.  In Marcia Kantrow’s spirit of caring for others more than herself, each year’s winner receives $5,000 to grant to a nonprofit.