Allentown, Pa., September 24, 2021—The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation (LVCF) recently honored Bernard J. Story, who served as President and CEO from 2012 to 2021, with the prestigious Vision in Philanthropy Award during the Fall Board of Associates meeting.
Erika Riddle Petrozelli, LVCF President and CEO was joined by Sandra L. Bodnyk, Chair of the LVCF Board of Governors, and Award Sponsor David Osborn, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley to present the Vision in Philanthropy Award to Story.
While presenting the award, Riddle Petrozelli noted, “Bernie Story’s distinguished tenure as President and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation from 2012 to 2021 has been marked by his wisdom, insight, and leadership, during key times of growth, transition, and community need. Bernie, for all you’ve done in service to the Community Foundation to improve the lives of those in the Lehigh Valley, on behalf of the Staff and Board of Governors, I present to you—the Vision in Philanthropy Award.”
Story began his tenure as President and CEO with the Community Foundation in 2012. Under his leadership, the Foundation’s total assets grew by nearly 90 percent, from $33 million to over $60 million. In addition, the number of charitable funds held at the Foundation grew by over 60 percent, from 160 funds to over 260 funds. Most notable, the annual grants made by the Foundation grew from just over $1 million to nearly $7 million, making the Community Foundation one of the largest funders of nonprofit organizations in the Lehigh Valley.
Earlier, Cindy Lambert, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of Associates, welcomed the group of over 100 people to the program. Erika Riddle Petrozelli, LVCF President & CEO, provided an update on LVCF activities and announced a new fund at the foundation.
“It is clear that cultivating the next generation of leaders is near and dear to Bernie’s heart,” Erika said. “For that reason, we are very happy to announce that LVCF established the Bernard J. Story Fund for Professional Development to honor Bernie and his passion for improvement. Bernie believes that a professional and successful organization supports growth opportunities for its staff. The Board has approved a $10,000 transfer into the Bernard J. Story Fund for Professional Development to honor Bernie’s vision and his impact on our Foundation.”
The program “Stories of Philanthropy” was a celebration of growth, philanthropy, and a bright future for the foundation and our region. It highlighted the focus, relationships, and vision of Bernie Story. LVCF invited five speakers to share their stories of how they have worked or partnered with LVCF.
The speakers included Charlie Marcon, former LVCF Board member and current fundholder; Judy Harris & Dolores Laputka of Norris McLaughlin, trusted advisors to LVCF and many philanthropists in the Lehigh Valley; Anne Reid, current Vice Chair of the LVCF Board and current fundholder; Shelley Brown of Easton’s State Theatre, current nonprofit leader and former LVCF Board member; and Trisha Higgins, current LVCF Vice President & CFO.
Before the presentation of the Vision in Philanthropy Award, there was an appearance from “Kernac the Magnificent” Ellen Kern who roasted Bernie with a routine inspired the Johnny Carson character the Amazing Carnac.
At the conclusion of the “Kernac’ routine, Ellen presented Bernie with a proclamation from Pennsylvania Senator Pat Browne congratulating him for his successful tenure as President and CEO of the Community Foundation.