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Foundation’s programs go virtual, but stay effective

By Christopher Kelly

Schoolcraft College Foundation strives to provide opportunities to support the communities we serve. As a part of these efforts, our organization hosts programs that feature national and local experts discussing relevant topics and issues.

Our series of programs this year focused on financial, tax and charitable planning.  Given the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, our planning needed to be shifted.  We recognized the importance of these programs to our community and quickly made the decision to convert each one to a virtual presentation.

Despite the chaos of 2020, the year has also been filled with engaging and interesting events. The first program on the new virtual platform gathered approximately 200+ registrations for a presentation by Dr. Chauncy Lennon, vice president for the future of learning and work with the nationally-renowned Lumina Foundation. The discussion centered on how best to position community colleges to bridge the widening gap between exemplary jobs in the professional trades with an equally prepared workforce.

The following months explored other timely topics including: “Estate Planning isn’t what you think it is,” focusing on basic strategy and estate planning instruments.  “The Generation Squeeze,” which explored potential concerns that the “the middle generation” faces in providing for their children, protecting aging parents, while addressing their own financial needs and ultimate retirement planning.

Other programs the Foundation virtually offered discussed “The Effects of Presidential Elections on Investing”, and “Tax Planning Tips for 2021 and Beyond”.

Looking ahead, our December virtual convening will welcome three local and well-respected members of the financial planning community: Jill Garvey, senior vice president and senior wealth strategist with Huntington Bank, Phil Serra, managing director with Merrill Lynch, and CEO and chief investment officer of Great Lakes Wealth, Dewey Steffen. Joining the financial advisors is our own Dr. Cedric Howie, professor of economics at Schoolcraft College. Kurt Nagl from Crain’s Detroit Business will serve as moderator.

Heading into 2021, planning for a new series of programs on topics of interest have already begun. If anyone has a topic of interest that you would like to see included on the Foundation’s 2021 schedule, please contact Christopher Kelly, director of major and planned giving, at ckelly@schoolcraft.edu or (734) 462-4518.