She has a reputation as someone who “connects the dots” to make Marion a better place.
“Community is just what I know,” noted Julie Prettyman. “My family and those I grew up with didn’t think of it as ‘helping people,’ it was just what you did. If a problem needed solved, those around me found a way. This example of helping, pitching in, working together was instilled in me.”
Today, Prettyman is vice president and director of programs at the Marion Community Foundation. “I’m motivated to do my work because of the direct connection to people serving others,” she said. “I have the blessing of working with people throughout the community who focus on our good.”
“I never want to miss an opportunity to talk with someone, learn more, pitch in, give or simply help,” Prettyman emphasized.
Prettyman grew up on a farm between Green Camp and Prospect. She graduated from Elgin High School, then Ohio State (where she studied business marketing).
“I’ve never been one with an exact life plan,” she said, “or a specific dream of what I thought I would end up doing. Maybe because I’m curious about so many things. I love to learn — from people, activities, books. I always have a question and want to try things.”
Her career path started with non-profits and for-profit businesses alike. Then, in 2014, a new position was created at Marion Community Foundation to manage the grants and scholarship programs
“The foundation was growing,” Prettyman recalled, “and the staff just needed more hands-on-deck. It was exciting to join them because it seemed like we could build on existing programs.”
“That newness, opportunity and growth hasn’t slowed down in the eight years I’ve been with the foundation,” she noted. “I treasure the interactions with the people managing local nonprofits and conversations with school guidance counselors who are helping students figure out next steps.”
Though known to be highly effective behind the scenes, Prettyman’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. “Julie is critically instrumental in managing our complex grants program, scholarship program and Youth Engaged in Philanthropy program,” said Dean Jacob, president and CEO of Marion Community Foundation. “She does so much work behind the scenes to help various organizations in town collaborate and communicate on such things as childcare, transportation and mentoring. She’s a true asset to Marion Community Foundation and to the community.”
“Julie’s organizational skills and her efficiency have been critical to the significant growth of Marion Community Foundation,” agreed Larry Geissler, Marion Community Foundation former board member and scholarship committee member. “Her empathy and her innate sense of fairness have enhanced the powerful impact of the scholarship program for hundreds of area students and the grants program for countless area non-profits.”
“Each of us chooses our attitude and outlook,” responded Prettyman. “Mine is deep-rooted — I can be part of what makes our community even better.”“I’ll keep looking forward,” she concluded, “and taking things one day at a time.”
Learn more about Julie: https://marioncommunityfoundation.org/about/staff/ and https://www.marionmade.org/2022/05/julie-prettyman/