Nexstar is in the early stages of establishing an industry scholarship program, just one part of its new charitable organization designed to help members and nonmembers alike.
The first scholarships are expected to be handed out in spring of 2007, said Bob Mallory, the group's communications manager. The scholarship program will be geared to not only high school graduates heading into the construction trades, but also employees of plumbing shops “looking to broaden their horizons,” Mallory added.
As of press time, Mallory didn't have any further specifics on the program, such as dollar amounts and the number of scholarships to be awarded annually. Nexstar, however, named five industry leaders to the scholarship committee to sort out the details:
- Jim Olsztynski, editorial director of Plumbing & Mechanical.
- Ellen Rohr, PM columnist and owner of Bares Bones Biz.
- Tom Kelly, Drucks Plumbing & Heating.
- Brad Martin, Scottco.
- Frank Blau, one of Nexstar's founders, who will act as committee chairperson.
The scholarship program is the first action taken by the Nexstar Legacy Foundation, a new charitable organization. John Ward, Applewood Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, led the effort to establish the foundation; he serves as president. He also enlisted a few other prominent members to serve on the foundation's board of trustees, including Keith Broyles, Broyles Plumbing, Heating and Cooling (vice president); Martin (treasurer); and Blau, who was named as the foundation's honorary chairperson. Sandy Swartzberg, of law firm DeWitt Ross & Stevens, serves as secretary. Each trustee will serve a three-year term.
Other foundation founders are Greg Niemi, Marla Coffin and Tony Flaminio, all staff members of Nexstar.
The foundation's stated mission is to: “Give back through an industry that has been so good to us.”
Besides the scholarships, the foundation may also offer financial assistance to individuals, pitching in to help Habitat for Humanity, rebuilding infrastructure after a natural disaster, and organizing industry-related work in the third world. Details of these other possible activities still need to be worked out, but Mallory says that the foundation plans to give out at least 6 percent of its funds annually.
The foundation's board of trustees held its first meeting last February, and currently has $120,000 in funds. The goal is to have $250,000 by July 2007.
To make a donation, contact Flaminio at 651/426-2000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.