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Spisak to Join Ball Brothers Foundation Staff

1/24/2008

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Spisak to Join Ball Brothers Foundation Staff

MUNCIE--Rich Spisak, senior development officer at Ball State University and a long-time Muncie resident, will join the staff at Ball Brothers Foundation effective Feb. 11. Spisak's appointment culminates a statewide search, according to Jud Fisher, executive director and chief operating officer of the 82-year-old private foundation. "Rich emerged from a pool of highly qualified candidates," said Fisher. "We were impressed with his diverse leadership experiences and his knowledge of the community."

In his new position as a program officer, Spisak will oversee foundation-supported projects related to education and the environment. Fisher explained that because the BBF staff is small, Spisak also will be involved in several general foundation activities. These include researching program areas, reviewing grant requests, conducting site visits, tracking project results and interacting with the public.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Spisak is a graduate of Miami University at Oxford, Ohio, and earned a master's degree in education from the University of Colorado. He served on the football coaching staffs at his two alma maters as well as at New Mexico State University and Ball State University. In 2003 he moved from BSU's athletics department to its development office where he was part of a staff that raised a record-breaking $1.3 million for The Ball State Fund. Rich was also instrumental in helping BSU raise funds for the new Scheumann Stadium, the BSU Indianapolis Center, and the corporate fundraising program, which he started. He believes the skills gained on the local campus will help him as he assumes his new responsibilities.

"I hope to hit the ground running," Spisak said. "My years as a development officer at Ball State enabled me to make contacts in the corporate world and learn how businesses operate." He also sees his coaching background as an asset in his transition to the philanthropic world. "One of my jobs as a football recruiter was to evaluate young men and decide which ones should receive college scholarships. Not only did I evaluate their athletic abilities but also their character and academic qualifications. I see some similarity in my role as a program officer at Ball Brothers Foundation. I will be evaluating nonprofit organizations and making decisions as to which ones fit the criteria that we're looking for."

The addition of Spisak to the foundation's staff is part of an ongoing effort to streamline BBF operations and realign responsibilities. "Our goals remain rooted in our mission," said Fisher. "By carefully expanding our staff we can continue to explore new ideas as well as support established organizations and initiatives."

Ball Brothers Foundation was founded in 1926 to promote and carry out philanthropic efforts in the state of Indiana. Dedicated to improving the quality of life with its grants and leadership, the Foundation concentrates on East Central Indiana, with particular focus on Delaware County. The Foundation offices are located in downtown Muncie, Indiana.