Ball Brothers Foundation Adds New Program Officer

Wachtmann joins Ball Brothers Foundation staff

MUNCIE—Jenna L. Wachtmann, a recent development officer with Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center in Indianapolis and an intern with the Office of Innovation, U.S. Department of State, joined the program staff at Ball Brothers Foundation effective March 3. In her new position Wachtmann will work alongside BBF President and Chief Operating Officer Jud Fisher and program officers Neil Schmottlach and Rich Spisak in overseeing the foundation’s philanthropic activities. Earlier this year Schmottlach, a member of the BBF staff since 2000, announced plans to retire at the end of 2014.

“Jenna brings an outstanding blend of professional experience and academic credentials to our team,” said Fisher. “She knows the nonprofit world through assignments as a development officer for an urban neighborhood center, grants writer for a youth-serving organization and coordinator of a St. Louis, Missouri anti-hunger program. We’re especially pleased that she’s coming onboard before Neil leaves us in December. She’ll benefit—as we all have—from his expertise on health and wellness issues.”

Wachtmann is an honors graduate of Abilene Christian University in Texas and is completing an Executive Master of Arts degree in philanthropic studies at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She also holds a certificate in nonprofit management from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI and attended the International Politics Summer School at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. At the U.S. Department of State she was part of a team, working virtually, that created a program for use by embassy employees throughout the world. She credits her post-graduate study with supplementing her field experience and preparing her for her BBF appointment.

“The coursework at the IU Lilly School of Philanthropy has given me a strong appreciation for the important role that nonprofit organizations—including private foundations—play in communities,” said Wachtmann. “One of the things that attracted me to Ball Brothers Foundation is the Ball family’s compelling, long-term commitment to Muncie and East Central Indiana. The foundation is doing important work not only as a grant-making institution but also as a convening partner that encourages collaboration and serves as a ‘spark’ to leverage resources. My husband and I are looking forward to relocating to the area, settling into a neighborhood and becoming actively engaged in the community. We couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to call Muncie and Delaware County ‘home.'”

The decision to recruit a new program officer several months before Schmottlach retires from BBF was a strategic one, according to Fisher. “Neil’s more than 35 years on the Ball State faculty, his 14 years on our program staff and his in-depth knowledge of the East Central Indiana community qualify him as a valuable resource to all of us. We anticipate a seamless transition as Jenna becomes familiar with our programs and we benefit from her fresh approach to philanthropic work.”