Prologue: In 2016, we announced our decision to invest a small percentage of our assets (2% of total assets, or around $2.6 million) in projects we call impact investments, which benefit our community directly. These are investments made in local for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations, and projects to generate measurable social and/or environmental impact alongside a financial return. Through impact investing, we can deploy capital locally instead of making investments in more typical capital markets, where the dollars flow all over the world. When communities need more resources, many community foundations are seeking ways to have their endowment fund investments put to work to accomplish their mission and financial target goals. The benefits of impact investing in the Midland community include promoting infrastructure/business growth and attracting entrepreneurs into our County. Impact investing is one tool to help create a vibrant community. Examples of impact investing are our partnerships with the Fairfield Inn & Suites Downtown & Michele’s Montessori – which recently opened at the former Delta College site on Wheeler Rd.
Kristin Hosfeld & Lyle Davis – In Their Own Words, documented by Phil Eich
“My mother, Michele, started Michele’s Montessori School in 1999, and I purchased it from her five years ago. We felt it was time to grow: we had always accepted students starting at two and a half years old, but we expanded to also include kids as young as 18 months. For over 20 years, we were renting space from Holy Family Episcopal Church, but there were so many kids interested that we decided to look for a new home.
Then we found it—the old Delta College Center on Wheeler. The building had been vacant for three years before we bought it: the roof was leaking, the parking lot needed repairs, we needed bathrooms in the classrooms, and it needed other renovations to be ADA-compliant. We quickly realized that this project was going to be bigger than we planned, and that’s where the Midland Area Community Foundation came in.
I’ve known Sharon from the Community Foundation for over 20 years and reached out for help. The Community Foundation saw how we could help the community by doubling our education and childcare capacity from 45 to 92, so they paid (through the loan provided by the Community Foundation) for some ADA compliance things like our ramp, our roof, and the parking lot.
We just opened nine weeks ago. It’s a beautiful space, an Alden B. Dow building with a beautiful courtyard in the center, and we’re so thankful for the opportunity to be a recipient of the funds to help the community in a bigger way. Not only can we help more kids, but we’re employing an additional nine people, too!”
–Kristin Hosfeld, Michele’s Montessori School
“I worked for Marriott after graduating with a degree in Hotel Management back in ’82. I went to Des Moines, Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C—I was flying 200,000 miles a year. I didn’t want to be in the air most of my life, so I decided to go out on my own. I went to my boss and told him I wanted to start and develop my own franchise. I received his full blessing, and it’s worked out wonderfully. We built our first hotel over in Port Huron, and then we built two in Frankenmuth, three more over in Saginaw, and one in Midland.
Over the years, we had done a number of sponsorships with the Great Lakes Loons, and I got to know Paul Barbeau, the Senior Global Director at Dow, very well. He kept saying, ‘Build a hotel next to the park, we need one!’. It was a great idea, but as an outside developer, you always want to have a partner in the community with local support. We found those partners in the Midland Baseball Foundation and the Midland Area Community Foundation.
The partnership has worked out wonderfully—it’s been outstanding and first-class since day one. The Foundation made an investment into the hotel, and that partnership means an additional 15 to 18 full-time jobs for the community and something that will enhance the community. I want to thank Sharon, the Board of Directors, and their entire team. Keep doing what you’re doing because it’s working, and it’s working really well for Midland!”
–Lyle Davis, President DML Management, Inc.