Kyle Fahrner

Chief Financial Officer
About MACF

Kyle Fahrner

Kyle Fahrner – In His Own Words

“After I graduated from Northwood with my MBA in 2008, I was in the banking business until 2019. Then, my friend who works for the Community Foundation of Greater Flint recommended I look into the foundation world. That conversation took place in the early fall. Then, in November, the Chief Financial Officer job posting came up. It kind of felt meant to be, and I applied. When I think of community foundations, the word that comes to mind is stewardship. We’re the stewards of a lot of things. We’re the stewards of the assets that have been entrusted to us. We’re the stewards of the programs we have in place. It’s a big responsibility, and we should take it very seriously. It’s an honor to have the responsibility because a lot of people have given resources to make this possible.

I grew up in Hemlock, about 35 minutes south of here. It was a very rural community, and my parents both worked in Saginaw. All the things we did outside of Hemlock were in Saginaw. I didn’t have much exposure to Midland until I went to Northwood. That’s when I got introduced to a lot of the cool stuff that’s going on here, started to get involved in the community, and realized that this is a really good place to live. Midland is a rare find because of the amount of resources the community has. Whether it’s family foundations, various nonprofit organizations, corporate foundations, or the Community Foundation – the philanthropic world has a lot of support here. We have a lot of things you don’t traditionally have in a city of 40,000 people.

Outside of work, I enjoy traveling and spending time with my wife. I enjoy the outdoors. Golf is my favorite activity, but woodworking is a close second.

One of my favorite things the Community Foundation focuses on is impact investing. It overlaps with my previous career in finance. I worked in capital markets at the bank and see this as an alternative to our traditional capital markets. It’s a hyperlocal way to invest your money instead of sending it to a mutual fund where it goes out into the ether. You can invest locally and walk by places every day and say, ‘We helped build this,’ or, ‘We helped invest in this place to make it what it is.

I’ve heard philanthropy described as voluntary action for the public good. That’s about as simple as it can get. When community members take the initiative to get involved, they put their money where their mouth is. We have the ability to affect a lot of people’s lives, and we don’t have to rely on some of the systems that are known to be unreliable. We have the resources. We are an independent organization. We do our development. We manage the funds. We grant the dollars out. So much work is done by volunteers. Other than our small staff, the work is really led by them. We have over 400 volunteers every year. Whether it’s through scholarship reviewing, grant committees, investment committee – you name it; We have all these people who decided they’re going to spend time to make the community a better place. Giving isn’t just through money; we can accomplish this as one singular organization of people.

I like a quote from a Greek proverb that says, ‘A society grows great when we plant trees, in whose shade we will never sit.’ One of the things that we have the luxury of at the Community Foundation versus the corporate world or the for-profit world is time. We’re intended to exist in perpetuity. Because of that, we can make long-term decisions, which society sometimes misses out on because of the want for instant gratification. Generally, society wants things now, but at the Foundation, we can make decisions for 20, 30, 40, and 50 years down the road. I’m confident that our organization will continue to make a difference moving forward. The amount of care and effort that people put into making sure this organization runs well will ensure it continues to run well into the future.

I hope Midland can be a place where philanthropy can solve problems that typically never go away. I would like us to be a community where philanthropy can step in and fill that gap where larger national and local systems can’t. I want this place to be a place where everybody here has a good standard of living, the ability to find housing, access to education, access to healthy food, and can thrive.”

Midland Area Community Foundation


Sharon Mortensen

President & CEO

Kyle Fahrner

Chief Financial Officer

Alysia Christy

Director of Community Impact

Raquel Brown

Director of Development

Heather Crowl

Scholarship Coordinator & Impact Assistant

Laura Dittenber

Administrative & Development Assistant

Kevin LaDuke

Communications Officer

Luiz Quellis

Finance Manager

Kristin Sovis

Postsecondary Education Leader

Sara JacobsCarter

Youth Impact Coordinator