Foundation names Kalette N. Hittle new executive director

Kalette N. Hittle

The Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors announces the hire of a new executive director to lead the organization.

Kalette N. Hittle will join The Foundation alongside current director Michelle Perry beginning January 10. Perry has accepted the public information officer role with the City of Piqua. Perry and Hittle will work cooperatively through January 25 to ensure consistency for the organization and the Piqua community.

“We are excited to welcome our new enthusiastic leader with a heart for the Piqua community. Kalette’s background in related fields and passion for giving back made her the board’s top choice for this position. She and Michelle will complement each other well as they work together to make a smooth transition in leadership.”

— Andrew Snyder, president of The Foundation Board of Directors

Hittle, a native of Darke County and graduate of both Defiance College and Kent State University, holds dual bachelor’s degrees in athletic training and wellness and an associate degree in physical therapist assistant technology. Her career encompasses impactful roles, from serving as the director of rehabilitation at Genesis Rehabilitation Services to her most recent position as an annually contracted faculty member at Sinclair Community College’s physical therapist assistant program. Her experience includes curriculum process improvement, innovative teaching methods, business development and fostering interpersonal relationships through direct patient care and student mentorship.

Hittle’s passion for the community she calls home extends beyond her professional life. She has resided in Piqua for 10 years with her husband, Jeremie Hittle, who serves as the Piqua City Schools treasurer, and her daughter, Kaylie, a freshman at Piqua High School. Actively involved in the community, Hittle has previously served on the St. Mary’s Catholic Church Festival Committee and currently holds a board member position for the Tecumseh Woods Swim Team and volunteers her time at many Piqua City School events.

“I am thrilled to join The Piqua Community Foundation and have the opportunity to serve the community I call home. Being a part of an organization that plays such a vital role in enhancing the wellbeing of our community is truly inspiring. As a natural giver in my prior work in the health care and education sectors, I am excited to now be able to pour into the Piqua community and make a meaningful impact.”

— Incoming Executive Director Kalette N. Hittle

The Foundation was founded in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) organization by a small group of citizens interested in investing in their community. Its mission is to encourage charitable giving to benefit the citizens of Piqua and provide a variety of methods for donors to help fulfill their charitable giving wishes.

The Foundation offers opportunities to contribute to the community through restricted and unrestricted gifts of any size. The organization then offers grants to programs and projects whose missions are religious, scientific, literary, educational or charitable and align with the guidelines of each fund.

“We have organized this transition in leadership of the Piqua Community Foundation to minimize disruption of our services and to maximize the transfer of knowledge,” said Emily E. Shawler, immediate past president of The Foundation Board of Directors. “The Board of Directors believes that as we transition our director role from Michelle to Kalette that we can continue the high level of professionalism and responsibility for which The Foundation is known.”

For more information about the Piqua Community Foundation and charitable giving in the Piqua community, please explore the website or call 937.615.9080.

Foundation celebrates 30th anniversary, grant recipients at annual meeting

Andrew Snyder & Emily E. Shawler

The Piqua Community Foundation celebrated its 30th anniversary during the Life Trustees annual meeting on November 14 with grant recipient recognition and a look at the impact of The Foundation over the past three decades.

Since inception in 1993, The Foundation has distributed more than $21.5 million in grants and scholarships across its funds, representing projects and programs that make Piqua an even better place to call home.

Doug Metcalfe of SafeHaven Inc. shared with the attendees how numerous grant awards from The Foundation in recent history have impacted the organization. The organization provides adults with mental health support and provides a structured day of education, meals and activities.

The meeting serves as the annual gathering and organizational recap for The Foundation and included a tabulation of voting by

Secretary/Treasurer Andrew S. Monnin, a financial report from Investment Committee chair Tony Wendeln and remarks about the past year from President Emily E. Shawler.

“I am truly grateful to be surrounded by people who care for Piqua and feel fortunate that we have pushed forward over the past 30 years to strengthen our hometown.”

— Emily E. Shawler, Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors President

Distribution Committee chair Randi M. Pearson recognized organizational representatives receiving grant awards for programs serving Piqua residents in its spring and fall cycles in 2023 as well as through the 2022-2023 Pitch Piqua initiative. He noted that The Foundation has distributed $190,899 from the unrestricted funds of The Foundation in 2023.

Nominating Committee chair Steven K. Staley presented the slate of candidates for reelection. The Life Trustees elected Molly Karn to fill an unexpired term concluding December 31, 2024, and Jeff Pedro Jr. to fill an unexpired term concluding December 31, 2025. They also reelected the six incumbent directors who will serve three-year terms beginning January 1, 2024: Mimi A Crawford, Spencer K. Peltier, Gail B. Peterson, Jim Sever, Emily E. Shawler and Steven K. Staley.

To see the full Board of Directors list, view Foundation grant recipients and learn more about The Foundation’s programs, visit

French remembered for his legacy of philanthropy

The Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors, staff and friends remember Lt Col Daniel P. French, USAFR, Ret, who passed away on October 13.

Dan’s legacy of “giving until it feels good!” is memorialized by the impact of The French Oil Mill Machinery Company Fund, The Alfred W. French Fund, his generous support of the Pitch Piqua program and the countless ways he supported The Foundation and numerous other charities in our community.

Dan served on The Foundation board from 1996 until his passing, serving as president in 2004 and 2005. A Vietnam veteran, his lifetime of devotion to serving others was recognized with the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce’s Order of George Award for lifetime civic achievement.

We mourn the loss of one of our community’s most dedicated supporters and will carry his legacy forward in our service to the Piqua community.

Foundation seeks executive director candidates as Perry accepts new role

Michelle Perry

UPDATE: The application period is now closed.

The Piqua Community Foundation announced today that it is seeking candidates to fill the role of executive director.

Michelle Perry, the current executive director, has accepted the public information officer role with the City of Piqua. Her last day with The Foundation will be January 25, 2024.

“While the Board of Directors is disappointed to lose Michelle as our director, we are happy to know that she will continue to serve our Piqua community in a different way and remain a close partner,” said President Emily E. Shawler. “We are hopeful we can find a qualified, enthusiastic executive director quickly to allow time for the two directors to work side-by-side in advance of the transition.”

The executive director is responsible for financial and operational oversight of the organization, which has more than 30 funds and about $15 million in assets. The position will oversee the organizations’ numerous grant and scholarship programs, lead donor relations efforts and represent the organization in the community.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience in nonprofit management, fundraising and program management. Particularly important skills for the executive director include professional written and verbal communication, objectivity, confidentiality and acute attention to detail. Existing relationships with the Piqua area nonprofit and business communities is a plus.

A full job description with details about how to apply for The Piqua Community Foundation executive director position can be found at the link below. Applicants will be reviewed upon submission on a rolling basis. Submissions are accepted through December 15, 2023, or until a qualified candidate is found.


Piqua Community Foundation
Executive Director Job Description
& Call for Applications

Pitch Piqua grant awardees progress on proposed projects

The two organizations that secured the top $50,000 grant awards at The Piqua Community Foundation’s Pitch Piqua initiative are making progress on their projects proposed to the community.

Pitch Piqua distributed more than $133,000 to six charitable organizations supporting Piqua in its first two years! The program is an ultra-local grant competition that supports organizations with a project benefiting Piqua and promotes local philanthropy by allowing the community to vote through designated pass-through donations of any size.

Piqua Compassion Network secured the top grant award in the 2021-2022 initiative for The Power Project, which aims to create a center for teens to access basic needs resources, fitness and education. The project is a partnership with the City of Piqua, as the center will be located in the Mote Park community building.

While the project has experienced delays, the team has completed all necessary planning work and has secured the necessary permits. The team will begin construction as soon as it achieves its final fundraising goal for the first phase of renovations.

To learn more or inquire about supporting the project, contact Piqua Compassion Network at 937.778.8856 or visit

Edison State Community College earned the top grant in the 2022-2023 initiative for virtual reality equipment for law enforcement agencies and students, as well as community partners, to train for active intruder situations.

The team has since purchased the equipment and  completed construction on a classroom space for the training scenarios that is already being utilized by the current Academy class.

The college welcomes all interested community members to an open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 13 to experience the technology firsthand. Register to attend by visiting

The other finalist teams each year of the initiative earned a $5,000 unrestricted grant, with the option to use that as seed funding for their proposal to come to fruition. For instance, Piqua City Schools is moving forward with its bookmobile trailer project and Health Partners Free Clinic has launched its women’s clinic to best serve for early detection of cancers. We wish them the best with their projects benefiting our community!

Grant award funding for Pitch Piqua has been supplied by The French Oil Mill Machinery Company Fund, The Richard Donnelly Personal Gifting Account, donors Steven K. and Gail P. Staley, The G. William Hartzell Charitable Fund and unrestricted funds of The Foundation.

Foundation awards more than $30,000 in Donnelly Advised grants

Richard Donnelly volunteering at The Bethany Center in October

The Piqua Community Foundation recently awarded grants from the Donnelly Advised Fund totaling $30,700 to 19 organizations that serve Piqua residents.

Richard Donnelly established the Donnelly Advised Fund, along with others at The Foundation, in 2008. The grant award decisions are made by the fund committee annually based upon community needs; there is no application process.

“The committee and I enjoy meeting in the fall each year to determine how best to utilize the fund to serve the Piqua community,” Donnelly said. “The awards we make represent a broad range of projects that benefit Piqua residents and improve our community. It’s a true pleasure to share from the advised fund each year.”

The organizations receiving 2023 Donnelly Advised grants are:

  • American Legion Post 184 for the Veterans Elite Tribute Squad
  • American Legion Post 184 Ambulance Fund
  • The Bethany Center
  • The Edison Foundation for the nursing scholarship
  • The Forest Hill Cemetery Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation
  • Greene Street Church food pantry
  • The Little Kinger Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation
  • MainStreet Piqua for downtown flowers and Christmas celebrations
  • Miami County Dental Clinic
  • Miami County YMCA
  • Piqua Arts Council
  • Piqua City Schools for The Garden Tribe Schoolyard Garden
  • Piqua City Schools for the Washington, D.C. trip
  • Piqua Civic Band
  • Piqua Compassion Network
  • Protecting Our Water Ways
  • Salvation Army for the needs bank and summer lunch program
  • Upper Miami Valley Young Life
  • YWCA Piqua

To learn more about the Donnelly Funds and other programs of The Piqua Community Foundation, explore our website further.

Foundation launches 2023 annual giving campaign as it celebrates 30 years of impact

The Piqua Community Foundation’s annual giving campaign is now active as the organization celebrates 30 years of local impact.

Gifts made through The Foundation’s annual giving campaign support the unrestricted funds for our spring and fall grant cycles, as well as special projects. In 2023, The Foundation has distributed more than $190,000 through unrestricted grant awards.

Donors of $100 or more per individual per year are recognized as part of The Foundation’s Inner Circle in the spring newsletter. Those giving $1,000 or more in their lifetime become Life Trustees of The Foundation and are listed in the annual report in perpetuity.

Please consider a gift to The Foundation by visiting or mailing a check to P.O. Box 226, Piqua, OH 45356.

When you share with us, we share with many.

Molly Karn, Jeff Pedro Jr. join The Foundation Board of Directors

The Piqua Community Foundation welcomed Molly Karn and Jeff Pedro Jr. to the Board of Directors as the organization’s Life Trustees elected him at the annual meeting on November 14.

Their service began immediately, as they each fill an unexpired Director term. Molly’s term will conclude on December 31, 2024, and Jeff’s term will conclude on December 31, 2025.

Molly Karn

Molly Karn is originally from Springfield, where she was born and raised. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Dayton and worked in outside sales and recruiting before finding her dream job in Human Resources. In 2011, she joined ITW and started with the Food Equipment Segment, before transferring to the Welding Segment in 2016. Currently, she serves as the HR Director at Hobart Filler Metals.

Molly and her husband, Ryan Karn, who works as an school resource officer at Newton School, live in the Piqua area with their three children and two dogs. Her children attend Piqua Catholic School and actively participate in many local sports. Molly is always on the go with friends and family, but she also likes to spend time reading, cooking or taking walks. She is the Champion for the United Way at Hobart Filler Metals and has been serving on the Board of Directors for the United Way for the past three years.

Jeff Pedro Jr.

Jeff Pedro Jr. was born in Massillon and raised in Kettering. He graduated from Wright State University with an Organizational Leadership degree and focus on International Business. He has worked at United Parcel Service for 25 years, where he manages logistics projects for small businesses all over southern Ohio. Jeff and his wife, Emily, moved to Piqua in 2022 and are in the midst of rehabbing a 170-year-old home in the Piqua-Caldwell Historical District. They both enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, and walking around downtown Piqua on sunny days with their retired greyhound, Phoebe.

In addition, Jeff is a co-owner of Crooked Handle Brewing Company with locations in Piqua and Springboro. He is also an operating shareholder of Sim-trainer Indoor Range and Training Center in Moraine, managing bookkeeping and strategic business initiatives. Jeff has taken a leadership role in a variety of projects for nonprofit organizations around the Dayton area, like Agape for Youth, United Way of Greater Dayton and Springboro Optimist Club.

See the full Piqua Community Foundation Board of Directors list here:

Foundation awards more than $57,000 in fall grant cycle

Miami County YMCA

The Piqua Community Foundation awarded $57,861 to organizations that serve Piqua residents this month.

The distribution is part of The Foundation’s twice-annual standard grant cycles from unrestricted funds. The Foundation’s Distribution Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors for approval based on a grant application and review process.




The organizations awarded 2023 fall grants are:

  • Bethany Center — coffee station
  • Isaiah’s Place — foster family retention events
  • Lehman Catholic High School — Science Olympiad
  • Miami County Dental Clinic — toothbrushes, toothpaste & floss
  • Miami County YMCA — Piqua facility capital campaign pledge
  • New Creation Counseling Center — counseling and psychiatry services
  • Piqua Catholic School — laminator & laminate sheets
  • Rehabilitation Center for Neurological Development — training tables
  • RT Industries — ADA wheelchair accessible mini-vans
  • SafeHaven, Inc. — field trips and special events
  • Salvation Army — hygiene pantry


Piqua Catholic School

The grant awards were made in a variety of project sectors — from education to human service and from basic needs to access to dental care — all with a demonstrated impact on Piqua residents. Members of the Distribution Committee of The Foundation visited three recipients earlier this month to present the grant awards and learn more about their programs and needs.

Foundation representatives shared the final installment of its $100,000 pledge to the Miami County YMCA’s Piqua facility capital campaign this cycle and toured the construction site on November 8. The Distribution Committee also visited Piqua Catholic School to learn more about the school’s increased enrollment and expansion efforts at the Downing Street campus.

Miami County Dental Clinic

The visit to Miami County Dental Clinic illuminated the rise in dental needs among children and seniors in our community. The Traveling Smiles program allows clinic staff to set up temporary patient care areas in schools and other community spaces to allow elementary aged students to be seen and treated by a dentist, often for the first time. The Foundation supported toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss to send patients home following a visit.

“We are grateful for The Piqua Community Foundation and their invaluable support of our programs,” said Stephanie Waller, Miami County Dental Clinic’s executive director. “Their generous contribution to purchase toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss will truly make a positive impact, not only in Piqua, but throughout all of Miami County, fostering brighter smiles and promoting better oral health practices within our communities.”

The Piqua Community Foundation’s next grant cycle has a March 31 deadline. To learn more about the grant and scholarship programs of The Piqua Community Foundation, visit

Volunteer nominations sought for Hinsch Community Service Awards

Scott J. & Margaret W. Hinsch

The Piqua Community Foundation is now accepting nominations for The Scott J. Hinsch & Margaret W. Hinsch Community Service Awards.

The Hinsch Family Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation offers The Hinsch Community Service Awards annually to recognize outstanding volunteers for charitable organizations. Two awards are typically made each year.

The guidelines have been amended this year to welcome a larger volume of nominations. Instead of recognizing one male and one female volunteer, as in year’s past, the award will now recognize individuals, regardless of gender, or a group of two to five volunteers working toward a common goal.

Each selected award winner will each receive a glass plaque, and the organizations that nominated the winners will each receive a $2,000 unrestricted grant to serve the Piqua community from The Hinsch Family Fund of The Piqua Community Foundation.

The Hinsch Family Fund was established in 2015 by Scott and Margaret Hinsch’s children and their spouses, John and Marsha Hinsch and Linda and the late Bob Campbell. The awards honor Scott and Margaret’s legacy of service to the Piqua community.

“We are so humbled to share these awards in memory of my parents who loved and served Piqua all their lives,” John Hinsch said.

The volunteers who received the awards for their service in 2023 are:

  • Russell Fashner, Friends of the Piqua Parks
  • Krista Abernathy, St. James Episcopal Church
  • Adele Penrod, Piqua Parents as Teachers

G. Russell Fashner, Friends of the Piqua Parks

Krista Abernathy, St. James Episcopal Church

Adele Penrod, Piqua Parents as Teachers

The deadline for nominations for volunteers making outstanding contributions in 2023 is January 22, 2024. To access the guidelines and nomination form for The Hinsch Community Service Awards, visit

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