Shelly Weppler, administrator of the St. Joseph's Community Health Foundation, has enjoyed giving back to the community, through her volunteer work and her work with the foundation.
Weppler has served as executive director of the foundation since its inception in 1998.
"It's been fun to see the impact that it gives to an organization when we're able to help. I've been touched deeply by many of the projects," Weppler said.
Weppler's road to becoming involved with the foundation included a varied professional and volunteerism background. After graduating from Minot High School, Weppler went on to serve in the Army with the military police in Aschaffenburg. Germany.
"I originally thought about going into criminal justice, because after my time in law enforcement in the Army, law intrigued me. I eventually made the decision to pursue a degree in business administration from Minot State University," Weppler said.
After graduating from MSU, Weppler worked in management for U.S. Bank and as manager of Metropolitan Federal Bank. After working in the banking industry for 15 years, she took a position as Annual Fund Director for Minot State University.
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"As a bank officer, we were encouraged to be involved in the community and I got involved on several boards. I became an Ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce, and I still enjoy seeing the changes in Minot businesses and the new openings," Weppler said.
Weppler also served as president of the Minot Art Association during the development of the capital campaign to renovate a vacant building for the Taube Museum of Art.
"When we walked through the facility, there were dead pigeons on the floor, the roof was leaking, and in the basement where they used to hold dances there was still ripped silver foil wallpaper on the walls," Weppler said.
"We took on the challenge, all of the volunteers got together a program to raise money for the renovation. It was all about connecting people," she added.
Weppler served on numerous other committees in leadership roles, and has enjoyed the challenges.
"As volunteers of a board, you're taking on a big responsibility to move that organization forward. I took on a lot of roles in these groups because I always liked to feel I had an impact on the group," Weppler said.
When she heard of the opportunity to serve St. Joseph's Community Health Foundation, she was excited about the prospects involved.
"I accepted the offer to get the project going. I thought, now is the time to take my volunteerism to another level," Weppler said.
When Weppler began with the foundation, she pursued a master's degree in philanthropy and development through St. Mary's University in Winona, Minn. She recalled enjoying meeting a diverse group of non-profit leaders through her education, and learning about the ways they influenced their organizations.
"In the groups that they were working with, they were focusing on basic human needs. It's almost an underground that nobody sees. I continue to be amazed and humbled by leaders of organizations and their devotion," Weppler said.
"With the St. Joseph's Community Health Foundation, I have enjoyed being able to be here so I can carry out the mission that the Sisters of St. Francis had, to care for the holistic health of a person," she added.
In the early days of St. Joseph's Community Health Foundation, the board had $2 million to start with, which it has given back to the community in 450 gifts. The board now has received the rest of the money anticipated from the proceeds of the sale of St. Joseph's Hospital an $11 million trust fund to continue the legacy. Interest earned from the trust fund is the current source for money the foundation has to provide grants.
"Now that we have the rest of the funds, it has given us that boost to broaden the spectrum of who we can help. We want to continue to look at the money and get it out there in the places that it would have the biggest impact," Weppler said.
In addition to her work with the foundation, Weppler is still an active volunteer, currently serving as immediate past-president of the North Dakota Association of Non-Profit Organizations, past president of the Minot Alliance of Foundations, and is a member of the Association for Fundraising Professionals.
Throughout her career Weppler has received honors including the Minot YWCA's Women of Distinction Community Service Award, the First Bank Million Dollar Club through sales of annuities, and was selected by the North Dakota Business and Professional Women's Association as North Dakota's Young Careerist.
Weppler hopes that St. Joseph's Community Health Foundation will be able to continue to grant dollars to organizations that fill the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people in Minot and the surrounding communities.
"We want to continue to look to the communities and have meaningful conversations with organizations about the needs of the people in their communities, and form a collaboration that will make a larger impact on a need," Weppler said.