Jack Schultz named Outstanding Philanthropist in Effingham County

(Pictured above, L-R) Joedy Hightower, President/CEO of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation; Rick Siemer, Sponsor of the 2016 Richard C. Siemer Outstanding Philanthropy Award; Jack Schultz, recipient of the 2016 Richard C. Siemer Outstanding Philanthropy Award

The Effingham County Community Foundation advisory board is pleased to announce that it has named Jack Schultz as its 2016 Outstanding Philanthropist. The Community Foundation presents the award in recognition of the outstanding philanthropic achievements of individuals, families or organizations in Effingham County. Schultz was nominated for his work as a philanthropist as well as his many contributions to the economic development of Effingham County. His work has truly cultivated better communities.

Jack Schultz shows remarkable care for his community by contributing to its economic development through business ventures and the promotion of tourism. Schultz is the founder and CEO of Agracel, an industrial development company that works with companies wanting to locate into small rural communities. Agracel is located within Effingham’s Network Center, a technology park which Schultz started. Also located in the Network Center is another project that Schultz was involved in: the Lake Land College Kluthe Center. Many other businesses are located within the Network Center, providing 2,000 people with a place to work or study.

In addition to his work with Agracel, Jack Schultz is involved in promoting tourism in Effingham County. He supports the Lake Sara Forever Fund, a shoreline restoration and protection project and serves on the Parks & Recreation Committee to enhance recreational opportunities at the lake for the entire Effingham community. Schultz recently co-authored Lake Sara: The Hidden Jewel in America's Heartland with Dr. Nash Naam and book proceeds will go to the Lake Sara Forever Fund. Schultz also provided the land and financial support for the Cross Foundation.

Schultz shows great foresight for the future of Effingham County through his involvement in Effingham CEO and the Midland Institute. He has served on both the Effingham CEO and Midland Institute boards and was instrumental in raising more than $1.5 million in funds between both groups. Schultz partnered with Craig Lindvahl to establish the class, believing that its participants would return to their communities after college.

Another demonstration of Schultz’s care can be found through his philanthropic work. Aside from the focus on economic development, members of Team Agracel are also encouraged to give back to their communities. With Schultz’s encouragement, Team Agracel has collectively provided more than 600 hours of service per year volunteering for more than 70 organizations for many years.

Schultz is also a founding member of Effingham County Community Foundation and has donated more than $1.5 million to funds including the Agracel Can Do Fund and the Bethina and Jack Schultz Donor Advised Fund.

Jack Schultz was presented the Outstanding Philanthropy Award during the 2016 Hometown Event on Thursday, October 27 at the Effingham County Courthouse Museum in Effingham.

The Effingham County Hometown Event is an opportunity to celebrate local leaders and philanthropy. This year’s program focused on the impact that local philanthropy is having on youth and community wellness. Gary Niebrugge, representing Krops4Kids, Aaron Meyers with Harmony Playground and Karen Etter, co-chair of 100+ Women Who Care described the partnership between their organizations and Effingham County Community Foundation, explaining how the Community Foundation acts as the fiscal agent of the organizations, allowing the leaders to fundraise and operate while the Community Foundation manages the accounting and administrative functions of each organization. Eric Chojnicki, Effingham County Community Foundation board member, announced that the HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital and Midland States Bank Endowments for Healthier Communities have started awarding scholarships for the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Complex to low-income families.

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