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DONOR STORIES

Three cheers for our donors!  They are amazing.

Our donors all have one thing in common.  They wanted to give back and make Washington County
a better place to live and raise a family.

Their stories are all unique and we are honored to be the stewards of their legacy.  Take some time to peruse our list and read their stories.  More than likely, there is someone on the list that you know!

Brent and Lauren Elliott

John Elliott always challenged not only his students, but also his own four children, to maintain a high level of discipline and integrity. He pushed them to work hard and to value education. Without a doubt, John's son Brent Elliott took his father's teachings to heart. Brent and Lauren Elliott have honored the values that John lived by, and these values have brought them great success.

Brent was born to John and Sharon Elliott in 1958. He and his three sisters, Heather, Linda, and Tara grew up in Washington County. They all went to Salem High School, where their father was the Industrial Arts teacher for 28 years. Growing up in rural Washington County, their father farmed, raising both livestock as well as growing corn, wheat, and soy beans. The family was involved in Canton United Methodist Church for many years. Even though Brent has now travelled the world, he still says that he enjoyed growing up in a small town.

Brent was presented with a unique and exciting opportunity his senior year of high school. His father was the District Youth Exchange Chairman for the Rotary Club, and Brent became aware of opportunities to attend school in other countries as an exchange student. Because of this, he ended up spending his senior year studying in Japan, an experience that had a large influence in his life.

After graduating in 1976, Brent made his way to Bloomington to study at Indiana University. He graduated from IU with a bachelor's degree in finance in 1980. Following this, he was hired by Ingersoll Rand, an international manufacturing company. During his 20 years with IR, Brent worked as manager, vice president and group controller of Ingersoll's Security Technologies, and President of the company's Steelcraft division. He was employed in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. at different points during his time with this company. Brent received an international MBA from Ecole Superior de Commerce (Superior School of Business), at Krannert School of Mangement, Purdue University in 1997.

It was also during this time that Brent met Lauren McGee in San Francisco and they started a life together. Brent was introduced to Lauren, an advertising sales executive, by Lauren's client and mutual friend in 1992. The two would marry in June 1994. A few years later, their family would grow with the births of John and Samantha.

In 2001, Brent left Ingersoll Rand when he was recruited by Kimball International as the president of the company's Flexcel Group. The Flexcel Group was the global manufacturing arm of this 1.1-billion-dollar manufacturing firm. During this time, Brent, Lauren, and their children relocated to his hometown, Salem. While back in Salem, Brent was involved in the community and served on the board of directors of the Washington County Community Foundation.

Five years after joining Kimball, Brent was hired as the new president and CEO of Halex Corporation, which took him and his family to California. Currently, he is co-founder and partner of Elliott Zola, and COO of InterWrap Corporation. He is responsible for manufacturing facilities in North America, China and India. Brent and his family now reside in Mill Valley, California, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Brent was recently honored to be inducted into the 2012 Lion Legacy Class, which recognizes graduates of Salem High School who serve as role models for future Salem High School graduates.

At present, Brent has travelled to 102 different countries and fluently speaks Italian and Japanese. He also knows significant amounts of six other languages. Brent says that travelling to so many different countries and living in so many different places has opened his eyes. "It gives you a very different perspective on people, especially politics," he states. He believes the reality is that 99.9 percent of people are just like Americans, earning a living, doing good to others, and living in peace.

Lauren McGee Elliott was born in San Francisco to Joseph and Sharon McGee and grew up in Marin County, a suburb directly north of the San Francisco. After graduating from Novato High School in 1980, she attended the University of California, Berkeley. She received a BA in Humanities, with emphasis in Spanish language and history. During her junior year, she applied and won a spot to study in Spain with Berkeley EAP, the popular education abroad program. After spending a year in Barcelona, she knew that travel and immersing in different cultures would be a lifelong pursuit. She has travelled to five continents, and actively stays fluent in Spanish while practicing French and Mandarin.

After completing college, Lauren worked in sales and marketing in the advertising industry. She built a book of loyal clientele, established ad programs and trade show visibility campaigns and won industry sales awards. With the arrival of the children and a move across the country for Brent's career, Lauren refocused her work efforts to local volunteer activities and teaching art through community recreation programs. In 2008, inspired by the work-from-home possibilities of the industry, she became a certified corporate coach. She works with an executive consulting and coaching firm based in Indianapolis, Indiana and serves clients in the tech industry, manufacturing, medical and county government entities.

Brent and Lauren are also busy, involved parents to children John and Samantha. John, named after his "Papasan" has the same natural love of learning. He attends University of California, Santa Cruz, and studies economics and mathematics. A favorite, consuming pastime for John is Mixed Martial Arts, and Brazilian Ju Jitzu. Sami attends Tamalpais High School, and is involved with its award winning drama department. She has a heart for service and finds time to participate in races, walks and bootcamps for worthy causes. In 2011 she spent two weeks in the mountains of Nicaragua helping to build a school for village children.

The family is involved in Tamalpais United Methodist Church, attending services, participating in workdays, and serving lunch to local homeless each month. They also enjoy traveling together. John and Sami have been to China, Mongolia, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and Europe. But their annual summertime trip back to Washington County to visit family is the most anticipated and favorite destination, hands down.

Brent and Lauren Elliott have been blessed with successes,  and they both have a desire to give back to their communities. It was with this giving spirit that Brent and Lauren started three funds through the Washington County Community Foundation. The first fund, the John Elliot Scholarship Fund, was started in 1999 in honor of Brent's late father and the difference that he made as a teacher to so many students. They also started the Brent and Lauren Elliott Touch Tomorrow Fund in 2002. The third established for the Canton United Methodist Church, the church where John Elliott and his family attended for many years. It is the hope of Brent and Lauren that these three funds will continue to benefit the people of Washington County for many years to come.

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1707 North Shelby Street
Salem, Indiana 47167
Phone: 812-883-7334
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