Celebrating Retiring Directors Ruth Pringle & James ForemanJennifer Witherbee
WAEF has made progress for 26 years and continues to move forward thanks to the amazing men and women that serve on the foundation’s board of directors.
When a member retires from the board, it’s a perfect to celebrate and honor their contributions. We delayed retirement for Ruth Pringle and James Foreman hoping to hold out for the grand celebration they deserve. Instead we opted for a couple of quiet lunches attended by one or two others that helped to share a mountain of thank yous.
Ruth Pringle joined the board of directors in 2002. She participated in early years on the Nutrition Education Committee before joining the scholarship committee where she continues to serve. Ruth was also chairman of the Farmworker Education Committee and assisted with the reorganization of the committee’s focus including the launch of the ESL Forums that were conducted semi-annually for several years.
In 2009, Ruth was elected chairman of WAEF. 2009 was the first year WAEF raised over $1 million in total contributions. It was also the year the scholarship committee grew from its traditional 4-6 members to over 30 committee members reviewing applications. The committee now has about 60 scholarship committee members.
Over the years, Ruth has been a champion of vocational education scholarships and funding for adult ESL programs. Her voice is heard and respected on the board of directors.
James Foreman joined the WAEF board of directors in 2014. He was quickly recruited onto the executive committee where he progressed through the officer chairs and was elected chairman of WAEF in 2017.
2017 was a pivotal year for WAEF. We held a rare full day board retreat to dissect board operations and ensure WAEF board governance was on track. Whenever activity like this occurs, it has the potential for destructive conflict to occur. James was instrumental in welcoming conflicting opinions but keeping the congenial spirit of the board intact.
One of the outcomes of the board retreat that is still helping to direct busy board members to the actions that matter most to making a difference through their board service is full acceptance of the Board Point System. The point system was introduced earlier in James’ term. It recognizes board members individually for their efforts to support the foundation’s mission.
The WAEF board of directors is charged with protecting the foundation’s mission and ensuring we have adequate resources to fulfill that mission. The good works performed today and in years past was made possible solely by their commitment. Our deep appreciation to all members serving on the board and especially to Ruth and James for their many years of impact.
Thank you Ruth and James!