LAKE, OSCEOLA, MECOSTA COUNTIES — Maria E. Gonzalez was recently promoted to director of affiliates and supporting organizations at Fremont Area Community Foundation.

Gonzalez serves the Community Foundation’s three affiliate foundations in Lake, Mecosta, and Osceola counties as well as two supporting organizations, the Amazing X Charitable Trust and the Bridging Generations Fund.

“In her six years on staff, Maria has played a crucial role in moving philanthropy forward in our four-county service area,” said Carla Roberts, Community Foundation president and CEO. “This new position acknowledges growth in responsibilities and reflects the collaboration between our counties.”

For more than two decades, Fremont Area Community Foundation has supported affiliate foundations in Lake, Mecosta, and Osceola counties. Fremont Area Community Foundation serves as a fiscal sponsor and provides operational support while dedicated local boards in each county recommend grant funding, award scholarships, and participate in community leadership activities.

Similarly, the Community Foundation’s two supporting organizations have their own boards and recommend or award grants based on their own specific missions. The Amazing X Charitable Trust provides support to organizations serving people of varying abilities in Newaygo County and the Bridging Generations Fund supports the health and well-being of local older adults.

Gonzalez works with the boards of all five entities in developing strategy, working with donors, strengthening grant programs, and promoting regional engagement. She has also worked to provide a greater sense of connectivity between the counties and organizations she represents.

“Maria’s efforts have allowed our organizations to better understand each other’s unique needs and strengths while also paving the way for new levels of partnership,” said Roberts. “We particularly saw the power of those partnerships over the last year as we worked together to respond to regional needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Gonzalez believes there is great value to approaching issues from a regional perspective. “Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to work with our four counties to build great relationships,” she said. “These relationships are what I enjoy most about this work because they provide the opportunity for us to grow together toward a better future. I look forward to continuing this work in our communities.”

Gonzalez is a graduate of Newaygo High School and Indiana Wesleyan University, where she studied political science and public relations. Before joining the Fremont Area Community Foundation’s staff in 2015 as foundation manager, Gonzalez served for two years on the organization’s Board of Trustees.