Invest Hamilton County

Featured Business Leader

July Featured Leader
July 17, 2023


Lisa Allen
Board Chair, Hamilton County Community Foundation

Q: What is something you with like the community to know about the Hamilton County Community Foundation?
A: The Hamilton County Community Foundation was established in 1991 to address specific needs in Hamilton County. Originally HCCF was called the Legacy Fund and the name was changed in 2018. We do three things: grow, leverage and advise philanthropic assets, make charitable grants to not- for -profit organizations and create social impact by leading on critical community assets. 

Q: What are your short- and long-term goals for the Foundation as the Board Chair?
A: Short-term goals would include improving public awareness of HCCF throughout the county and all the good things we do. In May alone we granted $164,500 to Hamilton County not- for profits, projects and initiatives. Long term would be to grow our funds so we can make an even bigger impact on our three main pillars: mental health, family and youth empowerment and inclusive economic growth.

Q: What is the most important thing you have learned while serving on the Foundation board (or any board that you have served on)?
A: Some board members are willing to speak their mind in a meeting and others stay quiet even though you can tell they have an opinion. I think it’s important to draw those people into the conversation.  I’ve been on boards that have a devil’s advocate and I think that is great, too.  It’s important to listen to all sides of an issue.

Q: Why is the community foundation important to our community?
A: When I tell people I’m involved in HCCF some community residents don’t believe Hamilton County needs a foundation because we are all wealthy. There are many varied needs in Hamilton County whether they are economic, housing, transportation or mental health. HCCF not only grants money for these needs but helps pinpoint those needs and bring various groups together to collaborate on solving a problem.

Q: You have been involved in several organizations in the community. What one organization that you’ve been involved with would you like the community to know more about and why?
A: Agape Therapeutic Riding. Agape works to meet social, emotional, physical and cognitive goals of their participants by partnering with horses. Life changing experiences happen there!

Q: Why do you feel drawn to serve our community? 
A: I grew up in a house where my family was involved in community organizations. There is a quote I really like: We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.

 Q: What do you think Hamilton County’s greatest asset is?
A: It’s people. I think there are many talented and committed people in Hamilton County who are willing to give of their time, treasures and talents to make a difference. We watch out for our neighbors.

Q: What is your advice to a young person in Hamilton County who would like to grow their leadership skills?
A: The Hamilton County Leadership Academy gives a great overview of Hamilton County and all the ways you can get involved to volunteer and contribute.   Pick an organization you feel passionate about and put your time in. You only get out of it as much as you give and it’s a great feeling. 

Q: What is your favorite place/activity in Hamilton County and why?
A: I’d have to say Conner Prairie. They have been in our backyard for 32 years now. My kids grew up going to camp, Symphony on the Prairie, Headless Horseman, the Apple Store, and now I’m taking my grandson and granddaughter there. They continue to provide fantastic programs and it’s wonderful to take nature walks near the White River and interact with  the farm animals.