Donor Spotlight

Donor Spotlight

Jo Ellen Diehl Yeary | Generosity rooted in pride, remembrance, dedication to home

Learn more

News & Happenings

Foundation welcomes new chair, releases annual report

(December 23, 2008) Nelsonville, Ohio – Jennifer Simon of Athens, Ohio, has been elected to serve as the next Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, a community foundation that works to improve lives in the Appalachian Ohio region through grants, scholarships, leadership and other types of support.

Simon is president and CEO of the Athens County Economic Development Council and follows previous chair Ron Strickmaker of Athens County, executive vice president, secretary and director of Kerr Companies.

Simon has previously served on FAO’s board as vice-chair and has been a foundation trustee since 2005.  Prior to her work with the economic development council, Simon served as assistant director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, where she managed more than $60 million in grants and helped initiate and manage infrastructure, technology and transportation projects for the Appalachian Ohio region.

“As a native of Washington County, I am excited to take lead in assisting the Foundation in its work to increase philanthropic capacity and educational opportunities throughout the Appalachian region,” said Simon. “The Foundation makes a significant difference by increasing access to opportunities and championing the success of Appalachian Ohio.”

The Foundation, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, released its 2007-08 Report to the Region, available on the Foundation’s Web site at In the 10 years since its inception, FAO has developed tools and partnerships to combat regional problems, including investing more than $1.3 million in grants and scholarships to meet unique needs and opportunities in communities across Appalachian Ohio.

For more information or for a print version of the report, please contact the Foundation at 740-753-1111 or