MUNCIE—Ball Brothers Foundation has selected Ron Orebaugh, board chairman of Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District (DCSWCD), as the 2016 winner of the John W. and Janice B. Fisher Governance Award. The award was presented at the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce’s dinner on October 27. The annual award recognizes the outstanding service of a board member to a Delaware County nonprofit organization. The winner is selected from nominations submitted to Ball Brothers Foundation.
Orebaugh has dedicated his life to agriculture and to the conservation, preservation, and wise use of soil, water, and natural resources. Orebaugh joined the board of DCSWCD in 2005 and has played an important role in the organization since then, helping to initiate a five-year strategic planning process and significantly strengthening internal operations. He has overseen the development of a conservation land identification and ranking system that helped to pave the way for other local planning efforts, including Delaware County’s lauded Land Conservation Fund. He has also led efforts to work cooperatively with surrounding counties on multi-county land and water management projects, including efforts to improve both the White River and Mississinewa River. In the midst of funding changes for the organization, Orebaugh has worked tirelessly to diversify funding streams, bringing federal, state, local, and private funding to the community for improvement projects, research, and landowner education. Throughout Ron’s time on the DCSWCD board, projects overseen by the organization have included the John M. Craddock Wetland Nature Preserve, the creation of a cover crop program that is helping local farmers stabilize their fields following devastating rainfall events, and new recreational trails at Prairie Creek Reservoir, among many others.
“Ball Brothers Foundation is pleased to recognize Ron Orebaugh for his leadership and for his vision. All over our community, volunteers are working to impact our community in positive ways. In many cases they work diligently behind-the-scenes and with no recognition. The Fisher Governance Award gives us the chance to recognize the outstanding contributions of board members like Ron Orebaugh,” said Jud Fisher, President & COO of Ball Brothers Foundation. During the Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner, Orebaugh was presented with a handcrafted glass award created by Brent Cole of the Glick Center for Glass at Ball State University. Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District will also receive an award of $10,000 in Orebaugh’s name.
The Governance Award honors the memory of Delaware County philanthropists John W. and Janice B. Fisher. Mr. Fisher (1915-2009) brought strong and compassionate leadership to Ball Brothers Foundation during his decade of service as president and chairman. Mrs. Fisher (1916-2010), daughter of industrialist-philanthropist Edmund Burke Ball, shared her husband’s enthusiasm for their community and was a strong advocate for issues related to education and wellness.
As one of Indiana’s oldest and largest family foundations, Ball Brothers Foundation annually makes grants in support of arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services and public affairs. The Muncie-based foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county, and state. In 2016, Ball Brothers Foundation is celebrating its 90th year of grantmaking.