To begin to know The Community Foundation’s Julie Brown, look no further than her blog, 419juliebrown.wordpress.com. It’s here that this gifted storyteller expresses nostalgia for her childhood, articulates an appreciation for topics as varied as the outdoors and differing cultures, and infects the reader with a highly contagious curiosity. And it’s here that you get a sense for a deeply compassionate woman who cares about her place in the world and her call to serve others, all the while enjoying each day to its fullest.
From career to volunteer
A mom first, Julie was a CPA in a former life. Wife to Byron for thirty years and mother to three, she says she “was lucky enough to be able to parent my children full-time for fifteen years.” During that time, she began to shape what her path would be after child-rearing, remaining connected to the community by volunteering, and creating a home “very committed to social justice.” When the time came, Julie shares that she “suddenly knew that I was called to serve people as I had in my volunteer roles rather than return to corporate America.” Acting on pure instinct, Julie took the “wildest risk” of her life and became director of a grassroots food pantry, a career shift which eventually led to her current position.
Build the foundation
At The Community Foundation, Julie’s work as a senior program officer accentuates her strength in building bridges, in this case between organizations and donors. She labels herself an extrovert who “draws energy from others,” a characteristic that makes one of her greatest gifts her ability to connect others. Through her work, she enjoys “learning about many social service sectors and knowing the caring people who provide direct service, “calling the agencies that are awarded grants,” and working with the “amazing group” at the Foundation. Her enthusiasm is on display when she mentions a current project, the Foundation’s funding of an Alzheimer’s documentary featuring local advocate Reverend Darrell Prichard, a film of which Julie is fiercely proud and which debuted on June 29, at Winebrenner Theological Seminary.
In her spare time, Julie values time with loved ones, and plays hard, “keeping up with friends, visiting her parents, walking with her husband, reading, writing, and going to sporting events.” Her children are off in different areas pursuing varied interests, yet they are never far from her mind. With all she’s doing, and has done, for Findlay through her professional endeavors, Julie’s proudest accomplishment, “raising three great kids,” is clearly a personal one for this Hancock County mom.
Family: Husband Byron Brown, daughter Rachel Brown, 26 (Chapel Hill, NC), daughter Lindsay Brown, 24 (Havre, MT), son Eric Brown, 20 (University of Dayton)
Pets: Ike, the beagle
Parenting Motto: Best job ever!
Hero: Mother Teresa
Passions: Social justice, connecting people, travel
One Item You Can’t Live Without: iPhone
Last Book You Read: “Racing to Justice” by John A. Powell
Dream Vacation: Cuba
Favorite TV Show: Modern Family
Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Sport: I love to watch college football, NBA, and Barclays Premiere League soccer
Favorite Findlay Restaurant: Oler’s