In 2016, The Dayton Foundation kicked off the Del Mar Encore Fellows Program, to tap the energy and skills of experienced talent in the community. Led by Senior Fellow Jeanne Holihan, the program engages adults ages 55+ as stipended fellows and as volunteers to tackle pressing social needs. This three-year effort is funded by a $1 million grant from the Del Mar Healthcare Fund. In June, the foundation completed selection of its first three fellows: Linda Fischbach, Sherre Collier and Velvetee Hux. All three started work at their host organizations on July 7.

Linda Fischbach, hosted by Miami Valley Works.  Linda is a licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with an EdD in Counselor Education. Her career has been primarily in counseling, as Executive Director, Womanline Counseling Center, then as Director of Clinical Services for the Family Services organization. Linda is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dayton, a Distinguished Moderator for UD’s OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute and a social science researcher. A Dayton resident, Linda is an active council member of the Sons of Italy. Her knowledge of research methodologies will provide significant support as MVW delves into the reasons why clients do not commit fully to their program.

Sherre Collier, hosted by Brunner Literacy Center. Sherre has more than 30 years of Human Resource Management experience at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. She retired in June as Director, Force Development. Sherre holds a Master of Science, Human Resource Administration, from Central Michigan University and a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from Ohio University. She is a Leadership Dayton graduate and active in her church. Her project and people-management skills will benefit the Brunner Center, focused on elevating literacy as a community priority and strengthening program offerings.

Velvettee (Vel) Hux, hosted by Learn to Earn. Vel has a long career in nonprofit development. She has a BA in Mathematics and an MA in Communications Management, with post-degree work in STEM education and a Lean Six Sigma White Belt. Vel is currently Vice-Chair, Marketing, for Dayton SCORE. She is an active business consultant and adjunct professor at Sinclair Community College. Vel will lead an effort to establish standards and metrics for Learn to Earn partners, in order to measure the impact of their Summer Reading and After-School Time programs.

The Initiatives:

Miami Valley Works. Miami Valley Works, a service of Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley, aims to reduce poverty within Montgomery County by increasing the number of people who successfully participate in programs leading to employment, career advancement and self-sufficiency. The Encore Fellow will lead a research project designed to identify reasons why people choose not to participate in employment and/or educational programs leading to self-sufficiency, disseminate the research, develop local seminars related to poverty issues and work with community leaders and organizations to develop a unified community plan to reduce poverty through employment, education and career advancement services. Miami Valley Works was launched in 2015 through a collaboration between The Dayton Foundation, the Dayton Business Committee and The Greater Dayton Commission on Minority Inclusion, to work on issues of disparity in the community. Miami Valley Works is a leadership initiative of The Dayton Foundation.

The Brunner Literacy Center. This initiative will allow the Brunner Literacy Center, established in 2011, to define, measure and collaboratively mitigate the problem of adult illiteracy in the Dayton area. The Encore Fellow will oversee research and advocacy initiatives focused on adult literacy and recruit volunteers to become tutors and literacy advocates. The initiative will focus on residents of Trotwood and Northwest Dayton, refugees, Montgomery County Courts and clients of the Catholic Social Services Miami Valley (CSSMV) food pantry.

Learn to Earn – Dayton. The Encore Fellow will facilitate systemic changes to improve the effectiveness and availability of after-school and summer resources for children in Miami Valley, with a goal of increasing the percentage of adults with a post-secondary credential from 35.8 percent to 60 percent by 2025. The Encore Fellow will coordinate knowledge-sharing among providers to understand and build capacity, facilitate professional development for program staff and stakeholders, expand efforts to define and improve quality and build infrastructure to collect and use evaluation data to demonstrate the programs’ impact.  Learn to Earn Dayton was established in 2013 in collaboration with the University of Dayton and is a leadership initiative of The Dayton Foundation.

Contact: Senior Fellow Jeanne Holihan,

Published: July 11, 2017