Community Foundation(s): Willmar Area
Award: 2008 Award in Philanthropy from the Willmar Area Community Foundation
For Gary and Nancy Geiger, finding their place is about using their talents and experiences to help enhance the community where they live and work. They give both time and money to local causes that fuel their individual and collective passions.
“When you live in a community and see all the wonderful things going on around you, that’s your natural response,” Nancy said. “You want to support it with your time and your money to make it the best place it can be.”
The Willmar Area Community Foundation recognized the couple’s dedication by awarding them the 2008 Award in Philanthropy.
Much of Gary’s volunteerism stems from his work in the financial industry and as chairman of Heritage Bancshares Group Inc. in Willmar. He also served as board member for the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Minnesota Bankers Association and as the Minnesota representative to the American Bankers Association Government Relations Council. His commitment to community extends his board involvement to other local nonprofits, including Willmar Design Center and the Southwest Initiative Foundation.
Nancy, who claims she is more creative than financially savvy, has centered her efforts on the arts and on the couple’s church, Bethel Lutheran. She operated the Barn Theatre for more than a decade and served on its board of directors. She formerly served on the Minnesota State Arts Board and has helped initiate local programs such as Celebrate Art! Celebrate Coffee!
“They truly are outstanding examples of leadership, volunteerism, and philanthropy, and they are the spark that every community wishes it had in one person, much less a couple like Gary and Nancy Geiger,” Chamber of Commerce President Ken Warner said.