While people often become proud supporters of the communities where they grow up, Dean Mann and his wife Becky brought their energy, enthusiasm and experience to Fort Scott from St. Louis, Missouri. Dean, a certified public accountant, had left behind his career as a partner in a national accounting firm to form a holding company to purchase Citizens National Bank (now Landmark).
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When Dean arrived, he also brought with him his knowledge and experience from working with the St. Louis area’s community foundation in its early development, and he was aware of the opportunities such a foundation could mean for Fort Scott and Bourbon County.
He said he continued to explore those possibilities for several years. Setting up and servicing such a 501(c)(3) is a complicated, ongoing process. Consequently, it wasn’t until the opportunity was presented for the yet-to-be-born Fort Scott Area Community Foundation to fall under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas, headquartered in Pittsburg, that it truly became feasible. At that point, Dean said, the plan was “a go.”
Early in the process, Dean sat down with Janet Braun to brainstorm and form a list of potential members to serve as the first board of directors for FSACF. They contacted these community-concerned residents and invited them to lead this new venture.
Dean emphasized that this “was really a team effort and, once the groundwork was laid, the good people who were involved then got down to the business of talking to people about helping Fort Scott, both in the present and into the future.”
As the years have passed and the foundation has grown and been able to assist people in this area in so many ways, board members have served faithfully and then stepped aside, at least for a while, and new board members have stepped in to provide the important, committed leadership that makes the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation such a valuable asset to the community. Dean speaks for all of them in these few words: “I continue to believe in the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation.”