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Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes Awards Philanthropic Honors to Ed James and Donn Trautman

On September 18, 2023, two of the Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes’ most committed and generous supporters, Ed James and Donn Trautman, will be recognized with the organization’s highest awards for philanthropy and volunteerism. This will coincide with the annual Geneva Foundation Golf Classic.

The History of the Geneva Foundation

As Presbyterian Homes’ charitable arm, the Geneva Foundation inspires and guides philanthropy toward community and organizational priorities to boldly advance the charitable mission and the Presbyterian Homes’ family. Programs and services are funded to respond to the needs of residents and campus locations, as well as employees of the communities.

The Geneva Foundation relies on the generosity of donors, residents, families, employees, friends, and those in our surrounding neighborhoods to transform lives and enrich our Presbyterian Homes communities. To illustrate the philanthropic leaders’ deep connection and impact toward these goals, we are honored to present the Visionary Award to former Board Chairman Ed James and the Humanitarian Award to Westminster Place resident Donn Trautman.

“Ed and Donn are model leaders who care deeply about Presbyterian Homes and the people who live and work in our communities. Their significant contributions have and will continue to lead to a brighter future for us all,” says Lisa Schiro, Senior Director of Development of the Geneva Foundation of Presbyterian Homes. “Our organization is forever changed because of their philanthropic support and generous investment of time.”

Honoring Ed James

Ed JamesEd James’ service stands out for the skills he contributed to the organization and how he helped shape its direction. Ed will receive the Visionary Award for his years of service on the Board of Directors and for skillfully guiding the organization through decades of growth and operations.

As a second-generation board member, he followed in the footsteps of his mother, Helen James Schwarten. She dedicated 40 years as a Woman’s Board member and served on the Board of Directors. Ed joined the Board in 1974 and, for more than 40 years, applied his considerable expertise as a real estate developer. He was active in constructing and renovating almost every building that now makes up the Presbyterian Homes communities.

The talents and sensitivities Ed brought from his business experiences proved invaluable. His close examination of market trends, his financial savvy, and his expertise in real estate development helped the organization compete with other retirement communities. His excellent decision-making permeated all the organization’s properties and lines of business for decades.

Honoring Donn Trautman

Donn TrautmanDonn Trautman has lived a lifetime of honesty, integrity, and responsibility, with a demonstrated commitment to the welfare of the greater community. He has shown substantial humanitarian accomplishment, and his deeds have served to improve the quality of life for others. His benevolent spirit is inspirational, and his example sets the bar for people to strive for greater heights. Donn will receive the Humanitarian Award for his philanthropic work on a range of causes to enhance our campus communities and, above all, his longtime efforts to positively affect the charitable mission of Presbyterian Homes.

He is a warm-hearted man with an easy laugh, and his generous spirit is contagious. In his twenty-one years as a resident of Westminster Place, he has earned a reputation as a philanthropic force. Donn is an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Wilmette. He volunteered his insight to new entrepreneurs for the Executive Service Corps for many years.

At Westminster, he has and continues to serve to help bring benefits to employees and campus improvements, and extends compassion for neighbors in need. His philanthropic investment in the Geneva Foundation and his future planned gifts will continue to make a sustainable impact to the Presbyterian Homes charitable mission.

A Commitment to Helping Others

“The word ‘philanthropy’ has its roots in the Greek and Latin words for ‘kindness, benevolence, and love of humankind,’ and I cannot think of better exemplars of these worthy traits than Ed James and Donn Trautman,” says President and CEO Nadim Abi-Antoun. “Their generosity and vision are advancing the ministry and mission of Presbyterian Homes and energizing others to be involved. We are grateful for their ongoing commitment to, and support of, Presbyterian Homes, and will continue to strive to meet the high standards they have set.”

Learn more about how you can support the Geneva Foundation on our website.