January 24, 2023

January newsletter: Strategic planning, grants roundup, welcoming new trustees

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2023: Our year of strategic planning

Earlier this month, the Horizon Foundation announced that we have commenced a new strategic planning process that will involve deep listening of the community to help direct the Foundation and its work for the next five years. Our process is conducted under the Howard Community Health Foundation, the sister organization of the Horizon Foundation that is responsible for setting and evaluating our strategic plan, which the Horizon Foundation then carries out.

Check out our full announcement to learn more about how we plan to go about this process this time around – from co-designing what our new plan and programs look like with the community, to expanding our Planning and Evaluation Committee, to centering anti-racism and trust-centered philanthropy in our work moving forward. We look forward to connecting with you, listening to you and bringing inspiration, joy and enrichment to the process.

Read the announcement>>
Learn more about our process>>
Take our community survey>>
Sign up for updates for our Community Summit>>


More than $2 million awarded in grants to 55 community organizations in 2022

The Foundation awarded a total of $2.07 million in grants to 55 community organizations in 2022. The grants focus on advancing the Foundation’s three strategic priorities – ensuring a more equitable community, promoting healthy kids and families and encouraging healthy aging – including emphasizing mental health for both children and adults.

“All of our grantees work incredibly hard to make our Howard County a healthier and more equitable place,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO of the Horizon Foundation. “Especially as the Foundation builds towards a new strategic plan this year, I am very proud of the partnerships we have fostered with our grantees to help make progress in our community. Together, we will help make good health achievable for everyone in Howard County.”

Also, keep an eye out for our 2023 community opportunity grants – the application period will be coming soon!

Check out our full list of 2022 grantees>>


Welcome to our new trustees!

We are thrilled to welcome three new members to our Board of Trustees: Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, associate professor at The Johns Hopkins University; Yvette Rooks, head team physician and assistant director in the University Health Center at the University of Maryland, and; Lanlan Xu, public health expert and community advocate. Each of them brings a passion for public health, community service and making our community more just and equitable. We look forward to their guidance in helping further the Foundation’s mission of making good health and well-being achievable for everyone in Howard County.

We also want to give a special thanks to Yvette Oquendo-Berruz, Larry Appel and Greg Olaniran, who left the Board of Trustees at the end of December after completing their eight-year terms. We can’t thank them all enough for their incredible leadership and service to the Foundation, and we will miss them greatly!

Meet our new trustees>>