July 8, 2015
Mark and Debbie Baldwin of Wichita have forwarded a gift to the KARL Program from the estate of Mark’s parents, John and Roseanne Baldwin.
John was a founding board member of the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program in 1989. He served with great interest for the full term of 6 years but did not stop his engagement with the program at the end of that service period. John and Roseanne hosted KARL’s bi-annual fund raiser following his tenure as a board member. I still have the triangle chime and two bird houses John created, all purchased at the auctions.
John was a great force in our program’s early years, helping steer the inexperienced non-profit board members to a focused professional governance body. John was also one of my key mentors and remains such to this day. Not an event goes by, or solicitation of a new funding source pass, without my reflection of a quote of encouragement I gained from John. “Gather the low hanging fruit but sometimes you have to go out on a limb to get the best.” When preparing for promotional visits or getting ready for a fund raising event, John and Roseanne would always invite me to their home to share a meal, or would treat me to a nice dinner in town. I always admired and considered them part of my family, my KARL family, and felt they considered me part of theirs as well.
Thanks to the foundation John and Roseanne provided in our early years, we can proudly say that the KARL Program has matured into a driving force in Kansas’ economic development. We have had 390 participants to date from 102 of our 105 Kansas counties. The graduates are engaged in key leadership roles from the local through national level and the KARL Program remains independent, no tax dollars involved since our creation with $5.4 Million raised and invested in the training for the vast network. In addition, we reached one of John’s dreams from early on. We formed the KARL Graduate Program in 2013 and now, life-long pay-as-you-go continuing education experiences and travel opportunities are available to every KARL graduate and spouse.
We thank the Baldwin family for such a generous and thoughtful acknowledgement of our relationship with them. John and Roseanne will forever be a cornerstone of the KARL Program.
Jack W. Lindquist
KARL Graduate Program Director
On behalf of KARL, Inc.,
Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership
Developing Leadership Excellence