I’m very proud and excited to announce that one of the other items on this list – the creation of an Education Foundation for Nashua – can now be checked off as having been completed.

– Chris Williams, President of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce

Many of you who have been members of our Chamber of Commerce for a while are likely well aware of a list of specific strategic goals our Chamber identified as important to our community’s well-being and future success – issues like completion of the Broad Street Parkway, re-introduction of commuter rail, and raising the profile of our arts community are examples of items that are on this list of approximately ten strategic goals.

I’m very proud and excited to announce that one of the other items on this list – the creation of an Education Foundation for Nashua – can now be checked off as having been completed. While the task of growing and establishing long-term viability for the Foundation will continue to be a top priority, it is nice to sit back for just a minute and celebrate all of the effort that got the Foundation even this far.

The Nashua Education Foundation is an independent 501-C-3 non-profit organization, created for the purpose of raising and distributing funds to enhance educational opportunities for Nashua’s public school students. Its board of directors is comprised of business and education community representatives with whom many of us are very familiar. Ron Kraus, former chairman of the Chamber’s board of directors and the principal of Bausch Articulating Papers, is chairing the Foundation along with Tim Hogan, General Manager of The Crowne Plaza Hotel. Tim also is a recent chairman of our board of directors, and it was his efforts while our chairman that re-launched the discussions leading to where we are today with this Foundation.

The Foundation is strongly supported by Mark Conrad, the superintendent of Nashua’s school system. I would also be remiss if I didn’t recognize the leadership of former school board member, Edwina Kwan, in making the Foundation a reality.

It’s important to note that the Foundation is not intended to replace any part of the school’s annual budget. The Chamber and others involved in the creation of this Foundation were adamant that, once this Foundation launched, it should not be viewed by the City or School Board as an alternative to funding any of the district’s core curriculum and programs. Instead, the Foundation will seek to supplement and fund opportunities that are not part of a district’s normal activities, which will enhance the educational opportunities of the children attending our public schools.

Many area companies have a strong interest in supporting local educational initiatives, so many of you may already be aware of the Foundation or will be hearing directly from its representatives in the near future. We hope many of you will support them through tax-deductible donations and other means, so anticipate an outreach in the near future!