The future depends on what you do today." - Mahatma Gandhi

Rochelle Area Community Foundation › About Us


The Rochelle Area Community Foundation offers an opportunity for individuals, families, and businesses to leave a legacy for future generations that will sustain the quality of life which we have enjoyed for decades. The Community Foundation is a public, charitable organization designed to attract gifts that will be shared with Rochelle Area non-profit organizations for the benefit of the entire community.

How does the Rochelle Area Community Foundation work?

The Foundation provides a simple and flexible way to invest in the future of Rochelle and neighboring communities. The Foundation allows individual or business donors to contribute to one organization that benefits many, allowing donors may to achieve their charitable goals.

The Foundation Board, with a diverse membership, will manage the funds to achieve the goals of the non-profit community foundation. Gifts to the Foundation will provide a lasting endowment, and the Foundation will provide caretaker services for the funds.

Who Benefits?

Donors either may be specific about where their gifts are used or may allow the Foundation to assess the needs of the community and fund projects accordingly. The Foundation plans for a broad focus of beneficiaries that include the arts, education, health and community services, and community development. The greatest advantage of the Rochelle Area Community Foundation for donors flexibility. The projects and organizations selected will ensure that the needs of the community are met.


What ensures the Foundation is lasting?

Through the endowment process your gift will grow, and the board of directors will determine its use. A small percentage of the funds are distributed annually, while the remainder is wisely invested. As the investment grows, more and more money is returned to the Rochelle Area Community’s needs.

Are gifts tax-deductible?

Yes, all gifts are tax-deductible. Gifts are federally exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code.

How may I become a contributor to the Rochelle Area Community Foundation?

There are many ways to support the Foundation. No gift is too small, and all gifts are important to the success of the Foundation.

A single gift or an annual gift may be given to the Foundation, or your contribution may also be made through a designation in your will.

Who do I contact?

Kim Montgomery, Executive Director at 815-561-3600. By email: kim@rochellefoundation.org »

Vision & Mission


RACF envisions a generous, vibrant, and sustainable community.


RACF improves the community through charitable giving, encourages a spirit of philanthropy, develops collaborative partnerships, and improves the quality of life of the community.


Q: What is the Rochelle Area Community Foundation?

A: The Foundation was a vision of Leonard Carmichael’s and he gathered a core group of community volunteers in 2004 and 2005 to explore the feasibility of establishing a Community Foundation. The RACF was incorporated in December 2005 and was granted not-for-profit status by the Internal Revenue Service in November 2006. Board members are volunteers and serve a maximum of two, three-year terms.

Q: Why another Foundation?

A: We primarily focus on other not-for-profit organizations, which enable the RACF to serve the charitable interests of the entire community. Gifts are invested in an endowment fund. This differs from a capital or operational fund because it will last forever.

The RACF is a vehicle for philanthropy.

Q: How is the money invested?

A: Currently the funds are invested with the DeKalb County Community Foundation.

Q: How are gifts awarded?

A: We serve not-for-profit organizations in the Rochelle area and our boundaries mirror the Rochelle Township High School District. Each year agencies and organizations have an opportunity to apply for funds. Grants are generally awarded for programs or needs outside of operational expenses.

Q: How do I make a gift?

A: We welcome gifts of all amounts. The gifts may be designated or undesignated and are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Our Executive Director, Kim Montgomery or any board member may help with your donation.

Q: How can I help?

A: There are many ways that you can help the Foundation and your community. You can advocate for the RACF as you prepare your estate. You may also contribute to the RACF Founding Circle. Finally you may know of someone or another group that would like to hear this message.



Leonard Carmichael

RACF Founder

Leonard Carmichael was a lifelong farmer and owner of Maplehurst Farms in Rochelle. He fulfilled his longtime dream of giving by establishing the Rochelle Area Community Foundation in 2006. He passed away on December 12, 2009 at his home in Rochelle with his family by his side.

Kim Montgomery

Foundation Executive Director 

Kim joined the Foundation in October of 2009, bringing a varied professional background from sales to business management and experience with not-for-profit organziations as a staff member and board member. She is also very active in community.

Amy Hayden

Amy is a lifelong Rochelle resident and has been a teacher at Central School for five years. She was the Title 1 Reading/ESL teacher for four years and is now a 4th Grade teacher. Amy is a past board member of the RTHS Education Foundation and the Free Lunch Program for Kids.

Brent Ohlinger

Brent was born and raised in Rochelle. He attended the University of Illinois, earning a B.S. in Agriculture Economics. He started his banking career in 1992. Brent and his wife Jackee have two children - Madelyn and Alison and are members of St. Patrick's Church.

Cal Jacobs

Cal was the President and General Manager of Rochelle Foods for over 16 years (retiring in 2011), and worked for Hormel Foods for a total of over 36 years. He has three children and three grandchildren, and he is also on the board of the Rochelle Summer Lunch Program.

Cathy Cox

Cathy started at First National Bank as a teller & has worked her way up to Senior VP. She is responsible for marketing & a variety of information services. Cathy enjoys spending time with her husband Jim Cox & their Rottweiler Roxie.

Dennis Berg

Dennis graduated from RTHS and went on to attend WIU. Retired from a thirty three year career with Contel/GTE/Verizon. Dennis served ten years on the Rochelle City Council and is married to Avis, his wife of 43 years.


Jenny Thompson

Jenny is the Marketing Manager for the City of Rochelle and Rochelle Municipal Utilities. She is a member of First Presbyterian Church. At First Presbyterian Church she teaches three-five year old Sunday school. Jenny and her husband Tim reside in Rochelle with their two daughters.

Jim Tolan

Jim Tolan is the retired CFO of Holcomb State Bank and now enjoys being a full-time husband, father, and grandfather. As well as serving the community through various organizations, Jim enjoys spending his time hunting, golfing and helping on the family farm.

Stephanie Williams

Stephanie is a local business woman, wife & mother of two. Raised in Rochelle, she went on to earn her degree from Eastern Illinois University where she met her husband, Danny. The two own and operate Lifeworks Photography Studio. Stephanie has served on the Boards of the Rochelle Child Care Center and the Rochelle Chamber of Commerce.

John Shank

John is the publisher of the Rochelle News-Leader, as well as division manager over multiple newspaper publications in Illinois, Arizona and Wyoming. He is a past board member of the Rochelle Rotary Club, the Hub City Senior Center and the United Way of Ogle County. He and his wife Maria have three sons.

Kathy Hollonbeck

Kathy has been actively involved in the community since moving here with her five children in 1972. In the process of retiring from her real estate investment business, KGH Investments, she hopes to have more time for family and her many hobbies.


Lauren Hintzsche

Lauren holds a Master's Degree in Physical Education and is the Physical Education Specialist in the Rochelle Elementary District. She is active in many community programs. She has three children - Mike, Riley and Bryce. Lauren and her husband John also farm in the area

Marisol Martinez

Marisol works at HOPE of Ogle County, serving adults and children who have experienced domestic abuse. She has also been a long-time employee of Alfano’s restaurant. Born and raised in Rochelle, Marisol is passionate about serving her community.

Trisha Vaughn

Trisha was born & raised in Rochelle, she earned her B.S. at Bradley University followed by a D.V.M. from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and J.D. from Northern Illinois University College of Law. Trisha resides in Rochelle with her husband, John and their three children. Trisha serves on the Board of the Rochelle Elementary School and is an active volunteer.

Greg Folmar

Greg Folmar is an Investment Advisor with Holcomb Bank. An active member of the Rochelle Rotary Club, Greg also brings together a volunteer corp to work on community projects as the need arises.