Bill Manning has become one of the most photographed faces in Evergreen since his arrival more than 12 years ago from Kansas City – in the newspapers, at events, around town. It seems that he attends just about every nonprofit event being held and always has a ready smile for the camera.
For years he was more often than not seen alone because his wife – Marsha Manning – was generally "on call" as a doctor and unable to attend many of the events. Opening her own practice as a "boutique" physician has enabled her to be more available to accompany Bill these days. "I overachieved in marriage," he's quick to point out.
It was after Marsha completed her residency at St. Joseph's Hospital in Denver in 1999 that they zeroed in on living in Evergreen. Working with Realtor Christy Holbrook and mortgage lender Hilary Pruitt on the purchase of a home in Troutdale explains how Bill managed to be so involved. They immediately recognized Bill's background with a university foundation to be laden with valuable fundraising experience and much-needed skills by our local nonprofits.
Hilary, then a board member for the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce, can take credit for bringing Bill on board as a fellow board member for five years starting in 2001. Likewise, Christy, who was on the board at Mt. Evans Hospice at that time, nominated him for a board position the same year. His association with those two organizations "opened all kinds of doors," says Bill, giving the couple many opportunities to get acquainted and involved.
Bill is slated to become the president of the Mt. Evans Home Health and Hospice board of directors in 2013.
Other board members he worked with snagged him for membership in Evergreen Rotary. "At first I thought Rotary was a group of old men who wrote checks – ROMEOS (Real Old Men who Eat Out)," he laughed. But Bill soon became an integral player in the group, serving on that board for five years and as its president in 2006.
While president of Rotary, Bill emphasized building retention of members, making the meetings more fun, and developing a group with a flair. Rather than simply being comprised of just business members, membership has mushroomed with a large number of community advocates and has an equal number of females and males since opening its membership to women in 1988. "The organization has thrived in Evergreen because of its diversity," he adds, following up with one of his favorite sayings, "Find something to warm their heart and then you can stir their mind."
The signature project during his presidency was Rotary's support of the expansion of Center/Stage and the dedication of the Rotary Gallery at that location. He helped coordinate the raising of funds for the project and has since felt a tie to the Evergreen Chorale and Center/Stage. He especially enjoys community theatre in Evergreen because of knowing the actors on stage.
The Evergreen Rotary Club supports 17 local projects and 15 international projects. Bill is particularly attached to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program where (for 8 years) he has accompanied 300 students from Colorado and Wyoming to a week-long leadership conference in Estes Park. He chaired the effort in 2007. He's also served on the Rotary Colorado board for RYLA for 5 years.
Subsequently, he was asked by Rotary International to help implement the same successes in other parts of the world. He has traveled to Los Angeles, London, and Montreal to share his vision for and expertise with RYLA. In the international leadership conference, he works with 150 college students from 30 different countries. This, he says, is his proudest and most rewarding achievement.
With his affable personality, he's built lifelong relationships through this form of volunteer work, attending weddings, funerals, and graduations in support of his newly-found friends throughout the US and in other parts of the world. Not being a father himself, he enjoys these opportunities to associate with young people.
Sharing his knowledge is Bill's true gift to the community. He has been known to give a number of one-hour presentations to area nonprofits about how to solicit major gifts and conduct capital campaigns with emphasis on the role of board members in a fundraising campaign. He refers his spreading of knowledge as his "psychic income."
Although he's technically not a graduate of Leadership Evergreen, as an organizing committee member and presenter he attended all the sessions of the program in 2005.
Professionally, Bill is a registered investment advisor and financial planner. His business is aptly named Manning Financial Advisors. He's a college athletic fanatic who also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, golfing, and playing basketball. If you've attended one of the two exhibitions of the Harlem Ambassadors in recent years, you've likely seen him dunk a few balls.
His advice to newcomers to Evergreen: "If you want to become engaged, find a nonprofit in Evergreen that appeals to you."