Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation | About the Foundation
Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation Board Members are dedicated to fulfilling the mission of the foundation throughout the Central Florida community.
Edyth Bush, Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, Orlando Charity, Winter Park Foundation, Nonprofit Management, David Odahowski
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About the Foundation

A Legacy of Leadership

Edyth Bush established the Foundation to alleviate human suffering and to help people help themselves.

She was particularly interested in working with children and began granting funds to local education and human service organizations. Edyth and her trusted advisors, who traveled with her from Minnesota to her new Central Florida home, were steeped in the rich history and traditions of Midwestern philanthropy. Over time, it became clear that one of their most important roles would be to help strengthen the caring community by connecting philanthropists across the state of Florida and by providing management assistance for nonprofit leaders.

Nearly half a century later, the Foundation continues to create innovative civic solutions that help people help themselves. Our best work is helping nonprofit organizations be better managed, governed and led.

45

Years

of Creating a Better Florida

4032

Grants

to Nonprofit Organizations

885

Nonprofit

Organizations Have Received Grants

112

Million Dollars

in Awarded Funds

Our Leadership

The Board of Directors of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation works to ensure that the goals of the organization are met. The Directors are highly accomplished thought leaders in the community who are dedicated to strengthening the nonprofit sector and promoting philanthropy throughout Central Florida.

  • Richard J. Walsh
    Chairman
  • Matthew W. Certo
    Vice Chairman & Corporate Secretary
  • David A. Odahowski
    President

  • Elizabeth A. Dvorak
  • Anne B. Kerr, Ph.D.
  • Patricia J. Engfer
  • John A. Riley

Our Team

David A. Odahowski

President & CEO


David Odahowski is a lawyer, community leader, and private foundation executive.

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Mary Ellen Hutcheson, MBA, CPA, CGMA

Vice-President and Treasurer


Mary Ellen Hutcheson is a results driven professional who brings leadership and direction to the organization through decisive, innovative and analytical thinking.

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Janice Bielmyer

Executive Assistant to the President and CEO


Janice Bielmyer assists the President and CEO of the Foundation and manages activities of the Foundation Board.

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Silvia Landivar

Executive Assistant to the Vice-President


Silvia Landivar is responsible for assisting the Vice President & Treasurer in all aspects of the daily financial activity of the Foundation.

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Our History

1919

Edyth Bassler marries Archibald Granville Bush

Edyth Bassler marries Archibald Granville Bush

Dancer, actress, playwright Edyth Bassler marries Archibald Granville Bush. The couple invests her modest dowry in a struggling sandpaper company called Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining.

1949

The Bushes visit Winter Park

The Bushes visit Winter Park

The Bushes visit Winter Park, a fashionable retreat just north of Orlando. Soon after, they purchase a winter home here to escape the freezing temperatures of St. Paul, Minnesota.

1953

The Bush Foundation Established

The Bush Foundation Established

Archibald and Edyth–by then the largest shareholders of what became known as 3M–establish the Bush Foundation in St. Paul. Edyth is seen here in front of The Edyth Bush Little Theatre that she built and operated.

1966

Archibald Bush Dies, Edyth Bush Foundation Established

Archibald Bush, then CEO of 3M, dies. Edyth Bush moves permanently to Winter Park and establishes the Edyth Bush Foundation.

1972

Edyth Bassler Bush Passes Away

Upon her death, Edyth Bassler Bush leaves her legacy in the hands of loyal advisors David Roberts and Cliff Lee, both Minnesota lawyers with foundation experience.

1973

Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation is Reincorporated

Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation is Reincorporated

Edyth Bush Foundation is reincorporated in Florida as the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation. Its mission is to alleviate human suffering and to help people help themselves.

1990

Foundation Hires David Odahowski

Foundation Hires David Odahowski

The Foundation hires David A. Odahowski, a Minnesota lawyer with foundation experience who for one summer worked for 3M. David becomes President and CEO of the Foundation three years later.

2000

Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Center Joins Rollins College

The Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Center, which was established in the Foundation’s workroom, becomes a program of the Rollins College Crummer School of Business.

2012

The Foundation Awards $1 Million to Rollins College

The Foundation Awards $1 Million to Rollins College

The Foundation awards $1 million to Rollins College for the renovation of the Archibald Granville Bush Science Center and tops $100 million in cumulative giving to nonprofit organizations.

2015

Philanthropy Center is Rededicated

Philanthropy Center is Rededicated

Reflecting its origins, the Philanthropy Center is rededicated as The Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College.

2015

EBCF Receives Outstanding Foundation of the Year Award

EBCF Receives Outstanding Foundation of the Year Award

Foundation leaders head to New York City to accept the Outstanding Foundation of the Year award from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals.

2018

EBCF Celebrates 45 Years and $112 Million to Nonprofits

EBCF Celebrates 45 Years and $112 Million to Nonprofits

Now in its 45th anniversary year, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation has awarded $112,426,400 million in 3,987 grants to 882 nonprofit organizations.