Saluting a Visionary in Valley County

Twenty years ago, a group of ambitious leaders stepped forward to transform the challenges facing their Valley County communities into opportunities for a new century.

Local attorney Bob Stowell has been a central figure in nearly every measurement of Valley County’s progress. He was instrumental in forming a community partnership with NCF in the early 2000s. His instinct for marrying public and private economic development has resulted in a new hospital, new businesses, a housing development, and much more.

Valley County’s economic development director Trevor Lee sums up the changes this way: “It’s hard for many of us, particularly transplants and millennials, to fully appreciate the community attitude shift that has taken place over the last 20 years.” Today, school enrollment is up 14 percent from five years ago and 70 percent of high school seniors report they would like to return sometime in the future.

Bob and his wife Jean are deeply philanthropic and have helped others to discover their own generosity through service on Valley County Community Foundation Fund. Today, the Valley County community benefits from more than a dozen endowments totaling nearly $6,227,000. Another $4 million is in place as planned gifts for the future.

Bob Stowell has been directly involved in securing most of these charitable assets by helping his friends and his clients give back to the hometown they share. NCD extends its heartfelt congratulations to Bob, who was honored by the Charitable Gift Planners of Nebraska with the 2019 Community Sowers Award.