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History of the Foundation

SSA Foundation

In 1998, the Soaring Society of America created the Soaring Society of America Foundation for the purpose of, among other things, managing and administering endowment funds for the benefit of the Society. The SSA Foundation, as a stand-alone entity from the Soaring Society of America, has its own corporate identity, operating by-laws and designated officers. The concept of the SSA Foundation is that an autonomous foundation managed by independent trustees would be the best way to solicit and manage the various trusts dedicated to support the Soaring Society of America.

The corporate identity of the Foundation structure provides for long-term security and stability for management of endowed funds. Further, the Foundation structure provides the internal discipline required to preserve and to manage long-term trusts and endowments thus assuring contributors that their long-term interests will be preserved.

Endowments are funds held in perpetuity for the benefit of a non-profit organization. While income from the endowment is spent to support the various activities of the beneficiary, the principal of these gifts is held intact to assure that income is available for an indefinite time to come. Endowments assure the ongoing stability of an organization and provide a solid base for its growth. They outlive current officers, trustees, programs and policies, permitting the organization to adapt to its changing environment. They insulate it against the inevitable disputes and mistakes that are part of every institution's life.


As was the case prior to the establishment of the Foundation, Trustees are elected by the SSA Board for three year terms. It is their direct responsibility to administer the income and disbursements of the various Tr ust Funds, to invest funds with an eye toward an appropriate balance of long-term performance and acceptable risk, and to report performance on a periodic basis to the SSA Board of Directors.

With establishment of the SSA Foundation, the Trustee roster was increased from three to six, with the sitting SSA Treasurer and the sitting SSA Chairman of the Administrative Committee as automatic one year term members. Decision-making is by majority vote.

All Trustees are volunteers and serve without compensation. Individuals who have served as Trustees are:

Dick Hall, Harner Selvidge, Ted Sharp, Doug Jacobs, Sterling Starr, Bill Sproull, Brian Utley, Jim Short, Eric Mozer, Steve Wasilowski, John Seaborn, and Al Gold

Current Trustees are listed in the Annual Reports of the Foundation.

Investment Approach

The Trustees act as investment advisors for the Foundation portfolio. Their objective is long term capital appreciation of the portfolio, while meeting a current requirement for annual distributions. It is the general policy of the Foundation to support SSA approved programs at a level of 5% of the yearly Fund Balance for yearly activities. This level provides both a stable level of funding to the program and is within the historical average earnings from fund investments. The policy of the Foundation is not to curtail program funding in down market years or to over-fund programs in high market growth years. Investment strategy is discussed at semi-annual meetings or in direct phone/email electronic discussions.

The Soaring Society of America Foundation investment policy can be found here.

The current named trusts designated for the SSA Foundation include:

  • Life Membership Trust Fund
  • Trophy Endowment Fund
  • General Endowment Fund
  • Eagle Program Funds
  • General Endowment Trust Fund
  • SSA Designated Trust Fund
  • Wolfgang B. Klemperer Memorial Fund
  • U.S. Team Trust Fund
  • Lawrence Wood Memorial Trust Fund
  • Robert L. Robertson Memorial Trust Fund
  • Youth Funds
      • Paul Kolstad Memorial Fund
      • Gross Cadet Youth Flight Scholarship Fund
      • Richard Bultman Memorial Fund

Posted: 7/10/2007