Former Coast Guard Foundation Chairman Ross E. Roeder is one of six recipients of the 2012 Spirt of Hope Award. Mr. Roeder was nominated by the Coast Guard for his work as leader of the Board of Directors. Each branch of the armed services nominates someone for the award, which recognizes volunteer efforts for military. The Spirit of Hope honor is named after comedian Bob Hope, who dedicated countless hours to the men and women of the armed services through his work with the USO.
From 2005 to 2011, Ross E. Roeder led the Coast Guard Foundation Board of Directors with a sure hand, helping expand the organization's support to men and women of the Coast Guard. Ross first became involved with the Coast Guard Foundation in 1989, when he regularly contributed to the Annual Fund. In 2002, Ross became a board member and served as chairman of the Pacific Area Awards Dinner in 2003.
Kelly Hope, son of Bob Hope, looks on as Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp presents the Spirit of Hope Award to Ross E. Roeder at an award ceremony at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Nov. 15, 2012. The Spirit of Hope Award is presented annually by the five Armed Services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to recognize the outstanding service of men and women whose patriotism and service reflects the character of Bob Hope. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.
In 2005, Ross became Chairman of the Board of the Coast Guard Foundation. In this role, Ross oversaw and directed many new initiatives, and strengthened the Foundation's partnerships and programs for the benefit of the men and women of the United States Coast Guard. In 2007, Ross and the Executive Committee began a process to re-align the board of trustees to be a more efficient, fundraising-focused group that also serves as goodwill ambassadors for the Coast Guard across the country. Ross also led the Foundation through highly technical compliance issues for board governance, and established best practices for overall operational and organizational structure.
The Foundation strengthened its support for education under Ross' tenure, as we expanded scholarships for children of enlisted members and spouses so that all members of Coast Guard families have access to support for education opportunities.
The Evergreen Fund was rebranded to the Coast Guard Foundation Shipmate Fund, the method of allocation was revised and the Foundation established new efficiencies in the grants process. Support
for the Coast Guard Academy resulted in a new, hi-tech computer lab, a new track and field complex and a partnership to build eight new state-of-the-art sailboats for the Coastal Sail Training Program.
In times of great need, the Coast Guard Foundation is there for the Coast Guard — this concept grew in Ross' time as chairman, through the establishment of three major giving programs: the Disaster
Relief Fund; the Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund; and the Family Disaster Relief Fund. Throughout his tenure on the board and as board Chairman, Ross led by example. His personal generosity, through support of the annual fund, specific funds and projects, as well as events, improved the Foundation's ability to provide for Coast Guard men and women.