VCCF Donor Spotlight: Interview with Mike Merewether by Ginny Claborn

 In Blog

September 17, 2021

Who or what has most inspired you on your philanthropic journey?

George Esseff, a board member with Many Mansions and the village that is named in his honor. Barbara Meister, Jordan & Sandra Laby for their generosity and commitment. Vanessa Bechtel for her vision and dedication to serving and making a positive difference in the community.

What was your first experience in giving to a cause?

In 1985 the Ventura YMCA approached Loretta and me about sponsoring a children’s playground complete with a slide. It was our first stretch gift into philanthropy.

If you could grant one wish to your community what would it be?

World Peace.

What is your greatest fear?

Political discord.

What fills you up with hope?

Working with other people and their organizations who are making a difference in our community. Cabrillo Economic Development Housing, Rubicon Community Theatre, Ventura Botanical Gardens, Ventura County Community Foundation and our Family Foundation. Young people who are willing to work hard and see what they can accomplish. Doing difficult things, succeed and have a big impact.

How would you describe your current state of mind?


Who do you most admire?

John Fowler, retired CEO of Peoples Self Help Housing; Martha MacCallum, American broadcaster with FOX news; Fareed Zakaria, journalist, political commentator and author; General Jack Keane, retired four star general and former Vice Chief of Staff US Army; and Vanessa Bechtel, CEO Ventura County Community Foundation.

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