2016 Emerging Philanthropist Award
Steve and Mary Jane Foutch
Steve: ISU B.A. Architecture 1988, Univ. of Illinois M.A. Architecture 1991, Univ. of Illinois MBA 1991; CEO, Foutch Brothers
Mary Jane: Ellsworth Comm. College A.A. Legal Secretary, 1987
“Philanthropy is a big word to say that we are thankful for the blessings bestowed on us, and we hope we can help others achieve their goals and become part of something greater than ourselves,” said Steve Foutch.
After a successful career in architecture, Steve co-founded a development and construction firm with his brother in 2004. Now a recognized name in the historic renovation industry, they have saved and repurposed nearly $300 million in historic buildings and, according to Steve, “are just starting to build up some steam.”
The Foutches’ dedication to their community is evident to all those around them. The firm has received the Kansas Preservation Ad Astra Award and the Kansas City Business Journal Capstone Award, and they were honored by the Missouri Historic Preservation Program and three times by the Kansas Preservation Alliance.
“We are honored and humbled that so many influential people feel that what little we have done so far is worthy of recognition,” said Steve. For Mary Jane, this award reflects their giving philosophy. “When Steve attended Iowa State, he was working, studying or running on the track team, and he never managed to achieve a balance between the work and fun at college. Since those years are meant to be the last fling before entering the ‘real world,’ we wanted to try to give that balance to someone else by possibly alleviating a small part of the financial pressure. For me, that philosophy became the basis for the scholarship we established,” she said. “Isn’t that what life is all about, trying to make it better for those who come after you? Therein lies the blessing.”
Steve and Mary Jane live in Kansas City, Missouri, and have two children, Jackson and Honor. Their strong family values keep them focused on what is most important. “Our family still works together every day, and we have been blessed with the best kids anyone could ask for,” said Steve. “Not much else matters.”