A Warsaw native, Alex Hall grew up just a short bike ride from Center and Pike Lakes, where he’d meet up with friends at the beach or the boardwalk. “We were just kids, running around the streets of Warsaw,” he remembers with a smile. “It was pretty fun.” These days, Alex works downtown and lives in neighboring Winona Lake. As a nonprofit professional with a background in environmental science, and as a lake resident himself, he understands just how deeply the lakes shape and support the culture, economy, and health of his hometowns.
“People who don’t live on or near a lake might not understand how much value the lakes bring,” Alex points out. Kosciusko County, for example, contains over 100 lakes. They’re not just beautiful features of the local landscape; they’re also essential to local communities. From seasonal tourists to new residents, the lakes draw people to the area, he explains. They help support businesses, amenities, and experiences–an ice rink, vibrant downtowns, unique shops and restaurants, and so much more. In fact, they contribute an estimated $313 million dollars to our local economy, according to the Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams.
“Because the lakes are here, they make other things possible,” says Alex.
CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY
Alex is passionate about community. It’s something he discovered years ago while serving in Kosciusko Endowment Youth Services (KEYS), a program of Kosciusko County Community Foundation (KCCF). Through KEYS, students are entrusted with grant funds to distribute to local teachers. “It was very empowering to be stewards of those dollars, to invest them in our community the best way we could,” Alex remembers. “That experience changed my life.”
At Manchester University, Alex studied business, biology, and environmental science, and he began volunteering for The Watershed Foundation (TWF). Later, he earned a Master’s degree in nonprofit management at Grace College, where for five years, he served as Associate Director of Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams. At the Lilly Center, he wore many hats, from managing programs to supporting students to wading into creeks for water samples. Then in 2022, he became Vice President of Programs at KCCF, returning to the place that sparked his commitment to service. “It feels like coming home,” he says. “It’s full circle. And it’s a blessing I never take for granted.”
Now Alex oversees grant and scholarship programs and helps local nonprofits and their boards access training, guidance, and resources. According to Alex, board members play a powerful role in communities. “By nature and by law, nonprofits have to have boards,” Alex explains. Nonprofits provide critical services–feeding the poor, finding homes for animals, protecting natural resources, and so much more. Board members volunteer their gifts, abilities, and time to guide and support those organizations. “It can feel procedural,” Alex admits. “You attend a meeting, you vote to approve something–but it’s vital. Nonprofits can’t do their work effectively without engaged boards.”
Alex joined the TWF board of directors in 2017. As treasurer, he tracks finances, serves on committees, and connects the public to TWF’s mission. Board membership keeps him connected to the science of protecting local lakes, and it allows him to use his nonprofit expertise, environmental insight, and leadership skills to make a difference.
“It’s really fulfilling to know that by having a seat at the board table, I’m helping the community,” Alex says. “To take care of our community–not just our lakes, our community–we need people to serve.”
We’re grateful for Alex, our board members, and all who lend their time and talents to make our community stronger!
Our lakes need help. Our lakes need you. You can volunteer on clean water projects, take an action pledge, attend an event, donate funds – there are so many ways to make a difference! Will you join us?