IPA Blog

Member Spotlight: Dr. Pete McCown, Community Foundation of Elkhart County

Thursday, June 13, 2019
Find More By
News type 
Little Petey McCown

This member spotlight features Dr. Pete McCown, president of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County.

How did you get started in this work?

I spent the first 20 years of my career in college fundraising, administration, and teaching. In 2011, I was serving as a professor of business at Bethel College here in the South Bend – Elkhart region when the CFEC board approached me about taking on the presidency of the foundation. The rest is history.

What has kept you there?

I love pastoring the spiritual discipline of generosity. I have the privilege of seeing people in this community make investments intended to improve the lives of others, which I find incredibly rewarding.

What’s the biggest impact your organization has made this year?

We are about to open a 170,000-sft health, aquatics, and community center here in Elkhart. CFEC played a lead role in coordinating a partnership for this project involving Beacon Health System, Elkhart Community Schools, and the City of Elkhart. In addition, CFEC organized a fundraising effort that resulted in nearly $30 million of philanthropic support to help fund this $70 million project.

Who are your favorite authors?

C.S. Lewis, Tom Clancy, and Patrick Lencioni

Who/What inspires you?

People who are generous with their time, talent, and treasure. More specifically, the passion and dedication of CFEC’s team of staff, volunteers, donors, and NPO leaders.

What keeps you up at night?

SportsCenter on ESPN and Blacklist reruns.


About Pete

Dr. Pete McCown is President of the Community Foundation of Elkhart County (CFEC). Since taking on that role in 2011, CFEC’s balance sheet has grown from $50 million to over $300 million in assets. As president, he serves as CFEC’s chief investment officer and helps coordinate work of both the growing staff and the dozens of volunteers who serve as board and committee members. As it has grown to be one of the top 100 community foundations in the United States, McCown has guided the organization and helped shape its culture, strategies, and policies. Before taking on the presidency, McCown served as a professor of business and vice president for advancement at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana. Pete and his wife, Wendy, recently celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary. They are the parents of four adult sons and one teenage daughter. Pete and Wendy are active members of South Bend City Church.


Do you have questions or ideas for collaboration? Reach out using IPA's Member Directory.

IPA's Member Spotlight Series

IPA Member Spotlights are written by IPA members to share their personality, purpose, and passion for philanthropy. By following this series, you can connect with peers doing work similar to yours and find opportunities for collaboration. If you're interested in being featured, contact Lissa Silotto.

Find More By
News type 
IPA News
23 Hoosiers Selected for Mutz Philanthropic Leadership Institute 2023 Class
January 30, 2023
Statehouse News
Statehouse News - Week 10
March 20, 2023
Member News
DeKalb County Collaboration Addresses Mental Health
March 17, 2023
Member News
Dubois County Community Foundation Releases 2022 Report to the Public
March 16, 2023