In September 2005, Marlo Fox, Karin VanZant and Ellen Waild established a work plan based on an opportunity to serve a need in the Springfield, Ohio community. The need was for one organization to offer capacity building, training and technical assistance, and local meeting space for health and human service organizations. The social service network in Clark County, Ohio was programmatically strong; however, the organizations' operational infrastructure lacked long-term sustainability.
Think Tank attributes its early success to the integrity and reputation of its staff and volunteers, its ability to form strategic partnerships, and, by the grace of God, the opportunity to address unmet needs in the community. There have been many opportunities since 2005 to serve our community. Special projects have included research on foreclosures, employee surveys for a large multi-county organization, policy and procedure writing, grant writing for various non-profit organizations and training/professional development sessions.
Think Tank Inc. believes that while our community may face many challenges, there are committed people and organizations with solutions. Our success depends upon relationships built with individuals and organizations in the community. We value working with problem solvers to alleviate poverty and create a sustainable, prosperous community.
Since our inception, we have learned a lot about what we have to offer. We have expanded our team from two part-time founders to 7.5 FTE as well as a robust AmeriCorps VISTA project that boasts twenty (20) FTE positions. Think Tank staff and VISTAs have been called on to provide a variety of services to our community. In 2009, we expanded our work to Montgomery County and located a satellite office at the Sun Rise Center on East 5th Street. Lead by John White, Dayton Circles and Reentry Circles of Dayton were developed along with many partnerships with local government officials, government organizations, churches and non-profits.
In 2010, Think Tank stepped into the national scene by providing all of the training, coaching and technical assistance to the National Circles Campaign. This role allowed for both local Circles initiatives to glean the best practices from across the country as well as solidify funding resources to grow and expand.
In 2011, executive leadership and board members completed a three year strategic plan. This plan will guide the organization for the next few years. Key aspects of the plan can be found in the download section of this website.
It has been an amazing six years and I can't wait to see what the next six years will bring.
Sincerely - K. VanZant; Co-founder and CEO