Back in 2008, people were panicking. budgets looked bad—at work and at home—and for people in the banking business, it was downright dreadful. But anyone who was in the room with Doug Kroske will tell you he was not among the panicked at that time. Kroske was the vice-president of investments at RBC Liberty Life Insurance Company and treasurer and chair of the nance and investment committee at the Community Foundation of Greenville. In his thoughtful, diligent way, he convinced his fellow board members to trust the solid plan already developed, even as the nancial crises deepened. The steady approach paid off, and is one reason the foundation’s assets have more than doubled in recent years.
It’s hard to get Kroske to take much credit for that, however.
“Doug isn’t going to mention a whole lot about himself. You’d have to drag it out of him,” says former Liberty Life colleague, Porter Rose. “He’s the smart guy who will usually come up with the right answer, but he’s not very quick to jump to the conclusion. He comes to the right answer in the right way. He spends a lot of time getting supportive data for whatever it is he is proposing.”
“IT’S INCREDIBLE TO HAVE SOMEONE WITH DOUG’S EXPERIENCE LEAD OUR FINANCE AND INVESTMENT COMMITTEE. HE IS EXCEPTIONALLY BRIGHT AND IS VERY EFFECTIVE IN HIS ROLE AS OUR TREASURER. I AM VERY GRATEFUL TO DOUG AND OUR OTHER BOARD MEMBERS FOR THEIR GENEROSITY.”
Bob Morris, president of the Community Foundation of Greenville
Fellow committee member Bill Bridges agrees that Kroske is methodical, but says it in no way implies he is slow. In fact, Kroske is known for running ef client meetings. “He’s good at bringing people back on topic with a gentle reminder about why we’re there.” Kroske excels at con rming the group has reached a consensus, “and if there’s not one, working out the differences, and making sure the consensus is based on sound logic, not just what was read in the headlines that morning.”
Even when it comes to leisure activities, Kroske makes sure things get done right. He’s the one who sends the email reminder for the weekly social meetup of retired and current financial professionals in the Greenville area. Interestingly, the way he describes his work with the Community Foundation is almost exactly the way colleagues describe his execution of most things: the words “safe and prudent” are the first to roll off of his tongue. But that doesn’t mean he’s not having a good time.
GIVING CREDIT // As treasurer and chair of the Community Foundation’s finance and investment committee, Doug Kroske has consistently offered his time, talent, and wisdom to bene t the foundation’s countless charitable activities.
“It’s really fun,” says Kroske. “It’s my way of keeping involved in the investment world. It’s really my rst love.” He also sees his board service as a way to pay homage to Francis Hipp, one of the founders of the Community Foundation and former chairman of Liberty Corporation.
“I feel like I have some duty to help see that his and other founders’ visions for improving the community live on. I would like to think they’d be impressed by the impact that the organization has,” he says. Kroske sees the Foundation as a bit of a hidden gem, and an efficient, hard-working, behind-the-scenes catalyst that probably deserves more recognition after decades of effort. Its work is important, if sometimes quiet. He says this with complete sincerity, and with a smile, seemingly unaware that it’s exactly what other people think about him.
THE RUTH NICHOLSON AWARD IS THE HIGHEST HONOR PRESENTED BY THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION EACH YEAR AND HONORS THE VOLUNTEER WHO HAS MADE SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE GREENVILLE COMMUNITY THROUGH VOLUNTEER WORK FOR THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OR TO ONE OF ITS PROJECTS, PROGRAMS, OR AREAS OF EMPHASIS.