High Foundation creates extraordinary legacy
When the $65 million High Foundation Fund was established here at Lancaster County Community Foundation last fall, it was truly extraordinary. In fact, that was just the beginning of S. Dale High’s innovative plan to sustain his legacy of using business and philanthropy to contribute to the greater good of the community.
Now, S. Dale High and the High Family announce the transfer of family ownership of High Industries to High Foundation. This new structure, making High Foundation a major stakeholder of High Industries, will result in millions of dollars of profits being invested into the Lancaster community and other communities where High Industries provides economic investment and employment.
High Industries is a major force in building and rebuilding North America’s infrastructure. High companies employ nearly 2,000 co‐workers in 11 businesses in 38 locations in six states. This new structure gives co‐workers a direct line to creating more thriving, vibrant communities where they live and work. Profits will be invested into the High Foundation for the good of the community, toward initiatives that address poverty and community transformation, cultural and economic vibrancy, and collaboration and social innovation. High Foundation investments will be disbursed through:
- Major partnerships and collaborations
- The grant application process on highfoundation.org
- Scholarships for children of High co‐workers
- High Foundation Fund at Lancaster County Community Foundation
“This is the creation of a new kind of company,” said Dale High, “where High Foundation has become the major shareholder and the community is the recipient of the profits of High Industries moving forward. This allows our co-workers the satisfaction of knowing that the profits they help generate will go back into the community. So, every day when they are building value, they are building it for the community.”
A Higher Purpose
As he began to plan for the next chapter of High Industries, Dale High envisioned a change in the structure of the company—an inspired model that continues the company’s legacy and work in the community. He asked the question, What if we could create a company that directly benefits the community? This shift continues the legacy of Dale High’s transformative and innovative leadership, which has guided High Industries in using business as a force for good in the community for decades, and High Foundation as a committed community partner for the past 40 years.
“I am proud of Dale and our family for making this move,” said Suzanne High. “The High Family wholly supports this change as a continuation of its legacy and philosophy. While ownership of High Industries is changing to the High Foundation, the High Family will remain in the companies in a number of ways. For me, as Vice Chair of the High Foundation, I have seen first‐hand the life‐changing impact of our investments, and I am excited to see that continue to grow.”
A Bridge to Opportunity
Since 1980, High Foundation has been a thought leader and community partner, contributing over $20 million to projects and initiatives that eliminate the cycle of poverty and enable the dignity, diversity, equality, and inclusion of all people. High Foundation’s 40‐year legacy of impact spans improvements in education, health and human services, arts and culture, historic preservation, environmental stewardship, and social enterprise in Lancaster City and beyond.
Robin Stauffer will continue to lead High Foundation as Executive Director and work with key community partners. High Foundation has put a strong governance structure in place to support future growth and collaboration. Additional Trustees have recently been added to the Board, and Committees have been created. High Foundation will be scaled appropriately to handle the growth that will occur as a result of the new structure, and the High Family has ensured that sufficient reserves are in place to maintain financial durability for years to come.
“This is a remarkable gift from Dale High to High co‐workers and our communities,” said Robin Stauffer, Executive Director of High Foundation. “This new structure multiplies the already generous impact High Foundation has had and emboldens the Foundation for even greater impact.”
The Ultimate Example of Business for Good
Family‐owned since 1931, Lancaster‐based High Industries is a major force in building and rebuilding North America’s infrastructure. Since joining the family business in 1963, Dale has led High Industries to success through the thoughtful, intentional approach of putting people, community, and business for good above all else. Today, High companies employ nearly 2,000 co‐workers in 11 businesses in 38 locations in six states.
High Industries will continue to thrive and grow under the leadership of its existing Board of Directors, CEO Mike Shirk, the High Executive Committee and High Industries leadership teams. High Industries will continue to maintain a healthy financial position and have the capacity to invest in its strategic plans. The High Philosophy of building trustworthy relationships and being innovative leaders will continue to define corporate culture and values.
What will change is that profits from High Industries will be managed, grown, and distributed into the community through High Foundation under the leadership of the Board of Trustees and Executive Director Robin Stauffer. This means that profits will directly benefit the communities in which High companies provide economic investment and employment.
“In the past, dividends distributed from High Industries went to the High Family. Now they will go directly to High Foundation for investment in the communities where our companies operate. This immediately grows the resources available to High Foundation. It’s the ultimate commitment to social responsibility and doing business for good in an impactful and lasting way. It’s a truly bold and unique move made possible through Dale High’s vision and dedication to making it happen,” noted Mike Shirk, CEO High companies.
The Community Foundation is honored to walk beside the High Family and team at High Foundation as we work together to embolden extraordinary community. To view Dale High’s announcement about this extraordinary gift to the Lancaster and High co‐worker communities, please visit www.highfoundation.org.