General Studies

Alumni Spotlight

Jason Troutwine's resume is as diverse as his college studies were.

While attending Indiana University East, Troutwine juggled classwork while earning a paycheck waiting tables, selling real estate and working as a caseworker for a mental health organization. And after graduating in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in general studies, he went to work in a new field, this time as a community fundraiser.

"It really gives you knowledge of a lot of different things," Troutwine said of his degree. "I was able to work and find out the things I liked and didn't like. I was able to really able to get some valuable work experience while I was going to school."

Fundraising is now Troutwine's passion. Since leaving IU East, Troutwine has worked for Wernle Children's Home, the Community Education Coalition and Reid Hospital.

His most rewarding moment? Watching Reid's new $318 million facility get built piece-by-piece on Richmond's north side.

"That was what my first years was all about, raising money for the new Reid," he said. "I pretty much know every nook and cranny of the place."

Today, Troutwine, 36, is the director of the Reid Hospital Foundation. Since 1975, the foundation has received over $21.8 million and granted $58.1 million to the hospital through community philanthropy, grants, investment management and various fund-raising efforts.

When construction on the new Reid began in 2004, Troutwine worked on a team that reached out to 9,000 prospective donors to ensure that dollars would be available to the hospital for future expansion and to build a "healing environment" on the hospital's campus.

At Reid, patients and their families are surrounded by a setting unique to hospitals; the extensive landscaping, art work and meditation garden are designed to provide a positive distraction to patients and their families.

"It's 15 minutes you've escaped what's going in your life," Troutwine said of the healing concept. "They are things that probably would not exist if not for the foundation and community philanthropy. It allows us to treat patients in all aspects of our mission – wholeness in mind, body and spirit versus solely the clinical aspect."

Under Troutwine's direction, the hospital received about 3,000 gifts last year, up from an average of 2,000 gifts from previous years. The foundation now has 10,000 donors.

Randy Kirk, a vice president at the hospital, said Troutwine's work has been vital in securing a bright future for the hospital.

"He came on board at a time when many things were changing for Reid Hospital," Kirk said. "Not only were we designing and preparing to build a new facility, but we were also at the threshold of building a capital campaign.

"He has a real knack for being highly organized," he said. "Very simply, when it comes to event logistics -- all of those things that happen behind the scenes -- he has a real talent for anticipating all of the facets of event planning and putting together a very well organized structure."

Troutwine learned how to be a successful fundraiser at Wernle Children's Home, now the Wernle Youth and Family Treatment Center, in Richmond, which provides services for troubled youth and their families. He was the organization's director of special events and development.

While there, Troutwine was involved in organizing events where talk-show personality Regis Philbon, and Ty Willingham, a college football coach, were among the organization's special guests.

"It was a really neat experience to see them come in," Troutwine said. "You get to share the good work you're doing with them."

Troutwine left Wernle to work for the Community Education Coalition in Connersville, where he helped the organization begin a development program by writing grants and restructuring the organization's image. The CEC promotes life-long learning by offering educational programming for all ages centered around art, science, technology and life skills.

Troutwine, a Wayne County native, said attending IU East prepared him for his eventual career in fundraising because he already had connections within the community.

"I have history with all those people," Troutwine said. "I was able to establish relationships with folks."