Carol Flatten, who has been with the Foundation for Southeast Texas for more than a decade, is retiring. She said she loves the foundation and feels a great sense of reward at her accomplishments while she worked there, but it will soon be all over. Flatten said she will miss her position as executive director for an organization that serves numerous area nonprofits and countless local citizens, but she is also thrilled. She is thrilled because she knows her beloved organization will be in the best of hands, the hands of her successor, Carol Eddins.
“It’s been such an easy transition,” Flatten said of passing the torch to Eddins. “We actually have a lot in common, the way we organize things. We both come from the volunteer world and have been active in charities throughout the community. … It is just kind of remarkable what we have both done in the community that prepared us for this job.”
“I grew up here,” said Eddins, who has five children with husband Gerald. “We live here. We chose to live here. I raised my children here. I believe when you live here, you give here — your time, your talents and your treasures.”
Flatten said one of her proudest moments during her tenure with the foundation was helping to build the AB2 Memorial Scholarship Fund established in memory of Alicia Bonura and Ashley Brown, West Brook High School soccer players killed in a bus accident in 2006. It started as a fund to provide scholarships for the students who survived the bus crash, all of whom received scholarships when they entered college, and is now available for future scholarships.
Eddins said she hopes to see the foundation grow and believes that one way to do that is to make it easier to donate. She hopes to modernize the foundation’s website and add features allowing people to donate online, ultimately even matching them with specific charities if desired. She said philanthropy was encouraged in her family and she is sure people want to give. They just need guidance, and she can provide that for them at the Foundation for Southeast Texas.
“My parents inspired me many years ago to take pride in my community, to help lift up others, and to recognize the importance of giving your time and financial resources,” said Eddins. “I hope that I am able to inspire my children, friends and others to give back and truly understand the need and importance of being philanthropic. The Foundation for Southeast Texas has a great purpose, and I’m excited to be part of creating a better future for all of us, right here where we live.”
— Sharon Brooks