Smithville, Mo. (December 15, 2020) — Prominent Missouri businessman Stanley Herzog gave a simple directive before he passed away in 2019: advance Christian education. Now, the Stanley M. Herzog Foundation is doing just that. The Herzog Foundation will support the advancement and acceleration of non-denominational Christian education through a several-hundred-million-dollar endowment.
The Herzog Foundation aims to increase the availability of quality, Christian education. The foundation’s primary focus will be K-12, with an eye toward continuing education in colleges and trade schools. Initiatives will include fully operational schools, home schooling, curriculum development, learning pods and more.
“Our father believed in the foundational importance of a Christian education in young people’s lives; an education that instills important values like commitment to God, family, and community,” Herzog’s children Laurel Herzog-Woods and Jacob Herzog said. “We are honored to know that his legacy will be carried forward through the life-changing and community-impacting work of this foundation.”
The foundation has broken ground on a state-of-the-art, 18,000-square-foot headquarters in Smithville, Mo. The building will feature an exhibition hall, a conference center with space available for visitors from across the country and office space for current and future employees. Construction is slated for completion in Oct. 2021.
The Herzog Foundation will be led by a Board of Directors including:
- Chairman of the Stanley M. Herzog Foundation Todd Graves, a lawyer in private practice with the law firm of Graves Garrett, where he represents clients nationwide before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. His areas of expertise include complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, political speech and election law, internal investigations and regulatory compliance. Todd is also the former United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
- Vice President of the Stanley M. Herzog Foundation John Elliot, the Vice President of Inside Information, a company he founded with wife Julie to provide marketing and research services to electric utilities nationwide. John currently serves as the Platte County, Missouri District 2 Associate Commissioner, where he is actively involved in implementing long-term planning and budgeting. Additionally, he oversees the County’s Information Technology Department and Public Works Department.
- Secretary and Treasurer of the Stanley M. Herzog Foundation Kristen Ansley is the founder and President of KBA, LLC, a Kansas City-based firm. Prior to her current work, Blanchard Ansley practiced business defense litigation for the law firm Blanchard, Robertson, Mitchell & Carter, P.C. in her hometown of Joplin, Missouri.
“I look forward to honoring the commitment I made to my friend Stan to transform the landscape of Christian education through the unique value the Herzog Foundation will provide,” Chairman of the Stanley M. Herzog Foundation Todd Graves said. “I am grateful for this opportunity to help others grow through Christian education.”
The Herzog Foundation will work with decision makers and key opinion leaders in Christian education to create models of excellence. Initial efforts will focus within the state of Missouri, with quick expansion to regions throughout the country. The Board of Directors have already made their first strategic hire: President Darrell Jones. Rev. Darrell R. Jones, D.Min. has served as Senior Pastor at Grace Evangelical Church in St. Joseph, Missouri since 1997. Prior to that, he began serving at Grace Evangelical as Youth Pastor and Worship Pastor in 1986.
The foundation’s goals for the first 24 months include selecting an Executive Director to establish operational/internal procedures; developing and executing a Christian education “State of the Union” survey to gain insight into areas of excellence already in place; developing the Herzog Excellence Model to set perimeters and ensure expectations are being met by all; becoming recognized as a leader in non-denominational Christian education.