The CFWA was created in 1999 as an initiative of the Tuscaloosa Estate Planning Council. This Council is a professional association of certified public accountants, tax attorneys, life underwriters, trust officers, law professors and educational development officers.
The role of the CFWA is to manage donor funds and build endowments as well as make grants to local charities. In a nutshell, we link local donors with local needs. The CFWA primarily serves the nine county area of Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties. However, the Foundation can benefit any charitable cause within the Foundation’s guidelines, regardless of location.
The initial board of the CFWA consisted of the following nine directors: John L. Blackburn, Jody Blackburn, Davis S. Burton, Marion Combs, Laura K. Gregory, Thomas A. Nettles, IV, Larry O’ Neal, William Tate and William Walker. Marion Combs served as the first president and executive director. Davis S. Burton served as the first chairman of the board and continued to serve in that capacity until 2009. Claude Edwards currently serves as the board chair.
In the early developing years, all the work for the foundation was performed by the board of directors. Lucy Kubiszyn was the first staff member employed by the CFWA. She was hired in July of 2003 as the executive director working primarily in a consulting role. The CFWA moved into its present physical office in September 2004. As the CFWA grew and the executive director position required more time, Amanda Espy-Brown was hired as a part-time executive director in July 2005. Amanda worked for the CFWA just less than one year leaving to take a teaching position at UA.
Glenn Taylor assumed the executive director’s role in June 2006 and the CFWA added an administrative assistant position in July of that year with the addition of Rebecca Elmore to the staff. Cynthia Johnson was added to the staff in October 2015 as the Director of Development.