After 12 years as the executive director of the Darien Foundation, Pam Dysenchuk is retiring. Dysenchuk joined in 2005, when the organization was still known as the Darien Technology Foundation. Then, it gave grants solely for technology projects such as the Pasco Physics Lab for Darien High School and mobile data terminals for the Darien Fire Departments.
Dysenchuk steered the non-profit as it expanded its mission to include other capital needs of Darien’s emergency services, public schools, and community organizations. The Foundation awards grants for special projects that are beyond the funding capabilities of these groups and which will positively impact the Darien community. Dysenchuk worked hard to reach out to the many constituencies in town so that they could turn to the foundation as a resource.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed guiding the Darien foundation as it has grown to become an important and influential organization in our wonderful town,” said Dysenchuk. “The foundation has made, and will continue to make, significant and long-lasting contributions to this community. It has been a great honor to have served as its executive director.”
Dysenchuk made herself accessible to the school administrations, Darien town leaders, and community organizations. She worked closely with groups as they applied for grants, helping them to clarify their needs and mentoring them through the process. Whether it was a special operations vehicle for Post 53 or a hydrogen fuel cell for the high school, Dysenchuk was on the case.
“Pam’s contributions to the Darien Foundation have been enormous,” said Kim Westcott, a director on the board. “Her intellectual curiosity, her kindness, and her ability to get things done have resulted in many awesome projects coming before the Foundation board and ultimately being funded.”
During Dysenchuk’s tenure, the Darien Foundation gave away over $3.8 million in grants for projects. Darien’s emergency services were provided with diverse resources including mapping software for Post 53, software and training systems for the police, and an amphibious rescue vehicle for the fire departments. The public schools have benefited tremendously with grants for science and technology labs, music labs, band equipment, and elementary school gardens to name just a few.
Other community projects funded by the foundation include the Playground by the Sound at Weed Beach, the DCA Bird Sanctuary, a new automobile for At Home in Darien, audio-visual equipment for the Darien Historical Society, a training technology lab at the YWCA, and Darien Little League scoreboards. Organizations such as The Depot, the Darien Arts Center, and the Darien Nature Center and the Andrew Shaw Scout Cabin have all benefited from grants provided by the Foundation. In addition, The Darien Foundation has made significant contributions to the capital campaigns of Person to Person, the YMCA, The Darien Library, A Better Chance, and The Darien Athletic Foundation.
“Pam was instrumental to building up the foundation and increasing its impact throughout our community. She has been a great leader who is well-respected around town,” said Ward Glassmeyer, Chairman of The Darien Foundation.
During her tenure, Pam helped the Darien Foundation provide a wealth of benefits to the town. With her professionalism, acumen, and buoyant efficiency, she has truly made a difference in Darien, the foundation said.