On Thursday, November 1, 2018, The Community Foundation saluted Linda Youngentob as the 2018 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year at our annual Celebration of Giving.
Linda’s philanthropic journey was first shaped by her parents who emphasized tikkun olam, the belief that we all have a responsibility to heal the world. While pursuing a busy career in the telecommunications field, Linda and her husband, Bob, always made giving and volunteerism a top priority for their girls, Lisa, Jamie, and Casey. In addition to supporting numerous international causes, Linda spearheaded the first Mitzvah Day at Washington Hebrew Congregation in 1992, which galvanized hundreds of congregants to volunteer with local nonprofits and has since become a national model adopted by synagogues around the world.
More recently, Linda felt compelled to focus her professional, volunteer, and philanthropic resources on her main passion: empowering youth to achieve their higher education goals, attain professional success, and give back to the community. She left a successful career in the private sector to become a Macklin Business Institute faculty member at Montgomery College, where she eventually joined the Montgomery College Foundation Board and now co-chairs its Capital Campaign.
While impressed by her students’ talent and drive, she was deeply troubled by the overwhelming barriers holding them back from completing a college degree. To tackle these larger issues, she became a volunteer and board member for several youth-focused organizations: CollegeTracks, FutureLink, and Identity, Inc. She also tapped into her business acumen and networks for Compass, an organization that enables nonprofits to address pressing challenges in order to make a deeper impact.
In 2014, Linda and Bob took the next step in their philanthropic journey by opening a giving fund at The Community Foundation. Linda quickly became an active member of our Sharing Montgomery Grants Committee, lending her keen analytical skills to assess high-impact nonprofits supporting our County’s low-income neighbors. While connecting and learning from other inspiring philanthropists, Linda quickly found even more ways to activate her friends and family to experience the deep joy in giving back.
All of us at The Community Foundation express our deep appreciation to Linda for her thoughtful leadership, tireless advocacy, and strategic philanthropy which have touched the lives of so many throughout our community. She is an inspiring example of the positive difference each of us can make when we give where we live.