Oyster Bay is full of hard-working, civic-minded residents who work together to support and enrich the community, and one organization that stands at the forefront is the Community Foundation of Oyster Bay. The group, founded in 1965, appointed a new president at the end of last year — Julia Vaughn, who is looking forward to continuing to help Oyster Bay and its residents.
Vaughn, 39, grew up in town, and although she now lives in Locust Valley with her husband, Eric, and their children, Louise and Henry, she has always had a close connection with Oyster Bay. A management consultant who works with entrepreneurs, mostly in interior design, she has been a member of the Community Foundation for seven years, and vice president for the last four.
Although her parents were involved in the foundation during her childhood — her father, David Deming, was its president — Vaughn said she actually knew relatively little about the organization until she joined it.
“I don’t think I truly understood the makeup of our community and how much good that gets done until I became involved,” she said. “It’s been an eye-opening and rewarding experience for me.”
The Community Foundation is a nonprofit corporation run by local volunteers that helps financially support other nonprofits in Oyster Bay and the surrounding area. It helps fund services for children and families, as well as the Hispanic and senior communities, and programs that benefit the community. As president, Vaughn’s job will be to coordinate the group’s funds and oversee its efforts.
The foundation’s board of trustees are all volunteers. Jeffrey Prey, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Oyster Bay and a trustee for nearly two decades, explained that they appointed Vaughn president because of her commitment to their work as well as her background in business management.
“Julia is a daughter of the community,” Prey said. “But she also has a skill set that’s helpful in terms of management. She understands financial controls and is very well connected with the different organizations of the community.”
Vaughn was chosen to lead the foundation by its Executive Committee, which consists of the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, as well as other members the president chooses to add.
Vaughn is part of a younger generation of foundation members who are taking an active role in the organization’s management. Many of the new trustees grew up in Oyster Bay and had relatives in the group, which helps it function more like an extended family.
One of those younger members is Fern Senior, one of two new co-vice presidents. Senior, who was a classmate of Vaughn’s at East Woods School, said she was encouraged to join the organization by Vaughn, and that she was excited to continue working with her fellow Spartan.
“Julia’s very passionate about the Community Foundation,” Senior said. “I’m excited to work with her more on growing awareness for our work in the community.”
The foundation helps support a number of organizations in the hamlet, such as the Youth & Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay-East Norwich, which provides mental health and social services to people across Nassau County.
Vaughn’s predecessor, Cathy Hogg, will remain on the Executive Committee as its secretary. Hogg, who has headed the organization for the past seven years, expressed great faith in Vaughn, and said she was looking forward to seeing her and other younger members take the lead in foundation activities.
“One of the most exciting things about having a group of many new younger board members now is that they have lots of ideas on how to bring us more and more into the 21st century with technology and social media,” Hogg said. “I’m very excited to see what they’re going to do, and I’m happy to be supportive in whatever way I can.”