We believe a strong sense of community, inspired students, human health, thriving economies, and a healthy environment are inextricably linked, and our passionate team seeks solutions to sustain the planet and support happy and healthy populations.

The Foundation Legacy
Legacy of HWH, Jr.
Meet Our Team

Since its creation in 1989, The Herbert W. Hoover Foundation has funded over 800 grants totaling nearly $22,000,000 across the Foundation’s 4 main focus areas of community, education, science, and environment.

THE FOUNDATION LEGACY

The Hoover legacy stems from a long history of innovation, entrepreneurship, and community leadership ignited by William H. “Boss” Hoover in 1870, when Boss Hoover founded The Hoover Company, a successful leatherworks company in North Canton, Ohio. The Hoover Company’s best-selling product was a leather horse collar for transportation, but with the mass production of cars in the 1900s, the company diversified its catalog of offerings, including leather parts for the auto industry and sporting goods.

In 1908, Boss Hoover and his two eldest sons, Herbert W. Hoover, Sr., and Frank G Hoover, purchased a patent for the “Electric Suction Sweeper.” Quickly after The Hoover Company began manufacturing the first successful electric vacuum, sales took off as a result of the Company’s great design and superior and innovative form of marketing. To this day, the Hoover brand is one of the widely recognized brands in the world.

While The Hoover Company grew, as did the Hoover family’s generosity and deep connection the community. In 1923, Boss Hoover provided North Canton with its first library, art gallery, and YMCA, and he later served as North Canton’s first mayor (a position for which he did not run) and a lay minister at the local church.

Herbert W. Hoover, Sr., continued in his father’s footsteps leading the company to further success and positively impacting the community through philanthropy. Perhaps his most significant contribution was bringing 84 children to North Canton during World War II. The European headquarters of The Hoover Company was located just outside of London along with a factory employing several thousand workers.  As Germany continued to invade countries in continental Europe, Great Britain assumed that they would be next.  Out of great concern for his employees, Herbert W. Hoover, Sr. offered to bring any child of an employee of The Hoover Company to North Canton where they would be safe from harm.  84 children arrived in North Canton in August of 1940, just a month before Germany began bombing England in the Blitz.  The children were fostered in homes throughout the community until the war ended five years later.

Herbert W. Hoover, Jr., succeeded his father, Herbert W. Hoover, Sr., as Chairman of the Board and President of The Hoover Company from 1954 to 1966. While Herbert W. Hoover, Jr., was leading the company’s rapid expansion and opening factories around the globe, Herbert W. Hoover, Jr. was also spearheading initiatives leading to significant environmental conservation through his creation and management of the Hoover Foundation, the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, the Hoover Environmental Defense Fund, and the Hoover Environmental Group. A timeline of some of Herbert W. Hoover, Jr.’s, accomplishments as an early leader in the conservation movement are listed below.

THE LEGACY OF HERBERT W. HOOVER, JR.

1968 – Herbert W. Hoover, Jr., led the effort to create Biscayne National Monument, now Biscayne National Park.  Located within sight the metropolis of Miami, Florida and comprised of 95% water, Biscayne National Park protects over 172,000 acres of our world’s most precious ecosystems. This Park is home to nearly 600 species of fish, a portion of the third largest coral reef tract in the world, the longest continuous stretch of mangroves on Florida’s east coast, and over 10,000 years of human history.

1969 – Herbert W. Hoover, Jr. brought attention, through the funding of scientific studies, to thermal pollution in South Biscayne Bay, which resulted in the passage of a law setting a maximum temperature level for public water used to cool power plants.

1969 – Herbert W. Hoover, Jr. funded water studies in the Miami area that revealed high levels of sewage pollution due to septic tanks, water treatment plants, and hotels and other commercial properties releasing raw sewage into the waterways.  These findings spurred state and federal agencies to take action.  

1969 –  While Herbert W. Hoover, Jr., was President of the Hoover Foundation, the Hoover Foundation funded studies demonstrating high levels of pesticides contaminated multiple waterways in Miami-Dade County. The lead scientist of the study from the University of Miami stated this was “a very great danger to the health of the people in Dade County and its wildlife.” As a result of the findings, Dade County crafted an ordinance that followed the guidelines determined by the Hoover Foundation.

1973 – While Herbert W. Hoover, Jr., was President of the Hoover Foundation, the Hoover Foundation funded the creation of the visitor’s center at Elliot Key in Biscayne National Park, which is still standing today.

1987 – Herbert W. Hoover, Jr., through the organization he founded called “The Hoover Legal Defense Fund,” coordinated a nonpartisan effort to stop offshore oil drilling off the coast of Florida.  The “Save Our Shores” petition drive collected 120,000 signatures calling for a moratorium on drilling and new oil leases and many personal connections made with leaders in Florida and Washington, D.C. resulted in the creation of a national marine sanctuary in the Florida Keys that protected the area from oil drilling and ships.  This legislation was signed into law by President Bush on November 16, 1990.

1988 – Herbert W. Hoover, Jr. becomes actively engaged in the effort to halt the use of purse seine nets for the commercial fishing of tuna.  Fishing by this method entangled and killed hundreds of thousands of dolphins.  Because of the efforts of Herbert W. Hoover, Jr. and other environmental groups, the United States Congress signed the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act of 1990 that formalized the “dolphin-safe tuna” labeling that is still used today.

1989 – The Herbert W. Hoover Foundation is founded with Herbert W. Hoover, Jr., begins serving as its Chairman.

OUR TEAM

ELIZABETH LACEY HOOVER, CHAIRMAN

Elizabeth Lacey Hoover is the daughter of Herbert W. Hoover Jr. She embodies the long family tradition of community service, entrepreneurial skill, and teaching the next generation to preserve their natural resources and leave the world a better place. Environmentalist, philanthropist, and mother, she has served on the boards of the Marine Conservation Biology Institute, Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center, South Florida National Park Trust, National First Ladies Library, the Florida National Parks Association, and several others.

Ms. Hoover has created multiple initiatives to protect the environment and provide scientific information and education in user friendly and accessible formats available to schools and the general public. One notable project took place in 2000, when Ms. Hoover led the fight against efforts to turn the Homestead Air Force Base, located between Everglades National Park and Biscayne National park, into a commercial airport. The placement of an airport in this location would have had far-reaching negative impacts upon the sensitive ecosystems of the area as well as created significant national security concerns. Ms. Hoover’s efforts were successful, and the Air Force and United States federal government rejected the proposal.

Ms. Hoover is also the Founder and Chair of H2oover Environmental Foundation, Save The Blue, and Hoover Environmental Group.


COLTON HOOVER CHASE, VICE-CHAIRMAN

Colton Chase is the grandson of Herbert W. Hoover, Jr. He is a graduate of the University of Miami with a primary focus on ecosystem science and more specifically on how to articulate issues facing the environment to the general public through the use of film and other new media forms. Colton works with internationally-renowned scientists to express their complicated scientific messages in an exciting and understandable way.

Mr. Chase recently completed a series of online learning modules exploring the Ocean Health Index called the “Ocean Health Voyage.” This 9-week course provides students with an exciting, documentary-film style experience interviewing 9 different scientific experts from around the world. Each week focuses on a distinct marine science topic, and the expert scientist educates the student about the topic from the field where they conduct their research, including diving deep to explore corals in Hawaii and walking through the streets of Hong Kong discovering information about the illegal seahorse trade.

Mr. Chase is an underwater and aerial cinematographer and skilled drone pilot. Mr. Chase’s experience with philanthropy has come through working with multiple organizations – Neighbors 4 Neighbors, FarmShare, and the HWH Foundation being the most notable. Mr. Chase is currently a Board Member of the South Florida National Parks Trust.


DR. JEFF CONGENI, TRUST COMMITTEE MEMBER

Dr. Jeff Congeni is Board-Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. His Internship was at Akron City Hospital, where he also did his Residency. Dr. Congeni earned his MD from Northeastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine, and he earned his BA in Economics and Political Science from Yale University. Mr. Congeni lives with his family in Canton, Ohio.


JACQUELINE DEGARMO, TRUST COMMITTEE MEMBER

Jacqueline DeGarmo is the President and Founder of Hilliard Jeane, which offers planning, organizational design and creative direction to businesses and design firms working with educational organizations. She is the former Superintendent of Plain Local Schools in Stark County, Ohio, and she currently serves on the Boards for United Way of Greater Stark County, Kent State University at Stark, Walsh University, and Aultman Acute Care Specialty Hospital. She is also the volunteer director for “The Fourth Utility,” a Stark County area initiative for next generation broadband. Ms. DeGarmo and her husband reside in Canton.


CAITLIN VINDELLE WAKS, ESQ., PROGRAM + OUTREACH DIRECTOR

Caitlin Vindelle Waks received her B.A. from the University of Miami in Ecosystem Science and Policy, and thereafter received her J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law where she specialized in coastal and marine law and policy. While at the University of Florida, Mrs. Waks worked in the Conservation Clinic to facilitate the establishment of a marine protected area in the Bahamas and worked with other nonprofit organizations to fulfill their marine conservation goals, including the Surfrider Foundation and Audubon Florida. Upon graduation from law school, Mrs. Waks co-founded Debris Free Oceans, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring local communities to responsibly manage the life cycle of plastics and waste as part of a global initiative to eradicate marine debris. Mrs. Waks is also a Board Member of the Marine and Waterfront Protection Authority for the City of Miami Beach.


GABRIELLE GILBEAU, ESQ., OHIO PROGRAM MANAGER

Gaby Gilbeau received dual B.S. degrees from Virginia Tech in Animal Science and Dairy Science, and subsequently received her J.D. from Penn State Law where she focused her studies on agricultural and environmental law and policy. Upon graduation from Penn State Law, Gaby held a Litigation Fellowship position with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, where she worked on developing and litigating cases aimed at improving and protecting water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. After leaving the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Gaby returned to Penn State Law as a Staff Attorney, where she worked with researchers, external stakeholders, and federal and state agencies on law and policy development in the areas of water quality, agricultural production, nutrient runoff, and biofuel production.


MEGAN PELLEGRINO, ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALIST

Megan Pellegrino received her B.A. in History and M.A.T. in Integrated Social Studies Education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After graduating from Miami University, Megan spent ten years teaching courses in the Museum Studies Program at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. During that time, Megan also served as the Curator of the Hoover Historical Center. Megan is active in the Stark County community and lives in North Canton, Ohio with her husband and three children.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google