Happy Birthday, ACHIEVA Family Trust

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Message from Steve Suroviec, ACHIEVA's President & CEO

There have been several momentous occasions during 2018 for ACHIEVA, but one of them has yet to be truly celebrated - the ACHIEVA Family Trust turned 20 this year! 
How about a little history? The Family Trust’s Articles of Incorporation as a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation were filed with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on January 20, 1998. Its 501(c)(3) determination letter from the federal Internal Revenue Service was issued April 15, 1998. And the first trust was opened July 1, 1998 for beneficiary No.1 with a deposit of $24,927.11 (beneficiary #1 still has a trust with ACHIEVA Family Trust today!).  

Since 1998, ACHIEVA Family Trust has seen a lot of growth, expanding from just one to 2,226 beneficiaries today. Assets under management have surged from the initial $25,000 to $120 million. And its staff has grown from two to nineteen, with its geographic presence moving into two other corners of the state. Regional offices are now staffed in both Erie and Philadelphia. 

ACHIEVA Family Trust, through its Future Planning Project, has become a one stop resource for families trying to plan for the future of their loved one with a disability.  No-cost consultations are provided to families advising them about the potential use of Third Party Special Needs Trusts to preserve a future legacy for their family member.

What makes ACHIEVA Family Trust unique is not only its willingness to work with families of relatively modest means (i.e., a trust can be created with smaller amounts of money than most commercial banks require), or its individualized “case management” that helps the beneficiary navigate other resources available and, in turn, maximize the trust’s impact, but also the fact that it offers something called a “Charitable Residual Account.” When beneficiaries of the Pooled Trust pass and funds remain, many nonprofit pooled trusts will simply put those funds into operations. ACHIEVA Family Trust does not do that. Rather, its Charitable Residual Account is used to assist people with disabilities and their families in other ways, paying for such things as iPads, vehicle modifications, adaptive bikes and strollers, or attending camps. ACHIEVA Family Trust has distributed more that $5 million dollars over the years for these types of products and services – products and services that advance the independence, self-determination, recreation, and overall community belonging for people with disabilities in need. 
Congratulations to the many trustees who have served on the ACHIEVA Family Trust Board over the years and to those serving presently. Sincerest appreciation also goes to Amy Dolan Strano, ACHIEVA Family Trust’s President, as well as her impressive, caring, and dedicated staff who continue to deliver professional services to their many beneficiaries. The future looks bright for the ACHIEVA Family Trust, and I for one am looking forward to the next 20 years.

As always, please feel free to send me constructive comments or questions (ssuroviec@achieva.info).