Americana Board of Trustees Honors Long-time Trustees Gary Rentrop and Bob Janson

Gary Rentrop

In May 2024, the Americana Foundation honored two long-time colleagues upon their retirement from the Board of Trustees. Gary Rentrop, a resident of Cross Village, MI, retired in December 2023 after serving on Americana’s Board of Trustees for nearly 44 years. Gary, an attorney in the partnership of Rentrop & Morrison, was a close advisor and chief counsel to Adolph H. Meyer and was involved in the Foundation from its earliest days. Over the years Gary helped to shape the Foundation’s program areas and contributed to a lasting legacy of grantmaking in the areas of American Heritage, food systems, and natural resources. He served as President of the Foundation from May 1983 to June 1997.

In addition to serving on Americana’s Board of Trustees, Gary devoted his career to advancing the cause of historic preservation and protecting Michigan’s natural resources. He advocated for numerous Michigan communities to protect important historic sites and guided the Michigan Historic Preservation Network as it developed an historic easement program. He served as a board member of MHPN from 2012 to 2021 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from MHPN in 2023.

Bob JansonBob Janson, a resident of The Villages, FL, retired from the Board effective in May 2024Bob served on Americana’s Board of Trustees for almost 29 years and served as Chair from June 1997 to May 2024. Bob’s leadership and tireless efforts as Board Chair helped the Foundation shape and refine its mission and challenged the Foundation to achieve ever-greater impact. His unique ability to bring people together and build consensus helped to build Americana’s reputation for quality grantmaking.

Bob grew up in Frankenmuth and was the first in his family to graduate from college. After graduation from Central Michigan University, he began a 35-year career in education, first in St. Clair Shores, MI as a teacher and coach and later as superintendent of the Lakeview Public Schools and the Mt. Pleasant Public Schools. Throughout his life and career, he has been committed to serving his community, most recently as President of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Scholarship Committee in The Villages, FL, and as the Team Leader of the My Time for Free Time Respite Care Program.

The Trustees of the Americana Foundation appreciate the countless hours Gary and Bob devoted to the Foundation over the years and their dedication to supporting projects that address the significant needs of grantees in Michigan, the Great Lakes region, and nationally in the heritage arena.

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