Vocational Spotlight: Karen Lambert

Karen Lambert is a Macon Rotary member, classified under Private Foundation. She serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Peyton Anderson Foundation.

The Peyton Anderson Foundation is an independent, place-based foundation investing in the good works of people in Central Georgia and improving the quality of life in the region.

As President of the Foundation, Karen works with a board of trustees to ensure that the Foundation’s philanthropy serves as a lasting memorial to a man whose goodwill lives on long after him.

Peyton Anderson, owner in the 1960s and 70s of the Macon Telegraph and the Macon News, was a highly successful businessman, family man, civic leader and philanthropist. In his will, Peyton Anderson assigned the bulk of his estate for charitable purposes to benefit his hometown. He maintained that the people of Macon, Georgia had been good to him, and he, in turn, wished to be good to them. His simple instructions were:

“Reward good doers, not do-gooders.”

Today, the Peyton Anderson Foundation has awarded $94 million in grant funding to non-profit organizations whose funding falls in areas of community development, education, health, human services and arts and culture.

In 2016, the Foundation helped launch the Downtown Challenge, a three-year, $3 million grant program funding community-driven ideas to transform Downtown Macon, also known as the city’s urban core, that stretches from the central business district to surrounding neighborhoods. The Downtown Challenge is administered by the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, with the Peyton Anderson Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation each providing $1.5 million in support.

Most recently, in honor of Mr. Anderson’s 110th birthday, the Foundation announced the Teach to Inspire Fund, an innovative, teacher-based grant program providing creative resources for Bibb County public schools. Through the Teach to Inspire Project, the Foundation seeks to inspire educators in Macon-Bibb by contributing additional monies to support extraordinary efforts. Up to $500,000 in funding is available for teachers’ best ideas for their classrooms, with grants awards ranging from $250-$10,000.

Karen is a Macon native and graduated from Mercer University with a degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining the Peyton Anderson Foundation, she was President and CEO of Macon’s award-winning International Cherry Blossom Festival and Executive Director of Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful. Earlier in her career, she was Executive Director of Macon’s historic Grand Opera House, a performing arts center of Mercer University that presents nationally-touring Broadway productions, community arts and educational programming.

A devoted community advocate, Karen has served numerous civic, professional and cultural organizations during her career. She has six children and three beautiful grandchildren.

To learn more about the Peyton Anderson Foundation, visit PeytonAnderson.org.

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