Meet Tonee M. Gay, the executive director of the Midlands Community Foundation.

Tell us a little about your business. – Midlands Community Foundation (MCF, is a catalyst for lasting impact in Sarpy and Cass counties, giving opportunities to organizations and individuals so they can pursue their charitable goals. We help foster relationships, provide trust and transparency, and we are a reliable resource for our service area.

What has been your most important achievement professionally? – In an attempt to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in our community, MCF established a Coronavirus Response Fund. As a community foundation, MCF designed the fund to complement the work of local public health, nonprofit, and government entities, and to expand local capacity to support individuals and families experiencing hardship because of the outbreak and related closures and disruptions. Within days of establishing this fund, monies were being distributed to provide emergency food, supplies, utility, and other financial help for the hardest hit households within Sarpy and Cass counties. MCF was able to help more than 50 nonprofit organizations.

Tell us a little about your family. – I have been happily married to Tim Gay for more than 30 years. We have three beautiful children—Matthew, Kathryn, and Nicholas; a new son-in-law, Alex; and a soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Cassie, in 2022.

What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – I love to play tennis. It is my release!

Who inspires you? – My husband. He is my partner, my strength, my voice of reason, my advocate, and my best friend.

What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – The quote came from my high school accounting teacher. She would say, “Bloom where you are planted.” There is a lot of opportunity in this world and every step in your life prepares you for the next one.

If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? – Team-player.

If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? – Landscape architect. I would like to learn more about plants, landscape design, and how it supports the environment. My happy day is usually strolling in a garden center or nursery admiring all the beautiful plants, shrubs, and trees.

What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? – This is an obvious one! I have been actively involved with Midlands Community Foundation as a volunteer since 1994 and executive director since 2005. MCF serves through its grants and discretionary gifts and has established over 160 charitable funds. We provide our donors and partners with high-quality service and engagement. As an organization, we are committed to transparency and accountability, and we operate with the highest standards of integrity and stewardship to ensure donor funds are effectively reinvested in improving the economic and social well-being of our community. MCF is proud to report that 91% of every dollar donated to the Foundation is used directly to supporting programming.

What is your favorite movie? – My go-to movie is When Harry Met Sally.

What is your favorite TV show? – Seinfeld.

What is your favorite local restaurant? – Spezia. The wood-grilled salmon is “magnifico.”

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? – (402) 991-8027;;