Man takes Alton family values to Florida [The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.]
(Telegraph (Alton, IL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 20--VERO BEACH, Fla. -- A man with roots deep in Alton has been named chairman of the board of the Florida United Way.
Kip Jacoby, the son of Alton's Jack Jacoby, said he is following a family tradition of community service he learned as a young man, observing his father's many community activities and participating in Scouting.
Kip Jacoby is a certified public accountant with Morgan, Jacoby, Thurn, Boyle & Associates in Vero Beach.
Jack Jacoby was co-owner of Jacoby Brothers Furniture in Alton. He and his cousin, Don Jacoby, donated the building, which is now the Jacoby Arts Center.
Jack Jacoby was active in everything from redeveloping Downtown to the National Great Rivers Museum, among many other achievements.
Jack said it was common for operators of family-owned businesses in Alton to lead efforts for community betterment.
"It was considered a civic duty for someone running a successful business," Jack Jacoby said.
Kip Jacoby said he learned that lesson in Alton.
"In watching my dad and in Boy Scouting, I learned to give back and getting involved in helping people who are not as fortunate," the younger Jacoby said.
Kip Jacoby's great-grandfather was born on a riverboat on Christmas Day while the boat was stuck in the ice in the Mississippi River. The family had immigrated from Germany.
The elder Jacoby was a farmer but also used a team of horses and a wagon to haul caskets and wood. He started the first Jacoby furniture store in 1883 in Bunker Hill. The family later operated a store in Jerseyville, then moved the business to Alton.
Kip Jacoby grew up in Alton and graduated from Alton High School. He always had a feeling of empathy for families in need. That is what got him interested in the United Way.
He attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and graduated in 1980 with a degree in business administration and accounting.
He met his future wife, Mary, at the school, and they married as soon as they graduated.
He eventually ended up as a partner in an accounting firm in Vero Beach. As a man who wanted to reach out to others, he joined a United Way Citizens Review Panel, a group that reviewed the performance of nonprofit organizations that received United Way funds.
Eventually, he was appointed to the United Way Board of directors as treasurer and was appointed chairman in 2004-2005.
He led the organization during the hurricanes Frances and Jeanne.
After six years, he left the board but still served on several committees. Eventually, he was asked to serve on the state board of the United Way. He was treasurer before he became chairman.
The statewide United Way works with 32 United Ways in different communities to review the needs of the 32 communities served by the organization.
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