Golf, Tennins and Paddle Classic

Posted by Avenues in News on 8/10/2023

I was privileged to know Clarence “Joe” Herbst for more than 40 years. He will always be Joe to me.

Avenues first met Joe in 1972 when he was the President/CEO of Resinoid Engineering, the largest manufacturer of plastic choke cover caps for General Motors. His Vice President, Howard Ebner, a member of the Avenues Board of Directors, suggested hiring Avenues workers to recycle 100,000 of the plastic caps. That was only the beginning.

Starting with the purchase of a passenger van (GM of course), so clients could get to work each day, Joe provided many more gifts over the years to enhance Avenues programs. In 1990 and continuing through 2020, he became the largest event sponsor at the Avenues Love Affair galas. His support touched every aspect of Avenues, from residential home acquisitions and remodeling; architectural consulting, work center and Thrift Shoppe improvements, vehicles, training tools, medical equipment and individual support of Avenues residents.

In addition to his philanthropy, Joe provided his counsel to Avenues as a trustee of the Avenues to Independence Foundation. From 2008 to 2022, he helped to expand our fundraising capabilities, financed important capital campaigns and guided our investment and disbursement policies.

Joe was appreciative of the Avenues employees who did the work to ensure the best possible programs for individuals with disabilities. Beginning in 2004, he sent Avenues staff members to his alma mater, the University of Colorado. The University’s Coleman Institute on Cognitive Disability and Technology brought together the best researchers and futurists to a conference on the future of intellectual and developmental disability supports.

Joe was famous for his cowboy attire and bolo ties. His love of all things Western proved to be monumental for Avenues. In 2013, he made a contribution of three Native American paintings by artist Howard Terpning. I was privileged to be at the auctions in 2013 and 2014, when the artwork sold for over $2.3M. To date this generous philanthropy has been the single largest gift in the history of Avenues to Independence.

Joe always stated that his ability to be philanthropic was due to the hard work of all his employees at Resinoid. He said any honors bestowed upon him were due to the efforts of the many people who worked with him over the years. “Together we did this”.

Words cannot adequately express what Clarence “Joe” Herbst has meant to everyone at Avenues. We will be forever indebted to him for his friendship, support and words of wisdom.

Former CEO Bob Okazaki remembers Avenues friend and donor, Clarence Herbst


Tags: tribute , clarence herbst , clarence joe herbst

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