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Our community impact can extend well beyond our lifetime. Dedicated to perpetuating the vision of its founder, the Judd Leighton Foundation, Inc. is an independent, private grantmaking foundation in St. Joseph County, Indiana, with a focus on three primary areas—health, education and economic development.
Created in 2000, the Judd Leighton Foundation grew substantially in size with the 2005 death of its founder, Judd Leighton. Ice Miller helped the Judd Leighton Foundation make the transition to a larger foundation and continues to advise it today with respect to corporate governance and tax issues. 
Over the last several years, the Judd Leighton Foundation began to look at how it could be more strategic with its grantmaking. Of particular interest to the Judd Leighton Foundation was funding startup ventures that would promote innovation in health and/or spur economic growth in St. Joseph County. Ice Miller analyzed the tax consequences associated with funding startup ventures and provided the Judd Leighton Foundation with a roadmap of the options to accomplish the Judd Leighton Foundation's goals but also be in compliance with the private foundation excise tax rules.
In 2017, the Judd Leighton Foundation moved forward with implementing its strategic plan and made a charitable grant to the Mayo Clinic to create the Judd Leighton Foundation Benefactor Innovation Fund within Mayo Clinic Ventures to advance cardiovascular medicine. The Judd Leighton Foundation also invested directly in three startup companies in St. Joseph County that were unable to obtain traditional financing. Ice Miller assisted the Judd Leighton Foundation with structuring the investments so they qualified as program-related investments in furtherance of the Judd Leighton Foundation's tax-exempt purposes.  
By structuring complex grants and program-related investments to further and support the Judd Leighton Foundation’s charitable mission, we ensure Judd Leighton’s legacy and community impact continue for many years to come. 
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