The Village Announces The Village Community Foundation

Nonprofit will be led by President Jon Winkel and will serve as an opportunity pipeline whose
mission is to transform lives in the community

February 21, 2023 – Stamford, CT – The Village, a waterfront destination for work and play that aims to be a catalyst for culture and community north of New York City, is pleased to announce the launch of The Village Community Foundation (TVCF), an impact-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and driving economic and entrepreneurial opportunity for groups and individuals locally. TVCF will be run by President Jon Winkel, formerly CEO of The Stamford Partnership (one of the nation’s fastest-growing regional economic and community development organizations), and will tap into the network of Wheelhouse – the media, marketing and investment venture founded and run by CEO and The Village Founder Brent Montgomery, in partnership with Jimmy Kimmel. Montgomery and his wife, Wheelhouse Properties CEO and Village Developer, Courtney Montgomery, have cultivated deep relationships with many local nonprofits dedicated to making a difference. An important part of the mission of The Village is to give back to the community; thus, TVCF will focus on three key Verticals of Impact*: Education & Opportunity; Arts, Culture & Community; and Economic & Workforce Development, all of which mirror core pillars of The Village.

After over a decade in private sector business development roles, Winkel founded Stamford Innovation Week and led its rise to become the largest innovation festival in New England. He currently serves as convenor of the Southwestern Connecticut Tech Partnership, a coalition of the region’s tech executives. Previously, he was Chairman of Stamford’s Economic Development Commission, served on the Governor’s Commission on Connecticut’s Future, and on the Urban Redevelopment Commission. He also led the SWCT Tech Partnership’s successful Good Jobs Challenge grant application to Connecticut’s Office of Workforce Strategy, resulting in $2.4M in funding to upskill current and future tech talent in the greater Stamford area and one of only 10 grants made to Regional Sector Partnerships throughout the state. Prior to joining The Village, he spent 3.5 years as head of The Stamford Partnership.

Said Winkel, “The Village is the region’s premier economic and cultural hub, but it’s also so much more. In our ever more virtual and digital world, the need for human connection, and physical space for personal and professional growth, has never been greater or needed more urgently. With high-impact programming focused on helping those that need it the most, The Village Community Foundation is well positioned to deliver opportunity to our community and uplifting, transformative experiences.”

Brent Montgomery said, “The entire mission of The Village and Wheelhouse is to bring people together who might not have met otherwise because we believe everything great starts with great connections. TVCF will largely focus on those who are the least exposed to meaningful opportunity and we will tap into that philosophy in a major way across The Village and Wheelhouse verticals.”

Courtney Montgomery added, “We see the work and resolve of The Village Community Foundation as merely anchored at The Village; we want and expect it to extend to so many more great companies and leaders here in Stamford. To be able to work with Jon to bolster TVCF’s impact, and to professionalize its scope, is beyond
exciting for all of us.”

Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons said, “We’re so fortunate to have an economic and cultural hub like The Village here in Stamford. The Village already has such a huge impact on our community, and with the creation of this Foundation we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds. These programs will help many succeed and will make our great city even more vibrant.”

Governor Ned Lamont said, “The Foundation’s programs align perfectly with our administration’s focus on economic opportunity and Connecticut’s position as a quality of life destination. The Village is an important driver of growth and culture, and the launch of the Village’s new foundation nonprofit, furthers the economic and cultural impact the institution is already making.

*The Village Community Foundation’s key “Verticals of Impact”:

  1. Education & Opportunity – Create access to and opportunity in the media industry for underprivileged and underrepresented individuals via the Wheelhouse infrastructure/ecosystem // Page Program: Signature, entry-level career development program to help individuals learn and grow within the media industry // Media & Influencer Program: Initiative providing opportunity for hands-on experience across numerous skilled jobs including film & TV production, public relations, marketing, influencer relations and digital media
  2. Arts, Culture & Community – The Village was designed to be a new heart of culture that unites storytellers, entrepreneurs and artisans under one roof // Art at The Village: Build on an already-established arts program to continue to support local artists through artist-in-residence programs, curated exhibitions, pop-ups and large-scale installations // Culture & Creation: Continue to establish The Village as a hub for culture and creation through experiential programming for the community, inviting local artisans and entrepreneurs to showcase their talents and grow their reach // Community Impact: The Village is activated with compelling, inclusive programs in collaboration with other local nonprofits 
  3. Economic & Workforce Development – Build public and private-sector coalitions for transformative economic development projects, with special attention to entrepreneurship, media, and real estate. // Coalition and Network Building: Convene and lead partnerships to address key opportunities and challenges facing our region // Startup Acceleration: Provide mentorship, coaching, and in-kind services to universities, incubators, and accelerators in alignment with Wheelhouse verticals // Community Kitchen: Provide commercial kitchen space and acceleration services to food industry workers and entrepreneurs // Community & Career Discovery: Welcome primary and secondary school students to participate in tours, talks, and events in television, film, venture capital, and real estate and other industries represented by The Village’s tenant community (tenants will help make an impact through providing access to their respective sectors including internships and career opportunities)

About The Village
Located in Stamford’s South End, The Village is a new waterfront destination for work and play, events and experiences that bridges the connection between community, impact and philanthropy. Touting 133,000 square feet with nearly 1,000 feet of walkable marina, The Village fuses modern office space and unique private event venues with world-class food and beverage offerings. The large-scale environment also encompasses Connecticut’s first LEED v4 commercial building, making it an outstandingly energy efficient commercial building. Anchoring The
Village is media magnate and entrepreneur Brent Montgomery’s Wheelhouse brand, launched in 2018 in partnership with Jimmy Kimmel.

Wheelhouse was established by The Village Founder Brent Montgomery in 2018, as a multi-vertical media, marketing and investment platform where content, celebrity, brands and investing come together to amplify businesses, brands and organizations.