Mariel Liggett is a trailblazer. 

Over the course of her life and career, Mariel has made a difference in the lives of others, many of whom she will never meet. In the early 1970s, she carved a path for women when she became a certified public accountant, a predominately male occupation at the time. She forged a road at the firm of Williams-Keepers, where she was the first female hired on its professional staff and went on to be its first female partner. 

Now, she is the first living person to become a member of the Heirloom Society, a pacesetter society for those who intend to make a planned gift to The Food Bank. 

Mariel is both a Past Treasurer and Past President of the Board of Directors at The Food Bank, having served on that Board for more than a decade. She credits her mentor, George Keepers, for getting her involved in a cause she is passionate about. She remembers him telling her to “give back to the community that has given so much to you.”

“The Food Bank’s mission tore up my heart, and so I wanted to be a part of it,” Mariel says. “After joining the Board of Directors, I visited the food pantry and couldn’t believe what people were going through. My heart ached and yet was happy at how caring and considerate The Food Bank made it for people to access the food they needed so desperately. And knowing those school kids get their Buddy Packs brings a smile to my face as they are so happy to have something to eat over the weekend.” 

Recently, she made another investment in The Food Bank by expressing her intention to make a planned gift. She joins other inaugural members of the Heirloom Society, which includes individuals who left bequests to The Food Bank. Like Mariel, they wanted their legacies to make a transformational difference in the lives of others for generations to come.  

Mariel is also practical. Leaving planned gifts ensures that individuals are able to allocate their assets the way they want and not leave those difficult decisions to family members. As a CPA, she is well-versed in the tax benefits of doing so. Using such options as charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts makes leaving either a lifetime or post-lifetime donation more powerful. 

Mariel, now retired, remembers asking her clients what they wanted to accomplish and then worked with them to achieve it in the most tax-efficient way. 

“Depending on your particular situation and objectives, there are usually several ways for you to accomplish your goals,” Mariel says. “And we all have goals.” 

Mariel’s goal is to share food and bring hope to future generations. That’s just how she is. 

Mariel Liggett is a trailblazer for sure.