Meet Ed and Susan Maier!
Ed and Susan Maier became Friends of the Van Wezel Foundation when they moved to the Gulf Coast nine years ago and have supported the arts in our community ever since. Both Ed and Susan have a love for Broadway musicals – Phantom of the Opera is one of their favorites – and they each pursue other passions as well. Ed and Susan also enjoy the pops concerts of the symphony. In addition, they support other causes beyond the performing arts and have a family history of promoting higher education to sustain communities long-term.
For Ed, philanthropy is a part of his DNA. His father, William J. Maier, Jr., instilled the importance of giving back at a young age. Ed’s grandmother offered his father the following advice: to “do good with all the money you can spare.” In 1958, William established the Sarah and Pauline Maier Scholarship Foundation in West Virginia named for his grandmother and mother. In 2003, the Foundation changed its name to the Maier Foundation, with Ed currently serving as its chairman. The primary mission of the Foundation is to send graduating students in West Virginia and Ohio to colleges and universities where they can pursue their academic aspirations. Since its inception, hundreds of men and women throughout the United States have been positively influenced by the Maier Foundation and the generosity of a humble man.
In addition to investing in future generations, the Maier Foundation continues to support the arts. In 1995, they invested in the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in West Virginia. The Center boasts a 1,750-seat performance venue as well as an art and science museum and planetarium. The performing arts hall is named after the Maier Foundation, and a sculpture garden is named in honor of Susan.
The Maier’s also continue to support the Van Wezel Foundation through a generous planned legacy gift. They have also given support to the new Sarasota Performing Arts Center, which will serve as a multi-use community asset for generations to come.
Together, Ed and Susan Maier continue to support the economic development of our community. We are grateful for their long-term vision and commitment to help the Foundation further establish Sarasota as the preeminent destination for the performing arts in our community.