Board of Directors


Rick L. James, Chairman

Rick L. James is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of The James Foundation.

Rick is an Honors graduate of Tri-State (now Trine) University, where he received a B.S. in Business Administration and currently serves as Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees.

He began his lifelong career in the metal castings industry working as a laborer while going to college and eventually rising through the ranks at Auburn Foundry, Inc. to become its Chief Executive Officer.  In 1997, James founded Metal Technologies, Inc., which has become North America’s largest privately held metal casting company with facilities in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Mexico.

James also serves as Chair of the Board of the United States National Parks Foundation where he is able to advance his keen interest in preserving and promoting America’s natural resources and historical treasures.

In addition, he is Chairman of the Board of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Inc., and serves on the Board of Directors of Boys and Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne.

He has also served as a member of the Board of the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana, DeKalb Health Foundation, American Foundry Society (Past President), Indiana Cast Metals Association (Past President), the Regional Chamber of  Northeast Indiana and the Foundry Education Foundation (Past President).

Trine University, James’ alma mater, has honored him with its Distinguished Service Award, Pillar of Success and Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration degree in recognition of his substantial commitment to the school of his time and resources. During his tenure, Trine University has grown to 10,000 students on four campuses and expanded its offerings from its world-class engineering concentration to include new degrees in healthcare, science, technology, criminal justice, education and sports professions.

He has also been honored by receiving induction into the Fort Wayne Business Hall of Fame, the Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash honor from Governor Michel Pence, Auburn Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Hall of Fame honoree of Junior Achievement of Northeast Indiana and of DeKalb County, and the Red Coat award from the Mad Anthony’s Children’s Foundation.

James is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Auburn where he has served in several leadership capacities.


Vicki L. James, President

Vicki L. James is President of the James Foundation.

She has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Trine University and Woman of Distinction Award in recognition of her many contributions to the success of the school.

Vicki has been named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Indiana Governor Michael Pence, for her support of improving quality of life and place in Indiana.

Vicki currently serves on the Boards of the Fort Wayne Parks Foundation, the Eckhart Public Library Foundation and Special Olympics of Indiana.

Vicki has previously served on the Boards of Eckhart Public Library, PBS-39 public television, RISE, Inc., an organization that provides assistance and training to persons with disabilities, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Inc., Women’s Care Center of Northeast Indiana, and Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) of Northeast Indiana.

She is an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Auburn, Indiana, where she leads a Bible study and has served on several committees and mission activities.


Stephanie A. Foote, Vice-President

Stephanie is the Vice President of The James Foundation.  She is a graduate of Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and minor in Mild Disability Education.  She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, as well as on the Zoobiliee Committee for the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  She is an active member of her church and has a passion for serving others, especially advocating for women’s and children’s causes.  Stephanie enjoys reading, photography, and travelling.  She is excited about being involved in her family’s foundation and feels it a blessing to be able to affect her community and individuals as well as create a lasting legacy.


Matthew Fetter

Matt is the President and CEO of Metal Technologies, Inc. He is a graduate of Indiana University (B.S.), University of Limburg (International Business Studies), and University of Toledo (MBA). Matthew serves on the boards of Metal Technologies, Inc., and various others throughout the community. Matthew also serves on the board of The James Foundation as a family member.


Jessica Buss

Jessica is a stay at home mom.  She is active in the classrooms of her children.  She is excited to be serving her community and faith through her work at the family’s foundation.  Jessica serves on The James Foundation Board of Directors as a family member.


Kendra R. Klink

Kendra R. Klink is Executive Director of the James Foundation.

She is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College, where she received a B.S. in Business Administration (2001); Valparaiso University School of Law, where she received a Juris Doctorate (2004); and Indiana University, where she received a Masters of Arts in Philanthropic Studies (2021).

Kendra has dedicated herself and her career to nonprofit work. She is constantly taking a class, earning a certificate, and learning best practices to help her better understand her community, the sector, and the great needs for philanthropy in our society. She feels blessed to be a small part of the great working happening in Northeast Indiana.

She currently serves on the Boards of the Brandon Foundation, Arts United, various steering committees and advisory councils. Kendra spends time volunteering with young people without or lacking positive role models, instilling hope for the future and walking with them to develop plans for their futures.

Kendra does say that of all the things she is so lucky to be doing – being an aunt to her nieces and nephew is the favorite role that she gets to play.



Kendra R. Klink
Executive Director

Jennifer Kasmier
Program Officer


The James Foundation, Inc.
112 South Cedar Street
P.O. Box 606
Auburn, Indiana 46706
Phone: (260) 333-7500