The Frank J. Sklaris Vision Fund was established by Janet Sklaris as a way to honor her husband’s memory. Frank was born in Pennsylvania, attended Cornell University, and then moved to New York City. There he was introduced to the ballet, igniting a lifelong passion, and he trained at Mercantile Stores. In 1954, his company sent him to Duluth to be part of the management team at The Glass Block.
Frank fell in love with the hilly city perched on the shores of Lake Superior. It was in Duluth that he proved to be a visionary in the field of advertising, developing a ground-breaking way for banks around the country and in London to advertise bank services. The building he purchased (now owned by the Lutheran Synod) still bears the sign “Sklaris Corporation” on its Superior Street side. Frank’s love of the ballet prompted him to serve on the board of the Minnesota Ballet for several years, which is where he and his wife, Janet, first became acquainted.
“I wanted to give a gift so that Library Manager Carla Powers and her staff would have the freedom to create innovative library services, now and in perpetuity,” said Janet.
Janet’s gift will promote the innovative thinking that Frank exemplified and will help fund the library’s efforts in exploring new ways to respond nimbly to the changing needs of our community. This designated fund—a fund with a specific purpose—was added to the library endowment and will support library innovation across time.