For The Love of Community

Wave illustration Cat illustration

Our Founder

Ed Zimmer Clapping at Microphone

our founder
Ed Zimmer's StoryLifelong entrepreneur

A lot of people think they’re self-made men, but Ed Zimmer really was.  A son of a New Hampshire dirt farmer, he lost his mother when he was only four years old and was educated in a one-room schoolhouse.  He left home at 14, surviving on his wits along the Eastern Seaboard.  At 18 he joined the US Navy working as an electronics technician and studying for the high school equivalency exam. In 1957 he graduated second in his class from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Rainbow illustration Cat illustration

"Society is facing so many problems today—a shrinking job market, low wages, poor healthcare, gross inequalities of wealth ... Isn't it time to confront the root cause of these inequities?"

Ed Zimmer

Devoted to innovation and lifting others upExcelling in everything he did

Ann Arbor Terminals

In 1970 Ed co-founded Ann Arbor Terminals, a company that developed some of the first computer peripherals that displayed data on tv monitors.  They were precursors to the computers we all use today.  In 1985 the State of Michigan included the company in its list of their top 50 high-tech companies.

Zimmer Foundation

In 1980 Ed founded the Zimmer Foundation to mentor small businesses and inventors through a web site, in-person and phone counseling, a monthly newsletter and speaking at new-business conferences.

He also volunteered as a SCORE business counselor for many years in Washtenaw County, Michigan.

Zimmer Feline Foundation

In 2000 Ed retired and turned the Foundation over to his wife Kitty who repurposed it to be the Zimmer Feline Foundation.  The Foundation fixed about 57,000 cats for free. First in Michigan and later in New Mexico. It closed in August, 2023 to focus on this Fund.

Honoring Ed's Life and Memory

Ed passed away in 2020 after a long illness, and we set up this Fund to honor him.  With his solid entrepreneurial and community-focused values we could think of no better way.