The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment has announced a series of executive-level appointments, as well as the retirement of SARA B. COBB, its long-serving vice president for education. ROBERT L. SMITH will become the endowment’s senior vice president for collaborative strategies and will lead the organization’s efforts to promote alignment and synergies between and among its grantmaking divisions, especially in the areas of education and community development. Smith was named the endowment’s vice president for community development in July 2018 after a twenty-two-year career with Eli Lilly and Company, where he served for thirteen years as president of the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. RONNI KLOTH has been elected to replace Smith as vice president for community development. Kloth began her tenure at the endowment in 2013 as its communications director after serving for seven years in various senior leadership at Teach for America. Since 2014, she has served as a program director in the endowment’s community development division, where, among other things, she has been responsible for its grantmaking to support arts and cultural programs and efforts to strengthen the philanthropic sector. TED MAPLE, a program director in education at the endowment since 2017, has been named vice president for education, effective September 1. He joined the endowment after spending more than twenty years working to strengthen early-learning efforts in Indiana. From 2013 until his employment began at the endowment, Maple led Early Learning Indiana, a nonprofit early-childhood provider and advocate for expansion and improvement of early-childhood education programs in the state. Maple will succeed Cobb, who will retire from the endowment on August 31 after leading the education division for more than two decades. And JACKIE DOWD has been named vice president for evaluation and special initiatives. Dowd joined the endowment in 2016 as director of evaluation after more than a decade of experience in career and workforce development strategy with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and in higher education. In her new role, she will continue to strengthen the endowment’s evaluation efforts and administer various initiatives, including ones that involve more than one area of the endowment’s grantmaking.
The Houston Endowment has announced the appointment of MELANIE TRENT and PEDRO ALVAREZ to three-year terms on its board of directors. Trent is a retired senior executive who has worked extensively in the energy industry, most recently as executive vice president of Rowan Companies plc, a global offshore drilling contractor. She currently serves on the boards of directors of Diamondback Energy, Inc.; Arcosa, Inc.; and Frank’s International N.V. Alvarez is the George R. Brown Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University, where he also serves as founding director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center on Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT). His research interests include environmental implications and applications of nanotechnology, bioremediation, fate and transport of toxic chemicals, water footprint of biofuels, water treatment and reuse, and antibiotic resistance control. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from McGill University and Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in environmental engineering from the University of Michigan and in 2014 won the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists’ Grand Prize for Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science.
Dallas-based Southwestern Medical Foundation has announced the election of JAMES R. HUFFINES as chairman of its board of trustees, succeeding ROBERT B. ROWLING, who has served as chair since 2014. Huffines, who has been a member of the board since 2011, has more than thirty-five years of experience in banking and finance, most recently serving as COO of subsidiaries of Hilltop Holdings; he also was an active member of the Hilltop board of directors from 2012 to 2017. Before that, Huffines spent fourteen years at Plains Capital Bank and served, from 2010 to 2015, as president and COO of Plains Capital Corporation. The foundation also welcomed four new members to its board during the board’s recent annual meeting. They are TIMOTHY P. COSTELLO, co-founder and managing director of Newstone Capital Partners, LLC; SARAH K. MILLER, president and chair of the Kozmetsky Family Foundation; MATTHEW S. RAMSEY, chief operating officer at Energy Transfer; and SAM L. SUSSER, president of Susser Holdings II, L.P.
The board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C., has selected PAUL EDMONDSON as the organization’s ninth president and CEO. Edmondson previously served as the organization’s general counsel and chief legal officer before being named interim president last January. Well known in the preservation field for leading an effective program of legal advocacy to save threatened places, Edmondson is also widely respected as someone who has worked to find practical and creative solutions in a broad range of projects and places. His selection reinforces the organization’s commitment to fostering innovative approaches to preserving America’s historic places, including twenty-eight National Trust Historic Sites and such nationally significant historic places as the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (home to the Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials); the childhood home of singer and civil rights pioneer Nina Simone in Tryon, North Carolina; and the Doolan-Larson House on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco, considered the birthplace of the 1960s counterculture movement.
The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has announced that LORI FULLER, its director of evaluation and learning, will be leaving the foundation at the end of the month to pursue consulting opportunities in the philanthropy and nonprofit sectors. Fuller joined the foundation in 1999 as a program associate after finishing graduate school and working for Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County. In 2001, she became the trust’s evaluation and research administrator, tracking and analyzing data about its grantmaking activities, and in 2005 she was named director of evaluation and research, where she served as a thought partner to the program team as the foundation developed and launched two special initiatives, Healthy Places NC and Great Expectations. Last year, the trust announced its new outcomes-focused grantmaking approach, which is aimed at investing in evidence-based programs, innovation, and systems-change efforts that can make a long-term impact on communities in the state, and in the coming months it will announce new open positions in programs and evaluation.
The board of trustees of the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the R.K. Mellon Family Foundation has announced that after serving as a trustee for both foundations for nearly forty years, SEWARD PROSSER MELLON, son of Richard King Mellon, is stepping down as board chair and CEO following a decade of service in that role. Mellon, who will continue to serve on both boards as a trustee emeritus, will be succeeded by RICHARD A. MELLON — a grandson of Richard King Mellon and the first member of his generation to lead the philanthropies as chair and CEO. Richard Mellon, 56, has served as a trustee of both foundations since 2005. "It has been an honor to have had the experience of working with Prosser Mellon the past four and a half years and to help build upon the foundation's grantmaking legacy regionally and nationally," said Sam Reiman, who became director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation in January 2019. “I look forward to working with and supporting Richard A. Mellon in his new role as board chairman and CEO, the next generation of family trustees, and the entire board during this leadership transition. We do not expect any immediate changes as our focus will continue on fulfilling the priorities of our five-year strategic plan which concludes in 2020."
In other news, Blandin Foundation president and CEO KATHY ANNETTE has informed the foundation’s trustees that she plans to retire in 2020. Annette has served as president and CEO of the Grand Rapids-based foundation since 2011, following a distinguished career with Indian Health Service. Prior to taking the helm at the foundation, she served the foundation as a trustee for twelve years, chaired and participated in its American Indian Advisory Committee, and participated in the first Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program. “Kathy has been an important leader for Blandin Foundation and we’re pleased that she will be with us for one more year, making a thoughtful and smooth transition,” said the foundation’s board chair, Dr. Heidi Korstad. “It is a credit to Kathy that the foundation is ready for this change. We are in a great place — strong teams of staff and trustees, financially solid and with a clear strategic path forward. The board is very thankful for her stewardship and leadership, and we anticipate that Kathy will continue to provide this kind of impact through her final days as president and CEO early next summer.” A transition team of the Blandin Foundation board has been formed and a nationwide search will begin mid-July.