People in the News (10/29/17): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

People in the News (10/29/17): Appointments, Promotions, Obituaries

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced the hiring of CHARMAINE MERCER as a program officer in its Education Program. A California native, Mercer joins the foundation from the Learning Policy Institute, where she was director of LPI’s Washington, D.C., office and a senior researcher. Before that, she served as vice president of policy and advocacy at the Alliance for Excellent Education, directed policy and research at Communities for Teaching Excellence in Los Angeles, and worked for the U.S. Department of Education’s office of planning, evaluation and policy development, the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, and the U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health, human services and education.

Independent Sector, a national membership organization that brings together nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good, has announced the election of five new members to its board. Elected to elected to three-year terms at the organization’s annual business meeting in Detroit, the new members are NICOLE ANDERSON, AVP of Social Innovation and President, AT&T Foundation; LISA HAMILTON, Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Annie E. Casey Foundation; MICHAEL McAFEE, President, PolicyLink; JENNIFER REEDY, President, Bush Foundation; and DAVID WILLIAMS, Principal, Deloitte LLP. IS also said good-bye to five directors whose board service has ended: BARBARA ARNWINE, President and Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition; STEVEN McCORMICK, CEO, Earth Genome Project; NEIL NICOLL, President Emeritus, YMCA of the USA; SANDRA VARGAS, Senior Executive Leadership Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; and DARREN WALKER, President, Ford Foundation.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals has announced MIKE GEIGER, MBA, CPA, as its new president and chief executive officer. Geiger comes to the organization from Chief Executives Organization, Inc., a nonprofit education-focused international membership organization, where he served for seven years as executive director and chief operating officer. Prior to that, he spent seven years as the chief financial officer at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and six years as the vice president and chief financial officer at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Geiger also serves as a board member and chair of the finance and investment committee of the Romanian American Foundation, which works to strengthen and promote conditions for a sustainable market economy and a democratic society in that country.

RALPH MIDDLECAMP has been elected to a six-year term as president of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic charity headquartered in Maryland Heights, Missouri. Middlecamp has a thirty-year history with the society and previously served as the executive director of its council in Madison, Wisconsin, for eighteen years. He also has served on the society's Stores Committee, its Communication Committee, and the presenting team of its national leadership development program.

Freedom for All Americans and the Freedom for All Americans Education Fund have named MASEN DAVIS as Freedom for All Americans' new CEO. Most recently, Davis served as senior director of special projects at the Gill Foundation, where he oversaw the organization’s litigation portfolio and managed the State Agencies Project. Prior to that, he was interim co-director of Global Action for Trans* Equality and spent eight years as executive director of the Transgender Law Center, which under his leadership became the largest transgender rights organization in America. He has served as a board member of Freedom for All Americans Education Fund since 2016 and has played a critical part in the organization’s strategic planning and priorities since its inception.

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, has announced that its operations will be led by Acting Co-Executive Directors NINA GARLINGTON and CRAIG LANGLOIS, as Executive Director VAN SHIELDS prepares to undergo major surgery and be out on medical leave through the end of the year. Fiduciary matters at the museum, which has been at the center of a deaccessioning controversy, will remain in the hands of the board of trustees.

In other news, PND notes the passing of JOHN S. CARTER, JR., 83, one of Rhode Island’s most generous philanthropists. In the 1960s, Carter developed a type of welding machine that was sold to jewelry and other firms, leading to the creation of Electron Fusion Devices, an East Providence firm that employed nearly three hundred people in the United States, Britain, and France. Carter started the business with $1,000 in 1963 and sold it for $280 million in 2000. After the sale of the company, nearly $50 million of the proceeds went to Electron Fusion Devices workers, and he and his wife, Letitia (Morrison) Carter, his partner in philanthropy, began to give generously to institutions and nonprofits in the state, including the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Brown University, the Meeting Street School, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. Over time, they also directed more of their giving to the Rhode Island Foundation, where they created the Innovation Fellowships program, which gives cash grants to entrepreneurs. In a 2012 with the Providence Journal, Carter said: "Letitia and I strongly believe in the power of everyday Rhode Islanders to address the issues that affect our state. We are committed to making this a better place to live and hope the public is inspired to submit proposals with the promise to lead the way." 

PND also notes the passing of RUSSELL G. MAWBY, longtime CEO and chair (1970-1995) of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, on October 20 at the age of 89. Hired in 1964 to serve as director of the Division of Agriculture, Mawby, who had studied agricultural economics in college, created the Michigan Agricultural Leadership Program, which grew into a model in the national rural leadership movement, and in 1967 was promoted to vice president, followed by promotion, in 1970, to the CEO position. Under his guidance, WKKF became a national leader in the field of philanthropy through its support for innovative programs in fields such as adult continuing education, primary health care, and leadership. In 1972, Mawby joined other Michigan grantmakers to form the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF), which he served as founding chair, and over the ensuing decades he encouraged the foundation to make continued investments in community foundations in the state. He was also instrumental in the creation of the first comprehensive academic center for philanthropy at Indiana University and, in 1992, led the effort to launch what is now the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, named in honor of a longtime fellow WKKF trustee. Mawby retired from the Kellogg Foundation in 1995 but continued to serve on the board of trustees until 2000. Throughout his lifetime, he received more than twenty honorary degrees and numerous awards and recognitions. "Russ was known for his dedicated service, for his leadership in philanthropy and his compassion and generosity in Battle Creek, throughout Michigan and around the world," said Kellogg Foundation president and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron. "Consistent with the mission of the foundation, much of his work focused on helping young people realize their potential. Both he and Norman Brown hired me as controller thirty years ago, knowing that I knew very little about philanthropy. With both of them as mentors, they helped me discover a calling to this work. Russ welcomed his role with a spirit of humility, and at the same time, he was an incredible visionary [who helped build] the fields of leadership and philanthropy that exist today."

"Charmaine Mercer Joins Hewlett Foundation as Program Officer for Education." William and Flora Hewlett Foundation News Release 10/24/2017. "Independent Sector Members Elect New Directors." Independent Sector News Release 10/27/2017. "Mike Geiger Named President and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals." Association of Fundraising Professionals News Release 10/25/2017. "Ralph Middlecamp Elected National President of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul. " U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul Email. 10/24/2017. "Masen Davis, Longtime LGBTQ Advocate, to Lead Freedom for All Americans as CEO." Freedom for All Americans Press Release 10/25/2017. "Acting Co-Executive Directors Named as Executive Director Takes Medical Leave." Berkshire Museum Press Release 10/24/2017. G. Wayne Miller. "Prominent Philanthropist John Carter Dies." Providence Journal 10/26/2017. "In Tribute: Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. Russell G. Mawby, Legendary Leader and Friend of Philanthropy." W.K. Kellogg Foundation News Release 10/23/2017.