JUST IN: Beth Myers Named CEO Of Girls Inc. Of Metropolitan Dallas

Beth Myers*

After spending nine years as Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas’ CEO, Lori Palmer slipped into retirement back in September. Now word has just arrived that Lori’s successor at Girls Inc. has been named — Beth Myers.

Prior to taking on the leadership of Girls Inc., Beth was VP of Consulting and Education for the CNM Connect (Center for Nonprofit Management). She had previously “held several roles with Big Brothers Big Sisters at both the national and affiliate level.”

According to Girls Inc. Dallas Board Chair Melanie Okon, “Beth will bring leadership and creativity to the Girls Inc. programs and a sense of commitment to the vision of a world where every girl has opportunities to break past serious obstacles and lead a healthy, educated and successful life.”

As Girls Inc. approaches its 50th year of providing “effective life skills and enrichment programs that empower girls, ages 6 to 18, to take daily charge of their lives,” Beth said she looks forward to “building consensus, teamwork and support at the local and national level, and effectively managing fiscal and operation aspects of Girls Inc as go into our 50th anniversary year and beyond.”  

* Photo provided by Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas


JUST IN: Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver Named New Chief Executive Officer For Perot Museum

Perot dinosaurs (File photo)

Nearly a year after its previous permanent CEO resigned, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas has named a new chief executive officer. According to a letter sent to museum donors by Perot Board Chair Hernan J.F. Saenz III, “Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver will be joining the Perot Museum as our next Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1.”

According to the letter, Abraham-Silver will arrive at the museum this summer “from the Government of Abu Dhabi, where she has led science and technology promotion initiatives for the Technology Development Committee as associate director since 2011.” Earlier, Saenz went on, she spent eight years as president and CEO of the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The board chair said the new CEO is “perfectly aligned” with the Perot’s strategic initiatives.

“Dr. Silver’s background is impressive in its own right, but it is particularly relevant at this stage in the Museum’s evolution,” Saenz told the donors. “We are all engaged in the challenging … effort to translate the Perot Museum’s initial momentum into an engine of sustainable innovation and community impact. This requires fresh, innovate programming and exhibits, renewed and deepened community engagement across North Texas, and enhancements to the overall guest experience.”

The Perot had been led by Interim CEO Dan Kohl, since the abrupt resignation last year of chief executive Colleen Walker after less than two years on the job. According to news accounts, Walker and the museum’s board had “differences.”

JUST IN: Big Thought’s Gigi Antoni Is Heading To The Big Apple As Director Of Learning And Enrichment For The Wallace Foundation

Gigi Antoni (File photo)

Boxes of Puffs are being passed around over at Big Thought. The reason is the staff was just notified that after 20 years with the nonprofit, Big Thought President/CEO Gigi Antoni will be leaving the education organization in April. The reason is that she is moving to New York City to join The Wallace Foundation as the director of learning and enrichment.  

The Foundation’s mission “is to foster improvements in learning and enrichment for disadvantaged children and the vitality of the arts for everyone.”

Will Miller (File photo)

It was back in December 2015 that a presentation was made to a small group of area leaders addressing the problem of the Dallas education system going dormant during the summer. The research was culminated by The Wallace Foundation, the Urban Institute Policy Group and Big Thought. According to The Wallace Foundation President Will Miller, this type of situation was the reason the Foundation had spent $23M in the past decade to address such issues.

For a full release on the news, follow the jump. [Read more…]

Dr. Dan DeMarco Got Pretty Gutsy At The Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board Luncheon

The word “gut” is usually not one that comes up at lunch. But on Tuesday, December 13, the Baylor Health Care System Foundation Board literally gutted up to learn about gastrointestinal research and developments.

Paula Walker

Ashley Jones

But before it kicked off, the Board members were entertained by musicians and artists like Ashley Jones from Baylor’s Arts in Medicine program at Sammons Cancer Center. Developed by Bonnie Pittman, the program is provided free-of-charge for cancer patients at Baylor as a creative therapy thanks to a donation by Paula Walker. Another part of the program is for musicians to play at bedside. When the program began in 2015, there were 300 requests for musical practitioners. This past year the monthly rate had risen to more than 2,000.

Margo Goodwin, Leonard Riggs and Annette Simmons

Amy Turner

Jerry Fullinwider and Martha Hackbarth

As guests like Nancy Dedman, Kelly Green, Richard Holt, Kathy Crow, Michal Powell, Amy Turner, Julie Turner, Su-Su Meyer, Leonard Riggs, Annette Simmons, Jerry Fullinwider, Martha Hackbarth, Trisha Wilson, Randi Halsell, Jill Smith, Paul Stoffel, Sharon McCullough, ­­­Lana and Barry Andrews and Tavia Hunt settled in their chairs at the Sammons Cancer Center, Foundation Chair Margo Goodwin reported that Celebrating Women Luncheon Chair Aileen Pratt and Underwriting Chair Gloria Eulich Martindale had raised $1.8M for breast cancer research. Taking over the leadership for the 2017 Celebrating Women will be Tucker Enthoven as luncheon chair and Ola Fojasek as underwriting chair. 

Aileen Pratt

Tavia Hunt

With tongue firmly in cheek, Margo explained that due to the day’s subject matter the presentation would be held after the meal was consumed.

No need. For the presentation, Margo and Baylor Health Care System Foundation President Robin Robinson had gotten retired Dr. Dan DeMarco to explain the various components of the digestive system. In introducing Dan, Robin admitted that he had done research by reading “Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ” by Giulia Enders. He described it as “a really cheeky, easy-to-read guide about both the secrets and the science of our digestive system. I recommend it. It’s a neat read.”

Dan DeMarco

And, yes, the topic did have a “yuck factor” about it, but with the charm of a leprechaun and the knowledge and skill of a recognized health care provider, Dan took the SRO crowd through the various steps of the gastrointestinal system, or as Robin put it, “from stem to stern.”

 Dan started off by recalling years ago, an Australian doctor — Dr. Barry Marshall — claimed that bacteria, not acid, caused ulcers. Experts poo-pooed the idea, despite the doctor’s even swallowing bacteria to prove his point. Years later, he was proved right and won the 2005 Noble Prize.  

In addition to “Gut,” Dan suggested another book that was easy-to-read-and-digest: “Gulp” by Mary Roach.

Then he rolled out some facts that impressed one and all.

  • 80% of our immune cells reside in the gut
  • The gut sends emotional signal to the brain — suggesting we “feel” with our gut first.
  • Gastro-intestinal conditions can be seen as the “mental illness” of your gut.
  • Food affects your mood, and not just “comfort food.”
  • You have 10 times as many microbes as cells in your body. The health of these communities determines your overall health. Collectively, these communities are called the microbiome.
  • Digestive insufficiencies contribute to a wide range of health issues, including migraine headaches, depression, arthritis, autism, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis and more.
  • Lactose intolerance increases with age.
  • Gluten sensitivity is “relatively rare. It has to be confirmed with blood testing and intestinal biopsy. Certainly people do feel different on a gluten-free diet. People swear by it, but it’s probably not just the gluten. It’s due to other factors.”
  • Antibiotics kill bacteria. With the wide-spread use of antibiotics, the few bacteria that the antibiotics don’t kill get stronger, become resistant and become super bugs. Not everything should be treated with antibiotics.
  • Probiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria that help the digestive system.
  • Microbiome is the entire community of germs. By analyzing the microbiome, it is possible to create an individual’s “fingerprint” regarding their makeup. For instance, if antibiotics are given the first two or three years of life, they influence the microbiome.
  • Microbiome may have more of an effect on our makeup and well-being than genetics.
  • Diseases like Parkinsons, Lupus and others may be the result of the microbiome.
  • Microbiome is affected by whether you were born via C-section or natural delivery and if you were breast fed.
  • The gut affects the immune system, moods, personality and attitude. About 95% of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut. The gut is sometimes referred to as “The Second Brain.”
  • The small intestine is 21 feet long, which results in food taking about six hours to reach the colon.

The small intestine’s length was one of the challenges that had faced the medical community in detecting health problems. It was only accessible via the operating room. The traditional colonoscopy could only go so far, Dan said, but he had been involved in the creation of a new treatment combining the Double Balloon Scope and Spiral Component being “dropped from the top down.” The result was the shortening of the intestine “like rolling up your sleeve.” This procedure made it possible for the small intestine to be examined without trauma and reduced the six-hour traditional examination to a mere 30 minutes. It is currently going through national clinical trials for approval.

Another developments that is being tested at Baylor is the TransPyloric Shuttle for moderately overweight people and fecal transplants for colon diseases.

In conclusion, Dan discussed the gastroenterologist fellows program at Baylor in which, each year, two are selected to be part of the three-year program after finishing their training as internal medicine doctors. Emphasizing the need for gastroenterologists, he added that those participating in the fellowship program tended to stay locally.

To summarize his presentation, he suggested three take-home points:

  1. Think outside of the box
  2. Embrace new technology
  3. Keep learning, keep teaching and “support our fellowship program.”

Upon his retirement, Dan and his wife, Dr. Cara East, created an endowment to support a fellowship and, thanks to the Baylor Health Care System Foundation, more than a million dollars was raised resulting in the DeMarco Fellow each year that is fully funded.

Jim Turner and Joel Allison

Following Dan’s presentation, Baylor Scott & White Holdings Board of Trustees Chair Jim Turner told the foundation board members about the new Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Jim Hinton and extolled the accomplishments of retiring Baylor Scott & White Health CEO Joel Allison. Among them: during Joel’s 23-year tenure, he grew Baylor from a $1-billion asset healthcare system to $10 billion today; the merger with Scott & White; heading up 45,000 employees, 48 hospitals and countless other undertakings resulting in Baylor being one of the top ten not-for-profit healthcare companies in the country and the leading not-for-profit in Texas.

While Joel will officially retire on his birthday (Wednesday, February 1), he will remain as an advisor to Jim Turner. This relationship dates back to their days at Baylor University, when Jim was on the basketball team and Joel played football.

News 8 Daybreak’s Alexa Conomos May Be Leaving WFAA And News 8 Daybreak But Not The Nonprofits

Alexa Conomos (File photo)

For those nonprofits who worried their botoxed brows about word that WFAA’s News 8 Daybreak’s Alexa Conomos was leaving WFAA’s morning show, take a chill pill.

It was 16 or so years ago that Alexa’s journey from California brought her to North Texas and TXCN. Then, as TXCN went bye-bye in 2002, Alexa transitioned to co-anchoring with Ron Corning to wake folks up from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Over the years, Alexa personally went from adorable single girl to glowing married lady to multi-tasking mama of three. In recent months, Alexa realized that her priorities needed a revisit and that making breakfast for her kidlets and having date nights with her hubby Bradley trumped all.

Luckily knowing Alexa, her support of the North Texas nonprofit world will continue beyond her days at the conclusion of her contract with WFAA in June.

After ‘Filling In’ 38 Years Ago, Cathy McCormack Maher Will Retire December 31 as Dallas Bar Association’s Executive Director

Back in the 1970s, the Idlewild debutante season dominated the Dallas social scene from October through January. Nonprofit fundraising was scarce because of the mega-storm of debutante teas, brunches, dinners, cocktail parties and balls.

And while some people might think that the young gals in white ball gowns simply evolved into socialites who spent their afternoons at country clubs and managing their household staffs, they would be short-shrifting many, like Chris Jonsson, Laura Bayoud Hunt, Linda Perryman Evans, Missy Gunn Falchi and others.

Cathy Maher*

One of those former debs will be retiring after working at the Dallas Bar Association for 38 years. Come Saturday, December 31, DBA Executive Director Cathy McCormack Maher will have cleaned out her desk and headed to retirement.

Not a bad career when you realize she joined the DBA in 1978 to fill in for a staff member who was on maternity leave.

When Cathy notified the DBA back in September 2015 of her plans to retire, DBA President Jerry Alexander admitted in the Bar’s newsletter, “Part of the process of hiring a new Executive Director of the Dallas Bar Association (you note I didn’t say ‘replacing Cathy Maher,’ because she is irreplaceable) is coming up with a job description.”

Jerry then had Cathy compile The Book, in which she would describe in minute detail the executive director’s daily responsibilities. He thought he would simply incorporate the information in the job description, but it turned out to be such an epic piece that he decided that during the interview process, the candidates would be able to see The Book and be asked a very simple question: “Do you think you can do all of this?”

After a national search, they found the candidate who answered “Yes” in Alicia Hernandez, who has worked for the association for 15 years.

Known to old friends as “Mac,” Cathy admits that she’s proud of having helped lead the $14M fundraising campaign that resulted in the building of the Belo Mansion’s Pavilion, where countless events are held. She has also instituted various programs that resulted in “the organization having twice received recognition from the American Bar Association for outstanding diversity initiatives such as the Dallas Minority Attorney Program, the Minority Attorney Business Development Initiative and the Minority Participation Committee.”

For her efforts, she received the Dallas Minority Attorney Program’s Legacy Award this past April.

When asked by Attorney at Law Magazine why she decided to retire, Mac said, “As you can imagine, I am very close to the Dallas Bar Association. It has been my life since I was 26 years old. But at some point, you know it is time to pass the torch. We have great bar leaders and staff, and the Bar is in excellent shape. The board has appointed Alicia Hernandez as the new executive director beginning January 1. Now is the time to get out and smell the roses. But, my heart will always be with the Dallas Bar Association — the best bar association in the country.”

And what does that smelling of roses include? According to Mac, she’s going to take some time off and then she’ll “be working on a biography of Colonel Belo with former Dallas Morning News historian Judith Segura.”

So, next time you hear somebody scoffing about debutantes, think about Cathy, who was just filling in back in 1978.

* Photo provided by Cathy Maher

JUST IN: Kenneth Goodgames Named Community Council Of Greater Dallas’ CEO

In its 76-year history, Community Council of Greater Dallas has only had five CEOs. The most recent one was Martha Blaine, who retired this past June after heading up the organization for 22 years.

Just before the year ends, Martha’s successor has been revealed.

Jennifer Coleman (File photo)

Jennifer Coleman (File photo)

Kenneth Goodgames*

Kenneth Goodgames*

According to Community Council Board President Jennifer Coleman, Kenneth “Ken” Goodgames will take over the role on Monday, December 19.

Formerly serving as president/CEO of Transformance (formerly known as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Dallas), Ken has been associated in leadership positions with the American Heart Association and The American Red Cross, as well as “building and managing high-performance teams for Fortune 100 corporations as director, sales and global business development for Microsoft and vice president, Health Care, for NuTex Sciences.”

According to Community Council Board VP Levi Davis, “Ken is energetic and excited about the opportunity to make a significant difference in the Dallas community.  His management experience in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors will serve him very well at the Community Council.”

Ken admitted that he has already recognized some adjustments will be in the wind for the organization that “improves the health and well-being of people through all life stages”: “To move forward,” he said, “I believe we need to refresh our brand, capitalizing on the organization’s history and accomplishments, yet expanding and innovating to better leverage partnerships with different community sectors.”

* Photo provided by Community Council of Greater Dallas

JUST IN: Dave Scullin To Head Up Communities Foundation Of Texas

Some in-the-know type recently asked, “So, what’s going on regarding the search for the Communities Foundation of Texas president/CEO?” Interesting question and perfectly timed.

Dave Scullin*

Dave Scullin*

The answer arrived late this very afternoon. A selection has been made! The new CEO is David J. Scullin (aka Dave Scullin), who will be moving into the CFT #! digs officially in January 2017.

So, who is this Dave Scullins? Here is the official word: “Scullin is a multifaceted leader, strategic business adviser, financial expert and CPA, having served Fortune 500 clients at two global firms, Deloitte and Arthur Andersen, across North Texas and far beyond for more than forty years. Prior to his retirement in May 2016, Scullin was recognized as a top partner, holding multiple leadership roles over his career including at different times managing partner for Fort Worth and Phoenix, the lead client service partner for major global audit and non-audit clients, the industry leader of multiple sectors and creator and leader of Deloitte’s nationally-recognized North Texas CFO Forum.

“Dave has extensive leadership experience with public, private, nonprofit and civic groups including the Fort Worth Chamber, Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Greater Phoenix Leadership.”

According to CFT Board Chair Frank Risch, “On behalf of the board of trustees, I am thrilled to welcome Dave Scullin, as the new president and CEO of Communities Foundation of Texas. Dave is known for his seasoned leadership, strategic acumen, financial expertise and his ability to build relationships. We look forward to his leadership which we believe will bring CFT to even higher levels of achievement in developing philanthropy within our North Texas community.”

He may be sorta new to the nonprofit sector leadership role, but insiders are thrilled.

After picking through the stack of applicants, CFT Search Committee Chair Jim Bass said, “Dave is known as a builder—of people, relationships and goal-oriented teams. His prior leadership roles entailed creating growth and engaging diverse stakeholders to work together toward a shared vision, and that’s what he will do with Communities Foundation of Texas. Dave will boost the power of philanthropy in our region through Communities Foundation of Texas.”

* Photo provided by Communities Foundation of Texas

JUST IN: Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box Resigns, Jim Johnston Named Interim President

Methodist Health System’s Stacy Covitz just sent official word that Jim Johnston has been named the Interim President of the Methodist Health System Foundation. He replaces Foundation President/CEO April Box, who resigned last week.

April Box (File photo)

April Box (File photo)

The announcement comes on the heels of last month’s 2016 Annual Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award Dinner, an annual event that April launched 11 years ago.

Over her 14 years with Methodist, April’s accomplishments included presiding over “numerous capital campaigns, such as Sammons Tower at Methodist Dallas in 2014, home to the system’s Level I Trauma Center, and the Tower Two Expansion at Methodist Mansfield in 2015, home of the Amon G. Carter Foundation Heart and Vascular Center. Box also created the Robert S. Folsom Award Banquet, which was consistently among the most successful fund-raising events in Dallas, raising more than $15 million for multiple successful programs and projects at Methodist Health System since 2005.”

Jim’s resume lists countless leadership positions in business including “40 years of experience in banking, most recently as vice chairman and board member for Bank of Texas. Prior to that, Johnston was Dallas Regional Chairman of Frost Bank.”

Steve Mansfield (File photo)

Steve Mansfield (File photo)

Among his numerous North Texas nonprofit board associations are “Chairman of the Board for both the Arthritis Foundation of North Texas and Goodwill Industries of Dallas. He actively serves as Chairman of the Board for the Goodwill Foundation. He has also served on the boards of the Boy Scouts/Circle Ten Council and the Salesmanship Club of Dallas.”

Holding both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SMU, where he played football, Jim received the Silver Anniversary Mustang Award.

According to Methodist Health System President/CEO Stephen Mansfield, ““All of us associated with Methodist and the Foundation owe April a debt of gratitude for her accomplishments and leadership. I know Jim has the experience and the vision to lead the Foundation to more successes in the future.”

JUST IN: Dr. Karen Warren Coleman Named New Headmistress Of The Hockaday School

The Hockaday School’s new headmistress has been named. Dr. Karen Warren Coleman, former VP for Campus and Student Life at the University of Chicago, will be the 13th head of the school since its founding 103 years ago.

Karen Warren Coleman*

Karen Warren Coleman*

The Hockaday School Search Committee Chair Michelle Neuhoff Thomas reports, “”After a complete and exhaustive national search of outstanding candidates, we are elated to welcome Karen as our next head of school. She will bring vision, inspiration, and momentum to Hockaday while holding true to the traditions of its founding Four Cornerstones of Character, Courtesy, Scholarship, and Athletics. With a highly distinguished background in education, Karen is uniquely qualified to lead our School to ensure it continues to provide the exceptional opportunities that define the Hockaday experience. We are confident that her remarkable experience and leadership will guide Hockaday into this next chapter in its history.”

Karen has previously served as associate dean of students at the University of California at Berkley and in student affairs positions at George Washington University, the University of Vermont, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

She and her husband Andy and their black Lab, Brunson, will be moving to Dallas for Karen to officially take over her position on Saturday, July 1. Until then interim headmistress Liza Lee will stay at the helm.

* Photo courtesy of The Hockaday School

JUST IN: Jim Hinton To Succeed Retiring Baylor Scott & White Health President/CEO Joel Allison

On a day celebrating the discovery of America, Baylor Scott & White Health associates and friends just discovered the successor to its retiring President/CEO Joel Allison. Starting on Monday, January 16, Jim Hinton shall take over the reins of the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas.

If Jim’s name is new in these parts, it’s because he’s coming from Presbyterian Healthcare Services, a private, not-for-profit healthcare system in New Mexico — the largest in the state.

Like Joel, Jim is a long-term type. He joined Presbyterian on January 10, 1983, and was made President/CEO in 1995. And like Joel, he has grown his organization through a dynamic period in the healthcare industry.

According to Baylor Scott & White Holdings Board of Trustees Chair Jim Turner, “During this time of incredible change in healthcare, Jim brings exceptional experience that will help move us into the future. He is one of the few health system leaders in the country who has successfully navigated an organization from a focus on volume to a focus on value; and beyond his impressive accomplishments, those he leads are quick to say he is best known for promoting a caring culture.”

A graduate of the University of New Mexico with a degree in economics, Jim earned his master’s degree in healthcare administration from Arizona State University. In both 2013 and 2014 he was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare. In 2012 Hospitals And Health Network interviewed him as he prepared to assumed the chairmanship of the American Hospital Association.

In addition to his own credentials, Jim’s family is very attuned to the healthcare industry. His mother worked for University of New Mexico Hospital CEO Bill Johnson, who was instrumental in Jim’s pursuing a career in healthcare. One of Jim’s brother is a child psychologist in Tucson and “my other brother is a radiologist.

But please don’t think Jim is a stuffy type. When asked about being a CEO by Autumn Gray of the Albuquerque Journal, Jim replied, “There’s a lot about the image that people have of the CEO that I just reject — like I don’t play golf. But when people hear that, they say, ‘You don’t play golf?!’ I look at CEOs. I look at these very serious, self-important people, and I just don’t want to be that. The way our organization succeeds, and if I’m the happiest, is if the hierarchy is minimized except where you need it to create order. And everything else is the team working together. There’s days where the most important person at Presbyterian is Marty Archunde, who stands out here as the security guard and greets us all on the way in. And other days it’s Carl Lagerstrom who’s doing surgery on some little baby who has a heart defect.

“So I guess I like to have fun, and I think it’s important to have fun at work. Work shouldn’t have to be work.”

While the Hinton family makes the move from New Mexico to North Texas, Joel “will work with Hinton to ensure a seamless transition of responsibilities.”

Brace Yourself — North Texas Giving Day To Dominate Thursday

If you’re emailbox has exploded with nonprofit reminders that Thursday is North Texas Giving Day, there’s good news and a warning.

North Texas Giving Day*

North Texas Giving Day*

First the good news: Within 36 hours the flood of activities and requests will turn into thank yous and there will be a year before the explosion reoccurs.

Now for the warning: Starting at 6 a.m. Thursday is going to busier than the day before a presidential election. But it will definitely be friendlier and more fun. There will be all types of events throughout North Texas and even more requests for donations.

It may seem like an overload, but please realize that more than 2,500 nonprofits are trying to accomplish two things:

  • Raise money that is dearly needed.
  • Raise awareness of their organizations and their missions. Believe it or not there are actually some nonprofits that even you might not have heard of (Darn! Hate ending that sentence with a preposition).
Joe and Jennifer Clifford (File photo)

Joe and Jennifer Clifford (File photo)

The Communities Foundation of Texas team has been working tirelessly for months to provide these nonprofits with a platform to achieve these two goals. Why even Jennifer Clifford has stayed just to help make it a record breaker! You did know that her husband First Presbyterian Church Dallas Rev. Joe Clifford has moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, to head up Myers Park Presbyterian Church, where Jennifer will soon be headed.

So, forgive the deluge of emails and hoopla, but it’s all being done for the betterment of North Texas.

BTW, if you want to get even with the NTGD organizers, overload the donation online site. The MySweetCharity elves still giggle about 2011 when you blew the circuits with your kindness.

Communities Foundation Of Texas Holds A Two-For-One Reception For Departing President/CEO Brent Christopher

Tuesday, June 28, was not only to be a farewell reception for Communities Foundation of Texas’ outgoing President/CEO Brent Christopher, it was also his 50th birthday.

But before all the brief remarks were made, the CFT reception area filled with bigwigs like Amy and Michael Meadows, Jeanne Tower Cox, Mike Rawlings, Rena Pederson, David Johnson, Cheryl Hall, Molly Bogen, Kevin Hurst, Jane Pierce, Bill Holston, Katherine Wagner, George Ellis, Gail Thomas and Jim Bass.  So, who said the boldfacers had evacuated North Texas for the 4th of July holiday?

Bill Holston, Rena Pederson and Larry Sall

Bill Holston, Rena Pederson and Larry Sall

David Johnson and Carol Goglia

David Johnson and Carol Goglia

Asked how the search for Brent’s successor was going, CFT Board Chair Frank Risch reported that it was going amazingly smoothly. Leaving the next day for the holiday weekend at the Risch home in Cape Cod, he admitted that the summer hiatus would not slow down the search efforts.

Frank Risch

Frank Risch

But Frank was soon at the podium recalling Brent’s 11-year tenure, which had accomplished the following:

  • the number of funds have grown 30+%
  • assets have grown 43%
  • CFT has received $900M in gifts
  • and granted close to $900M
  • his 11 years represents over half of the total grant giving we’ve done in the past 63 years
  • trained 46 social service agencies in data-driven decision making
  • nine agencies implementing our working families success model with over 1,000 clients
  • 50% increase in discretionary grant-making
  • the staff has tripled
  • has grown Educate Texas, and much more

He also told that when he assumed leadership of the Board, Frank had been directed to check out an envelope left in the CFT library by his predecessor, Fred Hegi. The enveloped contained a piece of paper reading, “Don’t lose Brent.”

But typical of Frank, he eloquently summed up Brent’s departure as both leaving CFT in very good shape and moving ahead in supporting North Texas as CEO of Children’s Medical Center Foundation.

Brent Christopher

Brent Christopher

On cue, a birthday cake in the shape of a mammoth bow tie with 11 candles (one for each year that Brent had worked at CFT) was rolled out. With a deep breath, Brent blew out the candles, thanked the guests and emphasized the importance of philanthropy in the North Texas community. In closing he quoted Teddy Roosevelt,

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

Brent Christopher

Brent Christopher

Wearing a bow tie reflecting CFT’s colors, he went on to say, “This is a community that dares mighty things. We don’t live in the gray twilight here in Dallas. It’s an extraordinary place to call home and it’s an extraordinary community to be part of. Thankfully, I’m not moving. I’m just going to be at another institution and look forward to being with you in countless ways for years to come. But for now I am standing between you and cake.”

Brent then returned to farewell handshakes and hugs.

Children Medical Center Foundation’s Kern Wildenthal Farewell Tribute Dinner Was Filled With Friends, Fans And Family

It was billed as a farewell tribute dinner to Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Kern Wildenthal hosted by Children’s Health System of Texas CEO Chris Durovich and his wife Christina Durovich. But the dinner in the Pecan Room at Harlan Crow‘s Old Parkland on Tuesday, June 7, was more of a love fest for more than 80 members of the Kern fan club. They ranged from philanthropists (Mary McDermott Cook, Margot and Ross Perot and Gay and Bill Solomon), brainiacs (Sean Morrison  and wife Theo Ross), business types (Mark Zacheis and Anne Motsenbocker), fundraising champs (Randi Halsell, Barbara Stuart, Connie O’Neill and Ann Corrigan), community leaders (Dan Branch and Joel Williams) to friends (Shirley and Bob Miller and Cyndi and Mark Bassel) and family, like big brother Hobson Wildenthal.

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

Mark and Cyndi Bassel

Mark and Cyndi Bassel

Ed and Randi Halsell

Ed and Randi Halsell

Mark Zacheis

Mark Zacheis

Mary McDermott Cook

Mary McDermott Cook

Sean Morrison

Sean Morrison

The waves of guests kept coming, and Christina and Chris greeted each like an old friend. Upon arriving, Brent Christopher, who will be following Kern as head of the Foundation, immediately sought out the man of the hour.

Kern Wildenthal and Hobson Wildenthal

Kern Wildenthal and Hobson Wildenthal

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

But it was the beginning of summer, so talk during the pre-dinner reception was travel-oriented. Kern and wife Marnie Wildenthal were leaving the next day for a 16-day trip to London, Tuscany and New York. Brent was taking his brood of kids to Japan. He admitted that his son envisions Japan as an entire world of Nintendo. Little did father or son know about the upcoming Pokémon Go craze.

Others like Stacey Branch and Susan Williams were chatting up the marital status of the kids.

But Chris eventually called the guests to their tables for an excellent dinner that was followed by brief but poignant remarks about Kern’s accomplishments by Chris and Children’s Medical Center Foundation Chairman of the Board John Eagle.

John Eagle and Marnie Wildenthal

John Eagle and Marnie Wildenthal

Chris Durovich and Kern Wildenthal

Chris Durovich and Kern Wildenthal

John told how, under Kern’s tutelage, the Foundation had enjoyed a record number of new gifts in 2015, including 15 donations of $1 million or more. Kern also slashed Foundation fundraising costs by 25 percent, John pointed out. Then he added: “Kern raises as much money in his sleep as most fundraisers do in a lifetime.”

In his remarks, meantime, Chris recalled how Kern had raised $160 million over three years, boosting the Foundation’s annual fundraising average to $50 million to $70 million from $15 million to $20 million previously. “Kern, you have been such a huge friend to the kids and families in this community,” Chris said. “And Marnie, thank you for the example that you’ve been.”

Kern Wildenthal and his gift

Kern Wildenthal and his gift

Following the bestowing of gifts upon the Wildenthals—he got a black leather briefcase, she got a black leather valise—Kern and Marnie graciously thanked all for the support, and told how Children’s had been an important part of their lives. Admiring his new briefcase, Kern said, “This is a very good sign. I thought [the gift] was going to be a wheelchair!” With that he turned serious and, as usual, self-effacing: The money raised for the Children’s Foundation “was not the result of me. It was the result of years of service and excellence. No one person could do anything like that.” Then he concluded the evening, perhaps with a tip for his successor: “You don’t persuade people to be generous. People are generous, and you match them up with their passions.”

For more photos of the evening’s festivities, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: YMCA Of Metropolitan Dallas CEO Gordon “Gordie” Echtenkamp Announces His Retirement After 40 Years With The Y

Another job opening sign was just posted. It seems that after putting in 40 years with the YMCA, Gordon “Gordie” Echtenkamp has decided to retire. Well, not quite yet. He’ll clean out his desk as YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas CEO in 2017 after his successor has been named “allowing a smooth transition.”

According to YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Board Chair Kelvin Walker, “Gordon Echtenkamp’s commitment to the mission and vision for the YMCA certainly has made a major impact on the lives of the children and families here in North Texas. For nearly two decades and through the economic downturn, Gordie has led our YMCA through a period of remarkable growth and community impact, with a strong focus of meeting the needs of our community through relevant programs and impeccable financial stability. Our transition plan will provide a seamless passage of his good works as we build upon the foundation of Gordie’s tenure.”

During his 16 years as Dallas YMCA CEO, “he had led two successful capital development initiatives that raised funds producing $80 million in projects addressing nearly every YMCA facility in the organization including new YMCAs opened in Plano, Frisco, East Dallas the Park Cities communities. Significant renovation of existing community Ys was also completed including the T. Boone Pickens YMCA Downtown, the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA in Rockwall, Grand Prairie YMCA along with the Park South, Moorland and Oak Cliff YMCAs and Camp Grady Spruce on Possum Kingdom Lake.”

Thanks to Gordie’s leadership, more than 300,000 children and families are served in the greater Dallas community with an operating budget of $55M. It is also “the largest provider of school-age children in North Texas serving 4,500 children daily in afterschool and camp programs.”

According to Gordie, “I am so proud to have served the YMCA movement for forty years and the last sixteen years here in Dallas. The opportunity to work not only with an incredible staff team, but also an outstanding group of committed volunteers, donors, city leaders and community partners who are all focused on strengthening the foundation of this community has been such a privilege. I am confident that the Y will continue to meet the high expectations we all have of ourselves in service to the community.”

In addition to conducting an executive search for Gordie’s replacement, a search is already underway for Dallas Y’s COO Carmelita Gallo, who is retiring this year after “a 43-year career with the YMCA.”

Anyone who wants job security might want to check with Gordie and Carmelita for their secrets for attaining tenure.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Kern Wildenthal Farewell Tribute Dinner

John Eagle and Kern Wildenthal

John Eagle and Kern Wildenthal

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

Marnie Wildenthal and Shirley Miller

Just weeks before turning over the leadership of Children’s Medical Center Foundation to Brent Christopher, Dr. Kern Wildenthal was feted by Christina and Chris Durovich on Tuesday, June 7. The gathering of stellar types took place in the Pecan Room with laughter and good wishes.

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

Christina Durovich and Dan and Stacey Branch

While the post is being prepared, check out the folks who were in attendance at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Rick Van Hooser Named LaunchAbility’s New Executive Director

After months of interviewing and vetting, the LaunchAbility Board of Trustees have named Rick Van Hooser as the organization’s new executive director.

Rick Van Hooser*

Rick Van Hooser*

According to LaunchAbility Board President Karen Wald, “As our client population continues to grow as quickly as the corporate interest in hiring adults with diverse abilities, Rick Van Hooser’s leadership couldn’t come at a more exciting and necessary time for LaunchAbility. Rick brings with him deep experience with large nonprofit organizations as well as an ability to work hand-in-hand with corporate partners. Our entire board agrees that under Rick’s leadership LaunchAbility will continue to serve our clients optimally and grow so that we can impact even more adults with diverse abilities.”

Rick’s experience within the non-profit sector includes Big Thought, the United Way of Tarrant County, American Heart Association, Autism Speaks and Muscular Dystrophy Association.

In assuming the leadership of the organization that assists adults with disabilities and their families, Rick said, “I would like to thank the LaunchAbility Board of Trustees and staff for welcoming me to this incredible organization. With a history that spans over five decades, LaunchAbility is at a critical point in both opportunities and challenges. I look forward to working with our employees, clients, donors and corporate partners as we continue LaunchAbility’s vision to deliver much needed services that help bridge a path to independence.”

* Photo provided by LaunchAbility

Amy Aldredge Named Dallas Historical Society Executive Director

After months of interviewing and vetting, the Dallas Historical Society has made a selection for its executive director replacing Shannon Roberts. DHS Chairman of the Board Bill Helmbrecht reports the new executive director is Amy Aldredge.

That names sounds familiar to locals. Perhaps it’s the Aldredge Bookstore or the fact that her grandfather was former Dallas Mayor Sawnie Aldredge.

A graduate of Highland Park High School, Amy earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maine and another master’s degree from the University of Edinburg with a focus on history.

Over the years, Amy has been an “active participant in the city of Yarmouth, serving on the Planning Board, the Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee and the Community Services Committee.”

Because of her days in Yarmouth, she “authored “Yarmouth Revisited’ in 2013.”

Before accepting the DHS position, she was the executive director of the Yarmouth, Maine Historical Society.”  Thanks to her involvement in Yarmouth, the society was “relocated from the town’s public library to the Yarmouth History Center. The new facility enable the society to expand and include a permanent exhibit gallery, a contemporary art gallery and a program/facility rental space.”

Another change in DHS personal is longtime DHS employee Alan Olson, who “will assume the newly created position of deputy director of the Dallas Historical Society.” Alan has been babysitting the executive director duties while the search has been underway.

JUST IN: Suzy Williams Name Executive Director For Connecting Point Of Park Cities

Egads! Summer was supposed to be snooze time, but it’s turning out to be “Announcement Time.” So, over at Connecting Point of Park Cities (CPPC), there’s been a shift of leadership. CPPC Executive Director Jamie Reynolds has just recently completed her masters degree in educational leadership and administration at Dallas Baptist University and decided to “pursue other interests.”

Jamie Reynolds (File photo)

Jamie Reynolds (File photo)

Suzy Williams*

Suzy Williams*

Not to worry about CPPC leadership. It was just announced that Susan “Suzy” Williams is taking over the leadership position after serving as director of development at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

Having earned her BBA at SMU and her MBA from the University of Dallas, the longtime Park Cities resident has been “very active in the community as a member of Junior League of Dallas, Cattle Baron’s Ball, La Fiesta Guild and Friends of Highland Park Library.”

In addition to holding CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) accreditation, she is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

According to Suzy, “With over 30 years of working and serving in the Park Cities, I am excited to have the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for adults with disabilities. Our goal is to connect these adults with their community and a variety of opportunities.”

CPPC Board President Christina Murzin agrees, saying, “Suzy’s involvement in our community is invaluable to our fundraising efforts.”

* Photo credit: Jan Osborn

JUST IN: North Texas Food Bank COO Simon Powell To Fill In While CEO/President Jan Pruitt Takes A Leave Of Absence

There have been a few folks wondering how North Texas Food Bank CEO/President Jan Pruitt was doing. She was MIA at the Crystal Charity Ball check presentation in April, where NTFB Board Chair Tom Black received a check of $750,000. And then there was the Can Do! Luncheon in May when NTFB Board Member Katherine Perot Reeves accepted the Can Do! Award for NTFB.

Jan Pruitt (File photo)

Jan Pruitt (File photo)

It’s been curious because Jan is one of the most public figures in the North Texas nonprofit sector and hasn’t been seen since last September, when she underwent cancer treatments at MD Anderson.

Word just arrived that the doctors have ordered her to stop multi-tasking. So instead of juggling the needs of the community along with her recovery, she’s taking “a temporary leave of absence to focus fully on her health.”

NTFB’s board of directors have announced that NTFB COO Simon Powell will serve as Interim President and CEO.

According to Jan, “I have full confidence that Simon will lead the North Texas Food Bank very capably until I am able to return. Simon is backed by the best executive team and Board of Directors in my tenure with the Food Bank.  Until I return, the operation is business as usual, with a focus on closing the hunger gap in North Texas and achieving our goal of providing 92 million nutritious meals a year by 2025.”

Adding to Jan’s opinion is Tom Black, who said, “The Board of Directors fully supports Jan’s decision, and we wish her well in her complete recovery. We have full confidence in Simon’s ability to lead the Food Bank. He’s backed by a superb executive team, who’ll ensure the mission to feed our hungry neighbors moves forward in the interim.”

In the meantime, it certainly doesn’t mean that Jan won’t be able to read get well notes. Suggestion: Drop her a line by sending it to Jan Pruitt, c/o North Texas Food Bank, 4500 S. Cockrell Hill Rd., Dallas 75236-2028. And, if you really want to score brownie points, make a donation in Jan’s name to you-know-what.

JUST IN: Ellen Magnis Named Executive Director For Family Gateway

Family Gateway is gonna start the month of July with new leadership. Word has just arrived that after months of vetting, they’ve managed to get Ellen Magnis to return to Big Old D from the Big Apple as their executive director.

Ellen Magnis*

Ellen Magnis*

According to Family Gateway’s Board of Directors Chair Anne Johnson, “We could not be more thrilled to welcome Ellen to Family Gateway. Not only is Ellen a respected, accomplished and innovative leader, her passion for helping children in need makes her a perfect fit for Family Gateway. Addressing the rising homeless population in Dallas will require strong leadership from both the public and the private sector. We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Ellen’s extraordinary track record leading Family Gateway in the fight to end child homelessness in Dallas.”

If her name sounds familiar, it should be. For ages she was Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s Chief of External Affairs, where she was responsible for “fundraising, education, legislative affairs and public relations. She launched and scaled the agency’s education program and led the dramatic growth of national corporate partnerships and federal agency relationships for an internationally attended annual conference for more than 3,900 professionals. During her tenure, she also supported a capital campaign and launched a major gifts strategy while aligning fundraising events to the organization’s mission. Known within the agency as a mentoring supervisor, she also spearheaded cross-agency improvements in performance management and led the development and execution of an aggressive strategic plan.”

Before that she held various vice president positions with the American Heart Association for nearly seven years, including VP of the American Stroke Association.

Most recently Ellen was in New York City serving as executive director of Minds Matter, “a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to transform the lives of accomplished high school students from low-income families by broadening their dreams and preparing them for college success.”

According to Ellen, ““I am so excited to help take Family Gateway to its next level of success. I am very drawn to the ‘Housing First’ philosophy of Family Gateway and look forward to finding ways to ensure that families stay together during the unimaginable challenges of homelessness. I am very honored to work in partnership with the staff, Board, elected officials and leaders from sister agencies to address this complex issue for our community. Every child should have a home; that’s something on which we can all agree.”

One of the first things on Ellen’s agenda, besides moving into her office, will be Family Gateway’s Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon featuring Jenna Bush Hager on Tuesday, September 27, at the Omni Dallas Hotel. It’s being chaired by Tracy Lange and Paula Miltenberger.

* Photo provided by Family Gateway

Tim Mallad Named President Of Presbyterian Communities And Services

Tim Mallad*

Tim Mallad*

Until recently Tim Mallad had been first VP at Irving-based Greystone Communities. But Presbyterian Communities and Services (PCS) Chairman of the Board Phil Wentworth just sent word that Tim has been named president of PCS.

According to Phil, “I am thrilled to have Tim join our team. He brings a broad perspective that includes decades of experience working for a for-profit company while helping not-for-profit communities achieve their goals and fulfill their visions. Tim has the ideal background necessary to be successful in this position. Tim has a genuine passion for helping seniors. He is mission-driven and his enthusiasm is contagious. I am confident that he will support our organization’s values while focusing on the residents’ needs and leading the team members by example.”

Prior to Greystone, Tim was associate administrator of Oakwood Health System and director of sales and resident services for Centrum Management Corporation.

PCS is a not-for-profit organization that is comprised of “premier continuing care retirement communities Presbyterian Village North and Grace Presbyterian Village, as well as Faith Presbyterian Hospice and the T. Boone Presbyterian Hospice and Palliative Care Center.”

* Photo provided by Presbyterian Communities and Services


Outstanding Non-Profits Have Posted “Help Wanted” Signs

The Dallas non-profits are looking for a few good folks to head up their organizations. In recent weeks the following nonnies have put out the “Help Wanted” signs for leadership of their organizations:

  • Baylor Scott And White Health
  • Dallas Historical Society
  • Dallas Museum of Art
  • Dallas Summer Musicals
  • Family Gateway
  • LaunchAbility
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science

While many are preparing for the summer sojourn, search committees are in overdrive to have new leaders in place, hopefully by the fall fundraising season.

The good thing is that these organization will not make their decisions based on a “OMG, we’ve gotta fill this position ASAP.” Rather they put the priority on finding the right person for the right position even if the clock is ticking.

Can’t wait to report about the new leaders-on-the-block!

JUST IN: Terry Martin To Leave WaterTower Theatre To Head Up Greenhill School’s Fine Arts Department

And the changes in area non-profit leadership keep rolling in. WaterTower Theatre Board Chair Derek Blount just announced that WaterTower Producing Artistic Director Terry Martin has turned in his resignation. Starting Friday, July 1, Terry will be the Head of Fine Arts with Greenhill School.

Terry Martin (File photo)

Terry Martin (File photo)

According to Derek, “We are so proud of Terry Martin and all that he has accomplished for WaterTower Theatre during his 17-year tenure as Producing Artistic Director. On behalf of the theater’s Board of Directors, we would like to offer our heartfelt gratitude to Terry for the immense contributions he’s made to WaterTower Theatre over that time. His artistic vision has helped fashion WaterTower into one of the jewels of the North Texas arts community. Though we hate to lose him as Producing Artistic Director, we’re very excited for Terry’s new opportunity to shape young minds at Greenhill School and impress upon them the importance of the arts.”

During his years with WaterTower, Terry has “overseen more than 150 production,” as well as “both the administrative and artistic aspects of the Company’s nearly $1.8-million annual operating budget.”

Derek stated, “WaterTower Theatre is a financially sound organization with strong ties to the community. The Executive Committee of the Board is currently crafting the parameters of a search process for this position that will almost certainly garner interest from candidates across the nation. We look forward to shaping the next evolution of this great organization.”