On this final day of November comes news of a retirement that wasn’t seen coming. Communities Foundation of Texas President/CEO Dave Scullin has just announced that he will retire in March.
Since joining CFT as its leader in 2017, Dave has grown “the largest community foundation in Texas and one of the largest in the nation” during one of the most trying times in history.
When the pandemic landed on the doorstep of the world in early 2020, resulting into a global state of confusion with non-profits scrambling to help those in need, Dave coordinated CFT’s mobilization of more than $375 million for non-profits in collaboration and leadership with donors and partner funding organizations. “This was primarily accomplished through North Texas Cares (a collaborative of 30+ partners), three Giving Days, gifts from CFT’s donor-advised fund holders and through the deployment of nine separate COVID-19 relief funds.”
According to CFT Board Chair-Elect Richie Butler, “Dave has presided over a period of unprecedented growth and transformation at Communities Foundation of Texas. We are deeply grateful for his leadership, dedication and vision, and for what he has done to boost the power of philanthropy across our region.”
In addition to his rising to the challenges presented by COVID-19, Dave has managed the following accomplishments during his six years at CFT:
- Annual gifts received saw a 118% increase, to over $205 million in 2022.
- 2022 grant-making to nonprofits has grown by 57%, reaching a record high of more than $165 million.
- North Texas Giving Day has become the nation’s largest single day of community-wide giving, this year pumping $62.6 million into more than 3,000 local nonprofits from 94,000 donors in North Texas, plus all 50 states and over 40 countries. This result represents a 69% increase over the past 6 years, and brings the total dollars raised through North Texas Giving Day to more than $500 million.
- CFT significantly expanded and accelerated the impact of its consultancy and advocacy initiative, Educate Texas, as a trusted change agent to strengthen K12 and higher education in Texas. Educate Texas is focused on increasing academic achievement and educational equity by leading programs, policy, and partnerships to reach over 2.5 million students statewide across 400 campuses and 250+ school districts, colleges and universities with its innovative work concentrated on the goal of increasing the number of students earning a degree or credentials toward a living wage.
- The establishment of CFT as “A Place Where Talent Thrives” focused on the attraction, development, and retention of outstanding employee leaders to maximize the organization’s community impact.
- CFT’s annual program and services operations, particularly Educate Texas, have tripled to $51 million and staff has grown by 76% to 139 employees, making CFT one of the largest and most impactful of nearly 800 community foundations across the country.
- Dave broadened CFT’s strategic plan to incorporate the need to advance equity across the community. He launched a formal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative, which established a DEI framework, including the appointment of a Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer as a direct report, to ensure equity would become embedded in all of CFT’s work and externally in the community.
Referencing Dave’s impact internally, CFT Board Chair Alfreda Norman said, “Dave’s leadership has inspired staff to add their own unique value across their various areas of expertise in alignment with our vision of a thriving community for all. The result has been growth not only in giving and grant-making, but CFT’s impact has also become more meaningful, measurable, and enduring.”
As a result of the announcement, Richie will chair the search committee to select an executive recruitment firm to conduct a nationwide search for Dave’s successor. In order to streamline the transition, Dave will stay on board until Friday, March 3.
In making the announcement, the former Deloitte and Arthur Anderson executive said, “It has been a true honor to lead CFT these past six years. I am proud of what we have achieved towards building a better community and strengthening Texas education. Our extensive progress has been a collective effort through our amazing staff and our dynamic Board of Trustees, in collaboration with our many partners. CFT is uniquely well-positioned to build on this momentum and continue this path, driving greater impact across our community, our state, and on behalf of Texas students.”
* Photo provided by Communities Foundation of Texas
According to Camp Summit President/CEO Carla Weiland,
“My wish this holiday season is that every child and adult with disabilities has the opportunity to experience the joy of camp.
“For many of our campers, their parents struggle every month to cover the costs of required medications, doctors’ visits, and ongoing therapies. This almost makes it impossible to give their child with a disability the normal experience of camp. Many of our families need help with the cost of accessible recreational activities for their forever child. They also rarely have the opportunity for respite from the daily tasks of caregiving. Often, they are so overwhelmed with their day-to-day routine that fun and fulfilling activities, other families can enjoy, seem unreachable.
“Over 90% of Camp Summit campers and families receive financial assistance from Camp Summit in order to attend camp. Help us continue our tradition of accepting all campers, regardless of their ability to pay, their age, or the severity of their disability, by donating in support of our 2023 ‘campership’ campaign.
“Your donation helps to ensure our remarkable campers will never be turned away due to financial hardship! With your help they will experience the freedom of the outdoors, make s’mores around the campfire with new friends, and enjoy a week of adventure with no barriers.
“Support our campers by donating here, or visit www.campsummittx.org to learn more about our barrier-free camp programs. Thank you for making a camper’s dream come true this holiday season. Happy Holidays from Camp Summit and our remarkable campers!”
* Graphic/photo provided by Camp Summit
Despite being the site of the Texas Discovery Garden’s 2022 Flora Award patron party on Tuesday, November 1, Barbara Hunt Crow’s home was far from being pretentious. As comforting as a mug of hot chocolate or a grandmother’s hug, every room was filled with sentimental touches reflecting her family plus antiques, needlepoint pillows, books and a Steinway piano.
For instance, in one room there was an assortment of porcelain lions. The reason? She started collecting them when her son Daniel Crow was born and thought of Daniel and the lion.
So as the guests like 2022 Flora Award Dinner Chair Cara French and her folks Prissy and Warren Gravely, Discovery Garden Executive Dick Davis, Hattie Weber Cowan and Travis Cowan and Louise Griffeth arrived for the prelude of the 2022 Flora Award dinner on Thursday, November 10, at Discovery Garden, it was no surprise that everyone felt right at home.
Honoree Marilyn Weber and her husband Ben Weber brought along Scripps College Professor Emeritus Dr. Eric Haskell, who had flown in from California to speak to The Mary K. Craig Class the next day. He was amazed at the cool weather to which Ben laughed that this was likely to be the plan for Christmas Day.
When someone asked about Ben’s weight loss, Marilyn claimed it was due to his ice cream diet. All ears perked up. An ice cream diet? Yes, he said vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce. And Marilyn added, “He also loves peppermint with chocolate sauce.”
Someone asked if he had tried marshmallow sauce? No, but the idea was intriguing.
The Omni Dallas Hotel was the scene of a near-perfect storm on Friday, October 28, with Family Gateway holding its “Stronger Together Breakfast” in the Trinity Ballroom followed by the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’ “2022 Women of Distinction Luncheon” at 11:30 a.m. If all things went according to plan, the changing of the guard would go unhindered.
But things nearly got off to a rough start for the breakfast, thanks to a stoppage in the hotel driveway. Unlike previous valet challenges of the season, this one wasn’t due to the parking staff.
Taking her place at the podium on the stage in the ballroom, Family Gateway’s Chief Development Officer Ruthie Umberger notified guests that cars in the driveway were backed up. It seems someone had taken their car key with them. Like people scrambling for their cellphones in church to make sure theirs hadn’t gone off when one was heard in a nearby pew, the early-morning crowd reached into their pockets and purses to make sure their keys weren’t the culprit.
Ah, but that was not to be the only driveway challenge of the day. More about that later, though.
To streamline the breakfast operation, a seated breakfast was replaced by a taco and fruit buffet in the reception lobby. While guests like Breakfast Honorary Co-Chairs Selwyn Razor and Rich Moses, Joyce Goss, City Councilperson Paul Ridley, Cynt Marshall and Joel Williams III took their plates of goodies to the ballroom, keynote speaker Chris “The Pursuit of Happyness” Gardner waited his turn in a side conference room. When he spotted Family Gateway Board Chair Gary Moor in suit and tie, the towering Chris in shirt sleeves laughed that it had been two years since he had worn a tie. Gary admitted that he had had trouble tying his that morning.
Before taking his place on stage, Family Gateway President/CEO Ellen Magnis presented the Annette G. Strauss Community Service Award to Shannon Reed, and Event Co-Chair/Booker T. Washington grad Quincy Roberts sang “Happy Birthday” to his mother Audry and Dallas City Councilperson Cara Mendelsohn.
Just after 9, Chris took his place on stage telling the crowd he was “glad to see real people for the first time in three years.”
He then surprised some by admitting that life could be as lethal as drugs and alcohol. This thought took root for Chris when he was 21, single and in San Francisco making $7,500 a year. Then he met a woman, had a child with her and was making double his previous salary.
Now he was selling medical products hauling in $85,000 a year. He felt like “the NBC peacock.”
Then one day Chris saw a guy driving in a fantasy car in the parking lot, and he offered his parking space to the fella if he would just tell Chris what he did. The driver was a stockbroker making $85,000 a month. Chris decided by hanging out with stockbrokers perhaps some of that magic would rub off on him. What he hadn’t counted on was the number of parking tickets he started collecting.
His persistence paid off and he got a chance to be part of a training program at a major brokerage house. However, the first day he showed up for training, he learned that the man who had made the offer had been fired the day before and nobody had heard of Chris. Now he had no job, no promised training and his lady friend was leaving.
Oh, and those parking tickets had amounted to $1,400 in fines. He was handcuffed and put in a cell with a rapist and an arsonist. When asked by his cellmates what he was in for, Chris said, “I’m here for murder and I’ll kill you.”
He ended up at San Jacinto State Penitentiary for ten days, and all he could think of was his son. Upon his release, he went home to discover his girlfriend and son had left with everything “except the dust.”
Wearing only what he had on when he was arrested, he went to his job interview in blue denim bell bottoms and a “Members Only” jacket.
When he described why he had shown up like that, the interviewer sympathized, telling Chris that he himself had been divorced three times.
The good news was that Chris landed a spot in the non-paying training program. The not-so-good news was the morning his ex- showed up and handed Chris their toddler son. The problem: Chris’ boarding house didn’t allow children.
Chris and his son were now homeless. But he persevered in the training program and became a top producer and eventually a self-made millionaire, entrepreneur, best-selling author and motivational speaker.
As he wound up his talk, Chris shared his belief in the Power of One. It seems that after Katrina hit New Orleans, he saw one man mowing grass with a push mower. It wasn’t his yard. It was his neighbor’s, but the man knew his neighbor would be coming home. A year later Chris went by the house and saw the man playing dominoes under a shade tree with the neighbor who had come home.
He finished right at 9:30, reminding the guests, “The cavalry is not coming. Because we are the cavalry.”
As for the valet conundrum mentioned earlier, it took place as guests headed to the driveway to fetch their cars. On the way most folks passed a woman at a table with a sign about paying for tickets. Alas, hardly anyone noticed the woman, the table or the sign. Evidently, they had taken it for granted that the valet parking had been complimentary. Only upon arriving at the driveway were they confronted with the cold reality. Hapless attendants could only tell the guests they had to go back and validate their parking stubs. Some accepted their situation begrudgingly; others appeared more vocal about their discontent. But even then it wasn’t all a breeze. One eagle-eyed guest who had spied the table and paid before heading downstairs waited 45 minutes for her/his car. Even then s/he had to show a photo of her/his car and its license plate to get it retrieved. Adding to the driveway kerfuffle of ruffled departing guests was the arrival of the Girl Scouts group to set up for the day’s luncheon.
In hindsight, it might have been wiser to have made an announcement from the stage that guests would need to pay for their parking as they left, and to have had more than one innocuous table with a single staffer. Or, better yet to have had the parking underwritten.
According to 2022 Crystal Charity Ball Chair Susan Farris,
“Contribution Tickets and Silent Auction are both very important parts of the fund-raising efforts for this year’s Crystal Charity Ball and have been an integral component of the $171 million raised in the last seventy years.
“We are so fortunate to have very generous partners provide unique and valuable goods donated so that our dedicated members can sell tickets that enable our organization to raise $7.1 million for eight worthy beneficiaries this year: Agape Clinic, Baylor Oral Health Foundation, Behind Every Door, Educational First Steps, Family Compass, Hope Supply Co., Southwestern Medical Foundation and United to Learn.
“The incredible Contribution Ticket offerings include the choice of a luxury vehicle from the Sewell family of dealerships with a value of $100,000 MSRP (only 400 tickets will be sold!); $25,000 prepaid VISA card sponsored by Prosperity Bank; $20,000 shopping spree at Highland Park Village; $32,000 Italian getaway from Stanley Korshak and $10,000 gift certificate from Eiseman Jewels NorthPark. Contribution ticket chairmen Amy Hegi and Laura Downing have spent countless hours making certain that all tickets are reconciled.
“While the Ball is “sold out” through the generosity of underwriters, my wish is that that you visit crystalcharityball.org or call 214.526.5868 to purchase Contribution Tickets. You can also bid on the Online Luxury Silent Auction by visiting crystalcharityball.muradbid.com which is online now!
“Silent Auction/Special Gifts Chairmen Wendy Messmann and Mary Martha Pickens have assembled the largest collection of items, rare experiences and beautiful goods in our history. From exotic travel to glittering jewelry to sporting experiences, there is something for everyone.
Bidding is easy and you do not have to attend the ball to participate and still support the children of Dallas!
“So, call Crystal Charity or log on…That would also be a wish come true!”
* Graphic provided by Crystal Charity Ball
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