I am the President of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts whose mission is to mobilize philanthropy by matching donors and resources with community needs for the benefit of our region.
How are you involved in the community and what motivates you to engage?
Leading the Community Foundation gives me a unique and truly wonderful position to be involved in our community. My role is to bring philanthropy, in a variety of ways, to the many great non-profit organizations that we have in the South Coast that are working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for all of our residents. We also manage a broad portfolio of scholarships and invest nearly $350,000 each year in scholarship awards to local students who are pursuing college and advanced degrees. So our community involvement ranges from supporting large multi-million dollar capital campaigns for local museums and hospitals to providing support for classes that teach civics to our newest residents as they seek to become citizens.
My motivation stems from being raised in a family that understood deeply that one does not just exist in a place, but rather you have to be a part of it and that requires you engage with an aim to improve it. I also came of age during the height of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco when many in our country failed an entire community, and those of us in that community learned the very tough lesson that if you want to see change then you must take the lead to make that change, and finally, I love the South Coast, I grew up here and moved back in my early 40s and there is so much potential here that getting motivated to help is easy and bring inordinate value to my life.
What did you find most valuable about the LSC experience and how did it contribute to your community leadership?
As a member of the inaugural class of LSC I was extremely fortunate to share that class with others who are deeply engaged in our community: Lee Blake, Rev. David Lima, Maureen Armstrong, Matt Morrissey, Laurie Bullard and Joan Medeiros just to name a few – and to this day, the connections I made with those classmates inform, inspire and challenge my work. That one year gave me an enormous leg up on my ability to be an effective leader and citizen.
Describe your leadership in one word.