SAN MATEO, Calif., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Two foundations established by
financier Charles R. Schwab and his wife Helen O'Neill Schwab are merging into
a single charitable entity -- with new initiative areas, a new approach to
funding, and an expanded executive team and board of directors -- effective
September 1, 2001.
The newly formed Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation will serve to steward
the Schwab's philanthropic vision of "investing in people to transform their
lives, their work and our society for good -- adding value on our own and in
partnerships that define the best in philanthropy."
"Over past two years, we've closely examined our program interests and
grant making experience and determined that our objectives can be accomplished
most effectively by merging our philanthropic efforts into a single
foundation," said Mr. Schwab. "We've articulated our mission and values. Now
we're acting on them by strengthening the Foundation's leadership and building
upon our previous successes. We anticipate these changes will help us achieve
measurable results in transforming lives and communities through our own work
and in partnership with others."
The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation is being formed from the merger of
the Schwab Foundation for Learning and the Schwab Family Foundation.
The Schwab Foundation for Learning was established in 1988 in response to
the impact of learning differences (LD) in the lives of the Schwab family.
Today, it is recognized as one of the leaders in the LD field, dedicated to
helping kids with learning differences be successful in learning and life.
Its work has been featured in national publications, including Newsweek and
Through the merger, this initiative will become Schwab Learning, an
operating program of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation. Its offerings
include the web site, www.SchwabLearning.org, which provides reliable
information and practical guidance for parents of children with LD.
The Schwab Family Foundation was created in 1993 to structure the family's
philanthropy and grant making in human services. The Foundation's Children,
Youth and Families program served providers and communities in San Francisco
and San Mateo counties in the areas of basic needs, youth development,
behavioral health issues that promote individual and family stability, and the
economic well-being of communities.
The Schwab Family Foundation also launched the Organizational Capacity
Grants Initiative (OCGI), which has sought to strengthen the infrastructure
and build the capacity of human service providers in San Mateo County. The
early, positive results of OCGI were highlighted in the Harvard Business
New Initiatives, New Approach to Funding
With the merger, the Foundation is developing new human services
initiatives -- and a new mode of grant making -- in issue-oriented areas that
represent a continuum of interventions contributing to individual
"Building on the insights and knowledge we've acquired, as well as ongoing
research, we are transitioning what has been a largely traditional grant
making approach," said Foundation CEO Alexa Cortes Culwell. "We're
identifying and selecting partners and grantees in tandem with our research,
and then designing our initiatives in close collaboration with them, providing
funding and other resources as needed."
Substance Abuse Treatment is the first initiative in the Foundation's
newly configured human services program, with pilots launching in late 2001.
The initiative focuses on the organizational capacity of treatment providers
in order to enhance treatment capacity. The Foundation is also conducting
extensive research in homelessness and asset development for the working poor
to explore the potential of initiatives in these areas.
All initiatives will incorporate cross-cutting themes that build on the
Foundation's experience and expertise in organizational capacity building,
partnerships and youth. "Our goal is the creation of a dynamic portfolio that
integrates program areas and themes and achieves impact in the intersection
between its elements as much as within the elements themselves," Culwell said.
Expanded Executive Team
With the merger, the Foundation is also announcing additions to its
executive team and its board of directors.
Alexa Cortes Culwell has been named Chief Executive Officer of the
Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation. Culwell has served as executive director
of both the Schwab Foundation for Learning and the Schwab Family Foundation
since 1992. Under Culwell's leadership, the organization has grown from a
team of two to a staff of nearly 50. In her new role, Culwell will continue
to strengthen the Foundation's capacity and broaden its program capabilities.
Ann Christen has been named Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility
for building the Foundation's infrastructure, supervising its operational
performance and providing strategic guidance. She also provides subject
matter expertise in the Foundation's initiative areas of learning differences
and substance abuse treatment. Christen was formerly president and CEO of the
Adult and Child Guidance Center in San Jose, CA, and is a licensed marriage,
family and child counselor.
Rick Lavoie, a recognized authority on learning differences, has been
named Director of Schwab Learning. Lavoie has spent more than 30 years
working with kids who struggle to learn, as well as their parents and
teachers. His PBS videotape, How Difficult Can This Be?, which captures the
experiences of kids with learning and attentional problems, is a classic in
the field of learning disabilities. Most recently, Lavoie served as director
of the acclaimed Riverview School in Massachusetts.
Rick Williams has been named National Programs Director to lead the
Foundation's efforts in defining and implementing initiatives in human
services and organizational capacity building. Formerly the COO of
EMQ Children and Family Services, a $47 million statewide healthcare company
based in San Jose, CA, Williams has more than 17 years' management experience
in behavioral health care and program development. He also served with the
Santa Clara County Mental Health Department, as departmental deputy director
and director of acute psychiatric services.
Tim Wilmot has been named Chief Knowledge and Evaluation Officer. Wilmot,
who holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior, brings a dozen years experience
with knowledge management and organizational development programs for private,
public and nonprofit organizations. Prior to joining the Foundation,
Mr. Wilmot specialized in building knowledge-sharing communities, as manager
of Ernst & Young's Center for Business Knowledge, and as CEO of the
Ana Thompson has been named Chief Financial Officer. Thompson, who holds
an M.B.A. from Stanford Business School and a B.A. from Harvard, was formerly
a member of the senior management team of Lutheran Social Services of
Northern California, a $4 million, 60-person agency, where she served as
chief financial and administrative officer. Prior to this position, she was a
senior consultant with Deloitte Consulting and First Manhattan Consulting
Group, advising clients in finance, cost analysis and business process
Ann Wallace has been named Communications Director. Wallace began working
with the Foundation's learning differences program in 1995 as a communications
consultant. She joined the organization full-time in 1999 to lead
Schwab Learning's public relations and marketing efforts, as well its research
into the needs of kids with learning differences. With the merger, she will
develop and direct communications strategy for the Foundation's initiatives in
both learning differences and human services.
Chairman Charles R. Schwab and President Helen O'Neill Schwab will be
joined by three new directors on the Board of the Charles and Helen Schwab
Foundation: Nancy Bechtle, Sally Bowles and Alexa Cortes Culwell.
Bechtle was president of the board of the San Francisco Symphony from
1987 to 2001, and has served as a member of its Board of Governors since 1984.
During her tenure, she expanded the organization's budget from $21 million to
$47.5 million, and oversaw the $10 million acoustical renovation of the
symphony hall. She was previously a director and chief financial officer of
J.R. Bechtle & Co., and has served as a director of the Charles Schwab
Corporation since 1992.
Bowles helped to establish and served as president of the Emily Hall
Tremaine Foundation, which funds programs in learning differences, arts and
the environment. She began her career as a member of the group that created
the Peace Corps, and later served as an advisor to New York City Mayor
John Lindsay. She subsequently worked on behalf of Nelson Mandela on
post-apartheid economic issues as executive director of the Committee for
South African Development.
The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation is based in San Mateo, CA. The
assets of the Foundation, as of July 31, 2001, are $292 million. For more
information, please visit www.schwabfoundation.org.
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SOURCE The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation