Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation Formed From Merger of Schwab Foundation For Learning and Schwab Family Foundation

Organization Announces New Initiatives and Appointments

Sep 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation

    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
 Forbes Magazine.
     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,, 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
 Collaboration Company.
     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.
     New Directors
     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
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here

SOURCE The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation