Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation Formed From Merger of Schwab Foundation For Learning and Schwab Family Foundation
Organization Announces New Initiatives and Appointments
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." History/Background 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, 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 Review. 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 self-sufficiency. "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 redesign. 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 www.schwabfoundation.org. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X63876244
SOURCE The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation
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