SEATTLE, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Norman B. Rice announced today his intention to retire as president & CEO of The Seattle Foundation, as he enters his 40th year in public and community service to the Puget Sound region and the nation. Rice will continue to serve until a successor is chosen, anticipated to be summer 2014.
Drawing on his experience as a Seattle City Council member, two-term mayor of Seattle, and president of the National Conference of Mayors, Rice focused his work at The Seattle Foundation on driving positive community change by stimulating new ideas and promoting effective strategies for private philanthropy and community collaboration. (Rice's full biography is available here.)
His achievements at The Seattle Foundation include the launch of GiveBIG, the highly successful day-long online giving campaign that has raised more than $25 million for King County nonprofits in the last three years. As GiveBIG clearly demonstrated, Rice prioritized efforts to elevate the accessibility and visibility of The Seattle Foundation so that it would be embraced as a true community foundation and, as he said, "a place for everyone working to make King County better, whether they had $5, $5,000 or $5 million to give."
A community foundation managing more than 1,200 individual philanthropic funds for people and businesses, The Seattle Foundation's mission is to foster powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make King County as stronger, more vibrant community for all.
"The Foundation—and indeed, the region—benefitted immensely from Norm's vision and leadership," said Martha Choe, chair of the Foundation's Board of Trustees and chief administrative officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "He accentuated the 'community' in community foundation, making The Seattle Foundation a place for everyone working to build a healthy community. It has been an honor to serve with him."
He also focused the Foundation's work in the areas of education and economic opportunity, incubating and supporting the launch of organizations such as the Community Center for Education Results, SkillUp, YearUp and Teach for America.
"I have long seen philanthropic organizations as the nexus joining government and private enterprise," explained Rice. "The Seattle Foundation, working at the community level, is that broker of money, ideas and partnerships to make real progress on the real issues facing King County."
Building on this approach, The Seattle Foundation is creating a Center for Community Partnerships to advance collaborative, systemic change to achieve greater economic and racial equity in King County. The center is scheduled to launch in spring 2014.
Rice joined the Foundation in the midst of a severe economic recession, compelled by the opportunity to unite his passion for building healthy communities with the growing strategic role of philanthropy. As he prepares to retire from The Seattle Foundation, the Foundation stands in a solid financial position with assets of $727 million (as of 9/30/13), a 12.8% investment return for the last 12 months, and continuing growth in new funds from local families, individuals and businesses. (The Seattle Foundation's 2012 Annual Report is available here.)
Rice joined the Foundation in July 2009 and will continue to serve until a successor is chosen, anticipated to be summer 2014. The Board of Trustees, led by Choe, will oversee the selection process and is committed to ensuring a thorough leadership transition.
Upon retirement from the Foundation, Rice will maintain his involvement and leadership with local organizations, including the Northwest African American Museum and The 5th Avenue Theatre. He will also maintain his role as a board member of Seattle-based Casey Family Programs, the nation's largest operating foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system.
In addition to holding public office, Rice's career also included positions at Rainier Bank, Puget Sound Regional Council of Governments, Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle and the University of Washington, where he served as Distinguished Visiting Practitioner at the Evans School of Public Affairs. Most recently, he served as a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions.
About The Seattle Foundation: Established in 1946, the mission of The Seattle Foundation is to foster powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make King County a stronger, more vibrant community for all. It is the oldest and largest community foundation in the region, with more than 1,100 family, corporate and individual funds and assets in excess of $725 million. The Seattle Foundation awards more than $60 million in grants each year. For more information, visit www.seattlefoundation.org.
SOURCE The Seattle Foundation