Monday, June 25, 2012

Rich’s Legacy: A big smile, integrity, and vision

In honor of our executive director Rich Cowles' retirement on June 28, the Charities Review Council is excited to kick-off the “Make it a Rich Legacy” campaign, taking place now through June 27. As part of this campaign, the Council will feature insights and reflections about Rich's tenure from key Council supporters.

Here's what our current board members have to say about Rich's legacy!

Anita Patel, Board Member (Vice Chair)
Vice President, Racial Justice & Public Policy at YWCA of Minneapolis

I joined the Cultural Competency Task Force and immediately saw the authentic nature of Rich’s leadership. He grasps the idea that the Charities Review Council can truly be a positive, transformational force for our community, particularly as it comes to creating inclusive organizations.
His dedication to understanding how the Council can best model all standards, including pushing the envelope on its own Diversity & Inclusivity Standard is exciting to witness.
I also appreciate how much he shares of himself in this work… I was putting on a racial justice workshop one evening in the suburbs and suddenly Rich walked in the door. He shared his own story, and earnestly looked to connect with folks; developing tools to deepen understanding and action to create strong, inclusive communities. His huge smile, thoughtful questions, willingness to engage the community and compassionate nature are all pieces that come to mind as I reflect on his strong legacy of leadership. Thanks for all you have done and will continue to do to strengthen our community!

Dan Johnson, Board Member
Vice President, Public Policy & Mission Advancement at National Multiple Sclerosis Society

In my role as a Charities Review Council board member, funder, and personal supporter of Rich, I’ve developed a respect for his professionalism and integrity—attributes that have served the community remarkably well during his tenure.
Rich is among a small handful of local nonprofit leaders that work daily to strengthen our region’s capacity to a maintain a high quality of life while assuring a strong safety net for our most vulnerable.
Leading a behind-the-scenes infrastructure organization is far from sexy—nor is Rich—but knowing that he has touched thousands of lives in gentle and meaningful ways is a legacy he richly deserves and few can own.

Diane Hovis, Board Member
I'm retired and loving it—and I’m willing and eager to mentor Rich into a successful retirement! It's a busy life, full of all the things you really want to be spending your time on. I'm a current board member, in my 5th year on the Charities Review Council board.
I've always been so impressed with the absolute integrity that Rich brings to every situation and have loved the chance to witness his passion for improving the entire nonprofit sector.
It's been an honor and a privilege to work with Rich! Congratulations Rich, and best wishes as you transition into your next adventure!!

Morris Goodwin Jr., Board Member (Secretary)
Vice President, Finance and Administration, Wilder Foundation

What are your favorite qualities that Rich holds?
First Quality: Compassion. He cares about donors and he cares about the quality, accuracy, and character of the information provided by nonprofits.

Second Quality: He is dedicated to improving the field, enhancing transparency, and building the ability of nonprofits to excel and execute their missions.

Third Quality: Indefatigable optimism. No matter what, Rich always thinks things can and are getting better.

What strengths does Rich hold as a leader of the sector? Rich’s strengths lie in his intelligence both IQ and EQ. He has an amazing ability to synthesize trends in community, policy, and program and to see simpatico relationship potential between people, systems, institution, and process. He cares for staff deeply and always demonstrates the character and commitment to their growth and development.

What do you like about your service on the Council board? First is the opportunity to work with Rich, he told me about his passion for cultural competency, and his desire to make it a strategic imperative which was unique and powerful positioning. The second thing is a really excellent and diverse group of board members who each in their own right represent institutions and organizations that want to see the nonprofit sector thrive, grow, and expand their mission impact. Third is the chance to work with really enterprising and enthusiastic staff members, who are smart, savvy, fast on their feet, and extremely creative and effective in what they do. It’s amazing how much they get done with so few resources.

Volunteer Activites:
St. Paul’s Church Ministry, St. Matthews Church Social Justice Ministry, Twin Cities RISE! Board Member, MEDA Board Member, CRC Board Member, St. Paul Chamber Board Member, Search Institute Board Chair; Episcopal Community Services Task Force Member, Aspirate for Episcopal Diaconate.

Help us "Make It A Rich Legacy" and support our goal to raise $10,000 in honor of Rich Cowles by Wednesday, June 27. Donations made in recognition of Rich’s leadership will go to the Campaign for Growth – a $600,000 effort to build the Council’s infrastructure to be able to reach more nonprofits and donors.

Please go to today to “Make it a Rich Legacy”, and finally, join us next Wednesday June 27 at Mai Village from 3-6pm for an informal farewell celebration.

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