The First Year: How to Hire, Inspire, and Empower a New Family Foundation CEO

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Hiring a new family foundation CEO is one of the most important transitions that any family foundation must go through. The role of a family foundation chief executive is unique—running a philanthropic enterprise in partnership with a family. This webinar, based on the first-ever guides for hiring and orienting a family foundation CEO, will help any family thinking about how to achieve their shared dreams for family philanthropy, and how to find the right person to take you there. Featuring the perspectives of two family foundations that have recently hired a first-time CEO, this call will address topics such as:

  • How can you best take stock of where your foundation is now and what you want for its future?
  • What are the steps in a good search process, and should you hire outside help to recruit and vet candidates?
  • What is the board and board chair’s role in hiring and orienting the new CEO?
  • How can new CEOs develop strong board/staff relations while also learning about the foundation, the grantees, and the community?
  • How can new CEOs learn to set boundaries and cope with family dynamics, while finding and building a peer support network?

Featured Speakers

Eden Werring

Eden Werring, Executive Director of the Tauck Family Foundation, has dedicated her professional life to helping…

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Leah Gary

Leah Gary is the President and CEO of the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation…

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Tom Adams

Tom Adams is a national thought leader, speaker and trainer on leadership and leadership transition topics. He…

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What others have said...

Well organized, informative, impressed by the opening quick survey ability to get audience context for presenters.


Great webinar. From content to format, “The First Year: How to Hire, Inspire, and Empower a New Family Foundation CEO” provided an excellent road map for success. All of the speakers were outstanding, but I wanted to single out Leah Gary of the O’Neill Foundation who provided a real sense of the extraordinary experiences, opportunities, and challenges faced by both the CEO and family board members.


It covered the topic well. The personal experiences were especially helpful.


Speakers were extremely well-informed and experienced and were willing to share even their most baffling or unsuccessful experiences.


Concrete examples and testimony from both participating CEOs was essential to the success of the webinars. They did a great job. Equally as valuable was the information shared by Tom Adams who shared great details on the considerations family foundations must undertake to successfully transition or launch their executive leadership.


Leah Gary was honest, to the point, and authentic in describing her journey at the O’Neill Foundation; shared a bit of her personality while helping the audience understand both her positive and challenging experiences.


Very clear and concise – conveyed a great deal of insight and information in a short time


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