For the past six and a half years, I have had the wonderful opportunity to manage a smart, committed team of grants officers who seek to make this city a better place for all who live, work, and play here. It has been a humbling experience to try and keep up with them. As I retire, I know this team will continue to be innovative and productive, especially led by the new V.P. for grants, Shawn Morehead, and V.P. for philanthropic initiatives, Kerry McCarthy.
The Trust is a special institution. It is dedicated to the people and neighborhoods of New York, across the generations, fulfilling the philanthropic wishes of donors who started setting up funds almost 100 years ago. Its growth, stability, and integrity are all due to a wonderful board of directors led by our chair, Valerie Peltier, and our president, Lorie Slutsky.
As funders, we are not doing the work directly, even though we often share the credit when victories are achieved. One of the secrets to New York’s greatness is its large and strong network of nonprofits, a third sector without which the City could not work. They provide services across the spectrum, come up with creative solutions to intractable problems, and keep government honest.
New York City government is filled with talented and dedicated professionals, many of whom I have worked with over the years. In this era of scorn for the public sector, I think it is particularly important to recognize the value of government. Bringing these sectors together is essential to finding solutions that stand the test of time.