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Smyth to retire from Mott Foundation

When Maureen H. Smyth joined the staff of the C.S. Mott Foundation in 1983, the grantmaking budget — focusing primarily on Flint and Genesee County — hovered around $22 million. In 2011, when Smyth announced her intention to retire in late January 2012 as senior vice president of programs and communications, the budget for domestic and international grantmaking totaled almost $93 million.

"Maureen has served in a pivotal position during her years with the foundation," said William S. White, foundation president and CEO. "She is an excellent grantmaker and an excellent manager — a rare combination of skills that she used to help guide the foundation through several decades of great change and growth. She has had a tremendous influence on how the foundation thinks about its grantmaking.

"When the next chapter of the foundation's history is written, Maureen will stand out for her excellent stewardship as well as for her ability to prepare and position a new generation of foundation leaders," said White.

Smyth began her career at the foundation in 1983 as a consulting editor in the communications department. She joined the organization's grantmaking staff the following year as an associate program officer, where she assumed responsibility for developing the foundation's Great Lakes Land and Water Resources Program. In 1988, she was named a program officer and in 1991 was promoted to vice president of programs. In 2005, she became senior vice president for both programs and communications.

As a program officer for Mott, she was instrumental in helping create the Great Lakes Protection Fund, a bipartisan group based in Chicago, that is responsible for exploring and testing new ideas that make the Great Lakes healthier and more valuable.

"Maureen and I were on the board of the Great Lakes Protection Fund from the very beginning," said Pat Lupo, a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pa., who joined the fund's board in 1990. Currently the education director for Earth Action-Erie, Lupo noted that Smyth "brought a unique perspective to issues affecting the Great Lakes.

"More often than not, we were the only women serving on the board and the only board members without a connection to government," said Lupo. "Maureen's foundation background gave her the freedom to make decisions based on what would benefit the citizens of the Great Lakes. I found a mentor in Maureen — not only when it came to issues related to the lakes, but in other areas of my work.”

Smyth will continue to represent the Mott Foundation on the boards of several organizations, including the Great Lakes Protection Fund, the Foundation Center, the Trust for Civil Society for Central and Eastern Europe and the Global Fund for Community Foundations. She also will be joining the board of the Michigan Land Use Institute based in Traverse City where she and her husband Paul will live.

Before joining the foundation, Smyth worked as a legislative liaison for the Michigan Association of School Boards and was a legislative analyst with the Michigan House of Representatives.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

 

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