FFEF Elects Deborah Hoover to Serve as Chair

by | Mar 20, 2013

Philanthropic Collaboration Welcomes


New Board Leadership


CLEVELAND–March 20, 2013–Members of the Fund for Our Economic Future elected Deborah Hoover, president and chief executive officer of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, to chair the regional philanthropic collaboration that is working to advance a growing, opportunity-rich economy for the people of Northeast Ohio.


Hoover succeeds David Abbott, executive director of The George Gund Foundation, who has served as the Fund’s chair since 2008. Abbott will remain actively engaged in the Fund’s work, including serving on the Fund’s Executive Committee.


“It has been a great privilege to serve as chair of the Fund for Our Economic Future for the past five years,” said Abbott. “Through the Fund, philanthropy has helped strengthen regional collaboration and created a more entrepreneurial and innovative economy. To sustain and strengthen our Fund’s collaboration it is important that we have rotating leadership and I look forward to helping Deb in her new role.”


Hoover, the Fund’s new chair, said: “I am honored to be selected as the new chair of the Fund for Our Economic Future. As one of the founding members of the Fund, I know that improving Northeast Ohio’s economy requires both collaboration and long-term commitment. I look forward to working with my colleagues to promote and support efforts that create more opportunity for our region’s residents and build a more vibrant economy. ” Hoover said she will work to increase engagement among foundations and to build a stronger partnership with private sector leaders to increase alignment of efforts to address the region’s economic priorities.


Since 2004, philanthropic organizations and institutions have deployed more than $80 million through the Fund, a collaboration of organized philanthropy rooted in the belief that philanthropy can and should play a vital role in leading and sustaining efforts to build a vibrant, globally competitive Northeast Ohio. Members of the Fund collectively determine how it will invest its resources. The Fund has raised $9.2 million to date in Phase 4 (2013-2015) of its work.


The election, held at the Ariel International Center in Cleveland, took place during the Fund’s quarterly Funders Committee meeting on March 19. More than 50 foundations and other philanthropic organizations from throughout Northeast Ohio are members of the Fund. The Funders Committee re-elected the following members to leadership positions in the Fund:



    • Brian Frederick, Community Foundation of Lorain County, 1st Vice Chair


    • Robert Jaquay, The George Gund Foundation, Vice President


    • William La Place, Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, Treasurer


    • Christine Mayer, GAR Foundation, Vice Chair


    • Brad Whitehead, Fund for Our Economic Future, President



The Funders Committee also elected new leadership to the following positions:



    • Philip Ranney, The Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust, Secretary


    • Bill Seelbach, The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation, Vice Chair



“Since the Fund’s inception in 2004, the region’s economy and appetite for working regionally has vastly improved,” said Hoover. “The Fund will continue to collaborate and partner with others to support efforts that strengthen Northeast Ohio’s long-term economic competitiveness.”


Hoover has served as president and chief executive officer of The Burton D. Morgan Foundation since January 2007. She joined the Foundation in 1999 as a program officer and was elected executive vice president and treasurer in 2004. She was instrumental in establishing the Foundation’s Northeast Ohio Collegiate Entrepreneurship Program, a Kauffman Campuses Initiative, to spread entrepreneurship across five liberal arts campuses. She also spearheaded the collaborative efforts to bring Blackstone LaunchPad to four campuses in Northeast Ohio.  Ms. Hoover currently serves as a member of the Commercialization Task Force for the Ohio Board of Regents, and is chair of the Advisory Board for The Foundation Center-Cleveland. Ms. Hoover serves on the Board of Trustees of Western Reserve Academy and is a member of the National Council for The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Ms. Hoover attended Williams College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, majoring in art history.  She completed a Master of Arts degree at the University of Chicago. She continued graduate studies at George Washington University National Law Center where she earned a J.D. degree and was a member of the Law Review. She is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia, New Hampshire and Ohio.