Dear Connections Readers,
Today I write to you with sincere appreciation for the wonderful gift of astute, gracious and compassionate trustee leadership that Frank E. and Nancy M. Russell have provided to the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust over the past 13 plus years. Last Friday, the Russells announced their intended retirement as founding Trustees at the end of this year. Carol Peden Schilling, the remaining founding trustee and niece of Mrs. Pulliam, will continue to carry forth the Trust's legacy along with two newly appointed trustees.
Mr. Russell's financial and legal skills, acumen for the newspaper business and his personal loyalty over 40 years earned the respect and friendship of Mrs. Pulliam to the extent that she asked him to serve as executor of her estate, including serving as an original trustee of her trust with the power to appoint the two other founding trustees. His appointment of Nancy M. Russell, his wife, who also knew Mrs. Pulliam personally, provided unique insights into the charitable instincts and interests of Mrs. Pulliam. And, as her niece and companion in her later years, Carol Schilling knew Mrs. Pulliam's love of family, respect for nature and her expectations for doing one's best always, whatever the task. The Trustees' combined knowledge of both the Indianapolis and Phoenix communities also added immeasurably to bringing shape and meaning to the Trust's grantmaking since its inception.
What greater gifts could I have been given, as the initial president and CEO, than the knowledge, wisdom and guidance of these three outstanding individuals who from the very beginning worked by consensus? Most recently, this includes selecting the two individuals to succeed the Russells. Kent E. Agness, a Hoosier and long-time Indianapolis resident, is a retired partner of Barnes & Thornburg. For almost two decades he was legal counsel for Central Newspapers, Inc. and assisted Mr. Russell in managing the affairs of Mrs. Pulliam and her trust. Lisa Shover-Kackley is a communications and media consultant who resides in Scottsdale and Parks, AZ. She was born in Indianapolis and from her early childhood knew Mrs. Pulliam. In addition to their professional backgrounds, these individuals bring knowledge and executive experience in the nonprofit sector as board members and leaders.
I am confident that this new Trustee cohort will continue to uphold the transcendent values of Mrs. Pulliam as demonstrated through the Trust's evolving grantmaking. Please join me in thanking the Russells for their devoted service and welcoming new Trustees Agness and Shover-Kackley.
As always, we appreciate your comments and questions.