Flint, MI, September 5, 2014 -- The Ruth Mott Foundation’s first African-American president took the reins of the organization September 1 and brings more than 30 years of philanthropic experience to his position with the Flint-based funder.
Handy Lindsey, Jr. stood out from dozens of other candidates for a lot of reasons, according to the foundation’s chair, Maryanne Mott.
“He was the principal architect and director for three foundations that he took from concept to operation, and he has worked at all levels of philanthropy,” said Mott, who, with the other Ruth Mott Foundation board members, embarked on a search last fall when the organization’s president, Sara Rios, left after being diagnosed with ALS. “Handy has both the skills and the passion for building capacity in non-profit organizations, and he has worked in a variety of settings from rural to urban and with communities that mirror the characteristics of Genesee County.”
Lindsey was born in Louisville, Mississippi and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He holds three degrees from the University of Chicago, including a master’s in business administration. In 1980, he was hired as a staff associate for the Chicago Area Foundation for Legal Services, and was promoted to executive director.
He was instrumental in developing the East St. Louis Community Foundation, where he served as interim Executive Director in 1985-86.
In 1988, Lindsey was appointed executive director and treasurer of the Field Foundation of Illinois and promoted to CEO. In 2004, he became president and CEO of the Cameron Foundation in Petersburg, Virginia.
When he retired from the Cameron Foundation in 2013, Lindsey initiated an independent consulting practice that focused on coaching for executive effectiveness and advising foundations in organizational development, program planning and implementation, strategic grantmaking and building capacity in nonprofits.
In 2003, the organization Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy (CAAIP) established an award honoring Lindsey for his leadership and dedication in advancing racial and ethnic diversity and inclusiveness in the field of philanthropy. Also in 2003, he received the 12th annual James A. Joseph Lecturer on Philanthropy from the Association of Black Foundation Executives.
Handy Lindsey is married to Kristin Lindsey, who is founder and principal of Intersector Global, a consulting firm that partners with foundations, nonprofits and others in the philanthropic sector to hone strategy, build organizational capacity and engage community. She also served as CEO of the Global Fund for Children, which invests in grassroots organizations serving vulnerable children in more than seventy countries.