Honoring Two Philanthropy Champions

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

A message from Kyle Caldwell, president and CEO of CMF.

Our CMF community recently lost two Michigan philanthropy champions, Chris Stallworth, program officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Dr. William C. Richardson, retired president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. I am grateful to have known both Chris and Bill, two individuals who demonstrated true passion for advancing equitable solutions in communities across our great state.

I worked alongside Chris during my time at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and had the pleasure of getting to know him and the incredible work he was developing in support of the Flint community. His affable charm, sense of humor, collaborative spirit and commitment to Flint shined through in his work. His impact will be experienced well into the future.
Prior to joining the team at the Mott Foundation, Chris also served as the director of Learning Services at CMF. Chris will be greatly missed as a beloved member of our CMF community.

As the Mott Foundation shared in a touching remembrance of Chris, “We were blessed to know and learn from Chris. We will keep him in our hearts and minds as we continue to do the work that was so important to him.” I invite you to read the Mott Foundation’s message.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has shared a tribute honoring the life and legacy of Dr. William C. Richardson, retired president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), former co-trustee of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust, a former trustee of CMF and former board member of the Kellogg Company. 

“Bill Richardson’s leadership made way for others. He consistently and intentionally created space for new and emerging leaders to step forward – often women and people of color,” La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO, WKKF shared.

Upon Bill’s retirement from WKKF, CMF created the William C. Richardson Fellowship for Public Policy and Philanthropy in his honor to advance new leaders’ careers in philanthropy. Bill was an early supporter of CMF and the field, especially in our increasing collective engagement in public policy.

Rob Collier, former president and CEO of CMF, reflected on Bill’s leadership and impact in the public policy space.

"Bill was a great partner and coach for all of us during our annual Foundations on the Hill visits in Washington. His effective listening led to just the right questions for our policymakers. A champion for public/private partnerships, Bill demonstrated by his actions and leadership that when we act together anything is possible,” Rob shared.

“Bill got things done,” Dottie Johnson, president-emeritus of CMF and a former trustee of WKKF shared. “He was a great CMF board member communicating our message to Congress and raising the money to support the $10 million Connect Michigan Alliance. Bill mentored dozens of students, philanthropists and entrepreneurs and uppermost in his mind was always diversity.”

The public policy fellowship named in Bill’s honor has provided opportunities for emerging leaders to gain a deeper understanding of public policy and philanthropy.

“Dr. Richardson had a profound impact on my personal and professional path,” says Dana Linnane, policy and communications officer for WKKF. “As a former William C. Richardson Public Policy and Philanthropy fellow, I developed a passion for policy-informed grantmaking, which has fueled my work for more than a decade. His footprint on policy and philanthropy will remain enduring and deep.”

“The fellowship significantly impacted my career trajectory and provided such valuable experience in understanding how philanthropy and government work hand in hand to shape policy and create systemic change,” Surabhi Pandit, director of Human Services Initiatives at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan said. 

“This fellowship and Bill Richardson’s legacy are one of a kind and have inspired so many of us next-generation leaders to deepen our impact, think outside of the box and think across sector boundaries to create and enhance equitable and systemic change," Kyra Hudson, CMF’s current William C. Richardson Public Policy fellow shared.

Indeed, Bill was a great champion of youth, service and volunteerism. He was a stalwart champion of our state and our field and he, too, will be missed.

May we all continue to promote acts for the love of humankind in honor of Chris and Bill.

Kyle Caldwell
President & CEO

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