McGregor Fund Appoints New President

Monday, May 18, 2015

Chief Operating Officer and longtime grantmaker Kate Levin Markel assumes leadership role

Detroit, MI – On May 18, following a nationwide executive search, Kate Levin Markel was chosen as president of the McGregor Fund, a private Detroit-based foundation serving Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Prior to her executive appointment, Markel spent 14 years shaping the fund’s grantmaking process, first as program officer and, beginning in 2010, as program director. She takes the helm following the untimely death in July 2014 of longtime CEO and President David Campbell, a man widely known and admired among civic and nonprofit leaders throughout southeast Michigan.

“After more than six months of assessing and interviewing candidates, it was apparent that Kate Markel was the best candidate for the post of president,” says James B. Nicholson, chair of the McGregor Fund Board of Trustees. “For well over a decade, she has been on the front line of Detroit philanthropy, developing strong relationships with grantees, area foundation leaders and public sector partners. Throughout that time, she has witnessed profound changes in our city and in the nonprofit sphere, giving her a unique understanding of the needs, challenges and opportunities confronting the McGregor Fund going forward. In addition, her familiarity with the Fund—its mission and core values—assures a seamless transition.”

A graduate of the University of California-Berkeley, Markel worked in New York City for seven years before returning to her hometown of Detroit. Prior to joining the McGregor Fund staff, she spent two years as executive assistant to Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer. She also served as an independent consultant for Detroit community development initiatives. Markel joined the McGregor Fund staff in 2001 and was appointed chief operating officer in April of 2014.

Markel points out that the McGregor Fund is strongly positioned to take on the complex and dynamic challenges of Detroit, thanks to the remarkable leadership of her predecessor. “Dave Campbell’s legacy is vast,” she says. “So many people in the Detroit nonprofit community considered him a mentor, a champion and a role model. I am profoundly grateful for all that he gave me during our nearly 15 years of working together—his encouragement, his trust, his friendship and, above all, his fine example.”

Markel goes on to note that, for those who live, work and invest in Detroit, 2015 promises to be a year like no other. “The city is a study in contrasts, a place of long struggles and deep poverty, but also a place of energy and optimism, filled with socially minded entrepreneurs and a growing number of young people, mid-career professionals and area expats, eager to live, invest and give back. As a result, the dynamic conditions in which the Fund operates as a local philanthropy offer unbounded opportunities to convene, orient, troubleshoot, challenge, incentivize, leverage and contribute to innovation.”

Markel considers it an honor to have “a front-row seat” for the nonprofit endeavors of southeast Michigan: “After 14 years, it remains an extraordinary privilege to work with my colleagues and Trustees at the McGregor Fund, in support of the passionate, big-hearted, transformational work underway in this community.”

The McGregor Fund is a private foundation organized “to relieve the misfortunes and promote the well-being of mankind.” It was established in 1925 by a $5,000 deed of gift from Tracy W. McGregor and later augmented to nearly $10 million through subsequent gifts from Mr. McGregor and his wife, Katherine Whitney McGregor. To date, the Fund has provided more than $227 million in grants to organizations throughout metropolitan Detroit and the tri-county area focused on human services, education, health care, arts and culture, and public benefit.

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