Leonard W. Smith, foundation leader and dedicated steward, served as a trustee of the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, The Skillman Foundation and CMF. He passed away on January 21 at the age of 89.
The Skillman Foundation shared that Leonard helped Rose Skillman establish the foundation in 1960. He took over as president in 1964 and served in this role until 1999. Leonard also served as the Board Chairman of the Flinn Foundation (2000-2018), President (2000-2007), Chief Investment Officer (2008-2021) and Trustee (2000-2024).
“I will be forever thankful for Leonard’s guidance and incredible mentorship over the years,” Andrea Cole, president and CEO of the Flinn Foundation, shared in a statement.
Leonard also served as chair of CMF’s Board of Trustees, on CMF’s Finance/Investment Committee, our previously separate committees of Public Policy and Government Relations and was a member of the CMF Advisory Cabinet.
“Leonard was an unwavering champion of Michigan philanthropy. His leadership at the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, The Skillman Foundation and as a former CMF Board Chair, as well as at organizations throughout Southeast Michigan, demonstrated his commitment for improving the lives and well-being of all children,” Kyle Caldwell, president and CEO of CMF, shared. “Leonard’s contributions to improving mental health delivery and treatment in Michigan will support generations to come.”
“Courageous is the word I would use to describe Leonard. Unafraid to tackle tough issues, he led the formation of and served as chair of The Michigan AIDS Fund, a supporting organization of CMF, which served for 20 years as the largest statewide public-private partnership in the country tackling the HIV and AIDS epidemic. His passion for lifting all Michiganders through collaboration was a model for all of us at CMF—trustees and staff—and his impact will continue to benefit future generations. It was a privilege to work with him,” Rob Collier, former president and CEO of CMF said.
A remembrance reception will be held for Leonard Smith on Saturday, February 17.
Donations may be made to the East Side Youth Sports Foundation (formerly Grosse Pointe Hockey Association), the Thompson L. Smith Book Fund at the Taft School, or a charity of your choice.