BCF President Tom Wilcox announces retirement after 17 years at BCF

March 27, 2017

Baltimore, MD (March 28, 2017) - Thomas E. Wilcox, president and CEO of the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF), has announced his retirement after 17 years at its helm. In joint letters with BCF’s Board Chair Laura Gamble, he committed to maintaining his role through the transition to its next leader which should happen later this year.

“After having the extraordinary privilege of serving BCF and Baltimore for more than 17 years, it is now time to pass the mantle of civic leadership to a new generation of leaders,” Wilcox said. “Our work has just begun. BCF now must fully engage with a wider variety of Baltimoreans, boldly learning, informing, investing and leading for a greater Baltimore.”

Gamble, Regional President Greater Maryland at PNC and a BCF trustee since 2007, highlighted his accomplishments during his tenure. "Tom is leaving a long record of success and has transformed the way BCF works."

Under Wilcox's leadership the Community Foundation's grantmaking has grown from an average of $5 million per year in the 1990s to more than $25 million annually. BCF has recently completed a successful campaign that will increase its endowment from $30 million in 2000 to more than $160 million.

"Tom has done a superb job taking BCF to the next level by demonstrating the courage to directly confront and address the challenges of urban America," said BCF Honorary Trustee and UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski III. "He has launched a number of successful initiatives with specificity and substance."

Mark Fetting, current BCF trustee and former CEO of Legg Mason agrees. "BCF is now an essential voice in key issues that matter to our entire community. We have seen exponential increases in both assets and influence, making the foundation a key catalyst for change."

Commenting on his long focus on education in Baltimore City, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises lauded the strong partnership he forged between BCF and the school system. "Tom has been an advocate for the underserved and a force for positive change across Baltimore, making impactful contributions to our city, our young people and our families."

In his letter, Wilcox highlighted how BCF has evolved from informed grantmaking to focused initiatives to formal public advocacy and is now investigating impact investing. He also expressed its embedded commitment to race, equity and inclusion.

The BCF Board of Trustees will identify a search firm to lead a local and national search for its next president and CEO, Gamble said. Trustees Stu Simms and Josh Fidler will co-chair the search committee. "The progress BCF has made under Tom's leadership and our growing reputation for innovation among community foundations nationwide will attract a number of highly qualified candidates from here and around the country," according to Gamble.

About the Baltimore Community Foundation
The Baltimore Community Foundation is a private philanthropic organization created by Baltimoreans to serve the current and future needs of the Baltimore region. Representing the interests of a diverse pool of donors who care about Baltimore, BCF uses grants, initiatives and advocacy to address issues facing the region today, while building a civic endowment to address the needs of future generations. BCF also offers donors customized support for their individual philanthropic goals, expert assistance in learning more about the causes they care about, and the opportunity to join others with similar interests to learn and give together. 

Quick facts:
The Baltimore Community Foundation distributed $27 million in 2016 to hundreds of nonprofit organizations in the Baltimore region and beyond. BCF comprises more than 800 different charitable funds created by a diverse group of individuals, families and corporations. BCF is confirmed in compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.


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