I am writing with the news that Michael Blake will be stepping down in December as Vice President of Finance with the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.
In his 22 years at the Fund, Michael has served as a superb and ethical steward of the Fund’s finances and a steadfast champion of its guiding values of equity and opportunity. Although Michael’s work for the Fund has occurred mostly behind the scenes, he has played an essential leadership role in our ability to support people, organizations and communities to dream and achieve the changes they want to see in the world.
Thanks to Michael’s deep knowledge and wise judgment in investing the Fund’s financial resources, we have experienced strong growth in our assets over time. As a result, the Fund has been able to make significant bets on urgent, high-stakes issues while also preserving resources for the long-term work of strengthening our community and achieving lasting social change. Michael’s leadership also has been crucial in ensuring that we could build a talented staff team with the systems and the technology they need to do their work as effectively as possible.
Michael is not only an outstanding leader at the Haas, Jr. Fund, but he also has invested many years to strengthen the Foundation Financial Officers Group, including his service as a past president of the organization. A former senior Peace Corps official in Africa, Michael inspires everyone he works with because of his exemplary leadership, his values, and his belief in the power of philanthropy to change lives.
The Haas, Jr. Fund is currently working on plans for filling Michael’s role after he steps down. We will shortly be announcing a search process.
On behalf of the trustees and staff of the Haas, Jr. Fund, I want to convey our deepest thanks and appreciation to Michael for his very accomplished leadership. His work has been instrumental to the achievements of the Fund and our partners over the past two decades, and we wish him all the best in his future adventures.