May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

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Leadership Transition

The Trustees of the May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust announce the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.


October 1, 2020

The Trustees are pleased to welcome William (Bill) Smith as Chief Executive Officer, effective October 1, 2020. Bill is not related to the founders of the Trust, an independent foundation.

Bill comes to the Trust with over twenty years of experience working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Most recently, he served as President & CEO of the Santa Fe Community Foundation in Santa Fe, NM, guiding the Foundation through an unprecedented expansion in its grantmaking and assets. Bill also provided thought leadership and developed funder collaboratives around affordable housing, community health, and statewide emergency response efforts to address the early challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to his work in philanthropy, Bill spent two decades in Washington, DC working in the nonprofit policy and advocacy sector across a broad range of health issues, from sexual and reproductive rights to international development aid and health infrastructure.

“Bill brings experience that reflects a personal alignment with the Trust’s mission and values, as well as an engaging and authentic leadership style,” said David Cuneo, Trustee, “He’s well suited to guide the Trust both in its own development and in its engagement with the larger community in support of our focus populations.”

Bill’s extensive background, coupled with a dedication to social justice and equity, brings a valuable perspective at a moment of inflection for philanthropy as a whole, and for the Trust, in particular. After 15 years, the Trust’s longtime CEO and Trustee, Ruth Collins, is stepping down. Ruth has worked with the Trust since its inception and will continue to serve as a Trustee.

“I’m excited to be joining the Trust and following in the footsteps of strong leadership provided by Ruth since the Trust was created,” said Bill. “The areas of focus for the Trust, both from programmatic and geographic perspectives, spoke me to me personally in terms of the power that I believe strategic philanthropy can and must have in creating positive and lasting change.”

Bill holds a Master of Arts degree in Politics from the Catholic University of America and serves on the board of Funders for LGBTQ Issues.

June 30, 2020

A Message From Our CEO

To our grantees, friends, and colleagues:

With gratitude, I wish to share that I will be retiring from my role as CEO of the Trust later this year. Having served the Trust since its founding in 1989, for the last 15 years as its Administrator and CEO, I’ve determined that the time is right to make this change, for me, as well as for the Trust. I look forward to having more time to devote to my family and other interests.

It has been and remains a privilege to be trusted with the responsibility to steward the generosity of May and Stanley Smith. I am fortunate to have been supported over the years by a highly committed and knowledgeable team. I’ve treasured the opportunity to learn from our grantee partners and witness their dedication and success in supporting the Trust’s focus populations.

The Trustees are engaged in a search for my successor, and I am confident that the search will result in an exceptional new Executive Director. I will continue in my position as CEO until the new leader has been onboarded. I look forward to partnering with the new Executive Director, as I will remain a Trustee, and to continued involvement with the Trust from a different perspective.

Ruth M. Collins, CEO/Trustee

A Message From Our Trustees

With deep appreciation for her 15 years of leadership, the Trustees announce that Ruth Collins will be retiring as CEO; Ruth will continue to serve as a Trustee, as she has since 2008.

Ruth has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization, and while we will miss her in this role, we are thankful to have her continued partnership on the board. Ruth has worked with the Trust for over 30 years and has guided its growth for the past 15, which has included many significant accomplishments, such as:

  • Developing the Trust’s first strategic plan and defining its program areas
  • Tripling the Trust’s annual grantmaking
  • Increasing staff size from one administrator to eight talented experts
  • Publishing a biography of May and Stanley Smith

The Trustees have begun a search for an exceptionally qualified new Executive Director and anticipate completing the transition by the end of the year. We have engaged the search firm m/Oppenheim to assist us. Ruth will remain involved in the Trust’s daily operations until we hire a new leader and will help facilitate a smooth transition.

David Cuneo, Trustee Daniel Piombo, Trustee