A Word from the President - June 2021
Written by Rebecca Locke, ACGA President   

As I look forward to a summer with fewer limitations on seeing our families, meeting with colleagues and visiting donors, I’m glad you’ve taken time from your schedule to read the latest edition of the ACGA newsletter. Like most of you, we’ve learned that we can conduct business virtually with great effectiveness. Our committee and Board meetings have continued apace and we’re wrapping up our three-year strategic plan. There are a few things I’d like to share. 

First up, I want to welcome our new Board members, and extend our grateful thanks to those who are leaving the Board on June 30th. The ACGA is a volunteer-led organization with a Board filled with professionals representing the gift planning, marketing, gift administration, legal, financial and actuarial world. Our aim is to have representatives from the broad spectrum of organizations that issue charitable gift annuities, our colleagues in the marketing world and gift administration arena that offer services related to CGAs, and the legal and financial communities. I’m proud to announce the following new members of our Board effective July 1st:

  • Lawrence P. Katzenstein, J.D., Thompson Coburn LLP; Rochelle Make-Goodman, Director, Gift Planning, Princeton; Angela G. Parsons, J.D., CAP®, Vice President for Donor Services, The Columbus Foundation; Paul Putman, Ph.D., Director, Philanthropic Services, The Cleveland Foundation; and Corliss Taylor, J.D., MBA, Vice President, Trust Consultant – Midwest Region, Raymond James Trust N.A. 

While we welcome these new members, we also must say farewell to outgoing Board members who have served our community so well. Leaving us are:

  • Dianne Armstrong, 3/30/09 - 6/30/21: She has had various leadership roles over the years including communications, programs, executive committee, strategic relationships, as well as speaker and panelist anywhere we’ve needed her. She has been particularly instrumental in recent discussions on CGA regulations in the state of New York.
  • Pat Cox, 9/25/15 - 6/30/21: He has served in various roles including finance, state regulations, served as a speaker at conferences and on webinars. Pat has been a core member of our board representing the finance perspective, and we’re going to miss his expertise in this area. 
  • Jeff Hesseltine, 4/24/18 - 6/30/21: He has served on a variety of committees over the years, and his perspective was helpful in countless ways. He has been an important part of the board as we have been working through our strategic plan almost his entire tenure. Jeff has been a speaker and panelist for our educational offerings, and we will miss his financial savvy. 
  • Dave Libengood, 11/17/2008 - 06/30/2021: He has served on the Executive Committee, rates, finance, and other various committees. He has made a lasting impression on governance in the strategic planning process, and his impact will be significant as ACGA moves into the future.
  • Laurie Valentine, J.D., 11/13/2000 - 06/30/2021: Laurie is our longest serving Board member who is leaving the Board. Through the years, she has served in almost every committee and chaired our Conference. Under Laurie’s leadership, we began a 3-year strategic planning process which will conclude this December. Laurie was also the first female chair of the ACGA. Her leadership skills will be greatly missed as will her extensive knowledge of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Next, I’d like to call your attention to just a bit of the work that has been continuing over the past few months. As I mentioned a few paragraphs above, we are wrapping up our three-year strategic plan and will conclude the process late this year. There will undoubtedly be work that will continue forward beyond the formal conclusion of the process. One of the significant focus areas from the strategic planning process has been governance. The work of the ACGA is done by the Board. While we have hired a management company to assist us with the necessary administrative processes that every organization has, the work of the ACGA is done by our volunteer Board and a small number of volunteers who assist us in various specialized work. Part of our strategic plan identified term limits as an area that would allow our organization to better position for the future as well as needed changes to our leadership model. This represents a significant change for the ACGA which, in the past, often had Board members serve for decades. With term limits, we’ll still be able to retain the deep expertise and historical understanding of our work while welcoming new voices with fresh expertise to our Board regularly. There’s been a lot of work on various fronts through the strategic planning process, and my thanks to our workgroups and to Sir Jose Bright of Batho Consulting who has served as our consultant through the process.

Our ongoing work on multiple fronts continues and below are some highlights:

  • If you’ve not had the opportunity to look over our website and see the new branding that was completed earlier this year, please do so. We’re very pleased by our new look and again thank our friends at The Stelter Company; especially Jeremy Stelter and Zach Christensen for helping bring this to reality. Please let us know what you think about our new look! 
  • We’re very proud of our new statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was released this spring and is another outcome of our strategic planning process. If you’ve not reviewed it yet, please click here.
  • For those of you who issue CGAs in New York state, we continue to release updated information on our ongoing conversation with colleagues at the NY Department of Financial Services
  • Upcoming, we have a new mortality study coming up and a new research survey. We plan to release these results as part of our conference sessions in April 2022.
  • We’re excited to announce that our 2022 ACGA Conference will be virtual, bringing you the top-notch content expected but recognizing that many of our organizations still have limited travel restrictions and budgets. A virtual conference also gives our members a chance to invite those who might not normally attend an ACGA Conference in person, but who work with you and your gift planning team. This is an opportunity to invite your business office, general counsel teams, and major gifts colleagues to learn more about the technical side of planned giving, the latest in marketing planned gifts, and of course, we’ll have great content on charitable gift annuities. 
  • For those of you who have recently renewed your membership, thank you! The ACGA member dues are an important part of how we fund the work we do on your behalf. There are membership opportunities for every type of organization and this support helps us fund our work on rates, regulations, research, and other work that we undertake. It’s a bargain for the value your organization gets back.  Click here to join today! 

Last, but certainly not least, the ACGA will welcome Joe Bull as President on July 1st. Joe has been serving as President-elect and is ready to step into the President’s role next month as I move into the Past President role. Before June 30th arrives, I have a lot of people to thank. Let me start with you. As an ACGA member and supporter, you are who we think of every step of the way. Whether it’s publishing an updated rates schedule, working with state regulators, and all the other work we undertake, you are who we serve. Whether you serve at a charity that uses our rates or as a professional who supports the CGA community, I have appreciated your supportive comments, questions, and encouragement over my tenure. I can’t let the chance to thank Alicia Gilbert, CEO of Jack Friday, our management company go by. Alicia makes us all look good and keeps us all pointed forward. She’s amazing. My thanks also go to our ACGA Board – past, present, and future. The quality of work that is fueled by the character and expertise of our Board members leaves me in awe. This is as fine a group of people as I’ve ever had the pleasure to serve with, and their commitment to our work is a model for board leadership. It’s been an honor and a privilege to be part of this team, and I will be forever grateful for this experience. Let me be the first to welcome Joe into the role of President. I look forward to supporting him and the Board as the work of the ACGA continues on your behalf. 

With deepest gratitude,

Rebecca Locke

Last Updated on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 04:58 PM