The New York City-based Surdna Foundation has announced the election of CAMERON GRIFFITH, a congressional affairs liaison, and TIM THORPE, a nonprofit executive director, to the foundation's board of trustees. Griffith and Thorpe are fifth-generation descendants of John Emory Andrus, who established the foundation in 1917, and were founding board members of the Andrus Family Fund, a fund of the Surdna Foundation that manages its own grantmaking, with a focus on supporting organizations that advance social justice and improve outcomes for vulnerable youth.
The board of directors of America's Charities, which inspires employees and organizations to support causes they care about, has announced JAMES E. STARR as its new president and CEO. Starr, who joined the organization in 2014 and served as its chief operating officer, chief business development officer, and interim CEO, has more than twenty-five years of experience in the nonprofit and healthcare sectors, including stints with the American Red Cross, where he established and led a comprehensive enterprise-wide volunteer engagement strategy.
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has announced JOE ROSSOW, former principal of Minnesota's Michael Dowling Urban E-STEAM Magnet School, as its executive vice president of operations. In that position, Rossow will oversee all program operations in the foundation's administrative, financial, and human resources departments. Over the course of his twenty-three years in the field of education, Rossow has received numerous accolades, including the Minnesota Elementary School Principal Association Division Leadership Achievement Award and the Minneapolis Public School Teacher of the Year Award.
The board of trustees of the San Francisco Art Institute has announced the appointment of GORDON KNOX as president, effective January 23, 2017. Knox comes to SFAI from the Arizona State University Art Museum, where he has served as director since 2010. Prior to his time at the ASU Art Museum, Knox served as director of global initiatives at the Stanford Humanities Lab; was artistic director at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California; and, during the 1990s, served as the founding director of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy.
The Anchorage-based Rasmuson Foundation has announced that SAMMYE POKRYFKI will be leaving the foundation after more than a decade of service during the first quarter of 2017. Pokryfki was hired in 2005 as a program officer and subsequently was promoted to senior program officer, vice president of programs, and senior vice president, her current role. At the foundation, she has championed high-impact initiatives to address some of the state's most difficult issues, including domestic violence, substance abuse, and nonprofit organizational development. After departing the foundation, Pokryfki plans to climb mountains and see the world for the next year with her husband, Vince. The foundation has launched a national search for a vice president of programs.
In other news, South Florida philanthropist SUE MILLER, 81, has died of complications from brain cancer, the Miami Herald reports. A 40-year volunteer at Miami-Dade United Way, Miller was the driving force behind its Million Dollar Roundtable, helping to raise more than $130 million for United Way and numerous other South Florida causes, including health and arts groups, over the past three and a half decades. Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, she married LEONARD MILLER in 1955, and the couple moved to Miami, where Leonard joined F&R, a home-building firm, and met Arnold Rosen, with whom he would create Lennar Corp. In addition to the United Way, the Miller family contributed $100 million in 2004 to the University of Miami School of Medicine and added another $55 million in 2015 for a new medical education building. Miller and her husband, who died in July 2002 of liver cancer, received the Tocqueville Award for Outstanding Philanthropy from Miami-Dade United Way in 1996, and the entire family, including daughter Leslie Miller Saiontz and son Jeffery, received the national Tocqueville award in 2015. Sue Miller received the national award in 2012. "Such incredible people," said Grammy Award-winning musician and producer Emilio Estefan, who worked with Miller and her family on many occasions. "The whole family is like that. They are gracious. They give back. They treat everybody so well it doesn't matter who you are and that's what I loved about her and her husband. Their kids have to be so proud of their parents. They leave an incredible legacy of success and the growth of Miami."