The Woods Fund of Chicago
is a private independent foundation
A private foundation is a charitable organization recognized by the US Tax Code at and section 501. It is defined by a negative definition, in other words, it is defined by what it is not...
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...
, whose goal is to increase opportunities for less-advantaged people and communities in the Chicago metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them.
The Woods Charitable Fund was incorporated in Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....
in 1941 by Frank Henry Woods, Sr. (1868–1952) and Nelle Cochrane Woods (1870–1950) of Lincoln, Nebraska
The City of Lincoln is the capital and the second-most populous city of the US state of Nebraska. Lincoln is also the county seat of Lancaster County and the home of the University of Nebraska. Lincoln's 2010 Census population was 258,379....
and their three sons: Thomas Cochrane Woods, Sr. (1895–1958) of Lincoln, and Henry Cochrane Woods, Sr. (1895–1968) and Frank Henry Woods, Jr. (1905–1980) of Chicago, and operated in both Lincoln and Chicago for 53 years through 1993, when the Woods Charitable Fund was reorganized into two separate foundations, with separate officers, boards of directors, and staff.
The Woods Fund of Chicago was incorporated in Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...
on November 15, 1993, and effective January 1, 1994 was allocated 70% of the market value of the assets of the Woods Charitable Fund and began operation and continued the Fund's philanthropy in Chicago, while the Woods Charitable Fund continued its philanthropy in Lincoln.
The principal for the foundation came from business interests in the Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph Co. of Lincoln, Nebraska, the Sahara Coal Co. headquartered in Chicago with mines in Saline County
Saline County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 24,913, which is a decrease of 6.8% from 26,733 in 2000. Its county seat is Harrisburg. Saline County is home to the smallest post office and the largest KFC in the United States....
in far Southern Illinois
-Early history:The earliest inhabitants of Illinois were thought to have arrived about 12,000 B.C. They were hunter-gatherers, but developed a primitive system of agriculture. After 1000 AD, their agricultural surpluses enabled them to develop complex, hierarchical societies...
, and Addressograph-Multigraph Corp.
An addressograph is an address labeler and labeling system.In 1896, the first U.S. patent for an addressing machine, the Addressograph was issued to Joseph Smith Duncan of Sioux City, Iowa. It was a development of the invention he had made in 1892. His earlier model consisted of a hexagonal wood...
of Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...
In 2004, the Woods Fund of Chicago was the 43rd largest foundation in Illinois by total assets with assets of $67,304,215.
The fund describes itself as "a grantmaking foundation whose goal is to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities in the metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them. The foundation works primarily as a funding partner with nonprofit organizations. Woods supports nonprofits in their important roles of engaging people in civic life, addressing the causes of poverty and other challenges facing the region, promoting more effective public policies, reducing racism and other barriers to equal opportunity, and building a sense of community and common ground."
In its 2006 annual report, the fund said it had made $3.1 million in grants to more than 70 local organizations. At the time, the fund had $58 million in assets.
Woods Charitable Fund
- Frank Henry Woods, Sr. (1941–1952)
- Thomas Cochrane Woods, Jr. (1952–1958)
- Henry Cochrane Woods, Sr. (1958–1968)
- Thomas Cochrane Woods, Jr. (1968–1989)
- Lucia Woods Lindley (1990–1993)
- Thomas Cochrane Woods, III (1993–2000)
- Thomas D. Potter (2001–2002)
- Stephen S. Sands (2003–2004)
- Michael J. Tavlin (2005–2006)
- Donna Wiemann Woods (2007– )
- Executive Director: Jean Rudd (1980–1993), Pam Baker (1994– )
- Board of Directors, 1993:
- Lucia Woods Lindley - (Director 1980–1993) - President (1990–1993), Woods Charitable Fund; co-founder, Chicago Foundation for Women; founder, The Sophia Fund; photographer; daughter of Frank Henry Woods, Jr.
- George Kelm - (Director 1968–1996) - Chairman (1992–1994), former President & CEO (1978–1992), Sahara Enterprises, Inc.; former Associate (1954–1963), Partner (1964–1972), Managing Partner (1973–1978), Hopkins & Sutter
Hopkins & Sutter was a Chicago-based law firm that practiced from 1921 to 2000, when it merged with Milwaukee-based Foley & Lardner. The firm was established by Albert Hopkins and Harry Sutter...
; former Vice President, Woods Charitable Fund (1978–1993)
- Mary Decker - (Director 1991–1994) - Director (1991–1994), Cook County
Cook County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois, with its county seat in Chicago. It is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles County. The county has 5,194,675 residents, which is 40.5 percent of all Illinois residents. Cook County's population is larger than...
Office of Capital Planning and Policy; Senior Vice President for community relations and reinvestment activities, First Chicago Bank
First Chicago Bank was a Chicago-based retail and commercial bank tracing its roots back to 1863. Over the years, the bank operated under several names including The First National Bank of Chicago and First Chicago NBD...
(1994–1995), First Chicago NBD (1995–1998), Banc One
Some of the banks that were merged into these banks include:*Bank One**Security National Bank & Trust **Affiliated Bankshares of Colorado **American Fletcher Corp. **City National Bank and Trust Co...
(1998– ); former Executive Director (1985–1990), Metropolitan Planning Council; winner (1989), Crain's Chicago Business
Crain Communications Inc is a publishing conglomerate based in Detroit, Michigan. The company publishes a variety of trade newspapers, including some city-based business newspapers, such as Crain's Cleveland Business, Crain's Chicago Business, Crain's Detroit Business, and Crain's New York Business...
"40 Under 40" award; former Executive Director (1978–1985), Friends of the Parks
- Charles N. Wheatley - (Director 1993– ) - President & CEO (1992– ), former Vice President & Secretary (1985–1992) Sahara Enterprises, Inc.; Vice President (1994–1996), Woods Fund of Chicago
- Thomas Cochrane Woods III - (Director 1980–2000) - Chairman (1993–1999), Lincoln Telecommunications; President (1993–2000), former Vice President (1989–1993), Woods Charitable Fund; son of Thomas Cochrane Woods, Jr.
- Sydney D. Beane - (Director 1990-1995) - Western Regional Director (1993– ), Center for Community Change
The Center for Community Change is one of the larger community building organizations in the United States. It was founded in 1968 in response to civil rights concerns of the 1960s...
; former Executive Director (1983–1993), Lincoln Indian Center (1983–1993); former Assistant Professor and Director of American Indian Projects (1980–1983), School of Social Work, Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...
- Marie Fischer - (Director 1991-1996) - Trainer, The Grantsmanship Center; Professor Emeritus, Department of Community and Regional Planning, College of Architecture, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is a public research university located in the city of Lincoln in the U.S. state of Nebraska...
Woods Fund of Chicago
- George Kelm (1994–1996)
- Jean Rudd (1997–2000)
- Ricardo A. Millett (2001–2005)
- Deborah Harrington (2006–2009)
- Laura S. Washington (2010- )
- Executive Director: Jean Rudd (1980–1996)
- Board of Directors, 1994:
- George Kelm - (Director 1968–1996)
- Mary Decker - (Director 1991–1994)
- Charles N. Wheatley - (Director 1993– )
- Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...
- (Director 1994–2002) - Associate (1993–1996), Of counsel
Of counsel is often the title of an attorney who is employed by a law firm or an organization, but is not an associate or a partner. Some firms use titles like "counsel," "special counsel," and "senior counsel" for the same concept...
(1997–2004), Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland; Lecturer (1992–1996), Senior Lecturer (1996–2004), University of Chicago Law School
The University of Chicago Law School was founded in 1902 as the graduate school of law at the University of Chicago and is among the most prestigious and selective law schools in the world. The U.S. News & World Report currently ranks it fifth among U.S...
; Illinois State Senator
The Illinois Senate is the upper chamber of the Illinois General Assembly, the legislative branch of the government of the state of Illinois in the United States. The body was created by the first state constitution adopted in 1818. The Illinois Senate is made up of 59 senators elected from...
(1997–2004); winner (1993), Crain's Chicago Business "40 Under 40" award; former President (1990–1991), Harvard Law Review
The Harvard Law Review is a journal of legal scholarship published by an independent student group at Harvard Law School.-Overview:According to the 2008 Journal Citation Reports, the Review is the most cited law review and has the second-highest impact factor in the category "law" after the...
; former Executive Director (1985–1988), Developing Communities Project
- Howard J. Stanback - (Director 1994–2005) - Executive Vice President (1989–1992, 1994–1997), Airport Resources Partners (ARP) Inc.; Manager (1998–2002), New Kenwood, LLC; President & CEO (2002–2005), Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities; former City Manager (1992–1993), Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. The seat of Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960, it is the second most populous city on New England's largest river, the Connecticut River. As of the 2010 Census, Hartford's population was 124,775, making...
; former Commissioner (1988–1989), Chicago Department of Aviation; former Administrative Assistant (1987–1988) to Chicago Mayors Washington
Harold Lee Washington was an American lawyer and politician who became the first African-American Mayor of Chicago, serving from 1983 until his death in 1987.- Early years and military service :...
Eugene Sawyer was an American businessman and politician who served as Mayor of Chicago, Illinois as a member of the Democratic Party. He was the second African American to serve as mayor of Chicago....
; former Deputy Director for Strategic Planning (1985–1987), Chicago Office of Employment and Training; former Assistant Professor of Economics (1981–1985), New School for Social Research
The New School is a university in New York City, located mostly in Greenwich Village. From its founding in 1919 by progressive New York academics, and for most of its history, the university was known as the New School for Social Research. Between 1997 and 2005 it was known as New School University...
- Other Directors, 1995–2005:
- Maria G. Valdez - (Director 1995–2005) - Senior Litigator (1992–2003), Regional Counsel (2003–2005), Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is a national non-profit civil rights organization formed in 1968 to protect the rights of Latinos in the United States...
; winner (2001), Crain's Chicago Business "40 Under 40" award; Magistrate Judge
In the United States federal courts, magistrate judges are appointed to assist United States district court judges in the performance of their duties...
(2005– ), U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is the trial-level court with jurisdiction over the northern counties of Illinois....
- Cynthia M. Campbell - (Director 1997–2002) - President (1995– ), McCormick Theological Seminary
McCormick Theological Seminary is one of eleven schools of theology of the Presbyterian Church . It shares a campus with the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, bordering the campus of the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois...
- R. Eden Martin
R. Eden Martin is an American lawyer. Martin was a partner at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP from 1975 to 2004. Martin has served as President of The Commercial Club of Chicago since 1999...
- (Director 1997–2005) - Partner (1975–2004), Chairman of the Management Committee (1989–1999), Of counsel (2005– ), Sidley & Austin
Sidley Austin LLP, formerly known as Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, is one of the oldest law firms in the world. It is the sixth-largest U.S.-based corporate law firm with more than 1,650 lawyers, annual revenues of more than one billion dollars, and offices in 17 cities worldwide, with the most...
; President (1999– ), Civic Committee and the Commercial Club of Chicago
The Commercial Club of Chicago is an anti-labor club resulted from the 1907 merger of two predecessor Chicago clubs: the Merchants Club and the Commercial Club . Its most active members included George Pullman, Marshall Field, Cyrus McCormick, George Armour, Frederic Delano, Sewell Avery, Rufus...
- Board of Directors, 2008:
- Charles N. Wheatley - (Director 1993– )
- William C. Ayers
William Charles "Bill" Ayers is an American elementary education theorist and a former leader in the movement that opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He is known for his 1960s activism as well as his current work in education reform, curriculum, and instruction...
- (Director 1999– ) - Distinguished Professor of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago, or UIC, is a state-funded public research university located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, near the Chicago Loop...
- Laura S. Washington - (Director 2003– ) - Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor and Fellow of the DePaul
DePaul University is a private institution of higher education and research in Chicago, Illinois. Founded by the Vincentians in 1898, the university takes its name from the 17th century French priest Saint Vincent de Paul...
- Jesus G. Garcia - (Director 2003– ) - Executive Director, Little Village Community Development Corporation
- Doris Salomón Chagin - (Director 2005– ) - Community Affairs Director, Midwest US, BP America Inc.
BP p.l.c. is a global oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest energy company and fourth-largest company in the world measured by revenues and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors"...
- Lee Bey - (Director 2006– ) - Executive Director (2007– ), Chicago Central Area Committee; former Director of Media and Governmental Affairs (2004–2006), Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill LLP
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP is an American architectural and engineering firm that was formed in Chicago in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings; in 1939 they were joined by John O. Merrill. They opened their first branch in New York City, New York in 1937. SOM is one of the largest...
- Beth E. Richie - (Director 2006– ) - Professor and Head of the Department of African American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Patrick M. Sheahan - (Director 2008– ) - Executive Director, Public Affairs, UBS Investment Bank
UBS AG is a Swiss global financial services company headquartered in Basel and Zürich, Switzerland, which provides investment banking, asset management, and wealth management services for private, corporate, and institutional clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland...
- Board Chair:
- Charles N. Wheatley (1997)
- Barack Obama (1998)
- Howard J. Stanback (1999–2002)
- Maria G. Valdez (2003–2004)
- William C. Ayers (2005–2006)
- Laura S. Washington (2007–2009)
- Jesus G. Garcia (2010- )
- Board Vice Chair:
- Barack Obama (1997)
- Howard J. Stanback (1998)
- Maria G. Valdez (1999–2002)
- William C. Ayers (2003–2004)
- Laura S. Washington (2005–2006)
- Jesus G. Garcia (2007–2009)
- Doris Solomon (2010- )