Communities Foundation of Texas began the new year by welcoming a new chairman of its board of trustees, Joseph M. "Jody" Grant, and two Dallas business and civic leaders as new trustees: Carlos González Peña and Karen L. Shuford. They join a board with a wide-ranging knowledge of community needs, philanthropic perspective and fiscal responsibility experience. CFT trustees act as stewards for nearly 900 charitable funds and exercise the final authority regarding foundation investments and charitable grants.
"Jody has been a faithful member and an engaged vice chairman of CFT’s board of trustees," said Brent E. Christopher, president and chief executive officer. "As the foundation launches new initiatives to encourage effective charitable giving, his knowledge of the community and experience in the private sector will be very valuable in this leadership role."
Mr. Grant, who joined the CFT board in 1998, is chairman emeritus of Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc., which he founded in 1998 as the largest start-up in banking history. He began his banking career in 1961 at Citibank in New York, served as senior vice president of Houston’s Texas Commerce Bank, and was chairman and chief executive officer of Texas American Bancshares. From 1990 to 1998, Mr. Grant served as chief financial officer of EDS. His honors include being named "Community Banker of the Year" by American Banker Magazine in 2001 and "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young in 2002, and in 2003 Southern Methodist University recognized him with the Silver Anniversary Mustang Award. Mr. Grant serves on the boards of KERA, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Vignette Corp. Currently he is spearheading the drive to create Woodall Rodgers Park, a 5.2-acre urban park to be built over Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Mr. Grant has an undergraduate degree from SMU, and he received a Ph.D. in finance and economics from The University of Texas.
Mr. Grant succeeded Charles J. Wyly, Jr., who served as a CFT trustee for 12 years, including nine as chairman. During his tenure as chairman, CFT’s assets grew from $494 million to $754 million, and annual grantmaking grew from $44 million to more than $80 million. Of more than 700 community foundations across the country, CFT ranks in the top 20 for gifts received, assets managed and grants made.
"It was an honor to serve as chairman of the board of trustees during a period of such growth and accomplishment for Communities Foundation of Texas," said Mr. Wyly. "I salute the donors who inspire us with their generosity. They make it possible for CFT to touch almost every aspect of life in our community."
Mr. González Peña is a principal with Brigham Hill Consultancy, which provides executive search and management consulting services to nonprofit organizations. Before joining Brigham Hill in 2006, he served as vice president for University Advancement and Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Dallas. Additional experience includes serving as vice president for customer service for Industrias del Agua in Mexico City, program officer for The Meadows Foundation and program analyst for the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Mr. González Peña is active in the Salesmanship Club of Dallas and The Dallas Assembly. His current and former community involvement also includes serving on the boards of The Hockaday School, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church Foundation, Educational Oppor- tunities, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Mr. González Peña received a bachelor of science degree from Monterrey Tech in Mexico and a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.
Ms. Shuford has served for several years as charitable trust consultant for Bank of America’s Private Client Group. Her earlier career included teaching and serving as chairman of the math department at Ursuline Academy. Ms. Shuford has been a leader and volunteer for more than 25 community organizations that support medical care, education, social services and the arts. Currently she is a member of the board of trustees of Southwestern Medical Foundation, a trustee of the endowment fund for Crystal Charity Ball and an advisor of Junior League of Dallas. Ms. Shuford serves on the executive board of SMU’s Engineering School and co-chairs its centennial campaign committee. She is the 1993 recipient of the Ursuline Academy Distinguished Alumna Award and the 2000 SMU Distinguished Alumni Award. Ms. Shuford received her bachelor of science degree from SMU in electrical engineering.
"Our new trustees bring unique talents and experience to CFT’s board," said Mr. Grant. "Karen’s experience and her service to a variety of charitable organizations, and Carlos’ international exposure and work in the development field, add a fresh perspective to a board that is already exceptional."
Other trustees continuing their service on the CFT board are vice chairman Frederick B. Hegi, Jr., Becky Bright, Judith W. Gibbs, Jack M. Kinnebrew, Linda Brack McFarland, John McStay, Harold Montgomery, Frank A. Risch and Terdema L. Ussery II. Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, a past chairman of the board, is the founding member of the honorary Chairman’s Circle.
At a recent dinner, current and former trustees and senior staff of CFT honored Charles J. Wyly, Jr. (center) for 12 years of service, including nine as chairman of the board of trustees. Other outgoing trustees are, from left, Gifford Touchstone, Lydia Novakov, Linda Pitts Custard and Joel Williams, III. Jere Thompson, another outgoing trustee, was unable to attend.
Jody Grant, far left, is the new chairman of CFT’s board of trustees. With him, from left, are new trustees Karen Shuford and Carlos González Peña, and Brent Christopher, president and CEO, in the library at North Dallas High School. A recent CFT grantee, the Education is Freedom Foundation, works at the school to improve graduation rates and college readiness among economically disadvantaged youth.