May 14, 2014, KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tom McDonnell, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, has announced he will leave the Foundation at the end of the year.
Over the last six months, the Board of Trustees, McDonnell and the Foundation's management team have been working on the development of a long-term strategic plan for how the Foundation can make an even greater impact in the areas of education and entrepreneurship, while maintaining its commitment to Kansas City, consistent with Ewing Kauffman's wishes. This strategic plan will require an extended multiyear implementation effort. As McDonnell's personal plans do not allow for a long-term commitment in his current role, he will step down as president and CEO on June 30 and remain with the Foundation to advise the Board of Trustees and management team.
"When I accepted this position in 2012, I did so knowing that we had to take some significant steps to reinforce our commitment to Kansas City while continuing to deliver impact in the areas of education and entrepreneurship," McDonnell said. "It has been a privilege to work with our talented team, and I am very pleased with the progress we have made during my tenure. I look forward to continuing to work with the Kauffman Foundation and support the mission of this important Kansas City institution."
As part of the transition, Wendy Guillies will become acting president and CEO effective July 1, 2014, and will work with McDonnell, the Board and Foundation associates to formalize the strategic plan and begin the initial phases of implementation. At that time, the Board will determine the approach and timing for naming the Foundation's next CEO.
"The Board is grateful for Tom's contributions over the past two years, particularly in reconnecting the Foundation to Kansas City, which is not only an important accomplishment but is something that Mr. Kauffman himself would appreciate," said Jan Kreamer, chairman of the Board. "Additionally, when Tom took this role, he committed to the Board that he would help build a strong management team. The appointment of Wendy Guillies as our acting president, along with the highly capable Kauffman associates that she'll be working with, are proof this has been accomplished. We are delighted with the strategic plan, led by Tom and the Board, which gives us a clear direction for the future while building significantly on the present. The future is bright for the Foundation, and we thank Tom for his role in making it so."