One of the County’s Great Lueders Steps Down
Community Foundation CEO retires after almost three decades of remarkable service.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
When Todd Lueders took a job with the Community Foundation for Monterey County back in 1981, he worked out of a one-room office in the basement of the Monterey Museum of Art. At the time, the foundation was a volunteer-operated environmental stewardship group with less than $200,000 in cash and no endowment. “There was no staff,” Lueders says. “I was the first staff they ever had.”
Under Lueders’ leadership for the past 29 years, the foundation has become the Central Coast’s biggest grant-maker, with about $130 million in assets and 21 staff today.
“He took a very small organization and grew it into a relatively large organization,” says foundation board Chair Dick Borda.
Lueders officially retires as president/CEO on April 30, the same day the foundation will host a roast for the 65-year-old Yale graduate, “Word, Wine, and Song: A Tribute to Todd Lueders,” at the Hyatt Regency Monterey.
During his tenure, Lueders befriended wealth advisors, estate planners and accountants to attract high-end donors. He estimates the foundation will eventually receive another $300 million from wills and bequests. “The future looks bright,” he says.
Among his accomplishments, Lueders is proud to have spearheaded the Literacy Campaign for Monterey County, an initiative that allows the foundation to—more than simply cut checks to nonprofits—take the lead in tackling adult literacy. “Literacy is an issue whether you are just learning to read, or you are 40 years old and can’t read well enough to move up in your job,” he says.
Dan Baldwin, former president/CEO of Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, will take over the Community Foundation May 1. t