One Retirement, Two Promotions

DETROIT – Two key managers were promoted and a longtime administrator has retired, The Skillman Foundation announced today. The retirement of Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer Richard O. Connell has prompted a thoughtful restructuring of responsibilities designed to make Skillman’s financial team even more proactive, effective and dynamic.

Known as a quiet leader, diplomat and voice of reason, Connell retired after a decade of service at The Skillman Foundation. He will continue with the organization as a part-time consultant until January 2006.

Andrea Cole, former Assistant Vice President and Controller, was promoted to the position of Treasurer and Director of Finance.

Alan Harris, CFA, who formerly served as Director of Investments, is the organization’s new Chief Investment Officer.

“While we will certainly miss Dick’s contribution, we are pleased that he’ll remain involved as a consultant and are excited about the new opportunities for Andrea and Alan,” said Carol Goss, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Skillman Foundation. “Both have demonstrated true leadership and financial abilities as well as dedication to the organization, community and the youth we serve.”

As Treasurer and Director of Finance, Cole is the organization’s chief financial officer responsible for all financial operations of the Foundation including oversight of budget, tax and audit functions. A Skillman employee since 1987, Cole received her Master of Business Administration degree as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Wayne State University.

Cole is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), National Black MBA Association, Inc. and the Association of Black Foundation Executives. She further serves on the West Bloomfield School District Education Foundation and the Foundation Financial Officers Group (FFOG) Communications Committee.

In his new role, Harris assumes responsibility for developing all investment-oriented aspects of the Foundation’s portfolio, including asset allocation, manager due diligence, monitoring and selection and risk oversight. His responsibilities span all asset classes at the Foundation, with the majority of his time spent on hedge funds and private equity.

Harris joined The Skillman Foundation in 2002, bringing more than 14 years of experience as an investment professional. A Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of The CFA Institute and The CFA Institute of Detroit, Harris received both a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Michigan. Harris is past president of the Grosse Pointe Jewish Council.
Created in 1960, the Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy committed to helping children in metropolitan Detroit by improving their homes, schools and neighborhoods. Skillman grantmaking supports nonprofit organizations, schools, and agencies in Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland Counties, with a special emphasis on organizations working in the city of Detroit.