Leading the charge
Over the past 100 years, the Foundation has been guided by a number of passionate and hardworking leaders at the helm.
Neil Steinberg, President and CEO, 2008-present
Neil came to the Foundation in 2008 from Brown University, his alma mater, where he served for four years as vice president of development and director of the most successful fundraising campaign in Brown’s history. For the three decades prior, Neil worked for FleetBoston Financial, where he rose to the position of chairman and chief executive officer of Fleet Bank Rhode Island.
"Neil Steinberg is a transformational leader. The Foundation has become the organization to convene representatives from all sectors to address the challenges facing Rhode Island and to seize opportunities that improve the quality of life for all Rhode Islanders.”
- Marie Langlois, Chair of the Board 2016-
Ron Gallo, President and CEO, 1993-2007
Counted among Gallo’s achievements during his 15-year tenure are leading the HousingWorks RI coalition and the Women’s Fund of RI, bringing Kids Count and LISC to Rhode Island, establishing a partnership with Delta Dental, introducing the Strategy Grants program, and more than tripling the Foundation’s assets. Ron is now President and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation.
“Ron was the right leader at the right time. His vision of a proactive and engaged community foundation served as a catalyst for several important initiatives, including the Women’s Fund, the Downcity Partnership and the Newport County Fund. He was a driving force behind our involvement in HousingWorks RI, which had tremendous impact on affordable Islanders.”
- George Graboys, Chairman of the Board 2006-2008
Doug Jansson, Executive Director, 1980-1991
During him time at the Foundation, Jansson oversaw the creation of the Rhode Island Arts Foundation, the Michael P. Metcalf Memorial Award, and the transfer of the Royal Little trust assets of $34.2 million – the largest single gift in the Foundation’s history. Doug went on to become President and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation in 1993. He retired in 2010.
“When I arrived, there really was no community foundation in the true sense of the word…. It was perceived in every way as being a bank foundation – Hospital Trust. Our office was in the bank; the bank was the controlling investment manager.”
John Marshall, Executive Director, 1975-1979
Marshall, the Foundation’s first full-time executive director, published the first Foundation newsletter, and established the Pooled Income Fund and the Rhode Island Leadership Giving Plan. Under his watch, Foundation grants exceeded $1 million. John went on to lead the Kresge Foundation, vice president from 1987-1993 and as president and CEO from 1993-2006.
“I was the first full-time person – and the only person. I was in the old Hospital Trust building; the new one had been built and everyone had moved over there except for the Trust real estate division which had five people and one extra desk. And that was my office.”