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Brightman Hill Fund
By Jean Cohoon / May 9, 2018 /   Loading Disqus...

For nearly 20 years, Ed and Linda Wood have supported organizations through their private foundation, Brightman Hill Charitable Trust. The Woods established the Trust in 1999 after the cable television company that Ed was president and CEO of was sold. “I wondered if I was retired or unemployed,” Ed says with a laugh. “But the owners treated me fairly well and at the time it seemed as though we had more money than we needed.”

The Woods support organizations all over the world, from AIDS-related facilities in Africa to nonprofits closer to their Hope Valley, RI home, including the Hopkinton Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed.

Their interest in AIDS and Africa stems from Ed’s work with the Clinton Foundation Health Access Initiative, which he worked with for 12 years until his retirement in 2011. “It was a fantastic final career to have,” he shares.

The couple came to Rhode Island in 1970 when Ed joined the Providence Journal as a reporter and editor. He went on to positions in state government, including director of the Department of Environmental Management and director of the Department of Transportation. He later became a business strategy consultant and leader of several businesses.

Linda started her career as a high school and college teacher and later worked as school librarian at South Kingstown High School for 20 years. When she retired, she donated the payout for her unused sick time back to the school to start a scholarship fund. “That was our first serious philanthropic effort and it felt good,” Linda recalls.

The Woods now divide their time between their homes in Rhode Island and Arizona and their travels, often back to Africa. Of their decision to transfer the assets from their private foundation to the Rhode Island Foundation, Ed explains, “This was a good time to have someone else taking care of all the details. It saves us the headache, and we can just have the joy of recommending the grants.” He anticipates they will focus their philanthropy on organizations working in the areas of the environment, the arts, and education.

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