11/10/2021 in Announcements

Tony Richardson named president of The George Gund Foundation

The George Gund Foundation today named Tony Richardson as its new president, effective in January 2022. Richardson has been executive director of The Nord Family Foundation in Amherst, Ohio, since early 2019 and previously served as a program officer there. He succeeds David Abbott, Gund’s president for 19 years, who is retiring.

“I have a deep reverence for the Gund Foundation’s leadership and its values-driven, innovative approach,” said Richardson. “I am thrilled to be moving into this new role.”

Richardson is a native of Lorain, where he served three years as a member of the City Council. He also chaired the Lorain Academic Distress Commission from 2017 through 2019.

“I am so excited that Tony will be joining us,” said Catherine Gund, chair of the Gund Foundation. “He has honed his skills at a widely admired nearby foundation. With his passion and deliberation, he will continue to bring to life our What We Believe commitment. His lived experience will deepen our understanding of the issues we confront. I have no doubt that he is the right person for the vibrant and challenging moment we face at the Foundation, in the city of Cleveland, and nationwide. Tony will be a wonderful addition to our team.”

Richardson’s compelling personal history includes childhood homelessness, poverty, and academic degrees from Oberlin College and Ohio State University’s law school. He and his wife, Lacee, have two daughters who enjoy art, music, and creative writing.

Nancy Mendez, a Gund Foundation trustee and vice chair of the search committee that managed the process of reviewing candidates for the position, commented “Tony represents the promise that an individual’s intelligence, drive, and passion can determine one’s leadership capacity regardless of where they are born, their race, or their family’s income. I am so hopeful for Gund and the future of leadership in Cleveland.”

Richardson, 38, is a board member of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, Funders Together to End Homelessness, Philanthropy Ohio, and the Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation.

“My personal and professional values align perfectly with the Gund Foundation’s values expressed in its What We Believe statement,” Richardson added. “I’m extremely proud to be joining a foundation that is committed to tackling climate change, understanding and unraveling systemic racism, and supporting those who are fighting to fulfill the promise of democracy.”

Margaret Bernstein, a Gund trustee who also served on the search committee, reflected on the timing of Richardson’s appointment, which coincides with the exciting moment of Cleveland’s election of a new mayor, Justin Bibb. “Tony, a 38-year-old African-American man with a career of advocating for racial equity, brings an extraordinary set of skills to the Gund Foundation. He will be a transformative leader.”

“I look forward to welcoming Tony to the foundation and to ensuring a smooth transition,” said Abbott. “With the experience he has had at Nord, I expect that he will hit the ground running.”

The George Gund Foundation was established in 1952 by George Gund, former chairman of the Cleveland Trust Company. The Foundation funds programs that enhance our understanding of the physical and social environment in which we live and increase our ability to cope with its changing requirements. Grants are made three times a year in the areas of climate and environmental justice, creative culture and arts, public education, thriving families and social justice, and vibrant neighborhoods and inclusive economy. Foundation commitments to date have totaled over $816 million.