Our beloved founder and friend Tom McGuire passed away suddenly on September 4, 2018. For all who knew Tom, you will take comfort in knowing that he died doing something meaningful in a place that he loved, hiking the El Camino Trail in Spain. We all miss his spirit, his kindness and his commitment to building a better world through his philanthropic efforts.
Tom McGuire had more than 35 years' experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. Since 1978, he served as CEO of two statewide organizations and a major regional foundation. This unique combination gave Tom an uncommon perspective on the needs of both donors and operating agencies.
Tom held both the M.B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his undergraduate degree from Emory University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
From 1988 through 2003 Tom served as executive director of the A. J. Fletcher Foundation, where he oversaw the distribution of more than $40 million in charitable funds. Prior to joining the Fletcher Foundation, Tom was executive director of the North Carolina Symphony, where he implemented a successful annual campaign, recruited and engaged a new artistic director, negotiated a long-term labor-management agreement and created a permanent endowment.
In his service to the nonprofit sector, Tom chaired the board of Hilltop Home, a residential care facility for handicapped children, and served on the boards of Ravenscroft School, Saint Mary's School, the John Rex Endowment, the Stewards Fund (Foundation) and the Clarence Lightner Youth Leadership Endowment.
Other civic and community commitments included service as chair of Leadership Triangle, treasurer of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau and member of the advisory board of the Lucy Daniels Foundation. He chaired the NC Center for International Understanding and served as a member of the Raleigh Arts Commission. Tom was a recipient of the City of Raleigh's 2003 Medal of Arts Award.