The Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan today ended a protracted search for a new president when it selected Ric DeVore to take the helm this spring. This is great news for the community foundation, for the region and for Kresge.
Ric served as Executive Vice President and Regional President of PNC Bank in Detroit and Southeast Michigan for twelve years. He is also the head of the local PNC Foundation. He has deep roots in Southeast Michigan, earning his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and his Masters of Business Administration from Wayne State. Prior to taking on his current role, Ric was a credit manager for commercial loans for Pittsburgh-based PNC.
Ric has been a strong advocate for early childhood development in Detroit, continually bringing the message of the importance of investing in early childhood to the corporate community. He has joined me, for example, on several panels focused on the corporate audience, arguing for both the moral and business interests of ensuring that the youngest residents of our community enter kindergarten ready to learn – academically, emotionally and developmentally.
Ric has committed significant PNC resources to the Grow Up Great initiative, which funds a variety of early childhood-focused activities including the arts, literacy and parenting engagement. He said PNC would join Kresge and Kellogg in expanding the Learning Spaces grant program, which has funded facility upgrades for dozens of early childhood providers. And he was a founding member and active participant of the Hope Starts Here Stewardship Committee.
Family economic security
Ric also understood the need to strengthen the economic security of families in the city and, in particular, in the neighborhoods surrounding Marygrove.
First, PNC has partnered with various nonprofit organizations – including Marygrove Conservancy – to host mobile banking units in neighborhoods to expand access to banking services.
And second, Ric pursued plans for the creation of a creative new version of ‘Baby Bonds’ – called ‘Economic Mobility Accounts’, these would create savings accounts for infants through enrollment in the center from early childhood. Although PNC’s national office – in the midst of a merger and pandemic – decided not to launch this new product line, Ric’s advocacy prompted Kresge and a host of partners to explore different ways of doing this. advance the concept.
Ric has positioned PNC as an indispensable partner in realizing the preschool vision across the middle school at the Marygrove campus.
PNC became the primary bank to help Marygrove Conservancy manage its cash and supplier payments.
He also provided a ten-year, $57 million line of credit to Marygrove Conservancy that will be critical to the campus’ continued transformation. The financing, which was offered at significantly below market terms, will enable the completion of code-compliant renovations and upgrades to the Liberal Arts and Immaculata buildings, as well as other maintenance work. delayed on campus.
Beyond the bank’s key lending role, Ric has also made PNC a major investor in Marygrove’s capital projects. He provided more than $7 million in equity by purchasing federal tax credits tied to the renovation of the Liberal Arts Building, which not only houses the secondary portion of Marygrove School, but also serves as an arts center and cultural for the whole Livernois. / Six Mile District. And he is in negotiations with Kresge and the Conservancy for new market tax credits and historic tax credits for occupying Marygrove Elementary and Secondary School in the Immaculata building.
Ric used every ounce of his personal and institutional capital to respond and adapt to the changing needs of the Marygrove project. He ensured that every part of the bank – from treasury services to credit to investment banking products – aligned with Kresge’s efforts to anchor Detroit’s northwest revitalization through a dynamic and versatile campus of Marygrove.
The Community Foundation
As I wrote at the time of her retirement announcement last year, Mariam Noland is leaving the community foundation after 35 years of extraordinary service, founding and sole president of the organization. She has developed superb mechanisms to serve the nearly 800 donor-advised funds that make up the foundation. Under his leadership, the community foundation earned a 96.4 (four-star) rating from Charity Navigator, with less than 10% of its funds going to administration. And the foundation is the financial vehicle for the Grand Bargain, the New Economy Initiative, the GreenWays Initiative, and other community initiatives.
Thus, Ric will rely on a solid and proven base. However, I expect that we will see changes. The Foundation Board has found in Ric someone who is immediately attuned to the most pressing needs of the community. . . is able to handle the financial complexities of managing hundreds of separately oriented, donor-driven funds. . . is an empathetic and effective people manager. . . is comfortable with soliciting new donors to join the organization . . . is prepared to make difficult choices regarding the introduction of greater strategic direction. . . is geared towards expanding partnerships with other public, philanthropic, corporate and civic organizations. . . and pledged to solidify the ground wire of the foundation in Detroit.
Ric brings all these qualities. The Community Foundation chose with skill, vision and courage. We look forward to joining them on their new path.