Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) announced Wayne White as CFT’s next President and CEO.
Wayne is a seasoned executive leader with more than 30 years of corporate and nonprofit leadership experience – nationally, globally, and at the regional and community level. Wayne comes to the Foundation from his most recent role as a senior executive at the American Cancer Society. He brings a proven track record of building and expanding relationships and partnerships with executives, donors, nonprofit leaders, and community members.
Wayne will take the helm of the 70-year old organization on July 31. He succeeds former President and CEO Dave Scullin who retired in March 2023. In the interim, Frank Risch, former CFT board chair and long-time community and business leader, has been serving as Special Advisor to the Board Chair, Richie Butler.
Wayne’s appointment by the Board of Trustees concludes a six-month robust national search that encompassed more than 280 candidate profiles, in partnership with executive search firm Lochlin Partners. The search committee members included: Board Chair Richie Butler, Vice Chair Connie O’Neill, trustees Debra Brennan Tagg, Matrice Ellis-Kirk, Chris Kleinert, and past Board Chair/trustee Alfreda Norman.
“The path to this decision spanned many states and ZIP codes and ultimately resulted in the successful recruitment of a talented leader to join our North Texas community. Wayne brings a wealth of leadership experience and a passion for positive change. With his exceptional leadership skills coupled with extensive business and nonprofit management experience, the Board’s search committee is confident that Wayne is the right leader to guide our foundation towards achieving even greater heights in alignment with our mission and vision. We’re eager for our region to experience the impact that Wayne has made across the nation,” said Richie Butler, Chair of CFT’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the CEO search committee.
Board of Trustees Vice Chair and search committee member Connie O’Neill agreed, noting, “In addition to his professional accomplishments, Wayne brings a collaborative and inclusive approach to our work. He firmly believes in the power of partnership and community engagement to affect meaningful change. Wayne’s ability to bring diverse stakeholders together, foster collaboration, and inspire collective action will be instrumental in strengthening our foundation’s impact and forging new connections across our communities.”
Richie added, “We feel confident that Wayne possesses the unique blend of skills community foundations require in driving lasting change at the local, regional, statewide, and national level. Further, we believe that he’s an excellent cultural fit for our growing organization, and that he’ll be able to meaningfully engage with and champion each of our employee leaders across their varying areas of expertise.”
Reflecting on his new mandate, incoming President and CEO White shared, “I am very excited to lead the team of experts at Communities Foundation of Texas. To join such a well-established and impactful organization and to have the opportunity to build on the achievements of the past 70 years through this role is a true honor, and one that I take very seriously. I am committed to furthering and expanding the organization’s priorities of growing community giving, expanding community impact, and advancing community equity, and I am eager to build a community of my own here as I make the move from the Midwest to North Texas. I firmly believe that the most effective solutions are created through collaboration, dialogue, and active involvement of stakeholders, and I look forward to learning from, listening to, and partnering with all who make CFT’s work possible.”
Wayne is a seasoned executive leader with more than 30 years of corporate and nonprofit leadership experience. His relationships with and ability to work across philanthropic, business, and government institutions – as well as an understanding of community challenges and opportunities – make him uniquely suited to lead our growing organization. Wayne has a strong organizational management skillset, having led teams of varying sizes across multiple disciplines, cultures, and geographies. He also has a successful fundraising track record and is passionate about building and implementing new strategies to help grow the charitable resources we’ll be able to put into our community.
Wayne started his career as a member of GE’s Management Development Program with multiple cross-functional assignments in their consumer businesses. He subsequently held positions of increasing responsibility at prominent corporations including: AT&T Ameritech (General Manager), Verizon Wireless (Region President), Motorola (Corporate Vice President), Kobo (Executive Vice President), and Alcatel (Vice President, North America). In these roles, he managed billion-dollar global business units and honed his reputation as an innovator and skilled relationship manager.
Most recently, Wayne spent five years as a senior executive at the American Cancer Society (ACS) where he led the North Central Region and National Partnerships. During his tenure, he significantly accelerated growth in philanthropic giving and introduced a collaborative incentive plan that was adopted nationally.
Wayne was born in Jamaica, raised in Philadelphia, and has lived and worked in Chicago, Louisville, Cleveland, Southern California, and Toronto, Canada. Wayne holds a Bachelor’s Degree in mechanical engineering and a Master of Science degree in telecommunications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA in Marketing from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Wayne is a past recipient of Crain’s Detroit 40 Under 40 Award. He has served on the Boards of Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, HAVEN Domestic Violence, and the National Kidney Foundation of Southeast Michigan. He has a passion for helping others and has served for a number of years as a big brother in the Big Brother/Big Sister program of Chicago and as a Junior Achievement mentor.