Juliette Fowler Communities, a 130-year-old faith-based, intergenerational community of residents at various life-stages, announced the retirement of Chief Advancement Officer Ann McKinley, leaving a legacy that elevated the nonprofit internally and externally.
During her 10-year tenure at Fowler, McKinley was instrumental in raising $18 million for the programs at Fowler Communities. This includes Fowler’s most recent development, The Peak, which is helping address the growing crisis in America for affordable and safe housing for senior adults with limited-to-moderate monetary resources.
McKinley brought the I’m Still Here® program, a nationally recognized engagement philosophy through the Hearthstone Institute, to Juliette Fowler Communities in 2018, making JFC the only certified I’m Still Here® Center for Excellence in Dementia Care in North Texas and one of only two in Texas. The program employs evidence-based techniques to adapt experiences to an individual’s cognitive abilities and strengths for purposeful engagement. She was also instrumental in the launch of Dementia Friendly Dallas, creating a greater awareness and understanding of dementia across the city.
Additionally, she spearheaded the development of a logo and rebranded Juliette Fowler Communities, bringing the story of Juliette Fowler into today’s time frame with new messaging, showing its relevance today.
“The Fowler brand is as fresh and relevant today as it was 130 years ago,” said Ann McKinley. “Juliette’s story still inspires us to care for the young and older in our community. Just as our founder Juliette recognized the needs of her day, we still respond to the needs of today. We can all utilize our gifts for the greater good by being ‘a Juliette.’”
Passionate about the history of Fowler, McKinley worked diligently researching successful ways to preserve Fowler’s extensive collection of records and documents, including Peak family letters dating back to the 1860s and many other artifacts. She plans to return to Fowler following her retirement to continue her work on this effort alongside a group of dedicated volunteers.
“I’ve spent significant time researching how other organizations have preserved their history,” added McKinley. “Ours is not only the history of Fowler, but also of the greater Dallas community. Every time I read a document, I find another interesting story connecting us to another organization, historical event, or Dallas leader. We want to capture these stories with the goal of having them digitized, preserved and accessible for the greater community.”
Often invited to speak outside of Fowler for other groups, McKinley looks forward to finding additional stories to tell.
“Ann’s knowledge of the history of Juliette Fowler Communities is invaluable,” said Nicole Gann, president and CEO, Juliette Fowler Communities. “She can tell you about each photograph on the walls and the history of each building on a walk across our 21-acre campus. We are beyond thrilled that she will be able to continue to help us as we work to organize and preserve 130 years of history!”
McKinley also spearheaded the Visionary Women Luncheon for Fowler, a fundraiser which created a greater awareness of the nonprofit. She began Artful Awakenings, an art class program launched in 2017 in partnership with Junior League of Dallas (JLD) for residents experiencing every progression of memory loss, from very early stages of mild cognition loss to advanced dementia. It is now a signature JLD project and a highlight for residents each week. In 2022, she learned about an international program called Mural Mosaics and submitted to be chosen as the Southwest Regional Site (first and only in this region to date) for the 2023 Mural Mosaics Global Roots Project, “America Connects.” Residents, staff, and others from across the Southwest participated in making a personal art tile for the mural, which was installed and is visible on the south wall of Fowler’s Pearl Nordan Care Center, facing Fulton Street. Additionally, more art installations are coming soon to Fowler due to Ann’s desire to keep the arts alive for residents across the campus.
“Ann has a genuine interest in people and knows how to bring them together,” added Gann. “It’s her superpower. She knows how to recognize and cultivate others’ interests and talents to help them serve in meaningful ways. Her servant’s heart and love have been immeasurable to Juliette Fowler Communities.”
McKinley first came to Fowler after working for Presbyterian Communities and Services, now known as Forefront Living, where she served as vice president of marketing. She describes starting at Juliette Fowler Communities as the cornerstone of her career.
“I feel honored and blessed to have served at Juliette Fowler Communities,” added McKinley. “When you look at all of the history of this 130-year-old organization and think about all that has happened here, it’s truly amazing to have had a snippet of time here.”
McKinley is looking forward to spending more time with her family, which includes her husband, three children and five grandchildren, who all live in the area.
“True to her spirit, Ann is not taking a breath,” added Gann. “She is planning ‘Grann Camp’ for the summer while continuing her work on our history!”
Ashley Brown, vice president of development at JFC, has been named the new chief advancement officer for Juliette Fowler Communities. Previously, Brown worked as director of regional development for Texas Christian University. No stranger to Juliette Fowler Communities, Brown also served as development director at Fowler Communities, 2015-2019, and has museum/curatorial support experience from The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Rienzi Center for European Decorative Arts and Museum of Fine Arts, both in Houston.