When you think of the name Ford you probably think of large durable pickup trucks that are fortified enough to haul around large equipment in their truck beds and designed to drive through snow and other kind of treacherous terrain. What you probably don’t think of is the word philanthropy and the organization that is known as the Ford Foundation. The Ford Foundation and the Ford Motor Company share a common origin in that they were both begun at the behest of people connected to the the innovative industrialist Henry Ford. In the 1930s Edsel Ford, Henry Ford’s son, commissioned the establishment of the Ford Foundation as an organization that would be concerned with distributing resources devoted to philanthropy, education and the sciences. Today the Ford Foundation, which is located in New York City, is worth more than $12 billion and uses those resources to support issues like internet freedom, equitable development, gender, racial and ethnic justice, civic engagement and youth opportunity and learning. The Ford Foundation is an excellent example of what entities in the private sector can accomplish when they partner with entities that exist to champion social causes and the public good.
While businessmen like Andrew Carnegie (of the Carnegie Foundation) and Henry Ford are no longer with us there are businessmen in contemporary America who are following the examples that both men set in their legacy of using their resources for the public good. One of those men is Stephen Rotella the current Chief Executive Officer at StoneCastle Cash Management, LLC. Rotella has a background in business that includes holding a number of positions in the world of financial services. He has worked at Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation where he served as the company’s President. He was also the Chief Executive Officer of Chase Home Finance. The other financial services organizations that Stephen Rotella has worked for include WMI Holdings Corporation and JP Morgan Chase.
These days Rotella is leveraging the business acumen that he has built through spending nearly three decades working in the financial services sector for the non-profit organization LIFT. LIFT is an anti-poverty non-profit that focuses its resources on helping families that are living below the poverty line in the United States. LIFT has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and New York City. Rotella has served as the Chairman of LIFT’s national board of directors for nearly two years now. Before holding that position he had volunteered on the board’s development committee. Rotella’s work in philanthropy includes serving on LIFT’s board and the boards of other non-profit organizations like BalletMet Columbus, The Seattle Foundation and ArtsFund. As he deepens his engagement with LIFT it is likely his support will enable LIFT to be even more effective at achieving its goal to help more people leave poverty behind.