March 9, 2020

Michael Hennessy, CEO of the Coleman Foundation in Chicago since 1995, has announced that he will retire at the end of 2020.  Hennessy began his association with the Foundation in 1987 when it was a part of the Fannie May Candy Company and he was a member of the company’s management team.

During his time as head of the Coleman Foundation, Hennessy has played a critical role in shaping the development and advancement of the Foundation’s core funding areas: entrepreneurship education, palliative care, supportive oncology, and support for service organizations working with people with developmental disabilities.

“After 25 years at the helm of the Coleman Foundation, it’s time for me to spend more time with my family, especially my grandchildren, and tackle a few projects I have had to keep on a back burner.  I look back at where we started and I’m very proud of our successes. The staff is first-rate, and I am confident of the strengthened impact the Foundation will have in the future,” Hennessy commented.

“We deeply appreciate the substantial contribution that Mike Hennessy has made to the Coleman Foundation and welcome his participation in the present transition. Mike has brought the Foundation along to where we are today, and we will be forever grateful. We thank him for leaving a solid legacy which we can build upon,” remarked Michael Furlong, Board chair.

The Foundation has awarded $60 million in grants during the last decade. Hennessy most recently has overseen the Foundation’s efforts to develop more innovative and local collaborations with grant recipients to improve effectiveness, impact and service in the Foundation’s main funding areas.

The Coleman Foundation Board has engaged Phillips Oppenheim to lead the search for Hennessy’s successor as CEO. The Board is confident that the Foundation will attract strong candidates for this critical leadership position. The Board encourages the submission of applications and nominations to Coleman@phillipsoppenheim.com for confidential consideration.

The Coleman Foundation is a philanthropic organization that leverages its resources by investing in the efforts of community-based organizations and local institutions to preserve and strengthen the physical health and the economic and emotional well-being of people living in and around Chicago.


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The Coleman Foundation, Inc.
651 West Washington Boulevard, Suite 306
Chicago, IL 60661
Phone (312) 902-7120
Fax (312) 902-7124

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