Methodist Hospital Foundation President Sue Francis is retiring July 31.
It is, said Francis in her resignation letter, “time for me to turn the page to a new chapter in my personal life.” Those interests include three grandchildren, her husband Thomas “T” Francis, other family in both Hawaii and California, and many personal pursuits put aside while she built the professional fundraising capabilities of the foundation. She plans to spend time in Arcadia as well with her many friends here.
As foundation president, Francis led a staff of fundraising professionals who raised tens of millions of dollars in support of Methodist Hospital’s medical mission.
“The foundation is now widely known in the community,” said Dennis Lee, president and CEO of Methodist Hospital.
“It has become an enormous asset to Methodist Hospital. The foundation has grown enormously on her watch, not just in dollars raised but in the way it conducts itself.”
During her five-year tenure at the helm, Francis oversaw fundraising efforts that literally changed the face of the hospital. Under her leadership, the foundation is close to completing the campaign to create The Next Generation of Care with nearly $27 million raised to date. She also was instrumental in building the Rose Society legacy group, and in garnering major support for the maternal child health unit.
Francis took a special interest in the hospital’s history and the people who made Methodist Hospital what it is today – administrators, staff, doctors, community leaders, volunteers and donors. She led the effort to create the history wall and establish an archive.
Sue Francis’ fundraising career began in Hawaii. After her first career as a teacher, she served as director of development at Hanahauoli School in Honolulu. Next, she went on to be vice president for institutional advancement at the Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, and in 1992 was named Hawaii’s outstanding professional fundraiser by the National Society of Fund-Raising Executives.
Francis also held executive positions at the foundation for Assist California Teachers and UC Davis. She came to Methodist Hospital Foundation in 2000, as director of gift planning, and was named foundation president in March 2004. She held leadership positions in professional organizations such as CASE, planned giving councils and the local chapter of NSFRE.
As a result of her efforts, “Our foundation has a new life,” said Mike Hoover, chair of the Methodist Hospital Foundation board of directors. “Sue has set the direction and given us the team. Sue has been a positive leader who has helped the foundation mature and gain a new direction, with increasing standards of excellence.”
“In Sue’s eyes, there are no ‘small’ donors,” said Dennis Lee. “All donors are important and are made to feel important. What this has done is let everybody in the community know they have a place at the philanthropy table. Everyone can share the wealth of being a supporter, no matter what their personal wealth might be. That’s very important to us, because this is everyone’s hospital.”
“I would like to thank Sue for all her dedicated efforts,” said Mickey Segal, chair of the Methodist Hospital board of directors. “She has taught me a great deal, and her leadership has helped the foundation achieve all of its goals for the last 10 years.”
“On behalf of the hospital board, I thank Sue for everything and wish her the very best in retirement,” said Dennis Lee.
A search is currently being conducted for a successor.