Terry Mazany joined the Foundation in July as our senior vice president for Philanthropy. He sat down to answer a few questions, and we were so inspired, we’re sharing them below.
- So Terry, your vocational journey is inspiring. Tell us about your decision to join the Foundation after the Chicago Community Trust?
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the community and donors of greater Atlanta. I have known Alicia for my entire tenure in Chicago and I have always looked to her as one of the icons of our field. She is a nationally revered leader among community foundations and sets the standard for us all. To have a chance to work with her and contribute to another chapter of this work with such a vibrant and growing community was irresistible.
- What excites you the most about becoming a part of the community here in the ATL?
Atlanta has soul and a strong sense of identity. I love the dynamism of a growing city and Atlanta is clearly a city looking to the future, building on an impressive legacy of great ambition and public works. If you ask for one word that captures the essence of Atlanta, for me that word is “freedom.” This, I think is the city’s unique calling card that sets it apart. Atlanta is a beacon for the world shining the light of freedom that reaches even the darkest corners of the world. Our charge is to keep the light burning bright.
Personally, what gets me most excited is the opportunity to be closer to family, having children and grandchildren living in the area. And I can’t deny the attraction of milder winters – though I expect to be perplexed when the city shuts down for an inch of snow – really?
- Share life lessons from your years at the Chicago Community Trust that you believe will impact your work here.
Above all, community foundations are all about service: service to donors who contribute capital, service to the nonprofit organizations that put that capital to best use, and service to the communities and residents who stand to benefit most from the wise deployment of philanthropic capital.
Our mission is the prosperity and well-being of the community we serve. We are deeply rooted to the community by the generosity of donors who express their love and concern for this place through their giving.
- What are the greatest challenges philanthropists’ face in the 21st century? Why?
Atlanta has all the ingredients to model for others how to create a place that works for everyone, a place where opportunity abounds and prosperity is broadly shared. A place that makes wise use of its natural resources. A place that is innovative and grows and attracts talent to lead in the development of solutions to these most pressing needs.
In the face of constrained public funding, philanthropy will be increasingly looked to for the resources needed to address these challenges. And while philanthropy cannot do it all, the community foundation is well-positioned to help donors find ways to make the greatest difference and leverage this funding, connecting residents and communities in ways that tap the potential in all of us to be change makers.