Frechette Family Foundation

Executive Director, Chicago (or US Midwest or Rocky Mountain region), IL



Established in 1997, the Frechette Family Foundation is an intergenerational family foundation that honors the values and legacy of founders Pete and Pat Frechette.

The Frechettes began a tradition of giving back from the very beginning of their marriage in 1961. Their financial success did not occur until later in life, but they never lived beyond their means and always made contributions to organizations they cared about. In their late fifties, Pete took the Patterson Dental Company (currently Patterson Companies) public, and their financial assets increased substantially. They were humbled by their good fortune and extremely grateful to support efforts that improved the lives of others on a whole new scale. It was during this period that they established the Frechette Family Foundation and made plans to leave the bulk of their wealth to the Foundation upon their deaths.


Do you believe effective philanthropy starts with a respectful and mutual exchange of needs and goals?

Are you dedicated to' empowering' communities to grow, thrive, and realize their own wellbeing?

Are you inspired by a sense of humanity and desire to empathize with and' support' others?

Are you a builder who finds joy in connecting people, resources, and innovative ideas for the greater good?

Are you energized by the power of collective learning?

Can you' design' operational systems to maximize efficiencies?


The Frechette Family Foundationfully embraces the founders' philanthropic spirit,values, and passion, providing a vehicle for future generations to work together' to make a difference in the world.

First and foremost, the Frechette family is committed to sustaining the founders' overarching value of humility and gratitude. Respect and trustare also among the dominant unifying values. The Foundation is guided by its shared belief in humanity and the sacred value of every human being.

Exercising the principle of compassion, the Foundation connects with others through kindness, empathy, heartfelt interest, and open mindedness. Honoring the hearts of the founders, the Foundation operates with a joyful spirit for giving and develops trusting, transparent, andauthentic relationships with the communities it supports.

For future development and understanding, the Foundation prioritizes continued learning and growing to ensure that it remainsa true learning organization committed to improvement in its work.


Since the inception of the Foundation in 1997, most of its grants have supported early care, education, and youth development organizations in the communities where family members live:Illinois;Colorado; and the District of Columbia. The founders envisioned the Foundation to serve as a vehicle for collective family giving and philanthropic learning.

Given the significant growth in assets to $200 million upon the recent deaths of the founders, the Foundation has focused on major legacy gifts and maintaining supportive relationships with current grantee partners.In 2019, the Foundation embarked on a process of exploration, learning and early funding focused on child and family well-being.In 2020, the Foundation developed a special COVID-19 initiative to support existing grantee partners and others in need.

The Foundation is at an important inflection point as the legacy giving is ending. With the help of consultants, the Foundation is undergoing a major governance and grantmakingreview in response to its recent growth.

The Foundation is currently governed by a board of four: the founders' two daughters and their spouses. Members of the third generationparticipate in the Foundation through an integrated leadership program.

The ideal office headquarters would be in the greater Chicago area of Illinois or the greater Denver area of Colorado. The Foundation, depending upon the future Executive Director, would be open to considering other locations.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides leadership for the Foundation and will:

  • Establish an effective working relationship with the Board and family as thought partners. Gain their confidence and trust and support exemplary governance. Inspire and bring forth the best ideas and efforts from the Board.

  • Work closely with the family to continue to strengthen intergenerational integration.

  • Report to and support the work of the Boardas a strategic partner.Build upona process with the Board to develop and implement a vision for how best to invest the Foundation's resources to maximize impact in the communities served.

  • Build a committed team with a shared purposeand promotea sense of cohesiveness among staff and consultants. Maintain high morale in a group of committed professionals.

  • Set benchmarks with staff and hold parties accountable. Provide and participate in professional development opportunities for all to learn and grow.

  • Prepare and present budgets for Board approval and manage resources within the financial and programmatic parameters established by the Board. Participate in the Foundation's investment committee meetings.

  • Facilitate the continued implementation ofthe Foundation's strategic plan to set priorities, focus energy and resources, evaluate and strengthen operations, and ensure that' all are working toward common goals.

  • Maintain an efficient process for managing, reviewing, and evaluating the Foundation's grants and initiatives.Establish and monitor appropriate success metrics.


The Executive Director should be, have, or reflect the following:

  • A caring leader with humility, modesty, honesty, grace, and integrity driven by a passion to help others with dedication, enthusiasm, and an elevated level of energy. Strength of character and conviction to promote the values and mission of the Foundation without being ego driven. Someone for whom the ownership of and/or credit for ideas is less important than the collective results of the process and effort.

  • A record of accomplishment in program development, strategic planning, and financial management. Experience as a compassionate visionary with proven ability to lead and facilitate strategically and manage an organization. An entrepreneurial spirit to build and grow an organization's infrastructure.

  • A values-driven and mission-driven leader who views philanthropy as a catalyst and a partner for community engagement and change.

  • An unwavering work ethic and commitment to excellence.

  • A naturally consultative and inclusive management style. A visionary with the maturity, confidence, wisdom, and collaborative skills necessary to garner the trust and confidence of the Board, family, staff, and grantee partners.

  • The emotional intelligence to deal effectively with the Board, family, and, externally, with grantees, community leaders, and partners.

  • A reflective and pragmatic practitioner.

  • A commitment to experiential learning, exploring, and sharing for a common purpose. An active listener and agile lifelong learner who is open to innovative ideas and can think conceptually, critically, and strategically.

  • An ability to lead by example, bringing out the best in others and inspiring them to realize and act upon the generous spirit within themselves to help others and strengthen communities.

  • A focused leader able to distill ideas and clarify issues; someone with a high degree of intuition.

  • A warm and earnest connectionto the communities funded and their needs.

  • A strong record of accomplishment as a motivator, collaborator, innovator, and builder who is not afraid to take risks. A natural convener who can share, learn, and listen effectively to build consensus and inspire strong, enduring partnershipsacross diverse communities.

  • Proven record as an effective spokesperson with the appropriate level of finesse and grace to represent the Foundation. The judgment to know when it is best to speak on behalf of the Foundationand when it may be more appropriate to have a family member speak. Strong writing skills.

  • Bachelor's degree required and graduate degree preferred. Travel required.

The Frechette Family Foundation is committed to an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible work environment, and further recognizes that diversity in our workforce fosters excellence and is reflected in the Foundation's values.

Nominations and applications including cover letters and CVs should be submitted to the attention of Paul Spivey at Frechette@PhillipsOppenheim.com.