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A Personal Message from Irvine Foundation President Jim Canales

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dear Friends,

Having marked in 2013 my 10th anniversary as Irvine's CEO and my 20th year at the Foundation, I have decided it is time for a new professional challenge. In early spring, I will step down as Irvine's CEO in order to become the first President of the Barr Foundation in Boston, beginning in May 2014.

It has been an enormous privilege to serve as Irvine's CEO since 2003. I have had the pleasure of working with many talented and dedicated partners both within and outside of the Foundation; the honor of building upon a legacy of excellence and service for which Irvine has been well known; and the joy of observing the progress we have made toward our mission of expanding opportunity for the people of California.

I am excited about this next chapter in my professional life. I am honored to have been invited to join Barbara and Amos Hostetter as the third trustee of the Barr Foundation and to help shape the next chapter of that foundation's work. The values of humility, excellence and rigor that the Hostetters bring to the Barr Foundation align so well with my own perspectives about how philanthropy can have greatest impact.

As I depart California and explore areas beyond what we have focused on at Irvine, I am heartened that I will have the opportunity to retain many of the relationships I have formed during my Irvine tenure. On a personal note, I am embracing the adventure of a move to Boston, a city with many similarities to my hometown of San Francisco, including a World Series trophy! For me and my partner, Jim McCann, it will also afford us the opportunity to be closer to his family in Massachusetts.

The months ahead will offer numerous opportunities for me to extend my gratitude to many of you in person. Your support, your partnership, and indeed, your friendship over the past two decades have been deeply meaningful to me, have enabled my leadership at Irvine, and have enriched me personally. To work within one institution over a 20-year period is perhaps more rare these days, but how fortunate I have been to be fully engaged and inspired by my work over those two decades.

Opportunities for even greater impact by the Irvine Foundation abound. I have enormous confidence that the combination of an engaged board, a talented staff, and many committed partners and allies will position Irvine for even greater success and impact. Watching that unfold may well be one of the more gratifying aspects of my association with Irvine.

I may be leaving California, but I intend to take with me all that I have learned about the power of optimism, the spirit of innovation and the value of diversity that so characterize this great state. Thank you again for all you have done to support me and the Irvine Foundation during the past decade.

Read a message from Irvine Board Chair Greg Avis here.

Read the Irvine Foundation news release here.


Jim Canales

President and CEO
The James Irvine Foundation

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