Justin Fox Burkes
The Urban Child Institue Headquarters on Jefferson.
The Urban Child Institute [TUCI] will give away $8 million this year to organizations supporting children's needs and has a new board chairman, Jill Crocker, a Bank of America executive.
All of this was decided during a regularly scheduled meeting of the TUCI board Thursday, according to information sent by Crocker Thursday evening.
TUCI board members approved a 5 percent gifting strategy for 2016. That means $8 million will go this year to "community organizations working to support children’s needs."
Crocker said more details on the strategy (such as which organizations will get the money) will be revealed later.
The new gifting strategy seems to be a major change for TUCI. The nonprofit has long been criticized in the community for sitting on a large investment fund but giving little of it to Memphis charities that actually help children ages 0-3 years, the group of children TUCI focuses its research work.
The board also approved Crocker as its chairwoman. She replaces Dr. Hershel "Pat" Wall who announced his resignation from the board in late December.
“I am honored to be elected as board chair of The Urban Child Institute,” Crocker said in a statement. “Our organization’s support is critical to community organizations working to help improve the health and well-being of children. Our board is committed to upholding that mission.”
The board also approved the re-election of Jim Witherington, managing partner at SSM Partners, one of the largest private equity firms in the Southeast. Also, the board re-elected Dr. Cyril Chang, a healthcare economics
professor at the University of Memphis. The board elected Jon McCullers, chair of the department of pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.
The nonprofit organization has also been long criticized for paying Eugene Cashman, its former CEO, a top of the line salary. TUCI saw some major leadership changes the year. Cashman announced his plans to retire from TUCI in early December 2015.