With a career in nonprofit and family foundation leadership spanning both coasts and communities in between, Bruce Maza is the recipient of the Center for Nonprofit of Excellence’s (CNPE) 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Drawn to Louisville as the first non-family executive director of the C.E. and S. Foundation, and after 17 years in that role, Maza now serves in the capacity of senior fellow. As executive director, Maza was instrumental in a wide range of projects in the Greater Louisville community, including a significant role with the C.E. and S. Foundation and its donor family to establish 21st Century Parks Inc. – which spearheaded the creation of The Parklands of Floyds Fork, the nation’s largest new urban parks project that has preserved and developed nearly 4,000 acres of new parks in Louisville Metro. Since it was formed in 1984, C.E. and S. has invested nearly $100 million dollars in grants to fund initiatives to enhance the living conditions and prospects of identifiable people to promote the flourishing of the communities it serves.
Maza is also known for his deep and abiding passion for the nonprofit sector and those who work within it. He continues to serve the community as a mentor, advisor, and friend.
“Bruce coached and inspired countless people throughout his career here. In addition to the visible work he did in his role as a foundation executive, there were the individual, day-in and day-out conversations and encouragement that endear him to our nonprofit community,” said Ann Coffey, CEO of CNPE. “At times in my career when I felt the most frustration and exhaustion, a conversation with Bruce would turn that around. He cares so deeply for people’s wellbeing, and you can feel it.”
Maza’s contributions to the vitality of communities through the nonprofit sector extend far beyond Louisville – across the country and the world. He began his career in 1974 working as a fundraiser for the arts. Over the span of 23 years, he served the New York City Opera, Lincoln Center; the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego; and the Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation in Los Angeles. In 1991, Maza moved to Indiana to serve as the first resident director of GIFT, “Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow,” the now nearly $1 billion program funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc, to cultivate new community foundations across the state. GIFT is now recognized as the largest initiative of its kind in the history of organized philanthropy for having increased the number of community foundations in Indiana from fewer than a dozen to now 94, and for increasing combined community foundation assets from $100 million in 1990 to nearly $3.6 billion at the end of 2017. Early in his tenure with the C.E. and S. Foundation, Maza was invited to travel to the emerging democracies of Lithuania and Romania to teach leaders about role of community foundations as a strategy for encouraging private funding to enrich the quality of life in those countries.
“Bruce’s ability to draw upon such depth and breadth of experience, and his generosity of spirit, shape his influence as both a strategic advisor and mentor those around him. He has a gift for posing powerful questions that lead his colleagues to parse situations in a way that brings true clarity and thoughtful solutions,” said Tess McNair, CNPE board chair. “With an extraordinary intellectual understanding of the nonprofit sector and absolute loyalty to its purpose and place in civil society, Bruce inspires and teaches all of us around him.”
CNPE’s Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Maza for more than 45 years of service to the nonprofit sector. He will be honored as part of the CNPE 2019 CHANGEMAKERS Conference on October 15 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.
“Having known Bruce for the past 25 years, I cannot think of an individual more worthy of this honor,” said Mason Rummel, president and CEO of the James Graham Brown Foundation. “His ability to capture ideals from the public and private sectors and his moral duty to preserve the nonprofit sector are qualities not many individuals possess. Bruce is such an incredible example to everyone who knows him and works with him.”
In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Award, the CHANGEMAKERS Conference will recognize other local nonprofits as Pyramid Award winners for their achievements serving the region in the past year. Honorees include: Love the Hungry, WaterStep, Supplies Over Seas, Americana World Community Center, Community Foundation of Louisville, Christen Boone (Fund for the Arts), Hope Southern Indiana, and Kosair Charities® Face It® Movement.
Headlining the conference is Dan Pallotta, the nationally renowned author of the book Uncharitable, who is known for his ideas about disruption in the field of social services
The CHANGEMAKERS Conference is open to the public, and tickets are on sale now. Conference registration information is available at www.cnpe.org/annual-conference/register/ or by calling 502.315.2673 for more information.
The 2019 CHANGEMAKERS Conference is sponsored by Kosair Charities, Donors Forum of Kentuckiana, James Graham Brown Foundation, C.E. & S. Foundation, Louisville Public Media, iHeartMedia, Brown-Forman Corporation, DMLO CPAs, PNC, Dean Dorton, Fifth Third Bank, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs, Metro United Way, Mutual of America, The Owsley Brown II Family Foundation, Louisville MSD, Republic Bank, Fund for the Arts, Element 502, and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Louisville Branch.
About the Center for Nonprofit Excellence
The Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNPE), established in 1999, provides Louisville’s nonprofits with professional development, consultation, community connections and convening around critical issues to ensure the health of the community at large. With more than 500 members, CNPE brings together nonprofits, foundations and corporations who want to connect for the greater good of the community to help the nonprofit sector reach its individual and collective aspiration. For more information go to www.cnpe.org.