Special Issue 2013
President's Message

Dear Indiana Friends of the Trust,

I write today on behalf of the Trustees and staff to share the sad news of the passing of founding Trustee Frank E. Russell, January 26, 2013.

Mr. Russell was the long-time business manager and confidant of Nina Mason Pulliam, and as executor of her estate, carried out her wishes to establish the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust upon her death in 1997. He served as founding chairman of the Trust until his retirement in December 2011.

As you can read in his obituary, Mr. Russell had a remarkable career in the newspaper business, and through his relationship with Mrs. Pulliam, combined with his legal and financial qualifications, was well-suited to serve as the Trust's first chairman. Beyond his professional acumen, astute instinct for and awareness of Mrs. Pulliam's charitable inclinations, he possessed a compassionate interest in the communities the Trust serves, primarily Indianapolis and Phoenix. And, he understood the importance of what nonprofit organizations contribute to our society.

I will always value and appreciate the strong, but unobtrusive support he provided to me upon my arrival in the fall of 1998 as the Trust's founding President and CEO, and especially all that he did legally and organizationally to establish the Trust. This included appointing Nancy M. Russell, his wife who survives him, and Carol P. Schilling, Mrs. Pulliam's niece, to serve with him as Trustees. Mrs. Schilling now serves as Trustee chair, along with new Trustees Lisa Shover Kackley and Kent E. Agness.

Mr. Russell deserves to be remembered for many reasons, but what is sure to stand out is the legacy he created for the Trust over its first 14 years.

You are welcome to send a note of condolence to the Russell family through the Trust's memory book and/or join them for a memorial service Friday, February 8 at Meridian Street United Methodist Church, 5500 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, beginning at 2 p.m.


Frank E. Russell 1920 - 2013



Frank E. Russell

Business Leader, Philanthropist, Community Friend

Frank E. Russell helped build Central Newspapers, Inc. (CNI) into one of the nation's most successful family-owned newspaper companies and launched the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust as one of the largest philanthropic foundations in Arizona and Indiana.

John Zidich, CEO and publisher of The Arizona Republic, praised Russell's business acumen and passion for the community, adding that Russell earned a stellar reputation in the media industry.

Russell shared a business relationship and friendship with Eugene and Nina Pulliam, founders of CNI, for almost 40 years. He began his newspaper career in 1959 at the Indianapolis newspapers as business manager, a position he held until 1977 when he was named vice president and general manager of CNI. In 1979 he was named president.

Russell's background as a lawyer and certified public accountant were invaluable assets to the Pulliam family and CNI, said Marge Tarplee, who was then CNI's secretary of the board, as she recalled how pleased Eugene C. Pulliam was on the day he hired Russell. "I was working with his wife Nina when Mr. Pulliam came into her office and said, 'You're not going to believe what just happened. I got two for the price of one.' ''.

Pulliam often looked to Russell for advice and guidance, Tarplee said. "Frank was a shining star for the newspapers, the communities of Indianapolis and Phoenix, and the newspaper world overall."..<more>

Please share your thoughts on Mr. Russell in our memory book.

 

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