Special Issue 2014

This is a bittersweet newsletter for the Trust.

After 15 years as Director of Grants Programs for Arizona, Dr. Edmund H. Portnoy will be retiring from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Ed, as he is known by almost everyone, will be stepping down April 4. It will be difficult to imagine the Trust without his smiling face, quick wit, profound intellect and warm heart.

Those of us who have had the pleasure and privilege of working with Ed experienced his passion for the community, commitment to helping the underserved, unmatched skills in grant making and dedication to upholding the legacy of Mrs. Pulliam. Under his direction, along with our founding President and CEO Harriet Ivey, the Trust has become a philanthropic leader in Arizona and Indiana.


Ed has been a driving force behind many of the Trust's key initiatives, including our flagship Nina Scholars program, where he mentored several of the Scholars. Ed's convening skills are legendary. Just ask any local philanthropic organization or the hundreds of nonprofit agencies who benefited from numerous partnerships, including the Emergency Funders Collaborative, which saved countless working poor families from becoming homeless during the great recession. And the Trust, under Ed's leadership, was the first local funder to provide matching dollars for the Child Abuse Prevention license plate program.

I asked Bob Berger and Belen Gonzalez, Ed's colleagues from the very beginning, to share what they learned from him. The response was heartfelt and robust: to look beyond the request and examine it in the larger community context; to get to the root of issues; to leverage funding to make more of an impact; and to get involved in solutions, not just grant making. And we all marvel at his photographic memory.

Although I've only been with the Trust since January 2014, I have been fortunate to know and work with Ed in the community for more than 17 years. I know I speak for all of his colleagues when I say it has been an honor to work with him on so many initiatives. Ed's impact will be felt long after he walks out the doors and begins the next chapter in his life. As you can see by the picture below, this will include plenty of time for rest and relaxation. We wish him and his wife Joan all the best.


Send your thanks, congratulations and good wishes to Ed on the Trust's online guest book.