Sean Malone is the incoming president of the George Family Foundation. In collaboration with retiring president Gayle Ober, Sean is responsible for leading all aspects of the Foundation’s grantmaking, investments and operations — including advising and assisting the trustees in meeting their grantmaking goals and serving as the Foundation’s first point of contact to the community.
Sean brings more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership to the Foundation. From 2017 to 2021, he was the founding president and CEO of Dix Park Conservancy, collaborating with dedicated community leaders to ensure the creation and success of a 308-acre park in the heart of Raleigh, North Carolina. From 2012 to 2016, he served as president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, where he led preservation of National Historic Landmarks Taliesin and Taliesin West, extensive educational and public programming, and numerous national endeavors. For 15 years prior to that, Sean was vice president and then president of Ten Chimneys Foundation, the Wisconsin estate created by Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, working with staff and board partners to create an inspirational house museum and a national resource for theatre and the arts. Immediately before joining the George Family Foundation, Sean served as interim executive director of Journalism Funding Partners, an emerging grantmaking organization created to increase the depth and diversity of local journalism in cities across the country.
A few of Sean’s most treasured volunteer and board activities include Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, UW-Wisconsin School of Business Bolz Center for Arts Administration (President of Advisory Board), Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Inter City Task Force, the Milwaukee Center for Children and Youth and the Neo-Futurist Theatre Company (Board President).
In August 2021, Sean relocated from Raleigh to Minneapolis with his wife Erika Kent and their two daughters. Sean grew up in Chicago, Erika is a native of Detroit and their daughters were born and raised in Milwaukee; all four are excited to be back in the Midwest and are looking forward to becoming active, contributing members of this wonderful community.
Sean holds a Master of Arts in Business from the Wisconsin School of Business at University of Wisconsin–Madison, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Theatre at University of Southern California. In addition to his love of nonprofit work, Sean is a dedicated home baker of artisan sourdough bread (find him on Instagram @sean.of.the.breads).
When Sean’s selection as the next president was announced, he shared, “I am moved by and feel deeply connected to the mission and values of the George Family Foundation. And I am humbled and honored by this opportunity to serve — to work closely with and learn from Gayle Ober and build on her extraordinary work, and to collaborate with Penny and Bill George, the George family, the talented staff team and the Foundation’s grantee partners to achieve lasting and remarkable impact in the years and decades ahead.”