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Messages from Yvan Gauthier and Jean-François de Grandpré

A message from the President and CEO of the Foundation of Greater Montreal, Yvan Gauthier

Today, I am publicly announcing my decision, the result of careful consideration, to leave my position as FGM’s President and CEO at the end of May. I am doing this with mixed emotions, sad on the one hand to leave a team that is so talented and highly motivated, and an organization that has the wind in its sails; and at the same time feeling the pull of new challenges.
Why leave at this particular time? The Foundation is in excellent shape on all fronts; from finances to governance, from level of commitment to human resources. FGM is blessed with a team of dedicated employees and administrators, and is now playing a leadership role in the community, where it has become an institution. After only 20 years of operation, FGM has already become the sixth largest community foundation in Canada as measured by assets under management, which have doubled in the last six years to surpass the $345M mark as of 2019. I extend my thanks to the Foundation’s donors and fund creators for their generosity, without which this success would not have been possible.
Through its commitment to pursue the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the Foundation of Greater Montréal has also developed a form of leadership that is unique in the metropolitan region, enabling it to mobilize the community around strategic initiatives like the Vital Signs of Greater MontréalandZero Hunger in Montréal. As I mentioned, FGM currently has tremendous momentum, as can be seen in its great capacity to bring together government partners, other foundations, and charitable organizations from all sectors of society. I thank all of these partners for their exceptional collaboration over the years.
Internally, the establishment of a strong team and a new administrative structure that is more collegial in style have bolstered the quality of management, and the overall leadership of the organization. I have complete confidence in the capacity of our senior leadership to pursue FGM’s initiatives and development at a continued level of excellence in the coming years.
I therefore feel I am leaving the organization at an opportune time, in this 20th anniversary year during which we are celebrating the work of a group of pioneers from the business sector, from private foundations and from major community organizations, both anglophones and francophones. At the turn of the millennium, these builders undertook the massive task of creating from scratch a public foundation for Montreal, with the help of, and for the benefit of, the community. They succeeded, and of that we can all be proud.
I am also departing to pursue personal projects (such as gardening!), while also remaining involved in certain issues. I know, from past experience as a CEO, that such transitions are sometimes difficult and may cause apprehension. However, I am very confident that this period of change will be navigated in a sure-handed fashion by FGM’s Board of Directors and by its president, the Hon. Jean-François de Grandpré, as explained in his attached message.
We will certainly have opportunities to see each other from now until the end of May, at some of the major events marking the Foundation’s 20th anniversary. But I would like to express my gratitude right now for these seven extraordinary years. Thank you, and see you soon!
Yvan Gauthier
President and Chief Executive Officer
Foundation of Greater Montréal

Message from the Chair of the Board of Directors, the Hon. Jean-François de Grandpré

You have just read Yvan’s message. It has now been over a year since he notified us of his decision. His choice, which he has assured us is definitive, has sparked some profound emotions.
You are all aware of how much Yvan has brought to the Foundation of Greater Montréal over the last seven years. He was the guiding spirit behind the renewal of the Vital Signs, the Hunger Zero project, and the restructuring of FGM’s team, as well as an indefatigable ambassador who was able to position FGM as indispensable to the collective well-being of Montréal. Yvan also brought renewed energy to the philanthropic sector in the greater metropolitan region. His skill and commitment have made their mark everywhere, even abroad. On the international scene, for example, he co-presided until recently the Séminaire sur la philanthropie, involving many foundations from francophone countries.
We did, at first, try to get Yvan to change his mind, but did not succeed. Our board of directors subsequently set in motion a rigorous recruiting process, and I am confident we will find the individual who fits the criteria we have set out in order to ensure the continuing development of FGM. All organizations undergo this type of change, but as Yvan mentioned, we have to start thinking of the next stage in this process. We will be looking for that new person to guide an FGM which will acquire even more donors, which will be even more engaged in the community, and which will reaffirm itself as an institution that brings people together, with uncompromising integrity and a cutting-edge strategic vision.
You can find here the profile of the type of individual we’re seeking. To find them, we have entered into a partnership with the renowned executive research firm Décarie, who will help us fulfill this quest that the board knows is absolutely vital. We hope to introduce our new CEO at our next general assembly, on May 20.
On behalf of the board, I would to extend a heartfelt thanks to Yvan for the seven years he has devoted to FGM. Without him, it could not have become what it is today. Thank you, Yvan!
The Hon. Jean-François de Grandpré,
Chair of the Board of Directors
Foundation of Greater Montréal