Get to know Community Foundation of Greater Flint Interim President and CEO, Mark L. Miller

FLINT, Michigan — On June 23, Mark L. Miller was appointed as the Interim President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. The Community Foundation of Greater Flint (CFGF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity created by the people of Genesee County, for the people of Greater Flint. 

Miller’s transitional period started on July 1, and he officially assumed full responsibility for operations on July 28. After the resignation of leader Isaiah M. Oliver, Miller stepped up into the interim role, bringing years of foundation knowledge to the position, having served on the Foundation's Board of Trustees and Investment Committee.

Flintside had the opportunity to speak to Miller about his new role, his passion for his hometown, and his plan to elevate the Foundation’s philanthropy even further. 

Flintside: Congrats on your new role as the Interim President and CEO of the Community Foundation. What experience and familiarity with Flint do you bring to this position?

Mark L. Miller: "My family has deep roots in the Flint area. I am a true Flintstone, with roots going back to Longfellow Junior High and the class of 1980 from Flint Northern High School. My wife of 34 years, Rebecca, was born in Flint and we have been members of Grace Emmanuel Church for over 35 years. I have served on the Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees for over nine years and have a good understanding of the organization from a governance, cultural, and strategic perspective.

Also, after 38 years, I recently retired from General Motors as a Global Executive, where I held various leadership roles and participated in the General Motors Foundation awarding of City Grants which included organizations located in Flint. To help elevate life in Flint and Genesee County, I have served as Chairman, Board of Directors of Michigan Works, Executive Board Member at McLaren Hospital, Board Member at McLaren Foundation, and member of the Chamber’s Regional Leadership Council. Although General Motors moved me and my family in and out of this community for 38 years, we always managed to find our way back home."

Flintside: What is the overarching goal of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint?

M.L. Miller: "We do our best work when we connect the artful asker with a gracious giver, to make passions come true for the greater good of the community. CFGF is a place of collaboration where diverse perspectives and people are welcomed, ideas are vetted and pursued with measured outcomes. Our role is to elevate society and enhance the human experience for good, forever, for everyone."

Flintside: From your perspective, what is the biggest need that the Community Foundation addresses locally?

M.L. Miller: "To pursue and activate equity such that all boats rise commensurately. To provide resources that effectively enhance the lives of the marginalized with a focus on collective literacy (financial literacy, healthcare literacy, parenting literacy, nutritional literacy, etc.). Also, to lead conversations and dialogue that engage in truth, racial healing, and transformation, that result in more effective policies and practices that truly center equity."

Flintside: Within your role, are there any particular projects you’re excited to work on?

M.L. Miller: "I am excited that CFGF is investing in our children and preparing them for the future. Educare Flint is preparing children for kindergarten and through their research, helping to ensure their success throughout early childhood education. The work we are doing through our Neighborhoods Small Grants Program is just phenomenal. Also, I truly appreciate all of the endowments held here at CFGF that support the great Flint Cultural Center institutions. They are some of the most well-kept secrets and I love being part of exposing the rest of the world to the wonderful gems right here in Flint. Last, but not least, I love that we are centering equity in all our work."

Flintside: A role like this requires a strong drive and relentless passion for bringing the community together. Where does your passion for Flint come from?

M.L. Miller: "When you have a place called home, you protect and nurture it … you have a passion for preserving it for the next generation. The Flint and Genesee County community overall has really been good to me and my family. I embrace the responsibility of planting seeds for trees that will yield shade, under which we will never sit. It is a legacy endeavor to leave the place you call home better than you found it."

Flintside: Within your role, what specific goals or milestones do you hope to accomplish that will leave a lasting impression on the next generation of Flint’s community?

M.L. Miller: "In my role as Interim President and CEO, I have a platform to further enhance philanthropy amongst all members of our community. Paying it forward is the cost of our membership in the human race. Generosity knows no boundaries. But people have to be reminded sometimes that every gift is precious, no matter how large or how small. So elevating philanthropy with respect to our time, talent, and treasure is what I hope will be my greatest accomplishment in this space and time." 

Flintside: Anything else you’d like to add?

M.L. Miller: "I look forward to working on the Executive Board’s search committee to select the next long-term leader for the Community Foundation and staying active in supporting the mission of such a wonderful organization."

To learn more about the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, visit:
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