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Judy Clabes: Haile Foundation’s Tim and Leslie Maloney plan to retire next year; we owe them a debt

I remember Ralph Haile with deep affection, as one of my first friends and mentors as I came to Northern Kentucky all those years ago to become editor of “his community’s” newspaper, The Kentucky Post. Ralph was a distinguished fellow, wearing that signature bow tie, and reigning over his beloved Covington from offices at the People’s Liberty Bank building on Madison Avenue.

He had that warm, ever-present smile and, like so many terrific community-engaged businesspeople, was fully committed to community service — and didn’t mind roping me into some of his favorite projects. He had plenty of them — everything from city beautification to good government to urban rehab, to downtown vibrancy. If it was good for Covington, Ralph was there.

Ralph and Carol Ann Haile

Times changed, and Ralph sold the bank, enjoyed a wonderful retirement with his beloved Carol Ann — who had a special fondness for the arts — and when, they died, they left our region an amazing legacy — The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation.

They had started their Foundation originally to deal with their generous annual giving. But when Ralph followed Carol Ann in death in 2006, the Foundation was fully funded by their estate. They had no children, but they did have special friends they considered family, Tim and Leslie Maloney. And it was Tim and Leslie that they entrusted with the stewardship of their significant foundation. “Just have fun with it,” Ralph said — and he and Carol Ann were confident they had put their legacy in good and responsible hands.

I was an early consultant to the foundation, in my immediate post-retirement life after serving as president of the Scripps Howard Foundation, so I, too, became an admirer of Tim and Leslie as they earnestly put themselves to the task of fulfilling the Hailes’ philanthropic wishes. They were, indeed, committed to advancing a legacy of generosity — and to serving the community in a special way.

And that they have done with amazing success.

This week, Tim and Leslie have announced that they plan to retire from the foundation in March of 2022, some 16 years after starting with a blank slate. Today, the slate is more than full — and the region is richer for it in so many ways.

Leslie Maloney

Consider 2600 grants totaling more than $185 million. Consider the Haile College of Business at NKU, the extraordinary Carol Ann’s Carousel at Cincinnati’s Smale Park, consider BLINK, an art and light event that drew more than a million visitors in each of its two years to Cinci and NKY, the renovation of Music Hall — and so much more. Consider the hundreds of life-changing grants enabling nonprofits around the region to advance human services, community development, education, and arts and culture.

“The impact that the Haile Foundation has made in our region over the last 15 years is remarkable,” said Vickie Buyniski Gluckman, a Foundation Advisory Committee Member, in a public statement. “The vision of Tim and Leslie has helped create equity in education, support of innovative entrepreneurship, and the building of big ideas like BLINK. They have built a legacy that would have made Ralph and Carol very proud.”

Proud indeed.

The Maloneys said in making their announcement:

• “It is critically important to Leslie and me that we honor the wishes, traditions and gifts of Carol Ann and Ralph. They were our mentors and friends, and I feel that they would be proud of our choices and accomplishments. It’s a joyous obligation to keep their legacy alive,” said Tim Maloney.

Tim Maloney

• “Carol and Ralph gave us the one-of-a-kind opportunity to make positive and lasting change in the region we call home,” said Leslie Maloney. “It’s been a terrific responsibility and we are eager to see the continued investment and innovation of the next generation of Haile Foundation leadership.” (Leslie famously wore Carol Ann’s wedding dress at her own wedding.)

Tim, who served as the Foundation’s president and CEO, spent over 25 years in banking himself, his last role as Senior Vice President and Region Manager for the U.S. Bank Private Client Services Group. He has served on numerous community boards and helped found the Kentucky Commission on Philanthropy. He is the consummate team player — and a valued community leader.

Leslie, who oversees the Foundation’s educational investments as well as its human resources and communications activities, spent 27 years in human resources as a consultant with Hewitt Associates LLC. She too has served on a number of community boards.

They have two sons and are undoubtedly looking forward to a well-deserved retirement.

While change is inevitable, it’s hard to imagine the Haile Foundation without them — without the special love and care they brought to it, inspired by the special connection they had with its founders.

This community owes them a big debt of gratitude for their stewardship of an incredible community asset.

They mean to leave the Foundation in good hands, and they have set the precedent. Efforts are underway to hire a new CEO. The Foundation board is working with Lynn Mayfield Consulting in the search process. Inquiries or questions can be directed to lynnmayfield62@gamil.com, 513.332.3556.

Godspeed, Tim and Leslie. And thank you.

Judy Clabes is editor/publisher of the NKyTribune.

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