Martha Richards Is Leaving Behind a Sterling Legacy at the Miller Foundation

With her upcoming retirement, she’s passing the baton to a new executive director, Carrie Hoops.

Martha Richards

Age: 67

Occupation: Executive director of the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation

Why She Matters: When Martha Richards announced she was retiring by the end of the year, it marked the end of a sterling era. As executive director of the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, she has directed almost $110 Million to more than 500 arts and education organizations (in addition to offering smart management advice), showing a philanthropic ferocity that belies her mild-mannered personality. The Miller Foundation has already announced a successor, Carrie Hoops (formerly of William Temple House), but we’re including Richards on this list in honor of her 14 years of service to the foundation.

Biggest Influence: One of Richards’ best friends was former Literary Arts executive director Julie Mancini, who died last August. “She was a mentor to lots of people, and I’ve always admired that,” Richards says.

Greatest Personal Achievement: “I raised two wonderful children with my husband.”

Favorite Guilty Pleasure: “I really like to read science fiction.”

Best Quote About Her: “Martha was the first E.D. of the Miller Foundation whose expertise required her to translate a vision and eager commitment along with funding for the support of arts and education. While history can speak for itself, the Miller Foundation has become a well-respected organization of accomplishment toward established goals in these areas of influence.” —Karen Whitman, community arts leader

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