PITTSBURGH – The Board of Trustees of the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the R. K. Mellon Family Foundation today announced the beginning of the next generation of leadership for the philanthropies, among the largest foundations in America and western Pennsylvania’s top grantmaking foundation.
After serving as a Trustee for both Foundations for nearly 40 years, Seward Prosser Mellon, son of Richard King Mellon, announced his retirement following a decade of serving as Board Chairman and CEO. He will continue to serve on both Boards as a Trustee Emeritus.
For the first time, the next generation of the Mellon Family – a grandson of Richard King Mellon – Richard A. Mellon, will lead the philanthropies as Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The leadership changes are effective on July 1, 2019.
Richard A. Mellon, 56, was unanimously selected by the Boards of both Foundations. He has served as a Trustee of both Foundations since 2005. He was founder and President of RAM Transit, Inc., a trucking and logistics company that he sold in 2012. He graduated from Skidmore College in 1987 with a major in Geology and a minor in Economics. The son of Trustee Emeritus Richard P. Mellon, Richard A. Mellon resides in Ligonier, PA.
Commenting on his new role, Richard A. Mellon said, “I am proud and honored to serve our region and the priorities of my family’s philanthropic mission. We will continue to invest in improving the quality of life here and across the country just as my grandfather intended and our trustees and staff have guided over the years.”
Under his guidance, Seward Prosser Mellon expanded the Foundation’s role as a preeminent conservator of our country’s natural resources, promoted economic development in southwestern Pennsylvania, encouraged support and investment for addressing and reducing poverty, hunger, homelessness, infant mortality, child abuse and substance abuse, and invested in academic research funding and scholarships that allow children to reach their full potential. In Ligonier where he and his wife Sandy reside, they have been stewards of various redevelopment projects including: The Valley School of Ligonier, Diamond Park’s Renaissance Project, the Ligonier Valley Library and Fort Ligonier.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to help carry on the mission that my mother and father established for our Foundations,” added Seward Prosser Mellon. “Their commitment lives on to improving the quality of life for residents of southwestern Pennsylvania, and through our conservation work across the United States.”
Sam Reiman, who became Director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation in January 2019, said, “It has been an honor to have had the experience of working with Prosser Mellon the past four and a half years and to help build upon the Foundation’s grantmaking legacy regionally and nationally. I look forward to working with and supporting Richard A. Mellon in his new role as Board Chairman and CEO, the next generation of family Trustees, and the entire board during this leadership transition. We do not expect any immediate changes as our focus will continue on fulfilling the priorities of our five-year strategic plan which concludes in 2020.”
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ABOUT THE RICHARD KING MELLON FOUNDATION
The Richard King Mellon Foundation is currently the largest grantmaking organization in the region, and the 36th largest in the United States. For the past 72 years, the Foundation has invested in the competitive future and quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania, and in the protection, preservation, and restoration of America’s environmental heritage.
With assets of nearly $2.5 billion in December 31, 2018, the Foundation has built on the vision of its founders. The Foundation’s current giving priorities primarily serve southwestern Pennsylvania with a program focus on Regional Economic Development and Conservation, along with Education and Human Services and Nonprofit Capacity Building.
The Foundation approved grants and program-related investments in 2018, totaling $127,591,006. A significant number of these awards were made to organizations engaged in public-private partnerships that enrich all facets of life in southwestern Pennsylvania.