To mark the close of our Haile Fellowship applications, we caught up with Tim Maloney, President and CEO of the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, to discuss its history, exciting future and how People’s Liberty fits into the bigger picture.
Tim Maloney, Haile Foundation
PL: How did the Haile Foundation originate?
TM: The foundation is a private family foundation established to honor the late Carol Ann and Ralph Haile Jr., and was originally set up almost twenty years ago as a conduit for the couple’s charitable giving. The foundation gained corpus five years ago when Ralph passed; that’s when the giving started. I left my position at U.S. Bank to steer the foundation. Our main goal is to honor our roots [the Haile’s] and continue to build their legacy. We aim to be passionate about what they were passionate about and to give to those types of initiatives.
PL: Can you speak to the legacy they left behind?
TM: They lived very well and belonged to all the right clubs, but they were the kind of people that had more fun in the kitchen, and behind the scenes, than at the event. Carol was extremely quick witted, but loved to have fun and especially loved bold, beautiful things. She once threw a Mickey Mouse themed party at Devou park entitled: Welcome to the Magical World of Covington. Ralph was a bit of a maverick, so that definitely plays a big part in what we do, as does his habit of never forgetting the little guy.
PL: How has the foundation gone about honoring each of them?
TM: Ralph never lived in Kentucky, but he became instrumental in the development of the riverfront, as well as the industrial park in Florence, which brought tons of jobs into the area. In homage to Ralph, our very first gift was made to Northern Kentucky University for $15M, because they are hugely instrumental in creating jobs for northern Kentucky, just as Ralph was in his time.
We’ve been wanting to do something special for Carol, so we’ve been sitting on it for a while. We just started construction of “Carol Ann’s Carousel” on the riverfront of the Banks. Each of its 44 characters are being hand-carved in Mansfield, OH, and its purpose, other than being a fun, whimsical spot, is to tell the story of the Queen City. It will house 16 murals of Cincinnati’s parks and architecture and opens on May 16th of next year (Carol’s birthday). We plan to have cake and ice cream each year on that day.
PL: What sets you apart from other foundations?
TM: A lot of what we do is very guttural. We move fast and try our best not to get paralyzed in process. We actually have a CEO fund for each of our target areas, so I can fund on the go if need be. We don’t usually accept applications. We go after ideas we come across and like. But I’m confident everything we have done, and have funded, would have gotten Ralph and Carol’s approval.
PL: How did People’s Liberty come about?
TM: Like I said, Ralph was a maverick. A disrupter. We wanted to honor that. In our first five years, we were exploring what good grantmaking was; in the next five, we’d like to figure out how to do it disruptively. We did a lot of research on civic hubs around the country, and discovered that very few were rooted in philanthropy. As for the name, “People’s Liberty” was the bank Carol’s family owned that was sold and eventually became U.S. Bank. We went back to our roots. And it sounded disruptive, too.
PL: People’s Liberty is a five-year initiative. What do you want to see happen?
TM: We’re playing in the economic and community development space, and hope to launch and support individual innovators and entrepreneurs, who are working in this area as well. We aren’t sure what we’ll get, but we hope it brings lasting change to the region. We want change makers to go after their ideas. Other than that, I’m not sure we know yet. It’s a bit of an experiment.