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San Antonio Businessman Bill Greehey Named 2009 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

(June 9, 2009) Bill Greehey, chairman of NuStar Energy and former CEO and chairman of Valero Energy Corporation, is the recipient of the 2009 Ketchum Award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser presented by AFP.

The award honors an individual who demonstrates outstanding skills in coordinating and motivating groups of volunteers for fundraising projects for the benefit of charitable institutions. Greehey received the honor in March at the Awards for Philanthropy Banquet during AFP’s International Conference on Fundraising in New Orleans.

Appointed chairman of the Community Council to End Homelessness by San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger, Greehey is leading a capital campaign to build Haven for Hope, a $90 million facility that will be a 22-acre, 800-bed complex that will offer more than 150 social services to the homeless and indigent. In less than two years, Greehey has helped raised more than 90 percent of the funds to build the campus from private and public sectors, including his own $5 million gift. Already being called a national model in the fight against homelessness, Haven for Hope is on track to be in full operation this year.

“I’ve always believed that you are never truly a success unless you share your success with others, so community service has always been a top priority,” said Greehey. “The NuStar employees share this philosophy, as they have given generously of their time and money to countless worthy organizations. They are the key to our special caring and sharing culture, and the reason we’ve been able to make such a difference in our communities.”

Greehey has made community service a core value in his life. He has served on the local and national boards of Boy Scouts of America, the Board of Trustees of the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, the Board of Trustees for St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, the board of the San Antonio Symphony and several other organizations. He’s headed up the Inner-City Games for at-risk youth and led the campaign to build San Antonio’s Alamodome. He also has mobilized thousands of company volunteers to build playgrounds for disadvantaged children, paint houses for the elderly and take part in hundreds of other worthy projects.

A major priority for Greehey has been his support of St. Mary’s University, where he earned his degree in 1960. He led St. Mary’s largest fundraising campaign ever to replace its old gymnasium with a new 3,500 seat arena. Including his own $1 million contribution, the campaign raised a total of $22 million, more than $7 million over the goal. In 2005, Greehey made the largest single gift in the history of St. Mary’s, a $25 million endowment to the university’s business program. The university subsequently named its business school after him.

In addition, Greehey and his family foundation contributed an unprecedented $25 million to The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. It was the single largest private gift ever received by the center and one of the single largest cash contributions in San Antonio’s history. The funds are being used to build state-of-the-art cancer research laboratories, and to develop recruitment, scholarship and community outreach programs.

Greehey also helped dramatically increase the level of charitable contributions raised through the PGA Tour’s Texas Open. Prior to Greehey’s involvement, the tournament was on the brink of bankruptcy and ready to leave San Antonio. But in just five years, he helped rally the community and increase contributions from $500,000 each year to more than $7 million, which at the time was the top fundraising event in the history of the PGA Tour.

"At its core, philanthropy is all about people helping people, and the very epitome of that is the volunteer fundraiser who can speak to people—one on one from the heart—and inspire them to action,” said Kristina J. Carlson, CFRE, president of Ketchum. “Bill Greehey ranks among the greats of volunteer fundraisers, because he is not only willing to give and support, but he understands how important it is for the community to get involved and rally around causes and issues. We at Ketchum are humbled to honor Bill for his amazing generosity, selflessness and leadership.”

Greehey’s amazing ability to inspire also extends to his employees. Under his leadership, Valero was just one of two companies to have twice received the United Way’s Spirit of America award, given to one company each year for excelling in community service.

His new company, NuStar, achieved a 99.5 percent participation rate for employee contributions to the United Way campaign in 2008, its second full year as an independent company. NuStar’s per capita giving is among the nation’s best, and its corporate office had the highest per capita gift in the nation last year.

“There is perhaps no greater resource for any charity than an individual who is willing to be the organization’s advocate and champion and give of themselves to support the cause,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “Bill Greehey is such an advocate and champion, and his tremendous commitment to the causes he supports—his willingness to lend his voice, his knowledge, his expertise and his fundraising acumen—ensure that those causes will be successful.”

Click here for more information about AFP’s Awards for Philanthropy honorees.

The 47th International Conference on Fundraising will be held in Baltimore, Md., and will feature celebrations of AFP’s 50th Anniversary! More information to come soon.

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