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ACF President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. announces Q2 2025 retirement

John Petures
John T. Petures Jr.

Akron Community Foundation President and CEO John T. Petures Jr. announces his retirement, planned for the second quarter of 2025, concluding 17 years of dedicated leadership and unwavering commitment to the foundation and the community it serves, and more than 45 years of nonprofit service in all. The foundation's board of directors expresses its deep gratitude for Petures' extraordinary contributions and achievements during his tenure.

"Under John's leadership for the past 17 years, Akron Community Foundation has not only seen significant asset growth, but – in large measure due to his vision and innovation – the foundation has been positioned to be our community's champion and generator of enduring philanthropy," said Marty Hauser, board chair of the community foundation. "Beyond those accomplishments, I know I speak for our board, former board and staff when I say that John will also be missed for his thoughtful approach to leadership and the positive culture he's built at the foundation. He is known for empowering and trusting his staff, and then ensuring they receive the credit they deserve for their work, and always understanding that family comes first. We sincerely appreciate the years he's devoted to the foundation."

Since joining the organization in May 2008, Petures and his staff team have nearly tripled foundation assets and funds. From a low of approximately $100 million in assets during the Great Recession in 2008, the foundation has since grown to nearly $300 million today and is in the top 10% of community foundations by asset size nationwide. The number of charitable funds under management has grown from approximately 300 to nearly 900, and the foundation has received an average of nearly $15 million in contributions annually over the past decade.

Grantmaking into the community has also increased considerably during Petures' tenure. Part of this increase is from the introduction of new grant processes such as capital, which provides funding for nonprofits in need of renovation or repair of their facilities or to purchase equipment, and proactive, which has provided funding for some of the most pressing needs throughout Summit County related to drugs and addiction; diversity, equity and inclusion; housing; and more. Since 2008, the foundation has contributed nearly $160 million in grants to nonprofits – roughly 70% of the foundation's all-time grantmaking of $236 million, with an average of more than $12 million in grants annually for the past decade. 

Much of this growth and the accomplishments achieved during Petures' leadership can be attributed to the foundation's adoption and execution of strategic plans that have driven changes to policies and procedures, as well as the implementation of new programs and services.

"When opportunity and vision meet, and at that intersection you find compassionate, committed philanthropists, board members and staff, it can lift the community. This is what I've seen happen this past decade and a half through the work and mission of Akron Community Foundation and the extraordinary generosity of its family of donors and fundholders," said Petures. "Congratulations goes to our community for this success story." 

Petures has also worked persistently to make the foundation a more open, welcoming and inclusive organization for its fundholders, donors, professional advisor partners and grantees, as well as the staff and board who serve the community. The number of staff members has doubled since Petures took the helm of the foundation, with seven current staff members being promoted to more senior roles, and its staff and board have become increasingly more diverse, with more representation from women and people of color. 

Petures and his team have attracted an increased number of fundholders due in part to revised policies, like allowing successor advisors for donor-advised funds and allowing donors' professional advisors to continue managing their assets if they meet and adhere to specific criteria. He has also helped usher in new ways of proactively connecting these fundholders to opportunities in the community by introducing special publications, creating Community Issues Sessions where fundholders and other community members are invited to learn about pressing local issues, and establishing a grant co-investment opportunity that allows fundholders to see grant applications the foundation receives quarterly and make grants from their donor-advised funds to support those needs. 

Under Petures' leadership, the foundation has also worked to enhance its communication with and support of local nonprofits, beyond simply providing funding. Twice a year, the foundation hosts listening sessions, which have helped inform changes to internal processes and procedures that reduce barriers to entry and have provided insights into trainings, materials and support services that will help organizations in their day-to-day work. 

Other notable accomplishments during Petures' tenure include: the renovation of the foundation's headquarters at 345 W. Cedar St. following a 2014 fire, as well as the expansion of the same building in 2019 to accommodate its growing staff; the creation of new mission, vision and value statements that have been embraced across the organization; the 2019 launch of The Center for Family Philanthropy and its Institute for Emerging Philanthropists, which teaches strategic charitable giving to multiple generations; the establishment of the Black Giving Collective Fund in 2023, an affiliate fund created by the Black community to benefit the Black community in Greater Akron; new affiliate funds for both the City of Green and Bath Township; a partnership with Summit County to distribute more than $5 million to nonprofits through CARES Act funding; a partnership with Akron Public Schools for their Middle School Academies, which includes curriculum to teach sixth through eighth grade students about nonprofits and philanthropy; and most recently, the transition of nearly $1.7 million in assets from four of Akron Community Foundation's funds to establish the standalone Medina County Community Foundation.

Beyond his work at the foundation, Petures has served numerous organizations in and around Greater Akron through board and committee service, including the Greater Akron Chamber, Candid, the Fund for Our Economic Future, Akron Roundtable and Summit County Foundations Coalition. He has also been named to numerous lists of top leaders throughout Ohio by outlets like Cleveland Magazine, Inside Business and Ohio Business Magazine. During his 45-year career, he has helped generate donations and been a senior member of development teams that have raised well over $1 billion dollars for the benefit of the communities where he has lived, worked and raised his family.

Upon his retirement, Petures looks forward to traveling with his wife, Cindy, and spending more time with their three children and five grandchildren. 

The process to select Petures' successor has begun, and current board Vice Chair Jim Pickard has been chosen to lead the search committee. Additional information about the search process, committee members and deadlines will be released once a search firm has been selected later this summer.

About Akron Community Foundation 
For 68 years, Akron Community Foundation has been our community's champion and generator of enduring philanthropy. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. It is a philanthropic endowment of approximately $290 million with a growing family of more than 870 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation's funds have awarded nearly $236 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit

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