Banking & Finance and Cummins Inc. and Foundations and Regional News and Philanthropy

Former Irwin CEO takes helm of New York foundation

March 28, 2011

Former Irwin Financial Corp. CEO William I. Miller is joining The Wallace Foundation of New York as its president.

The Cummins Inc. board member and chairman of privately held Columbus, Ind.-based Irwin Management Co. is slated to take the helm of the arts- and education-focused philanthropic organization July 1. The former president, M. Christine DeVita, is retiring.

The foundation, which was formed in 2003 from the merger of two philanthropic organizations that date to the 1950s, has $1.3 billion in assets.

“At a time of heightened uncertainty and increasing globalization, it is crucial for the future of our society that all children have access to a sound education and a variety of informal learning opportunities, including the arts," Miller said in a statement announcing his appointment. "Education lays the foundation for an individual’s ability to improve his or her life, participate in civil society and innovate, while the arts play a vital role in our search for meaning."

Miller was CEO and chairman of Columbus-based Irwin Financial, which filed for bankruptcy liquidation in 2009 after taking steep losses on mortgage loans. The company listed assets of $13 million and liabilities of $230 million when it liquidated. Subsidiary Irwin Union Bank and Trust, one of Indiana's oldest banks, also folded in the process.    

Miller also serves on the boards of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Yale University. He is a past board chairman of Public Radio International, and a founding member of the Community Education Coalition of Columbus, a regional partnership of school superintendents, community college leaders and businesses.

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