Welcoming 2016, remembering Jimmie Alford, creating legacies


The following post comes to us from Maree Bullock, Vice President of Alford Group, and wife of the late Jimmie Alford. We couldn’t think of a better way to ring in 2016 than to remember Jimmie’s contribution to our lives and the nonprofit sector, especially its future leaders. Enjoy the rest of 2015 and we’ll see you in the new year. Cheers.


Maree BullockDear Colleagues —

We create legacies throughout our lives — Some we choose — Others choose us!

Several years ago Jimmie chose to teach, mentor and coach the future generation of leaders in the nonprofit sector. He was very intentional about that goal. In a formal way he taught at North Park University and Notre Dame University. Informally he mentored and coached hundreds — never turning down a request or an opportunity to explore career opportunities in the sector with those seeking his advice and counsel.

A few weeks ago, I hosted 5 Alford Scholars currently receiving financial assistance from the Jimmie R. Alford Scholarship Fund at North Park University. During our lunch together each scholar Jimmie Alfordshared their life story — their adversities and struggles — their determination to create their own legacies in the sector. Much of what they shared mirrored Jimmie’s own challenges and struggles. Each of the scholars learned about Jimmie’s life, determination and impact.

Today there is $250,000 in the Jimmie R. Alford Scholarship Fund. Fourteen scholars have benefited to date. Each year four new scholars benefit from the Fund.

As I write this I ask myself “What legacy am I intentionally creating? How lasting and impactful will it be?”

What legacy are you intentionally creating?

Merry Christmas and happy New Year to each of you! 2016 provides a new year to create new legacies and enhance already-created legacies.

Maree G. Bullock

9 thoughts on “Welcoming 2016, remembering Jimmie Alford, creating legacies

  1. Judy Silekis says:

    Maree, I thank you for sharing your thoughts. Jimmie was an amazing man. I met him in the 70’s when I started my career. He was a man that whenever you asked him to meet and talk about your career, your current job or organization he never said no. He always have back to our industry. We should all be like him especially those who have been around for many years. We owe the younger fund raisers our time, our advice and sharing of our talents in Jimmie’s memory. God bless Jimmie’s memory.

  2. Dear Maree,

    I remember Jimmie so very fondly. He was a kind, generous and inspiring leader. Every moment I had the honor of spending with him I grew as both a person and a professional.

    I wish you, your family and everyone at The Alford Group a fabulous 2016.



  3. Les Helmuth says:

    Well said. A legacy – either intentional or not – is what it is, Our fingerprint on the world. Jimmy’s will never be forgotten.

  4. Maree, what a beautiful tribute to Jimmie. I too felt as tho he was a very important mentor/friend. The scholarship is a wonderful legacy. Hope 2016 is a great year for you and your team!

  5. Sheila Smith says:


    Thank you for sharing this wonderful remembrance. Abraham Lincoln reminded us that “in the end, it is not the years in your life that count. it’s the life in your years”, and I am so thankful for having Jimmie in my life as a mentor, coach, teacher and friend. His legacy lives on in the work Alford does and in these scholars and I am sure in one of those stars he is smiling as he looks down on what he wrought.

    Wishing you the best in 2016.

  6. Warren D. Johnson says:


    It was wonderful to receive the year end e-mail from the Alford Group and so touching to see your remembrance of Jimmy through the Scholarship Fund in his name. I had the honor of working with Jimmie in the early 1990’s while at Advocate Health Care on a fundraising campaign for Trinity Hospital and I hired Jimmie/Alford Group first chance I received while runing a capital campaign for St. Margaret Mercy and St. Anthony Hospitals while working with the Sisters of St. Francis Health a.k.a. Franciscan Aliance, a.ka. Franciscan Health in Indiana in 2007-2009. Jimmie was always so giving, patient, helpful and of course knowledgable; and i treasure the memories. I cannot think of a more wonderful professional to have worked with in my 40 year career in hospital development.

  7. Vicki Woodward says:

    What a lovely tribute to a wonderful man!
    So glad I had the good fortune to know him as both a colleague and a friend.

    Thinking of you warmly during this holiday season, Maree, and the strength of character and leadership that you continue to demonstrate so generously, both inside and out of our profession.

    Like Jimmie, you have touched countless lives in many impactful ways.
    Looking forward to discovering what 2016 will bring!

  8. Ron Tellefson says:

    Thanks for sharing memories of Jimmie. I was the beneficiary of his mentoring while he served as consultant to Pacific Lutheran University. I transitioned from University Pastor during that time and had 8 years of his guidance in Major Giving. Later we formed the Enrichment Group, which guided Church and Non-profit campaigns in the Western States.

    From Jimmie, I learned that Advancement was a ” calling” and personally found great and satisfying
    service to humankind through these efforts. I felt his gifts related gracefully to a church- related University. And, this is punctuated by his work at North Park, and Notre Dame.


    Rev. Ron Tellefson
    Gig Harbor, WA

  9. Barbara Jacobs Burns says:

    Hi Maree,

    I am so fortunate to have had Jimmie in my life for all those years.

    Is there away Lathrop alumni can help build the scholarship fund? Maybe we could come up with a fundraising effort.

    Wishing you and your family the best in 2016.

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