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October 29, 2013

Clarke Taps TD Bank Vice President and Prominent Community Leader, Julie Cowan, as New Chief Development Officer


October 29, 2013—The Board of Trustees of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech has announced that Julie Cowan will be the organization’s new Chief Development Officer.

For the past nine years, Cowan, a seasoned banker, has served as vice president of commercial lending at TD Bank, where she has worked since 1996. She has held a variety of key positions at the bank, including serving as a Commercial Loan Officer and a Senior Credit Analyst. Cowan was instrumental in managing a $156MM Commercial & Industrial portfolio, and leading a strategic marketing campaign in Hampshire County. She is a two-time winner of the TD Bank CEO Leadership Award, an honor given to less than one percent of the Company’s 27,000+ employees.

A highly regarded leader in the non-profit volunteer community, Cowan was named the 2012 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser of Hampshire County by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Western Massachusetts. In 2011, the United Way honored Cowan with its Hennessey Award, honoring the individual who had the single greatest impact on the community campaign in Hampshire County.

As the Chief Development Officer, Cowan will develop annual and multi-year development strategies, lead a development team to achieve financial growth, and oversee the implementation of fundraising campaigns.

Clarke President, Bill Corwin said, “For the past three years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Julie in her role as a member of Clarke’s Board of Trustees. Her leadership on a range of intricate projects and committees central to Clarke’s mission has been invaluable. Julie has a keen business acumen, a strong passion for Clarke’s work and stellar record of bringing corporate and public sector leaders together to accomplish great things. I couldn’t be more pleased to have Julie join Clarke in this new capacity.”

Cowan is highly regarded in the state for devoting her time and talent to an array of non-profit organizations including Clarke, where she has volunteered since 2008. She joined the board in 2010 and prior to her start date served as the chair of Clarke’s Northampton Campus Steering Committee. As a board member of the United Way, she was co-chair of the organization’s Community Campaign for two consecutive campaigns. Cowan is also a member of the Northampton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, where she is serving on its Economic Development Committee. Most recently, Cowan was selected as the finance/banking sector representative to the Northampton Mayor's Economic Development Advisory Commission. Cowan is also a member of the Northampton Roundhouse Redevelopment Ad Hoc Committee.

“I’ve been a Clarke volunteer for several years,” said Cowan, “and have seen how their professionals can literally transform the life of a child with hearing loss. I am continually awed and inspired by the impact of Clarke staff not only these children, but on their families and the professionals that serve them as well. On my first visit to Clarke I fully expected to meet a quiet, subdued group of children who were deaf or hard of hearing; what I encountered instead, was a boisterous and fully engaged group of students and teachers, talking, laughing…and even singing!”

“As a career banker,” continued Cowan, “my focus has been on relationship building and providing economic opportunity in the form of loans. While the move to Clarke and the not-for-profit community may seem like a huge transition, it is actually a very natural step for me. I know the value and importance development has on an organization’s ability to meet its mission. I wanted a position that would play to my experience and skills in fundraising, business development, strategic planning and relationship cultivation while also aligning with my passion for helping others. It is serendipity that I can offer those in support of Clarke.”

Cowan will replace Clarke’s former Chief Development Officer, Jane Lennox, who will retire in December. Jane joined Clarke in 2009 and her wealth of experience in development and organizational change were instrumental in helping Clarke expand its reach with families, the corporate sector and the foundation world.