A key Flint community organization will soon change its leadership.
Following a national search for the Ruth Mott Foundation’s next president, Raquel Thueme has been announced as the board’s choice to fill the role. Thueme, formerly vice president of programs, will replace Handy L. Lindsey Jr., who retired from the president’s position Nov. 2.
Thueme is said to have played an integral role in gathering input from hundreds of community members to develop the Ruth Mott Foundation’s North Flint grant focus.
“Raquel’s expertise and experience in Flint make her a perfect fit for this new role, and we are fortunate to have such a strong leader poised for a seamless transition as we carry forward our work with residents in north Flint,” said Maryanne Mott, Board of Trustees chair and daughter of C.S. and Ruth Mott. “She is a respected Flint advocate who has built, and continues to build, strong relationships in the neighborhoods we serve.
Born and raised in the city of Detroit in the shadow of an automobile factory, Thueme witnessed firsthand the challenges facing post-industrial cities and considers the Foundation’s focus on revitalizing north Flint a personal endeavor. The youngest of seven, Thueme was the only child in her family born in the United States after her family moved to Michigan from Mexico in 1961.
“I am honored to continue working with residents, the Board of Trustees and our dedicated staff as we advance our place-based philanthropy in north Flint,” she said. “I have spent my entire time in Flint nurturing partnerships to help strengthen our community. I will bring the same energy, passion and commitment to my new role as president.”
Thueme’s executive experience includes four years as president & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit as well as seven years in vice president roles at Trinity Health in Novi. Prior to being hired the Ruth Mott Foundation’s program director in 2011, Thueme spent four years living in China while her husband was on an international assignment for General Motors.
As vice president of programs at the Ruth Mott Foundation, Thueme provided strategic vision and assessment of grantmaking, community engagement and capacity building programs, and worked closely with the president to assist in the mentoring and leadership of the senior management team. She played a key role in informing and engaging the community on the Foundation’s activities and priority areas when it shifted its place-based strategy to focus on north Flint in 2015-16.
As president, Thueme will also oversee community programs delivered at and by Applewood, the historic Flint estate of automotive pioneer Charles Stewart Mott, which the Ruth Mott Foundation owns and operates as a place of learning, gathering and community outreach in accordance with the wishes of its founder.
“Raquel has the spirit, integrity and skills needed to maintain the momentum occurring in north Flint,” said Ruth Mott Foundation Trustee Lawrence E. Moon, a north Flint business owner. “She’s a proven leader who has committed herself to listening to the people who live and work here.”
Thueme attended Detroit Public Schools and Cranbrook Schools on scholarship before receiving her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. She obtained her master’s degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
She is a Michigan Fitness Foundation board member and was appointed to the Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness, Health and Sports in 2015.
Thueme lives in Waterford with her husband, Tracy, who works for General Motors based in Warren.