As he completes two decades of service, Executive Vice President Paul T. Hogan will retire from The John R. Oishei Foundation at the end of 2020. Paul has been with the Foundation since 2001, overseeing the Foundation’s support and grantmaking to the WNY nonprofit community primarily in the areas of healthcare and in arts, culture, and heritage.
Paul embodies the value of collaboration that has long been a hallmark of the Oishei Foundation. His legacy will be based on his passion for bringing people and organizations together in new and unusual ways. He is a forward and creative thinker, always seeking new ways to solve challenging community problems. Paul has also been a strong voice in the local and national philanthropic sector, advocating for greater transparency, more reporting, and a change in how foundations do business with the nonprofit sector. He was a frequent contributor to Nonprofit Quarterly, and an invited member of national peer-learning groups sponsored by Exponent Philanthropy and Common Future, all of which worked to advance the case to make the philanthropic sector more effective and accessible.
Paul had planned to retire mid-year but agreed to stay on through 2020 as the COVID-19 crisis hit and many nonprofits faced dire financial constraints due to increased demand for services, lessened revenue streams, and handicapped fundraising ability. He has played a leadership role in the creation and implementation of the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund that raised significant funding from philanthropic, private sector, and individual donors. The Fund supported more than 400 nonprofit organizations with more than $7.8 million in emergency funding throughout all eight counties of WNY
Paul was one of the Foundation’s earliest employees and has supported and guided countless WNY nonprofit organizations throughout his philanthropic career. He has been instrumental in the development of new programs and approaches in the arts, economic development, and healthcare to name just a few. He was a critical voice in the development of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, N.Y. that opened in 2018 and has become an economic driver in Chautauqua County. He also played a significant role in creating the Fund for the Arts that helped to coordinate fundraising and development efforts for arts and cultural organizations when Erie County funding was significantly cut in the early 2000s.
With his focus on healthcare, Paul helped create a program for emergency departments to provide medically assisted treatment for overdose patients and to link them to treatment that has been cited as a national model. In March, Paul was honored with the Community Impact Award from The Mental Health Advocates for his extraordinary impact in WNY as a catalyst for change with respect to mental health issues. Paul has also been innovative in advocating for support for small businesses through programs such as Launch NY, and particularly for those that help to stabilize neighborhoods.
Paul has also been a guiding force and a mentor for countless nonprofit professionals through the Oishei Leaders program. Created in 2006 by Paul in partnership with Senior Vice President of Programs Blythe Merrill, the Oishei Leaders program creates space and opportunity for leaders to come together for nothing more than good company, nourishing conversation, and mutual counsel. More than 120 leaders have gathered regularly over the years at Beaver Hollow Conference Center for retreats that have formed friendships and forged partnerships. Undoubtedly, Western New York’s nonprofit sector has been strengthened in tangible and intangible ways through the philosophy of coming together to “do nothing” but renew and recharge.
Robert D. Gioia, President of the Oishei Foundation commented, “There is no doubt that Paul has left an indelible mark on this Foundation and on the Western New York community. His influence on, and support of so many of our healthcare institutions and on the arts community has been extraordinary and many of the improvements in the Buffalo Niagara region can be attributed to Paul’s support and guidance. We will miss his expertise and his vast knowledge, but more importantly, we will miss his sense of humor, his creativity, his forthright approach, and, of course, his friendship.”
Prior to joining the Oishei Foundation, Paul was with Kaleida Health working in community health and wellness programs, providing deep background on many of the issues he focused on at the Foundation. He has also worked or consulted for a variety of nonprofit organizations in the arts, adult education, research, and community health and healthcare.
Paul has a master’s degree in writing and is an accomplished poet, having studied under the internationally acclaimed poet Robert Creeley. His work has been included in several publications, and he has authored two books of poetry. In 2015, he was selected to the 2015 class of the Burchfield Penney Art Center’s Living Legacy Artist Project. He frequently writes on philanthropy and nonprofit management, and served on Nonprofit Quarterly’s editorial advisory board. Paul also serves or has served on a number of boards and advisory committees.
Paul plans to spend his retirement time focusing on his music, woodworking, and writing in addition to enjoying his family and wide network of devoted friends.