The ASHFoundation in the 1990s Feldman, Minifie, and Matkin Aided Autonomy, Expanded Grant Program ASHA News
ASHA News  |   September 01, 2006
The ASHFoundation in the 1990s
Author Notes
  • Ellen Uffen, The ASHA Leader’s former managing editor of features, retired in March.
    Ellen Uffen, The ASHA Leader’s former managing editor of features, retired in March.×
Article Information
ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   September 01, 2006
The ASHFoundation in the 1990s
The ASHA Leader, September 2006, Vol. 11, 11-12. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.11132006.11
The ASHA Leader, September 2006, Vol. 11, 11-12. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.11132006.11
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation was on a roll by the end of the 1980s–formal giving programs were in place; grants and scholarships were being disbursed in increasingly more generous amounts; the link with the business community was firmly established; assets stood at $228,000; and, in 1989, the first executive director, Marie Tapparo, had been hired.
One important issue, however, remained to be addressed: the future professional connection between ASHA and the ASHFoundation. Luckily, Alan Feldman, who served as ASHFoundation trustee from 1987–1991 and 1993–1995, was there to lead the effort to redefine and direct the relationship for the 1990s.
Alan Feldman
The lack of a permanent endowment—as well as business experience—caused the ASHFoundation to be uncomfortably dependent on ASHA. The ASHFoundation, for example, early on, had to call upon the aid of the Association when, naively, it found itself in financial trouble—granting awards without enough cash to back them. With ASHA’s help, and new acumen based on more experience, that misstep was soon resolved, never to recur.
The ASHFoundation and ASHA had also worked together on various special projects and joint funding of awards throughout the 1980s. Then, during 1988–1990, ASHA gave $230,000 to aid the ASHFoundation’s work in designing a fundraising plan. But ASHA’s generosity—including its forgiveness, the next year, of the ASHFoundation’s debt to the Association—brought with it some loss of independence for the ASHFoundation. An avuncular ASHA would directly oversee the success of the fund raising and the disbursement of the funds.
In the early 1990s, led by the efforts of Feldman, the ASHFoundation Board began to consider the question of formal separation from ASHA. As the discussions continued, Feldman became closely involved in helping define the roles of the two groups and in creating what were to become the points of agreement between ASHA and the ASHFoundation. His vision and hands-on hard work were largely responsible for the successful completion, in 1994, of the groups’ separate articles of incorporation.
Feldman’s contribution to the future of the ASHFoundation didn’t stop there. Once it was finally independent, it needed to remain fiscally successful. To help ensure the ASHFoundation’s future, Feldman worked to craft a business plan and to launch increased fund-raising efforts aimed at the establishment of a healthy general endowment, a major personal goal of his time in office.
One of Feldman’s most successful efforts was the ASHFoundation Golf Benefit LPGA Classic. Joined by an ever-increasing number of colleagues, Feldman has been teeing off to the benefit of the ASHFoundation for the past 10 years, realizing nearly $315,000 in charitable net proceeds and much good will with sponsors.
Fred Minifie
Feldman had help in his efforts to gain independence for the ASHFoundation. The work of Fred Minifie—who had served as trustee from 1987–1988 and ASHFoundation president from 1989–1993 and as a member of the governance restructure joint committee—proved invaluable.
Minifie knew that independence could be a double-edged sword. He agreed that it was essential for the ASHFoundation to ensure its independence, but not to its own detriment. Independence would succeed only if both the ASHFoundation and ASHA could work together to their mutual benefit. Minifie’s presidency was marked by efforts to make this symbiosis a continuing reality.
But his contribution went far deeper than overseeing organizational structure. His work in effect cemented what he knew to be the enormous significance of the ASHFoundation’s scientific mission. During Minifie’s tenure he helped organize two ground-breaking conferences, the Research Conference on Treatment Efficacy in 1989 and the Conference on Research Mentoring and Training in Communication Sciences and Disorders in1993 (the latter co-sponsored by the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health), thereby bringing these issues to the forefront of research consideration and doing so under the intellectual—not simply administrative—aegis of the ASHFoundation.
Minifie also aided in the creation of the Klatt Memorial Fund, an endowment to support research in speech science. He is remembered as well for working to extend the relationship of the ASHFoundation with the corporate sector, efforts that are bearing fruit to this day.
Noel Matkin
The mid-1990s saw the appointment of the ASHFoundation’s new executive director. Nancy Minghetti hit the ground running. Her background in speech-language pathology stood her in solid professional stead and, having earlier served stints as acting director and deputy executive director, by the time of her formal appointment in 1995 she had already worked with Minifie to create a comfortable working relationship with the leaders of ASHA.
She had worked as well with ASHFoundation presidents John Dilworth and Tanya Gallagher on boosting the assets of the ASHFoundation from $228,000 in 1988 to $2.6 million by the end of the ’90s. Now, with Noel Matkin, a trustee from 1993–1999 and the ASHFoundation president to begin the new millennium, there was even greater work ahead on which to collaborate.
Matkin, taking advantage of the ASHFoundation’s new relationship with ASHA, saw an opportunity in the ASHA Special Interest Divisions to benefit ASHFoundation scholars—which, of course, in the long run, would benefit ASHA as well by helping to produce researchers for the professions. The Special Interest Divisions made an offer, which Matkin embraced, to develop a system of supplemental funding for the ASHFoundation’s new investigator grants. The additional monies would be made available to awardees whose interests were compatible with those of one of the Divisions. As of today, five Divisions are active participants in this grant enhancement program.
In 1999, during Tanya Gallagher’s term as president, and just before Matkin was to take office in 2000, the ASHFoundation launched Dreams and Possibilities, its first capital campaign. The campaign’s goal of $2 million was jumpstarted by ASHA’s opening pledge of $500,000. Matkin, along with subsequent ASHFoundation presidents Linda Bowers and Nancy Swigert, oversaw the success of the campaign that has realized $1.9 million.
Because of the success of Dreams and Possibilities, Matkin was able to set in place plans for the future. During his term as president he helped develop the guidelines and procedures for the New Century Scholars doctoral scholarship and research grant programs that would formally begin in 2003, including a plan for the gradual implementation of funding as pledges are received yearly.
Matkin thus ended his leadership of the ASHFoundation with pride in the knowledge that his efforts led to the creation of multiple grants—including one established earlier in 1983 in memory of his late wife—to aid in the formation of highly trained researchers and clinicians. In addition, several special events fundraisers are currently in place; the ASHFoundation is supported annually by individual donors, corporations, and other organizations; and ASHA has continued its support by committing 1% of its annual dues revenue to ASHFoundation activities. Thanks to the lasting efforts of Matkin and his colleagues, the ASHFoundation is in fine fiscal shape to face the challenges of the new century with net assets now standing at $4,816,787.
ASHFoundation Campaign

Have you donated to the ASHFoundation’s 2006 Annual Giving Campaign yet? Be sure to make your donation by September 30 so that your name will be listed in the 2006 Annual Donors Booklet. And remember, donors who contribute $100 or more will receive an invitation to the ASHFounders Breakfast in November. Exciting surprises are planned for the breakfast to honor our donors, celebrate our 2006 awardees, and commemorate our 60th Anniversary. Don’t miss out!

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September 2006
Volume 11, Issue 13