Farewell, and Good Luck, John FergusonPosted on January 13, 2022 by Cheri Coryea, consultant with The Patterson Foundation
Editor's Note: Although John is now considered a Launched Fellow, he will always be part of the TPF family. Learn more about TPF Beyond.
Through a collaboration with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the Fellows Program provides graduates of the world’s first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy with a year-long career-building opportunity at The Patterson Foundation. John Ferguson was just a few months into his new role as a TPF Fellow when the Digital Access for All initiative began. Covid-19 was not well understood at the time, but it was immediately impacting the people, organizations, and communities the foundation serves.
John never hesitated as he dove into being the DA4A project manager and worked tirelessly connecting regionally and nationally with other foundations and organizations. As a facilitator and convenor of DA4A’s community conversations, national presentations, and webversations, new connections grew into the hundreds. His experience working with Indiana United Ways and in the hospitality industry helped him develop a passion for helping communities. Creating pathways to resources and strengthening digital access among people of all ages and backgrounds became part of his long history of driving impact and accelerating change.
John immersed himself in true TPF excellence during his fellowship. For example, he collaborated on multiple special projects to provide strategic value and further innovation across different initiatives. In a recent Zoom session with TPF CEO Debra Jacobs and the two 2021/22 fellows, Connor LaGrange and Michael Zimmerman, John expounded on the connection of DA4A and CLSES -- connecting, learning, sharing, evolving, and strengthening.
Beyond his role with DA4A, he had many other high-profile responsibilities at TPF, including supporting Grade-Level Reading, Advancing Mission Thrivability, and Patriot Plaza.
John’s impact on all of us will continue. We are in awe of how he fully committed himself to each project, which required thinking through the details, collaborating and connecting with others, and incorporating TPF’s approach.
John loves Major League Baseball, especially the Chicago Cubs. So when we learned that he would be trading the beautiful Suncoast of Florida for the blustery Midwest of Indianapolis, Indiana, we were excited to know he’d be able to attend games with his dad, his favorite pastime.
As we look for John during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field, we’ll be admiring the vast talent and innovative ideas he will bring in his new role as Director of Member Programs with the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance.