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Leaving a legacy and engaging with family are consistently cited as some of the top reasons philanthropists choose to establish a private foundation. So how are today’s families passing the philanthropic torch from one generation to the next? Pull up a chair and join our virtual roundtable as we hear from two of our clients, each representing a distinct generational point of view, and two subject matter experts on what it takes to create a successful multigenerational family foundation, including:

  • How a president and founder encouraged engagement from younger family members
  • How a member of the rising generation got started in family philanthropy
  • How a third generation is taking the helm
  • Best practices and insights on next-generation engagement

Meet the Experts


Basem Hishmeh

Trustee and President The Muna & Basem Hishmeh Foundation

Basem and Muna Hishmeh co-founded the Muna & Basem Hishmeh Foundation, which provides support for educational and cultural programs at William Paterson University in New Jersey, and other institutions in both Palestine and the United States. Trustee and President Basem obtained his BSME from Case Institute of Technology in 1962 and obtained an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in 1969. He has served on boards of several charitable and not-for-profit organizations. In addition, Basem has worked in managerial and executive positions in the Cleveland area and in Saudi Arabia, and has owned and operated companies in New Jersey, South Korea and China.


Deborah Bussel

Founder Bussel Philanthropy Associates and Board Member The Shepard Broad Foundation

Deborah Bussel established Bussel Philanthropy Associates (BPA) in 2001, a firm that brings a strategic mindset to charitable giving, and supports funders as they pursue meaningful, influential, effective and strategic philanthropy. With thirty years of experience in social marketing, non-profit management, program development, and charitable giving, Deborah is actively involved in several national philanthropic organizations as well as local community-based organizations. In 2007, she was named Professional Advisor of the Year by Leave a Legacy Miami. She serves on the boards of the Shepard Broad Foundation, a family foundation, and the Ruth K. Broad Biomedical Foundation, a supporting organization of Duke Medical School.


Miki Akimoto

Chief Impact Officer National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP)

Miki Akimoto is the Chief Impact Officer at the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) where she oversees programs, communications, and development teams. Miki has a long professional history in the philanthropic sector and is actively involved in the philanthropic community both nationally and locally. She chairs the board of TSNE MissionWorks, and also serves as Clerk of the board for the Full Frame Initiative. Her past board experience includes Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, YWCA Boston, the Boston Foundation for Architecture, and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grant Makers. She is also a co-founder of the Saffron Circle, the first Asian Giving Circle in Massachusetts. Miki holds a Bachelor of Political Science degree from Stanford University.


Gillian Howell

Head of Client Advisory Solutions Foundation Source

Gillian Howell leads the Client Services and Philanthropic Advisory Services functions at Foundation Source, where she oversees teams of seasoned relationship management and philanthropic advisory professionals as they help foundations achieve their charitable objectives with greater efficiency and effectiveness. Previously, Gillian spent 31 years at Bank of America and its predecessor organizations where she served in multiple philanthropic leadership roles while collaborating with high-net-worth donors, private foundations, donor-advised funds and nonprofits on strategic planning, donor development, mission advancement, next generation engagement and board governance, as well as philanthropic investments and fiduciary and risk management. She is president of the Trustees of the Colt Bequest, a National Advisor for Vision 2020 founded by the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University, and a trustee for the Paul J. Aicher Foundation and Everyday Democracy.

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