Saturday, July 08, 2000

Conlan Foundation changes its name

KnowledgeWorks boosted by sale

By James Pilcher
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Thomas L. Conlan Education Foundation Friday changed its name to KnowledgeWorks Foundation, immediately after the sale of its for-profit student loan subsidiary was made official.

        The foundation is now worth about $200 million after the $117 million sale of Student Loan Funding Resource Inc. to Sallie Mae.

        “We just felt that a functional name was more effective than a memorial name with what we want to do next,” said Chad Wick, the foundation president and chief executive officer. “This certainly in no way diminishes our respect for Thomas L. Conlan Sr. or Jr. What they did created the value that helped put the foundation into business. And the employees of the student loan business deserve a lot of credit — their hard work created the value which we now benefit from.”

        The former Conlan Foundation was heavily involved with opening college opportunities to Ohio students.

        Mr. Wick said college access will remain a focus for the new foundation but that KnowledgeWorks also will help communities build new schools as well as work with children in substitute care, and provide educational and training opportunities to the working poor.

        Ohio is scheduled to spend as much as $25 billion in the next 10 years on building or refurbishing schools.

        On average, the state has some of the oldest school buildings in the country, and Mr. Wick said the foundation will concentrate on helping communities make smart choices when it comes to building schools.

        “We want to build a body of knowledge for communities to access on things such as developers and planners and designers,” Mr. Wick said. “We need to be thinking about schools that will work for 2050 and not 1950, and our time and money will go toward helping communities make good decisions.”


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