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CFT Announces Two New Board Trustees

Alfreda Norman remains board chair, Richie Butler vice-chair, and a tribute to outgoing trustee, Florence Shapiro for a decade of service to CFT

Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) has welcomed two new members to its Board of Trustees, John Stephens and Thear Suzuki. These new trustees will help guide CFT in working towards its vision to build thriving communities for all.

Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) has welcomed two new members to its Board of Trustees, John Stephens and Thear Suzuki. These new trustees will help guide CFT in working towards its vision to build thriving communities for all.

CFT board members are selected for their record of charitable service, diverse knowledge of community needs, and fiscal responsibility. Trustees are tasked with overseeing the largest community foundation in Texas, and one of the largest in the nation. Since its founding in 1953, CFT has awarded over $2.2 billion in grants. Trustees help plan and manage CFT’s assets across more than 1,200 charitable funds.

“We are thrilled to welcome John and Thear to the board. Their commitment to our community and expertise is an excellent addition to our leadership as we work to grow community giving, expand community impact, and advance community equity,” said Dave Scullin, CFT’s president and CEO.

NEW TRUSTEE: John Stephens, Retired Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, AT&T
John J. Stephens brings decades of expertise in finance and leadership to CFT’s Board. At AT&T, John was responsible for financial planning, corporate development, accounting, investor relations, and more. He was Senior Vice President and Controller for AT&T, while also serving as Chief Financial Officer for the company’s diversified services business unit.

John serves on the boards of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Catholic Charities of Dallas. He previously was chairman of the Dallas Regional Chamber and vice chair of the board of directors for the United Way of Dallas, and he has served on the boards of numerous other educational and social service organizations.


NEW TRUSTEE: Thear Suzuki, Global Client Service Partner EY

Thear Suzuki is a global client service partner at EY with 25 years of professional services experience. She serves on EY’s Americas Inclusiveness Advisory Council, and she champions leadership development programs that build inclusive, innovative, and courageous leaders for the 21st century. Prior to joining EY in 2012, Thear spent 16 years at Accenture as a Regional Advisory Managing Partner and Americas Consulting Talent Leader.

Thear serves on the SMU Lyle Engineering School Executive Board, the SMU Tate Lecture Series Board, the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Committee, the National Asian/Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship Board, and is the co-chair for the 50/50 Women on Boards – Dallas initiative. She served two terms on the boards for the Texas Women’s Foundation and the Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum, is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, and has received numerous leadership awards.



Alfreda Norman will continue to serve as the foundation’s board chair. Alfreda is the Senior Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Entering her third year as board chair, Alfreda will continue to bring her expertise in banking and community leadership to CFT. Alfreda was just named the Dallas Regional Chamber’s 2022 ATHENA® award recipient.


Richie Butler will be serving as vice-chair and chair-elect. Richie is the Senior Pastor at St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church, former senior managing director of the Prescott Realty Group, and the founder and chief visionary officer of Project Unity.



CFT extends deep appreciation to Senator Florence Shapiro for over 10 years of service as board trustee. As the committee chair for CFT’s Educate Texas, she led during an unprecedented decade-plus of student impact, statewide growth, and expansion from K-12 into higher education, along with the creation of two joint ventures: Best in Class and the Texas Impact Network. Florence was a champion for increased leverage and scale of philanthropic ideas and resources by partnering with the public sector, both through Texas state agencies and the Texas Legislature. She served as a mentor and partner to Educate Texas leadership during 5 legislative sessions from 2011-2021. Florence was also instrumental in CFT’s efforts to expand service to nonprofits, donors, and community and business leaders in Collin County.

“Florence is a dynamic leader whose impact and contributions will be felt for many years to come. Her dedication and commitment to our work through Educate Texas are deeply appreciated by me personally, our entire organization, and those we serve,” said Dave Scullin, CFT’s president and CEO.

About Communities Foundation of Texas

With the goal of building thriving communities for all, Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) works locally and across the state with many individuals, families, companies, foundations, and nonprofits through a variety of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking initiatives. CFT professionally manages more than 1,200 charitable funds and has awarded more than $2 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.

CFT is committed to serving and understanding donor needs, expertly handling complex gifts, wisely managing charitable funds, and leveraging its community knowledge to increase charitable impact, in addition to powering several key initiatives including the W. W. Caruth, Jr. Fund at CFTCFT for Business Educate Texas at CFTEmerging Leaders in Philanthropy at CFTGiveWisely, and CFT’s North Texas Giving Day. CFT’s North Texas Giving Day, raised over $66 million on a single day last year to help over 3,300 North Texas nonprofits. Learn more at www.CFTexas.org.

Lexi McCarthy
Lexi McCarthy
Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator

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