Jump to navigation links Jump to main content Jump to footer links

Sharing Values & Planning Your Legacy

A conversation with Ray and Linda Pekowski


Q: The two of you are noted Texas entrepreneurs and your business mission has been to help people perform at a higher level. How has that driven plans for ensuring your charitable legacy?

A: We’ve been very blessed as a company and as a family and wanted to pass on those blessings. At our annual family meeting, we sat down with the kids and our business consultant to plan the next steps for our business and to hear our children’s expectations for the future. We decided to keep our company in the family rather than selling it, and needed to update our estate plan.
Out of that planning, we elected to leave 50 percent of our assets to charity. We spoke with Eric, our estate planner, and told him we were thinking about setting up a foundation to manage our charitable giving. Eric listened and advised, and we learned that running a foundation is similar to running a business. As an alternative, Eric brought up partnering with Communities Foundation of Texas to establish a donor-advised fund, which works similarly but without the administrative burden of a private foundation. Establishing the Pekowski Charitable Fund at CFT gave us an easy and effective way to give now and through our estate.

Q: What did you find most beneficial in working with CFT on your charitable legacy and giving? How are you including your children and grandchildren in your legacy?

A: CFT guided us every step of the way. They recommended we participate in their GiveWisely course and attend a nonprofit site visit with their staff. We brought our children to that and it was very helpful in choosing the charities we wanted to donate to as a family. At our most recent family meeting, our children presented what they learned in GiveWisely, and we talked about the gifts we’ve made in the past year. We also brought the values card activity we did with CFT staff to our family meeting and talked about what values matter most to each of us. We’ve been holding family meetings since 1999, and in the past few years have begun to include the grandchildren. The youngest is 6 and the oldest is 15, and they’re having fun helping to select the nonprofits we support. We talk and pray about stewardship and share with them stories about our lives and about giving. We continue to stress the importance of our family legacy, and we feel confident that they want to continue that legacy of giving.


Carolyn A. Newham, J.D.
Carolyn A. Newham, J.D.
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

See related stories

Search for: