No one would be more uncomfortable with having accolades lavished on them than Frances Hesselbein, yet few people are more deserving of that attention. When Frances passed away at age 107 in December 2022, she left behind an incredible example and legacy in the power of partnership as a driving force in advancing a more just and equitable society.
An esteemed, longtime friend and retired Board member of Mutual of America, Frances was an important part of our Mutual of America family for more than 40 years. She served as a member of the Executive, Audit, Nominating, and Product and Marketing committees, including as Chair of the latter three, for extended periods of time.
In those roles, Frances helped guide the Company with her consummate leadership, wisdom and dedication. Her deep understanding of and connection to the nonprofit social welfare sector led to the creation of the Mutual of America Foundation Community Partnership Award in 1996, on whose Selection Committee she served as a founding member until her passing.
Her motto, “to serve is to live,” defined her life. In 1998, when President Clinton awarded Frances the Medal of Freedom—the United States of America’s highest civilian honor—he remarked that “she has shared her remarkable recipe for inclusion and excellence with countless organizations whose bottom line is measured not in dollars, but in changed lives.” We are proud to be one of those organizations on which Frances had a profound impact.
Those of us at Mutual of America who were privileged to have known Frances benefited tremendously, because each moment spent with her was an invaluable learning experience. We will gratefully remember her kindness, integrity, commitment to service, and passion for caring, giving back and making a meaningful difference in society.
While we mourn Frances’ passing, we are comforted by the knowledge that the immense and varied contributions she made to the betterment of all humanity will continue to have a profound and positive impact on people’s lives for generations to come.
Well done, thou good and faithful servant!
John R. Greed
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mutual of America Financial Group