Leading Change Through Unprecedented Times: Nancy Sims and The Robert A. Toigo Foundation

Case Solution

Regina M. O'Neill, Laura Morgan Roberts, Stacy Blake-Beard, Laquita C. Blockson
North American Case Research Association (NACRA) ()

The Robert A. Toigo Foundation was founded in 1990 to change the face of the financial world by increasing the number of talented and underrepresented minorities at the highest levels of management in the industry. With the support of various donors from the financial services industry, the Toigo Foundation provided a comprehensive mentoring and financial support program to Toigo Fellows, minorities who pursue finance-related careers at selected business schools. Nancy Sims, a black woman with many years of management experience in the financial services industry, was involved in the early years of the Toigo Foundation: first as an honorary mentor to several Toigo Fellows, then as a member of the Board of Trustees, then finally in 1998 as president and CEO of the Foundation. Over the next decade, Sims led the charitable foundation through periods of reorganization and growth, using his business acumen to skillfully balance the roles he played in leading the foundation’s efforts while justifying the merits and need of underrepresented ethnic minorities in the face of industry leaders and educational partners. Sims now faced a new challenge: How would the current financial crisis of 2008 affect the foundation’s ability to carry out its mandate? What should Sims do?

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