SBM Charitable Foundation changes leadership

March 5, 2010 -



CONTACT:    Laurence Rubinow, Chairman of the Board, SBM Charitable Foundation Inc., (806-643-6100)



S. Flanagan retires, D. Downham takes helm



MANCHESTER, CT (February 26, 2010)…Sheila B. Flanagan, Executive Director of the SBM Charitable Foundation (SBMCF) since its founding in 2000, will retire February 28, 2010, and Doreen Downham will move into the leadership position.

The announcement was made by the Foundation’s Board Chairman Laurence Rubinow.


Flanagan oversaw the Foundation’s steady growth from n $8 million endowment to its current level of $37 million and its respected standing as a premier private foundation in eastern Connecticut.  The initial vision for the creation of a bank foundation was that of Dick Meduski, former President of Connecticut Bancshares, and Doug Anderson, former President of the Savings Bank of Manchester.  To date, a total of $14.2 million has been awarded to qualifying and deserving non-profit organizations.  Flanagan’s previous background includes corporate counsel positions at the former Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, as well as a position on the Board of Directors of the former Savings Bank of Manchester. Flanagan will remain a member of the SBM Charitable Foundation Board of Directors, and a member of several of its committees. She will be succeeded by Downham who has been employed at the SBMCF for the past six years, serving currently as the Associate Executive Director, after being employed for 18 years at the former Savings Bank of Manchester, most recently in the President’s office.


Board Chairman Rubinow commented, “We have been fortunate to have the vision and commitment of Mrs. Flanagan to lead the SBMCF organization. She has enabled the Foundation to develop and sustain relationships with charitable organizations and enhance the lives of individuals in our communities. As Mrs. Flanagan and Ms. Downham have worked closely together, Ms. Downham is well prepared for her new role. We are delighted to welcome Doreen as the next Executive Director.”


The mission of the SBMCF is to better the lives of those who live and work predominantly East of the River in Hartford, Tolland, and Windham Counties. Priority categories for funding include health, human services, education, housing, and the arts. The SBM Charitable Foundation is located at 935 Main Street in downtown Manchester. For more information visit the website at .