Chief Advancement Officer Appointed After Robust Search

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We are delighted to announce the appointment of Bruce Smith as our new Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) to lead our new Office of Institutional Advancement.  One of the main action points of our Strategic Plan is to expand on the successful work of the Development Office, with a view to raising new revenue streams, strengthening annual giving and planned giving, overseeing a capital campaign with a view to underwriting our parish and school for the next 100 years, and improving communications with all associated with Saint Thomas Church – parishioners, Friends of Music, Choir School Alumni, Parents of Choristers (both past and present), and all who are inspired by Saint Thomas and its unique choral heritage.

Bruce is a worthy successor to Ann Kaplan who retired earlier this year.  Over the past few months, the Institutional Advancement Task Force, ably led by Chris Haley, has searched for a CAO assisted by Howe-Lewis International, who specialize in searches for not-for-profit organizations.  We had an extremely strong field of candidates, and we have been delighted with the work of Esther Rosenberg, the lead consultant.

Bruce Smith has been a professional fundraiser for over twenty years, having led the development function at four organizations: The General Theological Seminary in New York City, Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA, and The Aldrich Contemporary Museum in Ridgefield, CT. At each organization, his teams outperformed historic standards, and he instituted systems that assured continued success. His first job as a fundraiser was at St. James’ Church on Madison Avenue, and the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church remain foundational to him.

Bruce is married to an Episcopal priest, the Rev. Kate Malin, Rector of Christ’s Church, Rye, NY. They have three college-age children: twins Emerson and Murphy.

Bruce has deep knowledge of and passion for the Episcopal Church, the arts, and arts education. He looks forward to engaging the community of Saint Thomas to understand and amplify the impact of their support on these ministries within the parish, the Choir School, the Music program, and beyond.

Bruce writes:

“I’m delighted to be joining the staff of Saint Thomas Church and eager to begin working with the outstanding team in the Office of Institutional Advancement. I have admired the mission and ministry of Saint Thomas Church for more than twenty years. I was one of the many thousands of midtown office workers who sought refuge in the Church in the weeks after 9/11. I therefore know that the Church has risen to profound challenges in the past, just as it is doing now in response to the pandemic. The vision and leadership of Saint Thomas has been galvanizing in this moment, and I look forward to helping secure the long-term vitality of this parish which is so essential within the Anglican Communion.”

Chris Haley, Chair of the Institutional Task Force writes:

“I am thrilled that we have found in Bruce Smith the ideal person to connect the mission of Saint Thomas to our supporters. Ann Kaplan was such a beloved leader and devoted member of Saint Thomas Church, and we prioritized cultural fit in our search to continue and expand on her legacy. I know the Saint Thomas community will enjoy working with Bruce as he embarks on the next chapter of our ambitious strategic plan.”

Adam MacDonald, our Director of Development writes:

“This appointment is a crucial piece in the formation of our new office.  I am excited to help introduce Bruce to our community, to learn from his expertise, and to work together in service of our church. Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard on the search – this is a new beginning of great promise and possibility.”

Father Turner writes:

“Assisted by his dedicated team, I have every confidence that Bruce and our renewed office of Institutional Advancement will make a real difference over the coming years. They will build on the sterling work of Ann Kaplan and her team, and I am convinced that Saint Thomas Church and its beloved Choir School will go from strength to strength.  It will, of course, continue to be a lot of hard work, particularly after this extraordinary Pandemic, but if we keep our vision aligned with our mission statement, then God will surely bless the work done in his name.”

Bruce joins the staff on October 13 which is, significantly, the Feast Day of Saint Edward the Confessor, who is the central figure on the main church façade underneath the Rood, and who is buried behind the High Altar of Westminster Abbey – the only other church in the world that has a Choir School the same as ours.


Your Priest and Pastor,