First, a message from Sandy:
Though saying good-bye as Executive Director of Rex is not easy, being able to pass the baton to Cameron Sears is exciting and encouraging. I have had the pleasure of working extensively with Cameron throughout these last 12 years, particularly in planning and presenting our major benefit events. I know firsthand all that Cameron brings to Rex. Among his many gifts, he contributes not only extensive experience in the music community, but also a depth of care about grassroots giving and the overall mission of Rex. It is heartening to visualize Rex moving forward under Cameron’s leadership.
Over these next couple of months I’ll be at the Rex office, supporting Cameron’s transition. I’ll also be working on my own transition to full focus on The World As It Could Be Program, with details on that to follow.
On December 7th, when we present our benefit event at The Fillmore in San Francisco, we’ll also be celebrating this time of change at Rex and the positive energy surrounding the transition. It will be wonderful to be part of this, and I hope I’ll get to see many of you there.
Thank you for all the incredible support and friendship of these last 12 years. Let’s now together welcome Cameron and help him take Rex to the next level of positive impact.
Tim Duncan, President of the Board of Directorss, says:
On behalf on the Rex Foundation board, I want to express my sincere gratitude to Sandy Sohcot for the leadership she has shown over the last 12 years as our Executive Director. Sandy played a crucial role in the reformation of the Rex Foundation in 2001 and has never wavered in her commitment to our mission. She has been a strong leader for our organization and will continue to be a valued voice at Rex for many years to come.
I want to announce that we have found our new Executive Director for the Rex Foundation and he is one of our own. Please join me in welcoming Cameron Sears as our new ED.
We formed a search committee and worked hard to find the right fit for Rex. We were all overwhelmed by the number and quality of the more than 50 people that applied for our ED job. The process allowed us to really look at where we are and where we want to take Rex in the future. In the end we found our top candidate already in the organization. Cameron brings his experience as a longstanding board member and having played a major role in the Grateful Dead to a job that will require him to help lead us to new frontiers. I am confident that with the board’s help, the Rex Foundation can continue to serve our community for many years to come.
Tim Duncan, President – Rex Foundation Board of Directors
And now, Cameron himself:
I am thrilled to be writing to all the members of the Rex family as your new Executive Director. My personal connection with the Rex Foundation has existed almost from the very beginning of Rex. As a longtime fan of the band, I was well aware of their philanthropic history when I first invited them to come on a river trip with me. I wrote to the band in 1984, when I was working to help gain Wild and Scenic protection for the Tuolumne River that flows out of Yosemite National Park. Danny Rifikin, then manager of the Grateful Dead, got back in touch with me and we did a few river trips with the staff of the Grateful Dead. Danny saw firsthand the need to build awareness around river protection and water politics in California. He nominated Friends of the River for a Rex Grant, which was approved, and shortly thereafter, the river won the protection it so richly deserved.
This story is just one example of the many ways the Rex Foundation has helped support grassroots non-profits create positive change in their communities.
In another turn of events, my introduction to the band through Rex eventually led me to become the assistant to Jon McIntire, who succeeded Danny Rifkin as the Grateful Dead’s manager, just as their album In the Dark was being released. Talk about moving from one wild ride to another! This began for me a 20-year association with the band where I eventually became the President and CEO. As if this wasn’t enough, it would also introduce me to my future wife, Cassidy; it is her father, Rex Jackson, that our beloved foundation is named after. So for me, the Rex Foundation is family in every sense of the word.
Throughout my tenure with the Grateful Dead, the Rex shows were always a highlight because they brought together what it is that makes community most meaningful, and the extended community that surrounds the Grateful Dead so special… The notion of giving back.
It is this tradition that I am most excited about regarding the future of Rex. In the coming year we are going to celebrate 30 years of the Rex Foundation. My sincere hope is that we can all come together to reaffirm our dedication (pun intended) to our collective community and to giving back. Rex to me is a jewel, among many, that make up the crown of all things Grateful Dead, and just like the band that gave birth to it, it too should continue to shine.
I look forward to all that lies ahead and know that together we will continue to make a difference for people, causes and ideas that might not otherwise be heard.