Centennial Bermuda Foundation (“Centennial”) is a private philanthropic foundation providing grants to a wide range of philanthropic intiatives in Bermuda. Centennial also offers a number of scholarships to Bermudian students to support post-secondary education.
Over the years, Centennial has given in the region of $75 million to support projects both large and small and has provided a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries, all of which have contributed to the fabric of life in Bermuda.
Centennial Bermuda Foundation (previously known as Bank of Bermuda Foundation) evolved from the consolidation of the former Bank of Bermuda Limited’s (the “Bank”) three charitable trusts — its Centennial Trust (created in 1990 in honour of the Bank’s 100th anniversary in 1989) and its Educational and Charitable Trusts. The assets of these three trusts were transferred in 2000 into a new company limited by guarantee, namely the Foundation. In February 2004, the Bank transferred its sole membership in the Foundation to the Bank of Bermuda Foundation Charitable Trust, with Bermuda Trust Company Limited as its trustee. In November 2020, Bank of Bermuda Foundation changed its name to Centennial Bermuda Foundation (the name emanating from the historical trust), to identify clearly as an independent foundation, not affiliated with any banking institution.
The Board is appointed by a committee of current and former Board members. In general, the Board functions as follows:
- The Board is responsible for the mission, strategic direction, and policies of the Foundation.
- The Board ensures the Grants Committee, Review Committees and Scholarship Committee reflect and serve the breadth and diversity of the community.
- The Board ensures the financial health and sustainability of the Foundation.
- The Board approves and monitors policies regulating the ethical operations of the Foundation, ensures that the Foundation meets all legal requirements and oversees all grantmaking activity.
- The Board is independent and is not controlled by any other non-profit foundation or legal entity.
- The Board oversees a clearly articulated process for board governance.
- Board and Committee members receive an annual honorarium of between $2,000 and $7,500 and are also allocated a discretionary grant amount each year (between $2,000 and $5,000) to donate to charities of their choosing.
- The Board meets regularly on a quarterly basis to conduct the business of the Foundation.
Committees of the Board include Nominations & Governance, Audit, Investment, Public Relations, and Grants. The Grants Committee is new, created as part of the strategic planning process of 2016 with the intent to oversee, coordinate and provide unification of the grantmaking process as carried out by the Review Committees.
Members of the community with a specific interest in each area of funding (Economic Participation, Education, Healthy Families, Connected Communities) make up the Review Committees. The Scholarship Committee is also made up of members of the community. These Committees are chaired by members of Centennial’s Board and may include some member/members with expertise in the various areas. We make an effort, to the extent practicable, to ensure members of the Grants, Review or Scholarship Committees are not directly involved in the areas about which they make decisions. In this regard, the Board has approved a Conflicts of Interest Policy, which sets out how any potential conflict of a Board or Committee member must be addressed. Review and Scholarship Committees include up to eight members and are responsible for the detailed review of applications and for recommending activities such as research, convenings or presentations related to their area of focus.
Board, Staff & Committee Members
Centennial Foundation’s Board. Top row: Tom Conyers (Chair), Annarita Marion (Deputy Chair), Lisa Howie, Michelle Seymour Smith and Allison Towlson (Managing Director). Bottom row: Dantae Williams, Joy Pimental, Lisa DeSilva, Judy Doidge, Paul Regier and Mary Hayward.
The Board includes individuals with experience in finance, investments, banking, governance, law, accounting, trusts, business, insurance and non-profit work. Allison Towlson is the Managing Director, with oversight for the direction and general business of Centennial. In addition, the Board is supported by Vivien Carter, Director of Programmes, with responsibility for working with non-profit organisations.
Area of Expertise
|Banking/Corporate Secretarial & Governance
|Michelle Seymour Smith
|Responsible for the direction and oversight of the general business of Centennial. email@example.com
|Director of Programmes
|Responsible for managing and building partnerships with non-profits through Centennial’s grant cycles. firstname.lastname@example.org
Programme & Operations Coordinator
Responsible for supporting the day-to-day operations of Centennial and coordinating our scholarship programme. email@example.com
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