Lilly Endowment has elected Robert Smith (pictured) vice president for community development, effective July 1. He will succeed Wallace “Ace” Yakey Jr., who will retire from the Endowment June 30. Smith joined Eli Lilly and Co. in 1996 after earning an MBA in finance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. At Lilly, he has served as financial analyst, minority business coordinator, manager of investor relations and director of corporate communications. Smith  moved into his current role in 2005 and serves as senior director of corporate responsibility and president of the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation. In this role, he oversees a team accountable for Lilly’s philanthropic efforts, including its work in global health and engagement in Indianapolis. His team also oversees Lilly’s major employee volunteer programs and the company’s archives.

Yakey joined the Endowment’s staff on November 1, 1997, as program director in community development. In 2012, he was elected vice president for community development. Before joining the Endowment, Yakey was president of the Indianapolis Economic Development Corp., a nonprofit corporation that was responsible for the retention and expansion of existing businesses in the Indianapolis area, as well as the attraction of new businesses to the region.
The Endowment’s community development division supports efforts that enhance the quality of life in Indianapolis and Indiana. It also provides funding for compelling causes that are consistent with the values and interests of its founders throughout the country.

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