Marco W. Hellman, or Mick, as we know him, began his Foxcroft journey nervously waiting in the Head of School's office. As we say in Morning Meeting, "No, he was not in trouble!"; he was there for his parent interview for his daughter Olivia's potential admission to Foxcroft as a member of the Class of 2005.
Olivia joined the Foxcroft community in the fall of 2001, and thus began a shared history between the School and the Hellman family that has spanned more than a decade. During that time, two more daughters graduated Foxcroft, Sarah in 2008, and Eleanor in 2010. While there were many aspects of Foxcroft that Mick and his wife Sabrina appreciated, they particularly valued “the opportunity that our daughters had to meet and get to know girls from entirely different worlds than they might have encountered at home." They found joy, to borrow Mick's words, "watching our girls expand their educational and behavioral foundations and grow confident with their voices."
In Olivia's senior year, Mick, who received a BA in Economics from the University of California and an MBA from Harvard, joined the Foxcroft Board of Trustees. Having served on numerous boards, he understood governance and organizations. He also brought with him much-needed expertise in investments and finance gleaned from his work at Salomon Brothers as a Financial Analyst and at Hellman & Friedman, LLC as a Managing Director, member of the Investment Committee, and Senior Advisor. Later, Mick served as Managing Partner at HMI, the private investment management company he founded in 2008, which also informed his Board experience.
As Chair of Foxcroft's Investment Committee, Mick led the Board to three strategic decisions that continue to have a positive impact on the financial foundation of the School. His goals for the School were to reduce the spending rate of the endowment from 8% to 5%, to achieve better returns with lower volatility than the strategy that was in place at that time, and to introduce better reporting to the Board with respect to performance and investment of the endowment. Given what happened to the financial markets in 2008, the timing and implementation of these goals was fortuitous. Today, we continue to be guided by these principles and this disciplined investment approach. Wetherby Asset Management, whom he brought on board to manage the endowment, is an integral part of the Investment Committee; our draw remains at 5%; and our endowment continues to grow. These measures have helped to position Foxcroft with the third largest endowment of all girls' boarding schools.
In his last year on the Board, Mick took on the role of Board Chair at a time of historical significance for Foxcroft, as it searched for a new Head of School and prepared to enter its second century. His expertise, insight, and steady guidance provided the leadership that set the stage for a successful transition process.
When not at his "day job," Mick spent many years as an avid cyclist - a national champion, he had a fold-up bike that he would put in a bag and fly to Board meetings so that he could take advantage of breaks in the meeting schedule. He was, and continues to be, a music lover, as well. These days, you might find him combining that love of music with another passion of his, his family: wife Sabrina and daughters Laurel, Olivia, Sarah, Eleanor, and Avery. Often, members of his family perform at San Francisco's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival established by the late Warren Hellman, Mick's father. Should you happen to be there and see a certain family band perform - you might think the drummer looks familiar. Look closely, chances are it's Mick.
For his leadership and outstanding service to Foxcroft, the Board of Trustees and Head of School Catherine S. McGehee honor Mick Hellman by presenting him with Foxcroft's highest award, the Anne Kane McGuire Distinguished Service Award.