Giving Together – Joe and Sheila Mark

Giving Together – Joe and Sheila Mark

Joe met Sheila in 1960, two months after Joe moved to Montreal to take a job in the investment field after graduating from Yale and serving in the Army. They worked in the same building and “kept running into each other and the rest was history.”

Though they enjoyed working and living in Montreal, when the ice formed on the inside of their windows for the sixth year, it was time to move to a warmer climate. They piled their three children, along with Sheila’s mother, into a station wagon and headed to California in 1966. They lived in Mountain View and Joe commuted to San Francisco, where he later co-founded an investment firm. Always fascinated with Carmel, they bought a home and moved there in 1978. Joe still worked in San Francisco, but after 12 years of the weekly commute, he retired from his investment firm in 1990.

Both active community members, Sheila was part of a group that founded The Discovery Shop and she volunteered there for many years. Joe was a long-time board member of MIIS (now Middlebury Institute of International Studies), and he and Sheila established a Faculty Fund for professional advancement which benefited numerous faculty members over the last few decades.

When Joe joined the board of the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) in the mid-1990s, it was a turning point as he got to know the needs of local nonprofits. Though their main philanthropic focus has been on education at all levels, they support a wide range of nonprofits from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County and Sunset Center, to Gathering for Women and the Carmel Children’s Library.

We’re fortunate to be a part of a generous community. There is a lot of need out there and giving is one of the best ways to invest your money.” – Sheila Mark

They enjoy seeing the impact of their giving in action. Joe recounts as he walked to his nearby office prior to the pandemic, he would see local children eagerly arriving at the children’s library ready to take advantage of all the facilities inside. Thankfully that is the case once again.

Joe was a member of the CFMC investment committee and saw first-hand the Foundation’s stewardship of the philanthropic assets entrusted to them. The couple was inspired to donate one of their Carmel properties to the CFMC to create a Charitable Remainder Trust. With this type of gift, they receive an immediate tax deduction at the time of the gift and payments for life. They chose the CFMC as the main beneficiary to provide unrestricted grantmaking as part of the Fund for Monterey County. The couple also utilize gifts of stock and IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions to support causes they care about.

Joe and Sheila appreciate partnering with the CFMC on their philanthropy.

I can’t think of any other organization that would be in a better position to grow and utilize these funds. With the CFMC’s history, reputation and talent, they are well prepared to honor our intentions. – Joe and Sheila Mark

As they recently celebrated their 62nd anniversary, they are mindful of passing down the spirit of giving to their 10 grandchildren and a one-year-old great grandchild.