The Charitable Foundation family mourns the passing of Anne Zachos, who died earlier this month.
Zachos, who chaired the Foundation’s board from 1994 to 1996 and served as a member from 1990-1998, was a longtime Manchester resident who grew up in Concord and was educated at Wellesley College.
She was a feminist and a Democrat who chose, as an important part of her life’s work, the raising of three strong daughters. She had worked at MIT and for the Red Cross in Boston before starting her family, and as secretary of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Manchester after her daughters started high school.
When former Foundation President Lew Feldstein asked her to chair the board, she was not the most obvious choice, having not held a series of previous high-level positions or leadership roles. She stepped into the leadership position without hesitation and with strength.
“As soon as she sat down, she was in charge,” Feldstein said. “That was it. It was clear.
“What I remember about that time was how strong she was as a chair, and how comfortable she was with it. Her combination of confidence and humor and a little edginess all worked wonderfully for her as chair — including with people who might have wanted the job themselves, or who were used to someone with a long string of major leadership roles. Anne had not had that, but it was not even an issue.”
Zachos led the board during the time that the Foundation received the first $9 million installment of what would become its largest gift: an eventual total of $43 million to create the Oliver J. and Dorothy Penniman Hubbard Fund to combat substance misuse in New Hampshire; invested significant resources to create New Futures to advocate for policy change related to substance misuse prevention and the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies, a nonpartisan, independent center for research which operated until 2018; and collaborated with the Business and Industry Association and the Whittemore School of Business at the University of New Hampshire (now the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics) on a major report on growing income inequality in the Granite State.
Anne was married to Kimon Zachos, who had also chaired the Foundation board, and who was active in Republican state politics.
“Neither of them was timid or sheltering about these things, but they were enamored enough of one about the other that it was not going to cause them difficulty,” Feldstein said.
Through their funds at the Charitable Foundation, Anne and Kimon Zachos gave to support many New Hampshire nonprofits, from Families in Transition and Child Health Services (now Amoskeag Health) to New Hampshire Public Radio, New Hampshire Humanities and the Currier Museum of Art.
Anne Zachos paid tribute to her husband, Kimon, at the Charitable Foundation’s annual meeting in 2015. Watch the video below.