It is with great sadness and profound respect that we announce the passing of our founder, and philanthropy colleague, Frank Bentz, on Monday, December 31, 2018.
Frank Bentz led the development programs at Western Michigan University, Franklin College and the University of Minnesota before helping found Bentz Whaley Flessner in 1983. The firm grew from a modest start up into an internationally known fundraising and consulting firm headquartered serving clients on four continents. During his tenure at Bentz Whaley Flessner, Frank worked with colleges, universities, medical centers and other non-profit organizations to identify and launch successful philanthropic strategies. He was particularly proud of the firm’s leadership and his personal involvement with Lee Iacocca to secure donors for the national campaign to renovate and preserve the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
In “retirement” Frank was recruited by St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis (national flagship of the then Daughters of Charity Health System, now Ascension Health) to revitalize the Hospital Foundation. Under his energetic leadership, the Foundation created innovative philanthropic programs that targeted mission-driven priorities of the Hospital. His achievements over the years did not go unrecognized, as he was frequently lauded with public awards from mayors, governors, corporate executives, academic leaders, fellow fundraising colleagues and professional organizations.
Family was Frank’s most valued and cherished asset and he was the proud parent of three children, six grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
Frank was a strong colleague and leader during his tenure at Bentz Whaley Flessner, and he was known for his dedication to his clients, ensuring a successful partnership in the achievement of their philanthropic goals. Everyone at Bentz Whaley Flessner celebrates his life and his career; we shall miss him.