Linda Childears has served as President and CEO of the Daniels Fund since 2005. Bill Daniels appointed her as a trustee of his estate and named her to the Daniels Fund’s original Board of Directors. Linda's leadership reflects her strong dedication to preserving and honoring the philanthropic intent of Bill Daniels.
Daniels Fund carries forward Bill Daniels' legacy by providing grants to nonprofit organizations and college scholarships to deserving students in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. With approximately $1.4 billion in assets, Daniels Fund is one of the Rocky Mountain Region's largest foundations. The Fund was named Outstanding Foundation in 2008 during National Philanthropy Day in Colorado.
Linda originally met Bill Daniels when he hired her company, The Financial Consortium, to help overcome the unprecedented operational, legal, and regulatory challenges of launching Young Americans Bank, his bank for kids. By the time of the bank's grand opening in August 1987, Linda had accepted Bill's offer to become its President and CEO. Since the organization began in 1987, Young Americans has reached over half a million young people.
Prior to Young Americans, Linda spent several years in "adult" banking. She served as President of Equitable Bank of Littleton, and Vice President of First National Bancorporation. She also served the industry as a board member of Colorado Bankers Association, Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, Colorado Student Loan Program, and as Chairman of the American Bankers Association Education Foundation.
Linda is active in the Denver community. She currently serves on the boards of Cheyenne Capital Fund, Council on Foundations, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver Police Foundation, First National Bank of Santa Fe, and Mountain States Employers Council. She serves on the Public Policy Committees of the Council on Foundations and the Philanthropy Roundtable, and is a member of Mayor Hancock's Denver Education Compact. Linda is past Chairman of National Assembly, National Camp Fire, and Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Past board positions include Alliance for Choice in Education, American Red Cross Mile High Chapter, Cherry Creek Business Improvement District, CollegeInvest, Colorado Association of Funders, Colorado Meth Project, Daniels College of Business, Dental Lifeline Network, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Denver Public Schools Foundation, DU Bridge Project, Foundation for Teaching Economics, Johnson & Wales University – President's Advisory Board, Junior Achievement, Mile High United Way, OpenWorld Learning, and Young Americans Bank and Center for Financial Education.
Awards and recognition
In January of 2014, Linda was chosen as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women by The Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce. She was named National Philanthropy Day's Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy in 2010, and City Year Denver's 2015 Red Jacket Honoree. Other honors include Warren Village Philanthropic Leader Honoree, Colorado Bankers Association Banker of Distinction, Girl Scouts of Colorado Woman of Distinction, the Athena Award in 1998, and an Honorary Lifetime Membership in Camp Fire. Linda has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Johnson & Wales University and University of Denver.