Ceci n’est pas un adieu, Gerry
Standing on the pavement of rue Royale, looking up at Philanthropy House, it is hard to imagine what the EFC used to look like in 2005 when Gerry Salole became our new Chief Executive. Likewise, it is impossible to give recently joined EFC staff even the broad brush strokes of how far the EFC has come in the past 15 years during Gerry’s tenure. From inadvertent fossil fuel divestment (following a diesel spill at the EFC’s original offices) to an award winning green building and home for philanthropy in the centre of Brussels, it’s been quite a journey.
It is no exaggeration to say that without Gerry there would be no Philanthropy House. Without his vision, concept, tenacity and humility the dream of a home for philanthropy would have remained just that – a dream. He has been referred to by some as the lighthouse keeper of the EFC, and as such his lighthouse on rue Royale remains a shining beacon for philanthropy in Europe and around the world.
In his outgoing words in the 2019 annual review, Gerry – not for the first time – cited Bob Dylan by referring to a “changing of the guards”. The reference is apt, as Gerry not only oversaw a change of the guards – and offices – when he joined the EFC, he also oversaw the interim period this summer as COVID-19 caused a delay in the appointment of his eventual successor, Delphine Moralis, who joins the EFC on 28 September.
Under Gerry’s leadership, the EFC has evolved into a modern, forward-looking institution. A changing of the guards is always inevitable, but the testament to Gerry’s leadership is that this change can be met with flexibility and renewed optimism for the future. On behalf of the entire staff, we would like to express our thanks and wish him all the best in his upcoming ventures.
Ceci n’est pas un adieu, Gerry.
EFC staff presented Gerry with a wooden mosaic made up of thousands of pictures of his time at the EFC which recreates the famous “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” painting by Magritte.