Remembering Margaret Klein
Trickle Up lost a good friend on January 18. Margaret Klein, a board member since 2005, passed away after a long struggle with cancer.
When people ask me in the future what the job of a board member is, I will tell them about Margaret. She cared deeply about our mission. She was always eager to learn about our work and the nature of the poverty we address. She read everything we sent her closely. She asked questions, lots of them. She shared her opinions, lots of them. She encouraged me, sometimes with tough love, always constructive, often giving me a different way to look at a topic or situation. She took the job of being a board member seriously: she attended every board meeting she could and served on three committees (Program, Finance and Executive). She was generous with her own support and always willing to be our champion with friends and colleagues. Once I asked Margaret how she’d define a good board meeting and she replied, “when I leave inspired to go raise money from the next person I meet.”
Most of all, what I appreciated about Margaret was her eagerness to travel to the field to see our work first-hand. I went to India with her three years ago and she also made trips to see Trickle Up programs in Mali and Uganda. Things that seem so logical when you are sitting in a conference room in Manhattan always look different when you’re sitting on the ground in the center of a rural village thousands of miles from home.
Margaret’s spent 20 years, most of her career, as a banker at The Chase Manhattan Bank. Her specialty was helping fix companies whose loans were going bad. She was smart and tough enough to step into those complicated, tense situations and helped save a lot of companies, a lot of jobs, a lot of shareholders’ investments (and, of course, Chase’s loans). She travelled the world for Chase, including a posting in South Africa at the dramatic era when apartheid was ending. She loved to travel and, after our India trip, she continued out to Bhutan. Why Bhutan? “Any country that measures itself by Gross National Happiness instead of Gross National Product is a place I want to see.”
Margaret graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in Art History. Some of her other non-profit affiliations were The American Museum of Natural History (Advisory Council), Planned Parenthood of New York City (International committee), The Rensselaerville Institute (Trustee & Chair of the Finance Committee) , The Nature Conservancy (International Committee), and Wildlife Conservation Society (Living Institutions and Education Council). She was a passionate reader, always with an interesting book in her bag, and I’ve happily followed many of her book recommendations.
Her encouragement and friendship will be missed by the board and staff of Trickle Up – and the many thousands of women we’ve helped take the first steps out of poverty.