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Fond Farewell by Wes Mashburn

portrait of Wes Mashburn

By Wes Mashburn, JD, CSPG, CTFA

Senior Trust Officer, Deseret Trust Company

As David announced in the last newsletter, I have left Philanthropies to join Deseret Trust Company. This has been a bittersweet transition. I am so excited for the opportunities ahead, yet I also dearly miss my Philanthropies family. My time at Philanthropies, as the words of the prophet Jacob would put it, has passed “like as it were unto [me] a dream” (Jacob 7:26). That’s because it has been a dream. As an attorney, I never planned for this career (I didn’t even know it existed) but the Lord knew, and He led me here. But that is a much longer story for another day.

The “secret sauce” of Philanthropies is its people. I am grateful for so many at Philanthropies, past and present, who have made such an indelible impact on me, both personally and professionally. There is not time to thank everyone, and I think you’d all fall asleep reading this if I tried. But I hope you will indulge me as I share my gratitude for these people who have meant so much to me. I believe you know some of them.

I am so grateful for Tanise Chung-Hoon’s inspired leadership and for her personal mentorship of me. She has left a mark for good on me that will bless generations after me. I am also grateful for my fellow Directors’ Council colleagues for their trust in me, Christlike examples, sense of humor, and consecrated work ethic. They care deeply about those whom they lead. I am grateful to the amazing teams I had the opportunity to lead. These dear colleagues diligently seek to identify every capable person who might have an interest in giving by reaching out to donors in sincere, genuine, loving, and caring ways. They always do their work with their hearts and souls. They are a reflection of their great team leaders. They personify the truth that attitude reflects leadership.

I must make particular mention of the late Jim Olson, who I affectionately referred to as Yoda. He taught me everything I know about gift planning. He was always so patient with and kind to me when I would hassle him with question after question. I must also thank Carl McLelland, who was my trainer when I came on board 19 years ago and is a big reason I ended up at Philanthropies.

David Bonner is the epitome of building Christlike relationships with everyone around him, including you, our wonderful professional advisor friends. As I have had the opportunity to work with him over these many years, he has become a good, dear, and trusted friend. Jerry Reynolds is an amazing technician and was always a dependable resource on questions of law or policy. His capacity to handle a heavy workload is astounding. I don’t think I have ever seen Shalayne Davis have a bad day, or at least she never showed it. Her optimism and can-do attitude lift everyone around her. She has also learned the ins and outs of gift planning in about half the time it took me.

I am also grateful for Jacob Dowse, with whom I only had a brief opportunity to work alongside at Philanthropies, but with whom I have had a long relationship dating back to his time working in the Church Real Estate Department. Philanthropies is blessed to have this good man on board. Finally, I must mention David Smith, whose tireless efforts reflect his passion and love for this work. His capacity for work is exceeded only by his love, care, and concern for those around him.

My replacement is Trace Eddington. Ironically, Trace and I have known each other for over 30 years. We first met and became fast friends in a young single adult ward. We never dreamed we would work together someday. He is a cherished friend and a keen and intuitive leader. I cannot wait to see how his vision takes the wonderful teams he works with to the next level. I hope you take the opportunity to get to know him.

I am forever grateful for my career at Philanthropies. I certainly have mixed emotions about leaving, but I am so excited for the challenges ahead. As I mentioned, it is bittersweet to leave a workplace you have enjoyed and that feels like family. I realize I have been very fortunate. This place, this work, and its people have meant so much to me. I am proud to have been a member of the Philanthropies family. I now have an opportunity to further my understanding of charitable gift administration.

I have the privilege of being mentored by a couple of icons in this field in John Barger and Mark Feinauer at Deseret Trust Company. Joining them is something I’ve considered for several years, and the right time to do it was now. The best part is that I will continue to have ongoing interactions with my Philanthropies colleagues and with you wonderful professional advisors who do so much to help make this world a better place. I do not think my heart could bear severing these relationships.

What gives me the greatest comfort is knowing that this is not a permanent departure so much as a “see you later.” Still, it won’t be the same. But as that great philosopher Winnie the Pooh once said, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”


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