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Big Shoulders Fund Friends –
 
It is with a very heavy heart that I write with news about the loss of a truly great person and a wonderful friend, Mr. Louis Simpson.  Lou and his wife, Executive Committee member Kimberly Querrey, have been tremendous leaders of our mission and among our most generous supporters.  But, even more, they have become dear friends and a huge part of so many of our lives – among our community of supporters, our team, and, most of all, with the students, families, and educators in our school communities.
 
His accomplishments and successes could be detailed over many pages.  But, in short, Lou was one of the all-time greatest investors and was even noted as such by Warren Buffett.  Most recently, Lou was Chairman of two firms he created and built, Gulf Shore Private Capital LLC and SQ Advisors LLC.  Previously, Lou had joined GEICO Corporation early in his career as its Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer. He went on to become the Vice Chairman of the Board and was, ultimately, elected President and Chief Executive Officer, Capital Operations of GEICO, a position he served in for 17 years.  In addition, he was a director on numerous public and private companies to include VeriSign, AT&T, Comcast, MediaOne, and many more.  In recognition of his impactful service, in 2006, he was named an Outstanding Director by the Outstanding Directors Exchange.
 
Lou and Kimberly were also incredibly active philanthropists with organizations locally and nationally.  So much so, that in 2016 the Chronicle of Philanthropy named them to its list of top 50 most generous Americans. Here at Big Shoulders Fund, we were witness to Lou’s generosity and kind heart up close and personal.  Lou and Kimberly got involved with Big Shoulders Fund nearly 15 years ago and have become among the most significant supporters of our mission. Most notable is how active Lou and Kimberly have been with those of us working in this mission – our team, our educators, and the students and families they have been investing in over the years.  As one example, I remember vividly an enrichment event that Kimberly and Lou hosted for their scholars. It started early on a Saturday morning and the event was an immersive experience of Chinese culture and traditions.  Effectively, Kimberly and Lou brought in experts to create stations where the students learned about Chinese culture, language, writing, economy, and education.  And, if you know Lou this will not be a surprise, he was one of the star teachers/docents for the program.  From this early experience, Kimberly and Lou hosted many more like it over the years.  And, it speaks volumes about Lou. 
 
You will remember that in 2018 we bestowed on Kimberly and Lou our highest honor at Big Shoulders Fund – the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Humanitarian Award.  In his acceptance remarks, Lou said “Kids are the future, and the future is brighter because of Big Shoulders Fund." The event raised a record $14.1M.
 
Just recently, on December 23rd (Lou’s birthday), Kimberly and Lou made a $10M donation to our endowment to help support and ensure the success of our Big Shoulders Fund Plus program and overall mission.  In this, and all the support from Lou and Kimberly, a part of Lou’s legacy will live on in the thousands of children who will benefit from the quality, values-based education provided in our network of Big Shoulders Fund schools.  Given his expertise in investing, I believe this will be one of his greatest investments as lives will continue to be transformed and opportunities realized, for generations to come, because of his vision and generosity.
 
Lou will be remembered as one of the greatest investors of our time.  He will be remembered, along with Kimberly, for being among the nation’s most generous philanthropists. He will be remembered for being a wonderful husband and partner to Kimberly. He will be remembered for being a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He will be remembered as a great friend and mentor.  He will be remembered for so many reasons by so many who loved and cherished their relationship with him.  For my wife, Virginia, and sons, Charlie and Tommy, we will remember him as one of the kindest, most insightful, fun – he had a great sense of humor! – and selfless people we have ever known.  For those of you who knew him personally or from afar, this is a loss of one of the greats.  
 
I have attached a copy of the obituary which will illuminate Lou’s great life but that could not possibly capture the greatness of all he did and how much he will be missed by so many. As you will see in the attached obituary, we are incredibly honored that Kimberly has asked that gifts in memory of Lou be given to Big Shoulders Fund.
 
I hope you will join us – Monsignor Velo, Jim O’Connor, John Canning, our team, and all in our community – in sending Kimberly and their family our love, support, condolences, and prayers.
 
My very best,


Joshua Hale
President and Chief Executive Officer

P.S. I have also included a link to an article that appeared online today in Crain's Chicago Business.
Copyright © 2021 Big Shoulders Fund, All rights reserved.


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