About

About Bob Forrester

Robert H. Forrester’s career spanned 50 years of service to the global philanthropic sector. In September 2008, he succeeded Paul Newman as Chief Executive Officer of the food company, Newman’s Own, Inc., and its parent, Newman’s Own Foundation. It fell to Bob Forrester to navigate this unique business/philanthropic enterprise from 26 years of operating under its widely admired, inspirational Founder to a future where it could thrive as an impactful independent organization anchored in its founding values.

Bob Forrester was CEO of Newman’s Own for six years, during which time its profits grew at 10% compounded annual growth rate, while industry competitors were averaging low single digits. Robert H. Forrester’s tenure as CEO of the parent corporation lasted for 10.5 years. During that time, Newman’s Own donated over $286 million in profits supporting charitable purposes, exceeding by over 10% the total donated in the previous 26 years. As President of Newman’s Own Foundation, Bob Forrester developed leadership initiatives in support of encouraging a global practice of philanthropy, access to good nutrition, children with life-limiting conditions, veterans and their families, and the empowerment of people to overcome barriers between themselves and their potential. Bob’s leadership in the sector was anchored by his commitment to a world of equity, social justice, opportunity, hope and dignity for all people, and care for the planet we all share.

Among the many challenges of transitioning a complex organization from its Founder’s phase, one presented a unique, existential quandary for Newman’s Own. An unintended consequence of an old tax law required Newman’s Own to break itself up no later than mid -November 2018. After nine years of personal effort, with as many as 200 related meetings in a single year, Robert H. Forrester was successful in having bipartisan legislation passed and signed into law in February 2018, creating a new type of American business model, “The Philanthropic Enterprise.” This landmark legislation allowed Newman’s Own to continue intact and kept the door open for the dozens of other social entrepreneurs who had started businesses based on a commitment to donate 100% of their profits.

From 1980-2008, Robert H. Forrester was the Founder and CEO of Payne Forrester, LLC, a highly regarded international consulting firm providing planning, management, fundraising, communications, and governance advisory services to non-profit organizations. During Bob Forrester’s years as CEO, the firm served over 500 clients. Among the notable relationships personally managed by Bob Forrester were the American University of Beirut during the hostilities of the civil war in Lebanon, The United Nations Foundation and Global Polio Eradication Initiative, the founding of 13 international therapeutic camps for children living with life-limiting medical conditions, and at the request of Mr. Nelson Mandela, Bob Forrester played a crucial role in developing and managing the South African Free Elections Fund leading up to the first free elections in South Africa’s.

From 1969-1980, Robert H. Forrester held executive positions at New York University and the University of Hartford.

Directorships have included:

- Founding Director

Newman’s Own Foundation; CECP (formerly the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy ); SeriousFun Children’s Network; Safe Water Network; ReCenter (formerly the Discovery Center); Dukes County Cable TV; and FM Radio Station WMVY.

- Director

Newman’s Own, Inc.; University of Hartford Regent; Hartford Art School; Connecticut Council of Philanthropy; Green Mountain Forest Corp.; Mark Twain Memorial; Westport Country Playhouse, and The Alford Group.

Bob Forrester was awarded Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degrees from Mount Holyoke College and the University of Hartford was recognized by the UNESCO Chair and Institute of Human Rights with its “Role Model in Leadership Award,” voted a Life Regent of the University of Hartford, and received a Bronze Star for his service as an Army office in the Republic of Vietnam.

Robert H. Forrester earned a B.S. in Psychology with graduate studies and with his wife and partner, Linda, live in Avon, Ct. and Edgartown, Ma. He continues his life-long commitment to philanthropy through service on Boards, numerous volunteer activities, writing, speaking, and providing pro-bono consulting advice.

Portfolio

Bob Forrester Portfolio