We are excited to officially announce Community Partnership School’s new Director of Advancement, Clayton Platt! To get to know Clayton better, we initiated a brief interview to formally introduce him to the CPS family!
Tell me a little bit about your professional background. I spent around 25 years in the New York Metropolitan area in financial services, commercial banking, and investment management consulting. Ultimately my work centered on helping individuals, families and institutions identify how their core values could be best supported financially. But I felt a calling for a higher purpose, and this feeling brought me back to the Philadelphia area to work in development as the Director of Alumni at Episcopal Academy, to help galvanize the broad universe of EA graduates in support of the construction of their new campus in Newtown Square. With the completion of the highly successful capital campaign, and work finished on the construction, I moved on to pursue new challenges at the Philadelphia Zoo as the Director of Major Gifts and Gift Planning.We were engaged in a capital campaign to build the new Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo, as well as Zoo 360 (the overhead passage ways that permit the animals to move between exhibit areas). After pursuing some outside consulting projects, I dedicated a little over a year to raising money for The NephCure Foundation in support of research into the cause and cure for several rare kidney diseases. Each of these previous experiences has prepared me well for my dream job here at Community Partnership School.
What drew you to Community Partnership School? CPS really brings me back to my core passion for education and social justice. To be able to immerse myself back into the Greater Philadelphia philanthropic community is just a wonderful opportunity. This school gives me the chance to really “spread my development wings,” to really help make an impact on this fantastic mission. I am able to reunite with Eric Jones after working together at Episcopal Academy. I’m incredibly excited to partner with members of the school’s board of trustees and other staff members to help sustain the important annual operations of CPS, and to lay the groundwork for its growth going into the future.
What are you most excited about in this new position? First, I am thrilled to be able to put together a team of Advancement professionals with whom I can collaborate to help CPS prepare for the next stage in its development. We will be working tirelessly to raise awareness and funds to promote the school’s mission and its future, which includes finding a new location and expanding its reach to serve more families and students. I am also really looking forward to September, to seeing the kids back in school and meeting more of them and their families. In the end, my personal currency has always been about personal relationships and making a difference. What better place could there be to do that than CPS?
What are some new ideas you have for this coming year? We are trying to recalibrate our Advisory Council and give that new life and purpose. I also want Community Partnership School to really connect in a much more meaningful way with the African-American business community in the Greater Philadelphia area.
Who is your favorite historical figure that demonstrated the three C’s of CPS: Courage, Compassion, and Curiosity? Great question…I would say Bayard Rustin. He was one of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the early 60’s. He was, in many ways, the heart and soul of the planning around the March on Washington in 1963. He was passionate, articulate, lived on the edge and not afraid to take chances. He made a huge difference and when the time called, he was willing to take a step back and let Martin Luther King have the spotlight. Though he has often been forgotten by historians, he made an amazing impact on our world.
We are excited to welcome Clayton as a new member of the Community Partnership School team!