Photography ©Kate Russell.

People We Love

John Rochester

as told to Emily Van Cleve

John Rochester, who describes his role at Morgan Stanley as “a senior vice president, wealth advisor,” has been involved in charitable activities with local and national organizations since the late 1980s. He’s made invaluable contributions to the community through his philanthropy and as a board member of local groups that include The Food Depot, Santa Fe Performing Arts and Animal Protection of New Mexico.

How does your career as a senior investment management consultant enrich your life and complement your philanthropic work?

Wealth advising is all about relationships and helping people, and I really love it. I also have a background in accounting. I share my thirty-four years’ worth of experience and expertise with not-for-profit organizations in the hope that I can make a difference. What I often do is examine financial statements and interpret them for trustees and board members so they understand this information and are better informed when making financial decisions.

You have been involved with local nonprofits for more than thirty years. Has the nonprofit world changed much since you became involved?

There are nonprofits in Santa Fe that have been around for a long time and will probably continue to be around for a long time. What concerns me is that the donor pool in town hasn’t grown much through the years. Santa Fe has one of the highest number of nonprofits in the country, and new ones form regularly. Their survival isn’t guaranteed when there are a limited number of donors and potential board members. I wish more people would get involved by donating, if that’s financially possible, or finding other ways of helping.

How is your lifelong interest in the arts reflected through your position as a board member of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation?

The arts have been important in my life since I was six years old. They’re a part of me. Everything I’ve ever done in the arts is reflected in what I do. Most of my experiences have been in theater and performing arts, but I’ve become an avid supporter of the visual arts since getting together with my husband, artist Lawrence Fodor, twenty-six years ago. I joined the Museum of New Mexico Foundation because, with my financial background, I felt I could make a difference in how it represents the community, youth and the arts.

What kind of impact do you hope to have on the health care system by being a new member of the Presbyterian Health Foundation’s board of directors?

I was first recruited by Presbyterian two years ago when they were trying to determine if it was appropriate to build a hospital in Santa Fe. After the decision was made to move forward, I helped with fundraising for the new hospital. Because of Presbyterian’s presence in Santa Fe, health care services in town have expanded. The burden of caring for the community is now shared between Presbyterian and Christus St. Vincent, which alleviates pressure on Christus.

In what ways has your husband, Lawrence Fodor, supported your philanthropic work?

Lawrence is hugely supportive. He’s a great sounding board for me as well. Because he’s a visual artist, I’ve gotten super involved in the visual arts. When it comes to donating money to local groups, Lawrence helps me decide. He gets as excited about my work as I do. When we have social functions for nonprofits, he’s an incredibly gracious host. I don’t think I could do what I do without his support.

Emily Van Cleve
Associate Editor

Writing engaging articles for print and websites continues to be one passion of Emily Van Cleve. She has been a freelance writer and journalist in Santa Fe since 1994, serving a wide range of clients including magazines, newspapers, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. Emily has been a contributor to Santa Fean magazine for many years and is delighted to be working with the Santa Fean and Essential Guide team. An abstract painter and former professional pianist, Emily also enjoys hiking throughout New Mexico and at the Grand Canyon.


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