Frank Potter, left, and Jack Cockwell
The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honour the Museum can bestow on a volunteer and is reserved for those who have generously provided extraordinary and meritorious service to the ROM. The ROM recognized Jack Cockwell and Frank Potter with this prestigious Award at the 2012 Chairs’ Reception, the ROM’s annual signature stewardship event. We are grateful to Jack and Frank for their leadership and truly fortunate to have both as members of the Museum family.
Jack Cockwell has been a dedicated volunteer and supporter of the ROM for more than a decade. He joined the ROM Board of Governors in 1998 and soon became immersed in the life of the Museum. In 2002, he was invited to take on the role of Chair of the ROM Board of Trustees—a position he held until 2006.
Jack’s leadership on the Board had a tremendous influence on the Museum’s growth and success during Renaissance ROM. He was instrumental in securing critical government and private funding, took a hands-on approach on committees and was always willing to share his expertise with staff. Working tirelessly behind the scenes, Jack’s enthusiasm attracted many new volunteers and supporters to the Museum.
After making his first generous gift to the ROM, Jack made four additional gifts, increasing his commitment each time and setting an example for others to follow. He still supports the ROM annually as a member of the Royal Patrons Circle (RPC) and as a ROM Heritage Governor.
Jack has kindly supported many initiatives at the ROM including the Daphne Cockwell Gallery of Canada: First Peoples, the Lynda Hamilton Exhibit of Printing, the Phyllis Hamilton Exhibit of Needlework, Liza’s Garden and the future Gallery of Early Life. In typical Jack style, he has chosen to honour family members and friends rather than name a gallery for himself.
Frank Potter has been a dedicated volunteer and supporter of the ROM for over 15 years. He joined the ROM Board of Governors in 1996 and also took on the role of Chair of the Finance Committee. As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, he also took on the Chairmanship of the Board, a position he held until 2002.
Frank oversaw the growth and management of the Board and staff of the Foundation while he was Chairman. He introduced a new governance model and committee structure to the Board and established the ROM Heritage Governors. Perhaps most importantly, he fostered a culture of donor and volunteer appreciation. In anticipation of a major capital fundraising campaign, Frank expanded the staff complement and significantly increased the Foundation’s revenues and fundraising platform by 2002.
Frank played a key role in securing essential funding from the provincial government. His vision and strong leadership inspired confidence, attracted many new volunteers and supporters and helped form the groundwork for the successful launch of the Renaissance ROM Campaign.
Frank and Mary Jean Potter have always led by example and still act as enthusiastic supporters and ambassadors for the ROM. They are generous annual supporters of RPC, members of the Currelly Society and have supported many of the Museum’s priorities over the years. During the ROM’s most recent renovation, they kindly supported the restoration of the beautiful historic wooden doors at the Weston Entrance to the Rotunda.