President & CEO, The Daniels Fund

Linda Childears

Linda Childears is passionate about the work of the Daniels Fund, and has served as its President and Chief Executive Officer since 2005. Bill Daniels appointed her as a trustee of his estate, and named her to the Daniels Fund’s original Board of Directors. Linda’s leadership reflects her strong dedication to preserving the philanthropic intent of Bill Daniels, and honoring his specific directions.

Linda originally met Bill Daniels when he hired her company, The Financial Consortium, to help overcome the unprecedented operational, legal, and regulatory challenges of launching Young Americans Bank, his bank for kids. By the time of the bank’s grand opening in August of 1987, Linda had accepted Bill’s offer to become its President and CEO. Under her leadership, Young Americans reached nearly half a million young people.

Prior to Young Americans, Linda spent several years in “adult” banking. She served as President of Equitable Bank of Littleton, and Vice President of First National Bancorporation. She also served the industry as a board member of Colorado Bankers Association, Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, Colorado Student Loan Program, and as Chairman of the American Bankers Association Education Foundation.

Linda is active in the Denver community. She currently serves on the boards of Cheyenne Capital Fund, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Association of Funders, Mountain States Employers Council, and Conference of Southwest Foundations. She is a member of the Colorado Ethics in Business Alliance Leadership Council and Mayor Hancock’s Denver Education Compact. She is past Chair of the National Assembly, National Camp Fire, and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Past board positions include Alliance for Choice in Education, Cherry Creek Business Improvement District, CollegeInvest, Colorado Meth Project, Daniels College of Business, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Denver Public Schools Foundation, DU Bridge Project, Foundation for Teaching Economics, Johnson & Wales University, Junior Achievement, Mile High United Way, National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped, OpenWorld Learning, Young Americans Bank and Young Americans Center for Financial Education.

Awards and recognition
Linda was awarded an honorary doctorate of Business Administration in Financial Services Management from Johnson & Wales University in July 2010, and was named National Philanthropy Day’s Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy in 2010. Other honors include Colorado Bankers Association Banker of Distinction, Girl Scouts of Colorado Woman of Distinction, the Athena Award in 1998, and honorary lifetime membership in Camp Fire.

Linda Childears was named Colorado’s "Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy" during 2010 National Philanthropy Day.