Ann M. Wheelock, 84BS, the highest-ranking Latina in the world of philanthropy, is senior vice president of the Western Regional Office of the Fannie Mae Foundation, a Fortune 100 company with the public mission of helping more families achieve the American dream of home ownership. Wheelock is responsible for achieving the $40 billion revenue, profitability, and housing goals for the nine-state region, which includes nearly 400 customers in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.
An entrepreneur who balances business acumen with social awareness, Wheelock has advanced the mission of the nation's leading philanthropic organization. In only five years in her leadership roles at Fannie Mae, she has secured more than $33 million in grants for 1,100 of the country's nonprofit organizations dedicated to transforming neighborhoods and communities.
Under Wheelock's direction, the Fannie Mae Foundation has helped to demystify the home-buying process by providing more than 6.6 million people with free step-by-step home-buying guides in nine languages. Recently, Wheelock initiated a financial literacy program that will offer potential homeowners, particularly individuals and families in hard-to-reach neighborhoods, the vital fundamentals of personal finance.
Wheelock has led the fight to put the homeless back on the radar screen on Capitol Hill. Since 1988, Fannie Mae has sponsored the Help the Homeless Campaign, an awareness- and fund-raising effort to end the plight of the homeless in Washington, D.C. Under Wheelock's guidance, Fannie Mae's 1998 campaign raised more than $4.4 million, an increase of $1.9 million from 1997, and enlisted more than 30,000 people to participate in the campaign's publicity march.
The kind of boundless energy, talent, and commitment that Wheelock brings to Fannie Mae is also evident in her volunteer work. She is an advisory member of a number of boards that benefit those most in need, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Council of La Raza, and Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies.
Formerly a municipal bond attorney with a prestigious law firm in Denver, Colorado, and an appointee of Denver mayor Wellington Webb, Wheelock has gained nationwide respect from her peers for the innovative and bold initiatives she has spearheaded. As an associate at the Denver office of Kutak Rock, a national law firm based in Omaha, Nebraska, she received accolades from the American Humane Society for her pro bono research into the prevention of the killing of thousands of prairie dogs in Colorado. As the deputy director of the Community Development Agency, Office of Planning and Community Development for the City and County of Denver, she advised Mayor Webb on a number of economic issues and helped secure grants for housing for people with AIDS and for the poor.
Through a commitment to improving opportunities and the quality of life for every individual, Wheelock has served her community and the nation. Her contributions have been fueled by motives rare among such young entrepreneurs: compassion and a desire to help others help themselves.
Wheelock is a member of the UI Alumni Association.