MICHAEL ZIOMKO, FCEP
Partners Located In
University of Minnesota, M.A., History of Science and Technology, 2010
Yale University, B.A., Philosophy, 1971
Memberships & Associations
- National Association of Charitable Gift Planners
- Minnesota Planned Giving Council
- Fellow in Charitable Estate Planning (FCEP), Charitable Estate Planning Institute
History of Science Society
National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts
- Ebenezer Foundation, Vice President of Development, 2017-Present
- Fairview Foundation, Director of Planned Giving, 2011-2016
- Children’s Hospital, Minnesota, Senior Major Gifts Officer (Planned Giving focus), 2008-2011
Saint John’s University-Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, Director of Planned Giving and Major Gifts, 2006-2008
- Basilica of St. Mary, Director of Planned Giving, 2001-2003
- University of Minnesota, Associate Director of Planned Giving and Regional Development Officer, 1996-2001
- St. John’s University, Director of Planned and Endowed Gifts, 1994-1996
- Planned Giving Consultant & Director of Development, 1986-1993
MICHAEL ZIOMKO, FCEP
Philanthropy has been a good fit for Michael, because it meant working with people about the things closest to them, the things they felt important. It has also given him the chance to exercise those parts of his life that don’t get out much – details, structures, agreements, numbers –as well as those that are most important to him – promises given and accepted, dreams, visions, and meaning.
Michael considers himself an old hippie who has for decades been angling to discover how he can help save the world. That seems to have distilled into the judicious cultivation of a few native talents that he has tried his best to cultivate and keep.
For instance, an undergraduate degree in philosophy in 1971, which was quietly tolerated for its total lack of relevance to the main chore of making a living, has come into its own in the last few years with its obvious application to the social determinants of health for the growing senior population. It’s not just about pills and procedures any more – it’s about loneliness, depression, loss of meaning, and fear. Those are largely philosophical issues that can only be satisfied with personal reflection and community solutions.
And another – learning to make pottery in 1973, clearly a flower child activity, has become the engine of a social justice enterprise that combines art, community well-being, and helping to feed others. It’s called Empty Bowls (not his idea), and he has spent the last 13 years helping to make it happen in the Twin Cities. But more than just social justice, it has become the path for him to integrate his own personal search for meaning with beauty and the grace of everyone getting along. He hopes to expand his work in this area to the numerous university ceramics’ programs around the state and the statewide community gardening effort currently based in the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.
In the late 90’s while he was employed at the University of Minnesota he went back to school and earned a degree in the history of science. He was particularly interested in the point in Western history when we came to think of the world around us as something essentially inert, a thing that was just there for us to use. It was about the same time that we came to disregard more and more the ineffable, immeasurable sources of life in our own lives. He believes he got a decent answer from those years of reading, writing, and thinking.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s he was a business owner and entrepreneur in the somewhat disparate fields of electrical and solar engineering. He originated the work on a patent in the latter field that was brought to successful conclusion by a group at Stanford.
Michael grew up in Texas frequently visiting family on the East coast –making Yale an easy choice for his collegiate studies. He finally settled in Minnesota.