Retiring from Baptist Health, Allaire ends career on high note

Pierre Allaire, Ph. D.

Pierre Allaire, Ph. D.

Pierre Allaire, Ph. D. often joked he had one fundraising campaign left in him, and boy, was it a doozy.

When Allaire retired from his role as Chief Development Officer of the Baptist Health Foundation at the end of March, he left big shoes to fill, having raised $138 million in five years by spearheading the healthcare system’s “Securing Tomorrow Together, the Campaign for Baptist Health.” It was the first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign for the five-hospital health system, which is based in San Marco.

“Pierre has an undeniable gift, having led the most successful comprehensive campaign in the history of Baptist Health and to our knowledge, Jacksonville’s history,” said Hugh Greene, president and chief executive officer of Baptist Health. “While we celebrated his retirement in March, we will be forever grateful for his impact on the lives of our patients, now and for decades to come.”

The secret to raising so much money for Baptist was a combination of things and hard work, Allaire said. “The health system had well-defined, strategic goals and a strong following in a community that wants to support it,” he said. “We made a compelling case and asked for that support. Also, we were able to increase our staff. You can’t raise that kind of money with a small group of fundraisers, so we doubled the staff.”

Allaire was well qualified to head Baptist’s first-ever comprehensive campaign. After earning his bachelor’s degree in science from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, he picked up a master’s degree and a doctorate in biology from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, and the University of Louisville in Kentucky, respectively.

From 1985 to 2013, he worked in development at Clemson University, the University of Florida, and the University of North Florida. During his tenure at UNF as vice president for Institutional Advance-ment and executive director of the UNF Foundation, he oversaw two campaigns raising $130 million and $103 million.

Working for the Baptist Health Foundation was the perfect way to cap his career, he said. “I’d been at UNF for 17 years, and I had done those two big campaigns. When this position came about and taking into consideration that my academic background is biology, I thought working for a health system – getting back to the life sciences – would be interesting,” said Allaire. “Then having the opportunity to work with Hugh Greene and Audrey Moran (Senior Vice President for Social Responsibility and Community Advocacy), and other Baptist professionals was enticing. The fact that Baptist is a faith-based organization also appealed to me since I had been at three public universities. Putting all that together, it was a great opportunity for me to be at Baptist, run the foundation, build the program, and do a campaign.”

Although he officially retired two months ago, Allaire has barely had time to relax. He still plans to remain active in his profession by working as a consultant. He also will spend time on his hobbies – bicycling, bird watching, and traveling. A trip to Europe is planned with his wife, Lorraine, for later this year, and then there is time to be spent with the grandchildren.

“We have five grandchildren in town, and I’m on three boards, so I won’t be lacking in anything to do,” he said. “This is week seven. I’ve been busy for seven weeks, and I don’t see that changing,” he added. “But it’s a nice pace, and in retirement, you get to control things a little bit more.”

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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