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Anne Sutherland Fuchs

by Kathryn Boughton

Anne Sutherland Fuchs no longer leads publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Redbook, Woman’s Day and Town & Country. She has stepped aside from her executive positions at The New York Times Company, Hachette Publications, Condé Nast, CBS and JC Penny and has transplanted her home from New York City to western Connecticut.

But her drive to serve society’s greater good, which paralleled her extraordinary business career, has not diminished. In her view, the two functions require many of the same skills. “I look at philanthropies like a business,” she said. “You have to look at (an organization’s) fiscal responsibility, process and results.”

The newest board member for the Torrington-based Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut, which provides philanthropic support to 20 towns in Litchfield County, has high praise for the foundation.

“It started (in 1969) with $15,000,” she related. “Now our product is $87 million—how do we disseminate it and partner with community organizations? There is a process that has to be followed and the process of running this fund couldn’t get better.”

A national survey ranked the Foundation number 2 in the country for philanthropic oversight. Annually, it distributes $3.5 million to programs in its 20 communities.

Fuchs has a wealth of experience to inform her assessment of the Community Foundation. She was founder, president, then chair of the Madison Boys and Girls Club, Women's Board trustee of the Whitney Museum, and chair of the USIA's Magazine and Print Committee, formed in 1989 to distribute publications in former Soviet Bloc countries to help them understand democracy and the American way of life.

A past board member of the Berkshire School in Sheffield, she is currently on the board of Greenwoods Counseling Referrals, which makes mental health services available to area residents.
She credits her success in the publishing world to her lifelong interest in reading and “a talent for business.” Her pleasure in being around energized, creative people and of “getting a number and tripling it” made her a natural for the magazine world and opened doors for her in a male-dominated environment.

She said that “consistently delivering” eased her way through the publishing hierarchy. “Nobody can argue with a number,” she observed. “One time could be a fluke, but not 20 times. If there was a wall in front of me and I couldn’t go through it, I just went around.”

Promoting a magazine requires being on top of the sociological wave, she said. “And you have to stay on top and ride it. It wasn’t just selling one issue—it was a collective, living, breathing product.”
During her career, she oversaw the business-side launches of "O", the Oprah Magazine, Marie Claire and Elle Magazine and managed Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Redbook and Town & Country. She also served as Global CEO of Phillips, de Pury and Luxembourg, then owned by LVMH Moêt Hennessy-Louis Vuitton.

As Group President of the Growth Brands Division of the JCPenney Company, she launched two start-up digital retail websites. She currently sits on the boards of Pitney Bowes Inc. and Gartner Inc.

A long-time Washington, Conn. homeowner, she moved there full time almost two years ago, enjoying the region with her two college-age sons, Slater and Nicky. “I love this community,” she said. “My two sons consider it home.”