Cricket and Jim Lockhart, Grace Djuranovic
Celebration Honorary Co-Chairs and Chair
Photography by ChiChi Ubina
Cricket: I grew up in Short Hills, NJ and attended Kent Place School, Pine Manor Junior College and received a B.A. in Art History from Connecticut College. I went on to work for CARE, International in public relations and fundraising while Jim was at Harvard Business School. When we moved to Pittsburgh, I worked at the Scaife Gallery at Carnegie Institute as Assistant Manager of the shop and doing furniture restoration for their new Furniture Gallery. We have two children, J.B., born in Pittsburgh, and Graci, born in Brussels (our little Brussels Sprout!) We moved from Pittsburgh, to London, to Brussels, to Pittsburgh, to Darien, to DC, to Darien and finally Greenwich. I became a volunteer in all those locations, mainly in schools, and the English Speaking Union, museums and the Junior League before Greenwich. We are so happy to have both families living nearby with five grandchildren!
Jim: I grew up in Summit, New Jersey. There and later, as my parents moved to Minnesota and California, they were active in non-profits. I graduated from Andover and Yale. Then after serving in the US Navy as an officer on a nuclear submarine, I attended Harvard Business School. My career has been a mix of US and European corporations (oil, insurance, investment banking and private equity) and government. I ran the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, was the Principal Deputy Commissioner (COO) of Social Security, and ran the agencies that regulated Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks. I was a director of two US banks and Virgin Money (UK) and many private companies. I have recently released a book on my experiences, America: Underwater and Sinking, Time to Surface with Lessons Learned.
Grace: My family moved around a lot when I was young, but once I started at Greenwich Academy in 7th grade, this was the first place that really felt like home to me, so I consider Greenwich to be my hometown. After graduating from Greenwich Academy, I went to Duke University where I met my husband, Marko, and we both moved to New York City where we stayed for about 10 years before moving to Greenwich so we could raise our family here! My husband and I have two young children – our son is going into 4th Grade and our daughter is going into 2nd Grade.
Professionally, in my previous job managing sponsorships for UBS, my role was in marketing & communications and I was lucky enough to work with non-profit partners all over the country. My favorite part of my job was getting the chance to work with these non-profits, so it was an easy decision to start volunteering with local non-profits as soon as we moved to Greenwich.
Grace: When I moved back to Greenwich in 2013, I knew I really wanted to get involved in the community and the Greenwich United Way was one of the organizations at the top of my list! Karen Keegan (the Board Chair at the time – and currently one of our 90th Gala honorees!) suggested I start by volunteering with the GUW’s Community Investment Process. I promptly volunteered and I can honestly say that I have never learned more about this town and the amazing non-profits we have locally than in my years as a CIP volunteer! Volunteers serving in the Community Investment Process recommend grant funding for programs by reviewing proposals from local agencies and visiting program sites – it’s a fascinating volunteer opportunity that anyone in the community is welcome to join!
I am currently in my sixth year on the Greenwich United Way Board of Directors and am thrilled to be the Vice Chair of Fund Development & Marketing – I love having the chance to put to use my marketing skill set from my former career! Previously, I’ve been the Vice Chair of Board Affairs, chaired Nominating for three years, served on the Grants Committee, and have co-chaired several fundraisers – currently the 90th Anniversary Gala and previously Brew Ha Ha Comedy Night and Sole Sisters, twice!
Cricket: Jim and I were introduced to the Greenwich United Way through Sandy and Russ Herman. We had just bought their house from them in Greenwich! After a couple of years, I was asked to be on the Board of the GUW. Serving on the Grants Committee was especially rewarding. As I was standing down from the Board, Leslie Lee and I were asked by Diane Darst, the Board Chair, to Co-Chair the first-ever Greenwich United Way Gala to celebrate the 70th Anniversary. It was held at Richards and called “Stepping Out.” The logo had a couple’s dancing feet, with pink shoes on the woman. The committee had such fun that we decided to stay together and we created the “Sole Sisters” with pink shoes as our logo. Our tagline became “Women stepping up to help others step forward.” We created a new concept of lunch, boutique shopping, and speaker/author guest at the luncheon. It was a huge success!
The Sole Sisters Luncheon is an annual event and we only do our gala every five years. Every year the committee decides on an area to support with their funds from the Sole Sisters luncheon. One of my favorite things was being introduced to the agencies in the “field of interest” that we supported that year. It was a wonderful way to get to know the many agencies that the Greenwich United Way supports in town.
A Lifetime Sole Sister is someone who has been a very active, longtime member of the Sole Sisters for years, often chairing the event, but not always. https://greenwichunitedway.org/volunteer/sole-sisters/
A favorite moment is to look around the Sole Sisters Luncheon and see so many new, young faces each year! This means success! The founders can be sure that the baton is being passed on to a new, vibrant generation of women who care! (and want to have fun – this was always part of our Sole Sister mission!)
Jim: I have been a longtime supporter of the United Way in several communities. Early on in Greenwich, I did interviews of Greenwich charities for the Community Investment Process. It was very enlightening. Cricket and I have also co-chaired the Alexis De Tocqueville Society.
Grace: The Greenwich United Way truly is a family affair for the Lockharts and Djuranovics! My husband, Marko, has also been very supportive and I would love to think that maybe one day, my children might want to become involved with the Greenwich Jr United Way – a volunteer group for high school students. Additionally, my brother J.B. has just joined the GUW Advisory Board and my sister-in-law Virginia co-chaired our fall Brew Ha Ha Comedy Night Fundraiser in 2022 and has volunteered on many Sole Sisters committees and the 90th Gala Committee. There is so much support from our family as the Greenwich United Way and all of its programs have a real and lasting impact on our community.
Grace: There is so much more need in this community than people realize – with almost 8% of Greenwich residents at or below the federal poverty line and an additional 22% who fall in the ALICE category (ALICE is Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed), almost 1/3 of residents are one missed paycheck away from financial hardship. Our Direct Impact Programs focus on addressing several specific needs in our community, especially closing the early education achievement gap and the focus on youth mental health. For anyone wanting to learn more, I would recommend visiting the GUW’s website and exploring our Needs Assessment as it’s a much more complete view of the needs in our community.
One of my favorite volunteer opportunities with the Greenwich United Way is the Community Investment Process and, after volunteering for a few years and joining the Board, I became a member of the Grants Committee. I really enjoyed both roles in helping to create a plan to support these worthy local programs. The programs that the Greenwich United Way support tie directly to the needs identified in the GUW Needs Assessment. If you haven’t had a chance to read this report, it’s an insightful look at the human services needs in our community that is updated every few years. Getting the chance to be a CIP volunteer and then Grants Committee member has had a lasting impact on me as I learned so much about the community needs, local agencies, and their programs.
Grace: I have been involved in so many incredible projects and events with the Greenwich United Way that it’s hard to pick a favorite memory! However, I will highlight Sole Sisters in 2019 when I got to introduce our speaker, FEED Founder Lauren Bush Lauren, as she is an incredible, kind, and inspiring woman. I was also thrilled to be up there on the stage co-chairing the event with one of my closest friends, Kirsten Riemer. With the inspiring mission and amazing work that the Greenwich United Way does, it’s no surprise that the GUW is able to draw so many wonderful community members as volunteers and board members and I feel very lucky to call so many of them friends.
On the fundraising theme, I am also particularly excited to co-chair the 90th Anniversary Gala this October! I think it is going to be a very special event, as we only host these Galas every five years, and it will coincidentally align with my last year on the GUW Board!
Jim: Based on Cricket’s and Graci’s GUW and other non-profit support, I am the proud husband of a YWCA’s Spirit of Greenwich Award recipient and the father of a recipient of YWCA’s successor award, Women Who Inspire Award.
Beyond the Greenwich United Way…
Jim: I have been a Trustee of the Bruce Museum for 11 years and Chair for the last four years as we greatly renovated and expanded it, including the William L. Richter Art Wing. The Grand Opening was in April. The Bruce is an art, science, education and community center for Greenwich and surrounding communities. With three new classrooms in the Cohen Education Wing, we will be able to serve 50,000 children a year. I hope The Bruce will build partnerships with GUW.
Cricket: I have been involved with many non-profits besides the GUW since moving to Greenwich. These include The Breast Cancer Alliance, Greenwich Historical Society, Greenwich Hospital, Nathaniel Witherell, Greenwich Library, and Christ Church. I have also served for years on the Board of Green Fingers Garden Club, co-chairing Preview of Spring in 2007, been on the Board of the Junior League of Greenwich and co-chaired the Greenwich Cotillion twice, been President of the Greenwich Academy Parents Association and on the GA Board. I have been very active with the Bruce Museum, being on the Museum Council, co-chairing the Renaissance Ball in 2014, co-chairing and being on the Development Committee for years and being on the New Bruce Campaign Committee.
Grace: I work with several other non-profits in the Greenwich community. With the Bruce Museum, I co-founded and co-chair the Bruce Contemporaries, the newest museum member group, and I previously co-chaired the 2021 Annual Gala and two Night at the Museum family fundraisers. I’ve also been a member of the Museum’s Development Committee for many years. A Greenwich Academy alumna, I am a very proud member of the Greenwich Academy Alumnae Association Board and am now also on the Greenwich Academy Parents Association, which has been a fun progression! I’ve also been a volunteer for the Old Greenwich School PTA, a member of Pitch Your Peers, a member of the REACH Prep Junior Council, and a sustainer in the Junior League of Greenwich.
Grace: If you are new to town or just want to be newly involved, volunteering with the Greenwich United Way provides a great education and is full of fun and friendly volunteers – whether it’s the Community Investment Process, the Reading Champions program, or any of the fundraising committees.