Linda Childears joined the Daniels Fund in July 2005. Bill Daniels appointed her a trustee of his estate and named her to the original Daniels Fund Board of Directors. Linda implements the Board’s strategic direction and leads all programs and operations of the Daniels Fund. Her leadership reflects her strong dedication to honoring Bill Daniels' philanthropic intent.
Linda met Bill Daniels when he hired her company, The Financial Consortium, to help overcome the unprecedented operational, legal, and regulatory challenges of opening Young Americans Bank, his bank for kids. By the time of the bank's grand opening in August 1987, Linda had accepted Bill’s offer to become its President & CEO.
Prior to Young Americans, Linda spent several years in “adult” banking as President of Equitable Bank of Littleton and Vice President of First National Bancorporation. She served as a board member of Colorado Bankers Association, Graduate School of Banking at Colorado, and Colorado Student Loan Program, and was Chairman of the American Bankers Association Education Foundation. Linda has served on the boards of three banks including First National Bank of Santa Fe, with offices in Colorado and New Mexico.
Linda is the past Chair and a current board member of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the board of Colorado Concern. She also serves on Mayor Hancock’s Denver Education Compact.
Linda is past Chairman of National Assembly, National Camp Fire, and Cherry Creek Arts Festival, and past Treasurer of Employers Council. Past board positions include Alliance for Choice in Education, American Red Cross—Mile High Chapter, Cherry Creek Business Improvement District, CollegeInvest, Colorado Association of Funders, Colorado Meth Project, Council on Foundations, Daniels College of Business, Dental Lifeline Network, Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Denver Police Foundation, Denver Public Schools Foundation, DU Bridge Project, Foundation for Teaching Economics, Johnson & Wales University—President’s Advisory Board, Junior Achievement, Mile High United Way, Millennium Bridge Capital (formerly Cheyenne Capital Fund), OpenWorld Learning, and Young Americans Bank and Center for Financial Education.
Linda received the Del Hock Lifetime Achievement Award from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce in 2016 and the Outstanding Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award from the Denver Business Journal in 2019. The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce named Linda one of its 25 Most Powerful Women in 2014. She was National Philanthropy Day’s Outstanding Professional in Philanthropy in 2010, and City Year Denver’s 2015 Red Jacket Honoree. Other honors include the Athena Award, Colorado Bankers Association Banker of Distinction, Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation Dreammaker Award, Girl Scouts of Colorado Woman of Distinction, El Pomar Foundation Ben Wendelken Special Trustee Award, Urban League McKinley Harris, Jr. Distinguished Warrior Award, Warren Village Philanthropic Leader Honoree, and Honorary Lifetime Membership in Camp Fire.
Linda has received honorary doctorate degrees from Johnson & Wales University and the University of Denver.