In the Community

Professional Advisor Spotlight: Guil Ware

Attorney Guil Ware enjoys being an active participant in his
Hampton Roads community.
We are lucky to have experienced and highly respected professionals in our region as members of our Professional Advisors Committee. Attorney Guilford D. Ware is among them. As a founding member of this helpful committee, Guil has been a consistent supporter of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.

Guil has literally traveled the world for his clients. His trip to Germany in the 1970s sounds like the plot for a foreign adventure movie. Guil's mission was to reclaim property for a Norfolk client. The client was the late F. Ludwig Diehn, a German-born businessman and composer who lived his later years in Norfolk.

"In Germany a squatter had taken over the property of Ludwig's family. I worked with a translator and German lawyer to sell it and get the money out of Germany," Guil recalls. Those recovered funds helped create the estate gift Ludwig left the Hampton Roads Community Foundation in 1987. At the time his $9 million gift was the largest single donation the foundation had ever received.

Guil is among the donor advisors to the Friedrich Ludwig Diehn Fund, which has supported music programs at Old Dominion University, the Virginia Symphony and Virginia Arts Festival. "The foundation is an ideal organization that sees that funds are invested and used appropriately," he says.

In 1997 Guil and his wife Gay became donors themselves when they created the Mr. and Mrs. Guilford Dudley Ware Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund. "I decided it was better to have a fund with the foundation than an independent fund. I thought they would keep it going longer and be more objective."

Over the decades, Guil, age 92, has watched the community foundation mature. It was two years old and the first community foundation in Virginia in 1952 when he started his career. He has worked with the same Norfolk law firm since then, and today Crenshaw, Ware and Martin bears his name.

As a community volunteer Guil has led the boards of the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, Virginia Symphony and Virginia Institute for Marine Science. In 2009 he won the Barron F. Black Community Builder Award for his work in philanthropy. Guil counts it as "a blessing to be busy"--something that has defined his 65-year career.

"The world is changing, and it is good to be an active participant," Guil says.

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