Interview with WPI Alumnus, Pat Kilbane

Pat Kilbane ’15 is General Counsel & Wealth Advisor at Ullmann Wealth Partners, as well as the Director of the firm’s Divorce Advisory Group. Before joining Ullmann Wealth Partners, he worked as a Shareholder at Gray Robinson, P.A., and Rogers Towers, P.A.

Pat and his wife, Kathy, have resided in Southeast Jacksonville since 2006. As Notre Dame alumni, they are avid fans of all Fightin’ Irish sports teams and enjoy traveling together and spending time with their large families.

Pat recently connected with Caroline Brinton ’10 for this month’s Weaver Philanthropic Initiative interview.


Q: What do you do in your daily life?

A: I work for a wealth management firm called Ullmann Wealth Partners, headquartered in Jacksonville Beach. In addition to serving our clients as a Wealth Advisor, I am also our firm’s General Counsel. In this role, I am involved in the legal, regulatory, and compliance issues we deal with throughout our work. Further, I help point our clients in the right direction with any legal issues they may be experiencing. Finally, I assist all of our clients and prospective clients with the divorce process, from helping a client select a lawyer to aiding the client’s lawyer with financial issues in the client’s case.


Q: What do you like most about living in Northeast Florida?

A: I love the people. During the 15 years that I’ve lived in Jacksonville, I’ve met some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever encountered in my life. Having a chance to watch people like Mike Cascone, Ellen Wiss, Bob Shircliff, Jay Demetree, and so many others has inspired a desire to engage and give back more to our community than I ever thought was possible.


Q: What challenges concern you most about Northeast Florida?

A: There are no challenges facing us that concern me. Make no mistake, we face many issues, but I am incredibly optimistic that this community will always rise to the occasion and effectively address any challenge we face.


Q: How is giving related to leadership?

A: I think they are synonymous. You do not see any successful philanthropic campaign get off the ground until you see a few lead gifts from some of our great community trustees. Their contributions play a critical role in legitimizing the cause of the campaign. I have always been averse to putting my name on a contribution; my preference is to give anonymously. However, on occasion, development staff has successfully argued that attaching our family name to our gifts will encourage others to give. It is a form of leadership that I’ve come to respect as valuable, even though it is out of my comfort zone.


Q: What are the values that inform your giving?

A: My wife, Kathy, and I like to give where we think the greatest need is and where we believe our gift will mean the most to an organization. For example, there is an abundance of amazing national organizations that benefit so many worldwide. However, there are just as many incredible non-profit organizations right here in Northeast Florida that do phenomenal work as well! In most cases, our gift will be more meaningful to a local organization, and our local community, than the same gift would be to a national organization.


Q: When did your path first cross with The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida?

A: My path first crossed with The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida (TCF) in 2012. Tracy Tousey and I were Leadership Jacksonville classmates. I had the pleasure of getting to know Tracy well during our LJ experience. Through getting to know Tracy, I got to know TCF. Tracy is extremely passionate about philanthropy. Her passion for helping others was contagious and motivated me to explore The Community Foundation’s Weaver Philanthropic Initiative.


Q: How does Ullmann Wealth Partners benefit from a professional advisory partnership with The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida?

A: Ullmann Wealth Partners likes to connect our clients with the very best strategic partners, partners that will successfully help our clients accomplish their goals. For our clients, who are incredibly philanthropic-minded, we know that the breadth and depth of The Community Foundation’s resources are unmatched. We have an excellent relationship with the entire staff and our team is confident our clients receive the best services available when we partner with The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.


Q: How do you decide when a philanthropic investment has been successful?

A: I never really have. When my family and I make a gift, we have complete trust our donation will be used as efficiently and effectively as possible. I’ve never been a big fan of micro-managing gifts.


Q: What concepts or experiences from participating in the Weaver Philanthropic Initiative have proven valuable to you personally and/or professionally?

A: The Weaver Philanthropic Initiative (WPI) program I experienced was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about others’ philanthropic journeys. The program’s framework provided time and opportunity for introspection about my personal philanthropy. This reflection, coupled with the program’s teachings and lessons from community leaders, led me to think more strategically about how I give.
From a professional standpoint, the WPI journey was valuable because it enhanced my abilities to help clients become more thoughtful about their own giving. Additionally, the program gave me a professional support system to call on when I feel a client would benefit from advice that exceeds my limitations. I can always call Joanne Cohen, Vice President of Philanthropic Services, or Tracy Tousey, TCF Consultant, to assist a client who wants to dive deeper into their personal philanthropic strategy.


Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic influenced your philanthropy?

A: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive influence on my family’s philanthropy. The needs seem almost limitless right now. Food banks, churches (including their charitable entities), hospitals, etc. all have tremendous and urgent needs. We are aware that some of these organizations will be the beneficiaries of state and federal aid, so we are trying to be mindful of which needs will not be met by the local, state, and federal government.