In his bequest in 1832, the Quaker merchant James Wills created a trust to establish the “Wills Hospital for the Relief of the Indigent Blind & Lame” to be administered by the “Mayor and Corporation of the City of Philadelphia.” In 1869, the Pennsylvania legislature established the Board of Directors of City Trusts for the purpose of administering all funds left in trust to the City of Philadelphia, including that of James Wills.
Today, Wills Eye is overseen by the Board of Directors of City Trusts and the Wills Eye Committee, a standing committee of Board Members dedicated to the mission of Wills Eye. Day-to-day operations are managed by the Chief Executive Officer and the Ophthalmologist-in-Chief.
The Board of City Trusts is a group of dedicated Philadelphia civic leaders appointed by and accountable to the Judges of the Courts of Common Pleas of Philadelphia. Membership consists of 12 citizens of Philadelphia and the Mayor and the President of City Council, who serve Ex-Officio. The board serves without compensation.
The Wills Eye Committee oversees all matters relating to Wills Eye. The Executive Director and Ophthalmologist-in-Chief of Wills consult with the Chairman of the Wills Eye Committee on matters of policy, organizational changes, and major operational issues.
Wills Eye Committee
The Wills Eye Committee of the Board of Directors of City Trusts is comprised of Board Members who are charged with the direct supervision of Wills Eye's executive management. These Board Members bring their extensive experience and talents to the stewardship of Wills Eye.
The committee members are:
Hon. Ronald R. Donatucci, President and Chairman
Michael Meehan, Esquire
Bernard Smalley, Esquire
Hon. Michael Stack
Hon. Marian Tasco
Hon. Anna Verna
Hon. Ronald R. Donatucci
President, Board of Directors of City Trusts
Chairman, Wills Eye Committee
Mr. Donatucci has dedicated most of his career to public service. After serving as a law clerk in the Philadelphia City Solicitor's Office, Mr. Donatucci served as counsel to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, and then as Chief of Enforcement for the Department of Licenses and Inspections for the City of Philadelphia. Following these offices, Mr. Donatucci was elected and served with distinction as a Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 185th District. Since 1979, he has served as Philadelphia's Register of Wills, which includes sole jurisdiction over the probate of wills and acting as agent for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the collection of inheritance tax. He is the ex-officio Clerk of the Orphans' Court.
Mr. Donatucci also serves as a Trustee of Temple University and a Board Member of the Temple University Health System and Fox Chase Cancer Center. Throughout his career, he has been an active participant in numerous civic organizations and has received countless awards in recognition of his civic activities.