Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; Arthur Vining Davis FoundationsRussell Family Foundation; Bader PhilanthropiesNathan Cummings Foundation; Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; Meadows Foundation; Indiana Philanthropy Alliance; Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation; Grantmakers for Effective Organizations; Rasmuson Foundation; and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Are you a current Friend or Leadership Circle member of NCFP with an update or good news about your foundation that you would like to share with Family Giving News readers? Please email us. Interested in learning more about the families involved in NCFP's Friends of the Family network? Go here.

Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation Leadership Transition

After 25 years of service, Sandy Cardin will be stepping down as President of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. He will continue to serve as a Senior Advisor to the Schusterman family. Cardin joined the Schusterman Family Foundation in 1994 as Executive Director. He worked closely with Charles Schusterman (z”l) to shape his philanthropic vision and, after Charles died, helped to expand the Foundation. Lisa Eisen will become President of the U.S. Jewish portfolio and Julie Mikuta will become President of the U.S. Education portfolio. Ohad Reifen will join as CEO of the Israel office while David Weil and Justin Korda will stay in their roles as chief operating officer and executive director of Israel work, respectively.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Announces New President

Dr. Michael J. Murray will become the next President of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations effective April 1, 2019. He will succeed Dr. Nancy Cable who has led the Foundations since 2012. Dr. Murray comes to AVDF from the John Templeton Foundation where he served first as Vice President of Philosophy and Theology and, since 2011, as Senior Vice President of Programs. In that capacity Dr. Murray was responsible for overseeing the growth of the Foundation’s grant making work that supports academic research and public engagement.

The Russell Family Foundation Awards $2.3 Million in Grants

The Russell Family Foundation has announced its year-end grants totaling more than $2.3 million to 25 nonprofits serving the Pacific Northwest region. These grants focus on providing more access for youth to experience the outdoor environment, supporting local groups pursuing systemic change for the Puget Sound and empowering various local communities through leadership development.

Alfred Bader, Milwaukee Philanthropist and Art Collector, Dies at 94

Long-time NCFP Friend Alfred Bader, a refugee who escaped Nazi-occupied Vienna as a young teen in 1938, and later became a chemist, businessman, philanthropist for Jewish and other causes, and an influential art collector, has died. Bader’s charitable giving established a legacy for Jewish education in Milwaukee, including for its day schools. He died Dec. 23 at his home in the Wisconsin city at the age of 94. The Bader Philanthropies has donated millions of dollars to social, medical and cultural institutions in Milwaukee, along with Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada — his alma mater — and institutions in Great Britain and Israel, where his foundation funds research, treatment and care-giving innovations for people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Leticia Peguero is New Vice President of Programs at Nathan Cummings Foundation

Leticia Peguero will be the new Vice President of Programs at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Peguero served for nearly six years as the executive director of the youth and social justice-focused, Andrus Family Fund (AFF). At NCF, she will be responsible for leading the development of new philanthropic strategies as the organization reforms its grantmaking to be more responsive and impactful in the modern community setting.

Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund Announces Leadership Transition

Jennie Lehua Watson will step down as President of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund at the end of 2018. Cathy Cha, currently Vice President of Programs with the Fund, will serve as President beginning in January. In a press release, Watson wrote “[w]ith a highly engaged and expanded Board of Directors, a visionary and energetic new President in Cathy Cha, and a dynamic and committed group of grantee partners, the Haas, Jr. Fund is ready to write a new chapter in its storied history of partnership and action to advance the bedrock values of fairness, equality and opportunity.”

Meadows Foundation Honored by Dallas CASA

Dallas CASA grossed close to $500,000 at its annual Judge Barefoot Sanders Champion of Children Award dinner. Honorary chairs Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones presented the charity's highest honor to the Meadows Foundation for its support of Dallas CASA and 35 other CASA programs statewide. "We can't solve all the problems, but we can impact them," said foundation president and CEO Linda Perryman Evans. "It's been the privilege and honor of a lifetime to serve the Meadows Foundation." Oil tycoon and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows and his first wife, Virginia, established the Meadows Foundation in 1948. Meadows left the bulk of his fortune to charity, and the foundation has distributed more than $1 billion for a variety of social, health, education and arts causes in Texas. Evans, who is Meadows' niece, has led the foundation since 1996 and previously announced plans to retire at the end of 2019.

Indiana Philanthropy Alliance Announces New President and CEO

Marissa S. Manlove retired as President and CEO of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance. She began the role in January 2007 after almost 30 years on the grantseeking side of the nonprofit sector. In a press release, Manlove wrote “[a]s I reflect on the past 12 years, I am proud of what we—members and staff—have accomplished together.has a presence and voice at state and national levels that is recognized by policymakers, community leaders, and our peers.” Claudia Cummings will succeed her as President and CEO.

Rini Banerjee Welcomed as New President of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation

Rini Banerjee joined the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation as its fourth president and first woman to lead the foundation. Banerjee brings more than twenty years of experience in social justice philanthropy. As the first executive director of the Foundation for a Just Society, she led the organization from its startup phase to its growth into one of the top global funders committed to advancing the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQI people.

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations Leadership Transition

Gayle Williams will serve as interim president of the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. Williams is the former executive director of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, a Friends of the Family member organization. She succeeds Kathleen Enright, who is now CEO of the Council on Foundations.

Rasmuson Foundation Awards $6.5 Million to Alaska Nonprofits

The Rasmuson Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $6.5 million in support of Alaskan communities. The awards include a grant of $112,844 to the Girl Scouts of Alaska to establish a troop at Clare House women's shelter in Anchorage with the aim of providing more opportunities for girls who experience homelessness; $300,000 over three years to the United Way of Mat-Su for a program that will include afterschool and summer activities as well as behavioral health services; and $649,730 to the Native Village of Unalakleet for construction of a $7.7 million facility that houses services for elders from the village and surrounding communities.

Pew Charitable Trusts Publishes Return on Investment Report

The Pew Charitable Trusts recently published their Fall 2018 ROI, highlighting the returns on investments for their philanthropic partners. Charitable endeavors included making Arctic waters more secure against impacts of increased shipping, supporting 37 promising early career scientists through Pew's biomedical research programs, and surveying the public about factual and opinion based news.

Special Thanks: NCFP Friends and Leadership Circle Members

We offer special thanks to our Friends of the Family and Leadership Circle funders who support and sustain the work of NCFP. Our Leadership Circle recognizes a special group of our most generous supporters. Our Friends offer continuing support for our work, ensuring that future generations of donor families can access the best possible resources for sound decision-making. See a complete list of NCFP Leadership Circle and Friends of the Family. Or, for more information, please contact Maureen Esposito at 202.293.3276 or at