March 2019: News and Notes from NCFP’s Friends of the Family Network

Friends Focus highlights updates from members of our Friends of the Family network and their cutting edge work. This month features updates from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Russell Family Foundation; Mathile Family Foundation; Walton Family Foundation; Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund; Laughing Gull Foundation; Bainum Family Foundation; Longbrake Family Foundation; and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation.

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.

Carol Larson to Step Down as Packard Foundation President/CEO

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has announced that Carol S. Larson will step down as president and CEO at the end of 2019. Under her tenure, the foundation has experienced significant growth, awarding an average of $300 million in grants annually and a total of $500 million in mission-related investments while expanding its global engagement, with a focus on climate change, marine conservation, and women’s and girls’ access to quality reproductive health care and rights. Larson will remain in her role through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

The Russell Family Foundation Announces CEO Transition

The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) announced that 2019 will be Chief Executive Officer Richard Woo’s final year of service and leadership with the foundation after nearly 20 years of working to protect the environment and empower Pacific Northwest communities. To date, under Woo’s leadership and collaboration with the Board of Directors, TRFF has granted approximately $130 million in support to hundreds of community groups and individuals who share in TRFF’s vision of a sustainable and peaceful world for people, places and communities. The search for the next CEO is underway.

Clayton Mathilde Honored With Leadership Award

The Dayton Development Coalition honored Clay Mathile — former CEO and owner of the Iams Company — with the 2018 Maureen Patterson Regional Leader Award at its annual meeting on Wednesday. He and his wife launched the Mathile Family Foundation and The Glen at St. Joseph. “For decades, Clay and his family have strived to make our region a better place,” said Jeff Hoagland, DDC President and CEO, in a statement.

Walton Family Foundation Releases Report on Metropolitan Areas

The Walton Family Foundation released its report on The Most Dynamic Micropolitan Index, which ranks the 531 micropolitan areas across the U.S., analyzes the economic performance and indicators that impact the social and economic fabric of America. The Most Dynamic Micropolitan Index attempts to bridge a gap in identifying which smaller communities are thriving and which are struggling to provide economic opportunity for their residents.

Russell Family Foundation to Hold Webinar on Impact Investing Report

The Russell Family Foundation, in collaboration with Mission Investors Exchange, will hold a webinar on March 11. Richard Woo, CEO of TRFF, and Kathleen Simpson, CFO of TRFF, will be discussing key learnings from TRFF’s latest report, The Impact Investing Journey: Aligning Portfolio with Purpose.

Packard Foundation Shares Results of Eighth Grantee Perception Report

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation in Los Altos, California, has released the results of its 2018 Grantee Perception Report. The report found that grantees’ perceptions of the foundation remained positive across most measures, including impact on grantees’ fields, impact on organizations, funder-grantee relationships, openness to ideas from grantees about its strategy, and transparency. The foundation committed to addressing three areas of improvement: incorporating grantee feedback into evaluation design, awarding more multiyear grants, and updating its Grantee Experience Standards.

Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund Releases Healthy Food and Community Change Report

A new report from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund examines a now completed five-year, $15 million project to improve access to healthy food within New York City communities found the program succeeded in bringing healthy options into neighborhoods that were previously food deserts.

Laughing Gull Foundation Commits Grants to Organizations Supporting Higher Education in Prison

The Laughing Gull Foundation (LGF) approved $3,658,000 in grants to be awarded through 2020 to 22 organizations increasing access to high quality, accredited college courses in prisons. “LGF is proud to expand our investment in the field of higher education in prison,” said Meg Baesmith, Board President. LGF’s $3.6M commitment represents a 156% increase from 2017 in annual grantmaking for its Higher Education in Prison Program, and the addition of 11 new grantees.

Bainum Family Foundation Names New Leadership

Mae Cheung has joined the Bainum Family Foundation as General Counsel and Senior Director, Compliance. Leila Otis, former Senior Director, Program Operations, has been named Vice President, Programs. Both roles are new to the organization.

Longbrake Family Foundation Featured in Inside Philanthropy

Family foundation leader Bill Longbrake was featured in Inside Philanthropy. He discusses how he and his wife started the Longbrake Family Foundation and how his interest in affordable housing “is driven in part from his half-century career as a banker and bank regulator.” The foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Melinda Marble Appointed as Executive Director of Patrick J. McGovern Foundation

The Trustees of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation have selected Melinda Marble as its first Executive Director, effective February 2019. Marble brings several decades of leadership experience in philanthropy to the Foundation, most recently as Deputy Director of the Barr Foundation, Director of Family Philanthropy at Pilot House Associates and Executive Director of the Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation.

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

Get Involved

Search Knowledge Center for Resources!

We’re here to help you on your philanthropic journey. Contact NCFP for support!

Get Assistance

Keep up with trends in family philanthropy. Subscribe to our newsletter!


Family philanthropy improves the quality of life for all. Join our family!

Join Now