Get to Know the Kinder Foundation Team: CJ Johnson

Today we continue our blog series introducing you to the members of the Kinder Foundation team. These colleagues are essential to the success of the Foundation’s mission of making impactful gifts that transform Houston in significant ways.

Today we introduce you to CJ Johnson, Kinder Foundation’s receptionist. CJ provides exceptional administrative support for the Kinder Foundation and family office.

Learn more about CJ below, and find past staffer Q&As here. Read about the full Kinder Foundation team here. Continue reading “Get to Know the Kinder Foundation Team: CJ Johnson”

Get to Know the Kinder Foundation Team: Aarti Garehgrat

Over the past several months, we have highlighted the talents, interests, and backgrounds of Kinder Foundation team members. They are the subject matter experts ensuring the Kinder Foundation mission is carried out with intention, diligence, and integrity.

Today we introduce you to Aarti Garehgrat, Kinder Foundation’s director of finance. A CPA, Aarti is responsible for the financial planning, analysis, accounting, and reporting for the Kinder Foundation.

Learn more about Aarti below, and find past staffer Q&As here. Read about the full Kinder Foundation team here. Continue reading “Get to Know the Kinder Foundation Team: Aarti Garehgrat”

Introducing Discovery Green’s new playground

After a long wait, Discovery Green is celebrating the opening of a more than $2.3 million dollar renovation of the park’s popular John P. McGovern Playground. While the upgrade was complete in August 2020, COVID restrictions required the playground to remain closed to visitors – until now.

While construction was underway, members of the Kinder team spoke with park president Barry Mandel about this exciting project. Mandel shared his insights on the renovation, COVID-19’s impact on the project and park use, and the meaningful ways Discovery Green creates a space which embraces Houston’s diversity and sense of community. Now that Houstonians can officially visit and enjoy the playground for themselves, it seems a great time to look back on how it all came to be. Continue reading “Introducing Discovery Green’s new playground”

Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award Alumni Spotlight: Caitlin Wales

Since 2001, the Kinder Foundation has honored a handful of Houston’s most distinguished teachers with the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of their commitment and innovation. The honors are given at an awards dinner each Fall, where current and past winners share their stories and are shown gratitude by their peers, administrators, and Rich and Nancy Kinder. The Kinder Excellence in Teaching Awards has gifted over $3.7 million to more than 250 teachers since the program was established.

We are proud to begin spotlighting past recipients of this award and sharing what they have been up to since their recognition.

Continue reading “Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award Alumni Spotlight: Caitlin Wales”

Get to Know the Kinder Foundation Team: Sarah Newbery

The Kinder Foundation is supported by an exceptional staff of smart and experienced professionals whose work helps carry out the mission of the Foundation: to support Greater Houston as a model city for economic opportunity and quality of life by providing transformation grants in the areas of urban green space, education, and quality of life.

We continue to highlight our talented team members, today with an introduction to Sarah Newbery, the Kinder Foundation’s director of parks and greenspace. Sarah coordinates partnerships and leads initiatives related to the foundation’s park projects, utilizing her decades of experience as an architect and project director to guide the foundation through its park partnerships with Memorial Park Conservancy, among others.

Learn more about Sarah below, and find past staffer Q&As here. Read about the full Kinder Foundation team here. Continue reading “Get to Know the Kinder Foundation Team: Sarah Newbery”

Fraudulent email scam involves Kinder Foundation

It has come to our attention that there is a consulting firm actively soliciting clients in the greater Houston area using the Kinder family name. Please be aware that this is a fraudulent email, and we request you report any deceptive activity to the authorities at the Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Complaint Assistant.

If you doubt the authenticity of any type of correspondence claiming to originate from Kinder Foundation or Rich and Nancy Kinder personally, please contact us at inquiries@kinderfoundation.org.

It is unfortunate scams are prevalent in our society today. When a scam involves the Kinder Foundation or its leadership, we report them as we become aware of them, and try to do what we can to stop them. For information about the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts against these kinds of fraud please visit the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection.

Get to Know the Kinder Foundation Team: Sabrina Kirwin

The Kinder Foundation is committed to making impactful gifts which improve Houston in significant ways. Our mission since 1996 has been to support Greater Houston as a model city for economic opportunity and quality of life by providing transformation grants in the areas of urban green space, education and quality of life.

This ambitious vision set forth by founders Rich and Nancy Kinder are made a reality in large part by the talented team supporting the foundation.

As we continue our blog series introducing the team that comprises the Kinder Foundation, today we highlight Sabrina Kirwin, our chief financial officer, who oversees the financial planning, analysis, and reporting for the foundation. Her guidance and oversight are essential to operating the foundation which has given $468 million in gifts and pledges to date.

Below you will find a Q&A with Sabrina. Read past staffer Q&As here, and to learn more about the rest of our team, stay tuned for future blog posts.  Continue reading “Get to Know the Kinder Foundation Team: Sabrina Kirwin”

Get to Know the Kinder Foundation Team: Patra Brannon-Isaac

Rich and Nancy Kinder are the founders and eponymous faces of the Kinder Foundation. They set the vision and strategic leadership for the Foundation.

The Kinders are supported by an outstanding team of staff and highly regarded subject matter experts in urban green space, education, and quality of life who help manage relationships with grantees, provide thought leadership and critical expertise, and oversee logistics to achieve maximum impact with the $411 million in gifts and pledges the Kinder Foundation has made to date.

Over the next few months, you will be introduced you to each Kinder Foundation team member through a series of blog posts. In addition to their professional accomplishments, we will share a revelatory Q&A from each staffer with the goal of highlighting the brilliant, dynamic people that comprise the Kinder Foundation.

First up is Patra Brannon-Isaac, Kinder Foundation’s director of education and community projects. In her role, Patra leads the foundation’s transformational education initiatives. Patra joined the Foundation in February 2020. We are excited to introduce you to her via the questions and answers below. Continue reading “Get to Know the Kinder Foundation Team: Patra Brannon-Isaac”

Connecting with Excellence: Kinder Excellence in Teaching Awards 2020

Every year since 2001, the Kinder Foundation has honored a handful of Houston’s most distinguished teachers with the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of their commitment and innovation. The honors are given at an awards dinner each Fall, where current and past winners share their stories and are shown gratitude by their peers, administrators, and Rich and Nancy Kinder.

The pandemic forced the Kinder Foundation to cancel the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Awards this year. Nevertheless, we still wanted to meaningfully connect with those doing the heroic work of educating Houston’s kids and highlight the challenges and adjustments teachers are making in this new normal.

To nurture the camaraderie past winners have built over the years, we invited all KETA educators to a virtual call organized by our director of education and community projects, Patra Brannon-Isaac. Of the 154 past winners, approximately 40 joined us on October 27. It was a privilege and opportunity to hear from these amazing teachers who are so committed to their craft despite the present circumstances. Their reflections helped us keep a pulse on what educators are experiencing in this moment and how they are adjusting. Continue reading “Connecting with Excellence: Kinder Excellence in Teaching Awards 2020”

Kinder Foundation’s Guy Hagstette Reflects on Five Years of Buffalo Bayou Park

Guy Hagstette, Kinder Foundation vice president of parks and civic projects and Buffalo Bayou Partnership board member, joined Scott McCready, principal at SWA Group, on September 24, 2020 to host a webinar in celebration of Buffalo Bayou Park’s fifth anniversary. Reunited five years after the completion of the park they both helped make a reality (Hagstette served as project consultant; McCready as lead designer), their presentation addressed the careful thought and planning that went into the realization of Buffalo Bayou Park. You may watch the full conversation below or by clicking this link.

Continue reading “Kinder Foundation’s Guy Hagstette Reflects on Five Years of Buffalo Bayou Park”