2005 Message from the President of the Board of Trustees
The Northwest Fund has just finished a successful, three-year experiment with our grantmaking. In January 2003, after a comprehensive review of prior years’ grants, the Board of Trustees established Aquatic Ecosystem Protection and Growth Management as program areas for the foundation for an initial three-year period. Through targeted grants to projects and organizations across the state, this program area focus enabled the Fund to realize the initial goal of concentrating resources and building expertise both within the foundation and among our grantees.
But much more remains to be done. The erosion of protections for native species and natural resources in Washington State continues to be a primary concern for the Fund. Because of this concern and because the foundation is invested in a number of longer term projects within our program areas, the Trustees have approved the continuation of these two program areas for an additional three years. We will continue to work for better Aquatic Ecosystem Protection and Growth Management in our state.
During this period, the foundation has also seen a marked increase in the level and sophistication of collaborative work among our grantees. We applaud their efforts to leverage scarce resources, build relationships among stakeholders, and coordinate their activities to maximize impact on environmental policies in Washington State. As we look ahead to 2006, the foundation will explore ways in which to support this much needed trend.
This year also marked the retirement of two longtime board members who have left a legacy that will be reflected in our programs and operations for years to come. Chris Golde, our outgoing Grants Committee Chair, spearheaded the adoption of our program areas and revised our grantmaking guidelines. Parrish Jones, our Treasurer for the past six years, guided the board through the challenging financial period of the dot-com collapse and authored some much-needed financial safeguards in our investment policies. Both Chris and Parrish will be missed. And we hope some day they will come back to the Board.
As we say goodbye to Chris and Parrish, we also welcome Helen Golde back to the Board. Helen, who works for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean Service, brings a wealth of knowledge of marine issues. She will also be the first member of her family to begin a second round of service to the Fund.
I would like to close by thanking all of our grantees for their continued dedication and efforts to protect and preserve the natural resources of Washington.
Rodney L. Brown, Jr.