A Letter From The CEO

Sylvia A. Whitmore

 

January 3, 2017

 

Dear Friends:

All of us involved with the Kenedy Memorial Foundation are excited about the beginning of a new year.  Our Members, Board of Directors, and employees, our most important asset, anticipate that 2017 can be even more outstanding than last year.  2016 was a great year for our quail hunters who enjoyed the second straight year of excellent harvests due to the vast amounts of rainfall on the Kenedy Ranch.  Additionally, the deer, Nilgai, and other wildlife were also abundant, so in general, the hunting was notable.    Our valued tenants continued to make capital improvements, and the ranch has never looked better.  Our income is derived from the operations on the ranch, and from managing our investment portfolio.  We do not solicit funds from any source, nor do we accept any state or federal funding to pay grants; therefore, it is incumbent upon us to manage our resources properly in order to create the income needed to operate and to fund grants.

 

The volatility in the investment sector and the sluggish energy industry did not contribute as much to the bottom line as we would have liked last year, but we are encouraged by the more stable market and the recent upswing in energy prices.  Another significant event at KMF in 2016 was the retirement of Marc Cisneros, the CEO since 2001.  His contributions to the Foundation were many during his tenure as CEO.  With the guidance of the Board, there were governance advancements, transparency enhancements, educational initiatives, new tenants on the ranch with like-minded wildlife management goals, and new sources of revenue such as wind energy.  All of these efforts helped transform the Foundation into the effective and efficient organization it is today.   We are sincerely grateful to Marc for his leadership.   He will be missed and we wish him well as he begins this new chapter in his life.

 

I am blessed and humbled to have been elected by the Board to be the CEO effective January 1, 2017.   I am excited about the opportunity to work closely with our knowledgeable, competent staff and experienced Board to benefit people in need throughout Texas.    We are exploring additional revenue sources, we are updating our website for easier access to our grantees and plan to add more historical information about the colorful Kenedy family.  Site visits are planned around the newly funded infrastructure grants, and we are analyzing tactical changes to our investment portfolio.  We will keep in touch on the website with timely updates, and we are proud to share one of our favorite KMF Staff Value Statements…. “We value the Foundation’s historic legacy, and pledge to prolong stewardship of the land”.   May you and yours have a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

 

 

Warmest regards, Sylvia