A Letter From The CEO
Sylvia A. Whitmore
January 31, 2019
Thank you for visiting The John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation (KMF) website. KMF is a public charity in support of the Catholic Church serving the entire state of Texas. While 90% of awarded grants go to Sectarian organizations, at least 10% is given to Non-Sectarian entities. We accept grant applications on-line through the website, and the KMF Board of Directors makes decisions on those grants annually at the May Board meeting. The grant application deadline is by October 15th of the prior year. Since we sometimes receive upwards of 500 grant requests, staff must have time to review, sort, send out and get back these grant requests from the 13 Board Members. The October-to-May time frame is therefore necessary to assure that every request is given serious consideration.
KMF’s income originates from the 235,000+ ranch operations comprised mostly of oil and gas production, surface leases for hunting and grazing, and renewal energy production from windfarms. Additionally, the careful management of the KMF investment portfolio provides income as well. While 2018 was not a stellar year for anyone in the investment realm, we did not suffer significant losses and are hopeful that 2019 will produce market growth for continued expansion of our funds. Because the KMF annual grant’s budget is based on a percentage of the previous 36-month average of our financial assets, we are always striving to increase that investment portfolio amount. So obviously, the more the daily operations of the Ranch can cover operating expenses plus the grant’s budget, the more the investment portfolio can grow, providing a bigger grant’s budget year after year. That’s what the KMF staff strives to do day after day.
Once again, we were Blessed to see new improvements constructed on the Ranch in 2018. Not the least of which is a new windfarm in the Jaboncillos Division (67 turbines) which is expected to produce new income beginning in early 2019. These kind of infrastructure facilities take years to plan and execute so we are very grateful this project has come to fruition and occurred with a great safety record on the part of the contractor. We now have another notable partner on the Ranch!
During 2018 we entertained many bids for almost 40,000 acres of hunting and grazing also in the Jaboncillos Division. It had been almost 15 years since this opportunity had been available. It will likely be 2024 before another opportunity for leasing acreage on this amazing Ranch arises. We did make a selection and believe we have gained a new partner who has a deep love and understanding of nature and wildlife. We are confident they will help us carry out our priorities of land stewardship and wildlife habitat enhancement.
It is an honor to work with a Board of Directors known for their integrity, fairness, and insightful leadership. Their guidance and example allow the KMF staff to manage our day to day operations with confidence. We do what we think is right, and we impose these high ethical standards on each other. We end this message with another of our KMF staff values statement. “We believe KMF is a Blessing, and we love working here”.
Warmest Wishes for a Wonderful 2019! Sylvia