Philanthropy Executives Retreat

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 5:30pm to Friday, October 13, 2017 - 4:30pm CDT
1 Oakridge Dr, Chaska, MN 55318

Retreat Overview

In this intimate retreat setting, exclusive to the top leaders of philanthropy organizations, a small group of colleagues will:

  • Hear from inspirational national leaders;
  • Spend time with local colleagues discussing leadership challenges and opportunities;
  • And build relationships to support ongoing leadership development as an executive.

Retreat Content

There will be three primary components to the retreat:

  1. Conversations with national leaders to provide inspiration and reflection.
  2. Peer-led group conversation about topics of your choosing (we will use meal time to facilitate idea generation for each small group session)
  3. Open time to connect one-to-one with local colleagues and/or reflect and recharge.

Guest Speakers:

  • Susan Berresford, former president, Ford Foundation (role of a philanthropic leader)
  • Luz Vega-Marquis, president & CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation (philanthropy and democracy)
  • Sherece West-Scantlebury, president & CEO,  Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (responding during a disaster)

Retreat facilitators:  Trista Harris and Alfonso Wenker

Lodging: We are asking all participants to spend the night at Oak Ridge on Thursday evening (October 12). MCF will book a private room for each participant.

Meals: The retreat includes dinner, refreshments, breakfast and lunch. All meals at Oak Ridge are served buffet-style; a weekly menu is developed by the award-winning Oak Ridge chef. Every buffet includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Refreshments are available throughout the day and a full bar is open in the evenings.

Retreat Agenda

Thursday, Oct 12

  • 5:00      Reception and Hotel Check-In
  • 5:30      Opening remarks from Trista
  • 6:00      Welcome Dinner
  • 6:30      Conversation with Sherece West-Scantlebury, president & CEO,  Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation
  • 7:00      Group Activity 
  • 8:00      Optional Social Time, Refreshments Available

Friday, October 13

Breakfast available as early as 6:00 a.m. (possible yoga, meditation or massages available)

  • 9:00      Conversation with Luz Vega-Marquis, president & CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation
  • 10:00    Open Time
  • 10:30    Small groups and activities 
  • 12:00    Lunch and Open Time
  • 12:30    Conversation with Susan Berresford, board member, Robina Foundation, former president, Ford Foundation
  • 1:00      Open Time
  • 1:30      Small groups and activities 
  • 3:00      Closing Speaker (speaker TBD)
  • 3:30      Closing Activity  
  • 4:00      Adjourn 

About Our Speakers

Susan Berresford served as Founding Chair of the United States Artists Board of Directors from its inception in 2005 to 2011 and is currently an active member of the Board. Ms. Berresford is the former President of the Ford Foundation (1996–2008). She joined the Ford Foundation in 1970 and during her 38-year tenure held numerous positions including Project Assistant and Program Officer in the Division of National Affairs; Officer in Charge of the Foundation's Women's Programs; Vice President, U.S. and International Affairs Programs; and Vice President of the Program Division.

Prior to joining the Ford Foundation, Ms. Berresford served as a Program Officer for the Neighborhood Youth Corps from 1965–1967. From 1967–68, she worked for the Manpower Career Development Agency where she was responsible for evaluation of training, education, and work programs.

Ms. Berresford attended Vassar College and then studied American history at Radcliffe College, where she graduated cum laude in 1965. Ms. Berresford serves on the board of Japan Center for International Exchange, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the Robina Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. She works from her office at The New York Community Trust and is a member of the Trinidad Trust Fund (California), and the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Berresford is the convener of the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin.

Luz Vega-Marquis is president and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation, where she oversees the foundation’s $700 million endowment and $35 million annual grantmaking budget. Ms. Vega-Marquis has positioned the foundation as a leader in movement building by shaping its grantmaking and communication strategies to support a nationwide movement of poor and low-income families. Marguerite Casey Foundation supports movement building by investing in organizations that put families at the forefront of efforts to fight poverty and work together across issues, race and ethnicity, regions and egos to bring about social change, and by deploying strategic communications to advance issues and a unifying message that reflects the voice of poor and low-income families.

In 2008, the foundation in partnership with its grantees launched Equal Voice for America’s Families. The yearlong campaign brought together more than 30,000 families and approximately 250 community organizations to lay the foundation for a multi-issue national family platform that addressed the needs of families across the country. In September 2014, the foundation seeded and launched Equal Voice Action, an independent organization that seeks to elevate the voices of poor and low-income families through activism and action.

Prior to being named president in 2001, Ms. Vega-Marquis served as executive director of the Community Technology Foundation of California (CTFC), where she was instrumental in developing the strategic framework of CTFC’s grants program as well as energizing the CTFC vision of bringing information technology to underserved communities throughout California. She served four years as vice president and chief operating officer at the National Economic Development and Law Center, an organization committed to providing technical, law and business expertise to low-income communities nationwide; and 17 years at The James Irvine Foundation, where she served as director of the grants programs and senior program officer in charge of the northern California office.

Ms. Vega-Marquis is the founder of Hispanics in Philanthropy and currently serves on the boards of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Philanthropy Northwest and The Workers Lab. Past board service includes Independent Sector, The California Wellness Foundation, Council on Foundations, Katalysis Foundation, Northern California Grantmakers and the Women’s Foundation of California. Ms. Vega-Marquis received a Bachelor of Arts degree in modern languages from the University of San Francisco and earned a Master of Arts degree in Latin American studies from Stanford University.

Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury is president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, a private, independent foundation whose mission is to improve the lives of all Arkansans in three interrelated areas: economic development; education; and economic, racial, and social justice.  Involved in philanthropy for 25 years, Dr. West-Scantlebury served as CEO at the Foundation for Louisiana and as a program associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Her professional career includes nearly 30 years of experience in community development, public policy and advocacy, and public service. In addition to running the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. West is active in a number of nonprofits and philanthropy organizations.

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