Visit to J. Craig Venter Institute

Thursday evening promises to be an informative and fascinating look into the work of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a non-profit genomics research institute founded in 2006.  With more than 250 scientists and staff, more than 250,000 square feet of laboratory space, and locations in Rockville, Maryland and La Jolla, California, JCVI is a world leader in genomic research.

Craig Venter will kick off the presentations with an introduction and overview. We will hear brief presentations from three of their leading researchers on the following topics, followed by a tour of the working labs:

  • Dr. Orianna Bretschger, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), and her team of researchers are developing BioElectrochemical Sanitation Technologies (BEST) to provide sustainable sanitation and water recycling systems for individual homes and small communities in the developing world. The BEST program was established with funding from the Roddenberry Foundation.
  • Chris Dupont, Ph.D., Assistant Professor is one of the leading scientists of the Global Ocean Sampling (GOS) program at JCVI. Over the past 12 years, JCVI’s GOS expedition has explored the world’s oceans, along with major inland seas such as the Baltic and Mediterranean. This work, conducted from the deck of our research vessel, Sorcerer II, is the largest marine microbial study to date, discovering well over 100 million genes.   This year we are hoping to explore the unique and pristine waters surrounding Cuba.  The team plans to study a wide variety of marine protected areas (MPAs) found throughout the Caribbean Sea, the Florida Straits, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Sea of Cortez with the goal to profile the ecosystem health (at the microbial level) of the MPAs and then make policy recommendations for improved ocean management.
  • Dr. John Glass, Ph.D., Professor at the J. Craig Venter Institute. Dr. Glass is a Type 1 diabetic and, is researching novel new ways to treat and, hopefully, cure diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.25 million American children and adults have Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).  Utilizing new advances in synthetic and cell biology, Dr. Glass is developing a living cellular lotion that once in contact with the skin of a diabetic patient senses glucose levels and delivers the appropriate amount of insulin, while avoiding recognition by the immune system.  If successful, Dr. Glass’ approach has the potential to address the complex and demanding treatment regimen TID patients of all ages face every day.

We will depart the hotel at 3:30pm, and return at approximately 6:30pm for a seated dinner at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.

Conference Pre-Work Due on January 29

In order for the Conference Notebook to go out two weeks prior to the conference, we need to have all materials submitted no later than Friday January 29 to guarantee that your info is included.  This includes:

Please contact Amy Daly-Donovan with any questions! or 206.923.3234

Confirmed: Senator Olympia Snowe and Jason Grumet, Bipartisan Policy Center

We are very pleased to announce that Senator Olympia Snowe and Jason Grumet from the Bipartisan Policy Center will join us on Friday morning to discuss what’s on the horizon legislatively and issues of interest to Community Foundation leaders.  Please plan your travel accordingly so you can participate!

See the full agenda here.

2016 Agenda + Deep Dive Case Studies

The agenda for the 2016 conference is ready and we are excited to bring a variety of excellent guest speakers as well as plenty of opportunity for networking, learning, and sharing.  Back by popular demand, we will offer Deep Dive Case Studies on Wednesday afternoon. Download the RFP and submit your idea for sharing a specific outcome and lessons learned by January 11, 2016.  Contact Amy Daly-Donovan ( with any questions!

Conference 2016 Coming Together!

This year’s planning committee, led by Mike Parks (CEO, The Dayton Foundation) is working hard to create another great gathering, this year in Rancho Santa Fe, California.  The agenda and conference registration will be ready in a few weeks.  Stay tuned!

2015 CEO Summer Meeting Set For July 22

Stay tuned for more details, but in the meantime mark your calendar for the 3rd annual CEO summer meeting on Wednesday July 22, 2015 in Chicago – thank you to Terry Mazany and Chicago Community Trust for hosting again this year!  A dinner will be planned the evening prior.  Agenda and other details coming soon.

Conference Materials Available

Materials from several conference sessions are now available for downloading on the Materials page.

Conference Notebooks are Ready!

Electronic copies of the 2015 Conference Notebook are ready!  Conference attendees will receive an email with a link to access each section of the notebook for downloading and local printing.  If you requested a hard copy of the notebook to be shipped to your foundation’s address, it should arrive no later than Friday 2/13.  Please contact with any questions or problems.

Conference Pre-Work Due January 21 (deadline extended)

We’ve extended the initial deadline … please submit the following by January 21st to ensure inclusion in the Conference Notebook (available about 2 weeks prior to the conference):

Contact Amy Daly-Donovan with questions (

Bob Putnam Confirmed

We are thrilled to announce that Bob Putnam will join us on Thursday morning to discuss his current research and new book on issues around class and inequality, dubbed “The Opportunity Gap”.  Known for his work on social capital through his books “Bowling Alone” and “Better Together”, Mr. Putnam will share his insights on the growing youth class gap in America.