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A Message from the Walton Family Foundation

January 30, 2019

The following message is from Carrie Walton Penner, Walton Family Foundation Board Chair.

Dear Friends,

I write today to let you know of a change at the Walton Family Foundation.

Kyle Peterson has announced his decision to leave his post as executive director this summer. While this news comes with disappointment, we are appreciative that he is willing to stay during the next six months to help with the transition.

As many of you know, Kyle came to the foundation with a background in philanthropic strategy and with the goal of helping strengthen our philanthropic infrastructure. He focused on an agenda to help steer our work to an even more successful era. And in our time together, he has done just that. With his mission accomplished within the three years that Kyle envisioned, we understand his decision and are grateful to him for his leadership and the critical role he has played through WFF. He brought fresh thinking that has built upon the bedrock values that drive our work.

Kyle arrived during a pivotal moment in the foundation’s life with an exciting vision for the future. He championed innovative grantmaking with a view that great ideas can come from anywhere and that the people closest to challenges are often the closest to solutions.

He led change to both our systems and operations that have positioned the foundation to meet the needs of our staff and grantees now and in the future. Specifically, he ushered in a new focus on people development, initiated a journey for a more inclusive and diverse organization, improved operations, brought a new focus to learning and strategy, stewarded a stronger foundation identity with increased transparency, deepened collaboration with the social sector, and built a One Foundation culture. Meanwhile, WFF grew its professional staff by 50 percent and managed nearly $600 million in annual giving.

Kyle’s commitment to our family, the foundation and those we serve has been evident since the first day he arrived. We are grateful for his energy and devotion, and we appreciate that Kyle has agreed to stay on to lead an important role in the transition as we begin a search for his successor to further WFF’s mission of creating access to opportunity for people and communities. We will continue to update you and look forward to our continued work together.


Carrie Walton Penner