2014201520162017201820192020 • ANNUAL REPORT Amarillo Area FoundationAMARILLO AREA FOUNDATION

About Us

The Amarillo Area Foundation strengthens our community in many ways. Its purpose is to bring together generous donors and innovative ideas to make the Texas Panhandle a better place for the generations who will come behind us. The Foundation identifies potential issues in the Texas Panhandle and then creates programs and initiatives, and supports nonprofit organizations that are generating solutions to things that matter most.onprofit organizations; thereby, providing for the enrichment of the quality of life in the communities of the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.

Leadership goes beyond managing people. It comes in many shapes and sizes, but it always involves being other-centered. It’s about providing a vision, influencing and serving others, and being bold enough to realize that reaching your goal will take the efforts of many people. It starts with identifying a need, finding the cause, then solving the problem.

Dear Foundation Members,

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” - Maya Angelou

We feel blessed to share the accomplishments of the Amarillo Area Foundation in our 2014 Annual Report. Our goal for the year was to share our mission of “improving quality of life in the Texas Panhandle." We have succeeded in our mission due to the hard work and dedication of our 17 member staff. Clay Stribling, our CEO and President, has represented us well with his exceptional leadership and communication skills. Our senior leadership of Angela Lust and Charlotte Rhodes continue to provide growth and stability to our foundation. The staff went above and beyond taking on a renovation and expansion of our offices which are both attractive and functional by department.

Our committed 25 member board is representative of numerous counties. We went “paperless” this year with all board material being emailed electronically. We studied 39 grants in 2014, dispersing nearly $5 million in requests. A few of our board highlights include housing a fund for the growth of a downtown campus for WTAMU and opening a Disaster Relief Fund for immediate access by our staff.

Our foundation continued its role in education with our nonprofit service center training 15 nonprofits and 429 individuals in workshops. We held our second Texas Convening with representatives from the state sharing higher education programs and showcasing our No Limits No Excuses and ACE Programs. Our Community Development Philanthropy Team worked with four communities to introduce the importance of endowed funds with more pilot projects on the way.

Partnerships stay at the forefront of our work. We are pleased to continue working with Malouf and Therese Abraham and the Citadelle Art Foundation in Canadian, Texas as a support organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation. Our Resident Engagement Team is studying ways to make residents become a vital part of the work that we do and our Panhandle Prosperity Program is working with our existing projects to enrich our area.

Our community is continuing to give cheerfully. Our Women’s Philanthropy Fund donated $38,500 to five nonprofits. ACE celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a social media campaign showcasing our ACE students and raising the endowment to take ACE to Tascosa High School in three feeder schools. Total giving to the Foundation for 2014 exceeded $11 million. The total combined funds for the Amarillo Area Foundation and Harrington Foundation totaled more than $220 million in 2014.

We are indeed blessed by a strong community foundation due to the generosity of Don and Sybil Harrington. It is a privilege to build on this legacy with our current leadership of Cliff Bickerstaff, Puff Niegos, and Jason Herrick. We are grateful for our giving community and excited about the future of the Amarillo Area Foundation.

Thank you for a memorable year,

Julie Mitchell

An old man was walking on the beach one morning after a storm. In the distance, he could see someone moving. As he came closer, he saw that it was a young woman picking up starfish and gently throwing them into the ocean. “Young lady, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” “The sun is up, and the tide is going out, and if I do not throw them in they will die,” she said. “But young lady, do you not realize that there are many miles of beach and thousands of starfish? You cannot possibly make a difference.” The young woman listened politely, then bent down picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference for that one.” The Starfish Story – Adapted from the original by Loren Eiseley

I was recently reminded of this story and it struck me that the message particularly related to the mission of the Amarillo Area Foundation. Our goal is to improve quality of life in the Texas Panhandle through effective philanthropic efforts. It is easy to allow this mission and its ambitious scope to discourage small efforts to assist others. However, even the longest journey begins with a single step.

Our theme for this report is leadership and legacy. I believe “The Starfish Story” can illustrate some overlooked aspects of each of these concepts.

Leadership can be shown in a variety of ways. In the story, the young girl took initiative to help others. She didn’t allow the scope of her task to discourage her. She didn’t wait for others to organize, strategize or manage the process. She saw a need and she got to work to help as quickly as possible. By taking the initiative she truly made a difference.

When many think about legacy, they think about large impact, naming rights, monuments and permanent fixtures. The young woman in the story however, understood that legacy was not about recognition. It was not about creating something tangible to represent your contribution. By working hard the young woman allowed the starfish to survive and even thrive. Her legacy was represented in the lives of every starfish she assisted. Even if others do not know who assisted them, they will know that someone took the time to help and that their lives were better as a result of those efforts.

The Amarillo Area Foundation is fortunate to have a more than 50-year history of assisting the communities we serve. We have worked hard to provide leadership on important issues, and we have had the privilege of working with our region’s greatest leaders as partners. Through the tireless efforts of our donors, staff, and partners, we hope to create a legacy of compassion and assistance and to improve quality of life in the Texas Panhandle.

Clay Stribling

Julie Mitchell Chair
Mike Engler Immediate Past Chair
Cliff Bickerstaff First Vice Chair
Puff Niegos Second Vice Chair
Jason Herrick Treasurer
Linda Rasor Secretary
Steve Hoard Member at Large
Jackie Pearson Member at Large
Dyke Rogers Member at Large
Caroline Smith Member at Large
Clay Stribling President & CEO
Stephania Jones Assistant Secretary
Roy Bara  
Jeri Bezner  
Vanessa Buzzard  
Terry Caviness  
Paul Clark  
Kathy Cornett  
LeRayne Donelson  
Larry Johnson  
Ken Kelley  
Sharon Miner  
Alice O’Brien  
Rod Schroder  
Eddie Scott  
Nancy Seliger  
Roy Urrutia  


Stephania Jones Director of Finance and Accounting
Kathie Grant Grants Coordinator
Karen Delashaw Donor Services Coordinator
Angela Lust Senior Vice President
Connie Bradford Ace Program Director
Suzanne Brantley Executive Assistant
Charlotte Rhodes Vice President of Resource Development and Sustainability
Katharyn Wiegand Senior Project Director
Janet Luman Client Services Coordinator
Roxann Ball Project Manager
Christina Williams Program Officer
Clay Stribling President & CEO
Maria Valdovinos ACE Collage Liaison
Lori Bigham No Limits No Excuses Coordinator
Shree Veeramachaneni Program Director
Mark Glawe Staff Accountant
Karen Phillips Donor Services Administrative Assistant


The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation became a supporting organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation in January of 1988. This supporting organization status has enabled them to benefit from the Amarillo Area Foundation’s professional staff, administrative services and favorable tax status as a community foundation. Meanwhile, The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation has its own grantmaking authority and Board of Directors.

Clay Stribling President & CEO
Mike Engler Chair
Julie Mitchell Vice Chair
Mark Bivins Secretary/Treasurer
Terry Caviness  
Wales Madden, Jr.  
Alice O’Brien  
Richard Ware