Skip to main content

About Us

President’s Letter

“May you live in interesting times.” Although the origin of this phrase is uncertain, it is most widely described as a “curse.” In that spirit, 2020 was most certainly the most interesting time I can remember!

As we worked through the tidal wave of changes the global pandemic brought to our daily lives, it was easy to miss the amazing and positive stories that were going on all around us. Here at the Amarillo Area Foundation, we experienced a multitude of incredible stories in 2020.

First and foremost, we can look back and celebrate the resiliency of our region. We went from being one of the hardest hit regions in the country to being one of the best at getting our residents vaccinated in just a matter of months. Our regional leaders adapted quickly and effectively to the strains of the pandemic and emerged as a region serving as an example of how to respond effectively to such a crisis. It was an amazing response!

Likewise, our regional nonprofit organizations were an inspiration in how quickly they adapted to the changing needs of our communities. So many organizations reacted to meet needs for food, child care, healthcare supplies, and other vital resources. Within only a few weeks, there was a support system in our region to assist those infected, those displaced, and those who were helping friends and family members deal with the crisis. The leadership of our regional nonprofits was truly an inspiration.

The strain that was placed on our healthcare system was also unprecedented. Our health systems and providers were completely up to the task. With census numbers at record levels and revenue declining because of an absence of surgical procedures, our local providers did everything they could to keep our region safe and provide compassionate care for those impacted by the pandemic.

At the Foundation, the Board of Directors and staff acted quickly to repurpose our funds for pandemic relief. During the last three quarters of 2020, we focused on assisting nonprofits with the needs identified during the crisis and providing the most relief possible to regional residents. At the same time, the staff of the foundation adapted remarkably to the challenges of working remotely, and there were very few needs that went unmet despite the radical changes in our work environment.

Finally, the generosity of the residents of the Texas Panhandle was on display in dramatic fashion. In a year where many would assume that donations would be down and residents would keep their resources to themselves, Panhandle residents gave generously to help support their neighbors. Through The Panhandle Gives campaign, regional nonprofits received $ in assistance – doubling the previous year and establishing a new record for giving. We truly live in the most generous region!

So, as we think about the curse of 2020 being the most “interesting” of times, we must acknowledge that our neighbors are more than up to the task of facing these challenges. It was certainly a year to celebrate the best of what the Texas Panhandle has to offer.

Chair’s Letter

The year 2020 was certainly like none other in our lifetimes!  Who would have ever imagined that face masks, quarantine, toilet paper shortages, social distancing, and elbow bumps would quickly become a part of our everyday lives?   Without a doubt, it was a year of tremendous stress, sorrow, loss and sacrifice.  Amidst it all, however, there were still many positives.

As we entered 2020, the Amarillo Area Foundation was enthusiastically implementing its new strategic plan, which entailed some drastic practice, process and general philosophical changes that had been in place for quite some time.  Much preparation and planning had gone into the strategic plan roll out, and implementation was well under way when the pandemic reached our community.  

Business at the Foundation quickly became NOT as usual with staff working from home, meetings being Zoom only, and community needs increasing rapidly.  Many organizations would have been paralyzed by all the change or at least slow to respond.  But such was NOT the case with the Foundation.  

Early into the year Clay and the Board recognized the need to hit the pause button on the strategic plan roll out.  With needs rapidly changing, our efforts became redirected, focusing on the Panhandle Disaster Relief Fund and Covid-related grants.  Combined, those provided just under $2M to address immediate needs of the community.  What a tremendous testament to the agility, commitment and leadership within our organization and to the generosity of our donors!  You are the reason that, during such a trying year, the Amarillo Area Foundation continued to be extremely successful in fulfilling our mission of “Improving quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents.”  

Thank you for your continued support!

– Lori Henke

Our History

The Amarillo Area Foundation’s history began in 1957 with a dream and a challenge to address the healthcare needs facing the Texas Panhandle.

Staff Members


President & CEO


Vice President of Operations


Vice President of Community Investment


Vice President of Finance


NLNE Program Officer


NSC Program Officer


ACE Program Director/THRIVE Facilitator


Scholarship Program Assistant


Scholarship Program Assistant


Director of Marketing


Database Coordinator


Grant Administrator


Grants Program Officer


Executive Services Manager


Staff Accountant


Director of Philanthropic Partnerships


Office Coordinator


Grants Program Officer


Senior Accountant


Director of Community Engagement and Impact


Director of Donor Services


Senior Philanthropic Advisor

Board  of  Directors

The Amarillo Area Foundation is the only community foundation serving Texas’ northernmost 26 counties.  Since its inception in 1957 and into the future, the Foundation provides grants and services to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they deliver. The Foundation is enriching the Panhandle communities we call home as a result of partnerships between area philanthropists and social entrepreneurs. The Foundation is governed by a Board of private citizens dedicated to their leadership role on philanthropic, nonprofit, and community issues.

AAf Board of Directors

Amarillo Area Foundation Board of Directors

  • Clay Stribling  |  President and CEO
  • David Hurtt  |  Assistant Secretary
  • Paul Clark  |  Chair
  • Vanessa Buzzard |  1st Vice Chair
  • David Prescott  |  2nd Vice Chair
  • Sharon White |  Secretary
  • Cheri De Jong |  Treasurer
  • Lewis Britt  |  Member at Large
  • Nicki Crump  |  Member at Large
  • Trent Sisemore |  Member at Large
  • William Ware |  Member at Large
  • Dr. Lori Henke |  Immediate Past Chair

Board Directory

Roy Bara | Amarillo
Christy Bertolino | Canyon
Bill Britain | Amarillo
Lewis Britt | Amarillo
Helen Burton | Amarillo
Vanessa Buzzard | Pampa
Trevor Caviness | Amarillo
Paul Clark | Amarillo
Kathy Cornett | Amarillo
Nicki Crump | Amarillo
Michael Cruz | Amarillo
Cheri De Jong | Hartley
Anthony Harris | Amarillo

Lori Henke | Amarillo
Mike Hughes | Amarillo
Mark Keys | Childress
Pedro Limas | Amarillo
Charles Mestas | Amarillo
Jackie Pearson | Spearman
David Prescott | Amarillo
Stella Sauls | Borger
Trent Sisemore | Amarillo
Caroline Smith | Amarillo
William Ware | Amarillo
Sharon White | Amarillo
Suzanne Willis | Perryton

Harrington Foundation Board of Directors

The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation Board of Directors

  • Clay Stribling  |  President and CEO
  • Lori Henke |  Chair 
  • Paul Clark | Vice Chair
  • Vanessa Buzzard  |  Secretary/Treasurer
  • Roy Bara
  • Mark Bivins
  • Dyke Rogers
  • Richard Ware II

HRMC Board of directors

The Harrington Regional Medical Campus Board of Directors

  • Clay Stribling  |  President and CEO
  • Bill Harris |  Chair
  • Dr. Steve Urban |  Vice Chair
  • J.B. Lane |  Secretary/Treasurer
  • Mary Bearden
  • Judy Day
  • Julie Mitchell
  • Rod Schroder
  • Carolyn Witherspoon
  • Alfonso Zambrano