For immediate release
Aug. 2, 2021
Contact: Lisa Demer, 907.545.3555
Anchorage, Alaska – Rasmuson Foundation’s board of directors is transitioning to a new generation of leaders.
Ed Rasmuson, a retired banker whose father and grandmother created the Foundation in 1955, is moving into the role of chairman emeritus after 21 years as chairman. He joined the board in 1967 and will remain an active board member. Cathy Rasmuson, who has served as vice chair since 2001 and a board member since 1997, also will continue service on the board.
The newly named officers all bring extensive experience and long board tenures:
Adam Gibbons, chair. He has served on the board since 2005 and is an investment professional with Latash Inc., an Anchorage-based company that provides investment advice to Rasmuson Foundation and the Rasmuson family. Gibbons grew up in Connecticut and spent summers in Alaska where, in another family tradition, he worked for the family-owned National Bank of Alaska. He now divides his time between Anchorage and Bronxville, New York. He is a Bowdoin College graduate and holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He also is a trustee for The Nature Conservancy in Alaska.
Natasha von Imhof, vice chair. She joined the board in 2005 and has served as secretary/treasurer. Von Imhof was born and raised in Anchorage and is a Harvard College graduate with an MBA from the University of Washington. She previously served on the Anchorage School Board and was elected to the state Senate in 2016. She chairs the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee and is on the Senate Finance Committee.
Jay Gibbons, secretary/treasurer. He joined the Foundation in 2015 and, like his brother, Adam, brings time at National Bank of Alaska, finance experience and a strong connection to Alaska. He is the founder of Swanson River Capital Management LLC, an investment management firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut, and previously worked for some of the world’s leading investment firms including Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns. He holds an MBA from Duke University and a Bowdoin College undergraduate degree in biochemistry.
“Our family’s values of hard work, compassion and giving back have guided the Foundation since its beginnings,” Ed Rasmuson said. “My father told me many times that it was my job to ensure that the next generation developed a passion for philanthropy and the work of the Foundation. Passing the torch to my daughter and nephews is one of my proudest moments.”
“I am beyond humbled,” Adam Gibbons said. “I won’t even try to fill Ed’s shoes or Elmer’s before him. These men are and were giants. I’m grateful for this opportunity to continue the work with our partners in Alaska, with nonprofit, tribal and government leaders, and with Foundation staff. Together, we will write the Foundation’s next chapter.”
The changes took effect Aug. 1, 2021.
The Foundation board currently has 13 members, seven from the Rasmuson family and the rest from communities around Alaska. Others on the board are: Rebecca Brice Henderson, Lile Gibbons, Curtis McQueen, Jason Metrokin, Mike Navarre, Judy Rasmuson, Marilyn Romano and Angela Salazar. Diane Kaplan continues as Foundation president and chief executive officer.
“Chairman Ed has been relentless in his desire to improve life in Alaska,” said Kaplan, who has been at the Foundation since 1995. “He presses for answers to problems that no one thought could be solved. He’s why we have an initiative to solve homelessness and why our home city has the best parks and trails in the nation. He has been a great partner and mentor since I joined the Foundation as its first employee.”
“I have worked closely with our new chair, Adam Gibbons, for 16 years,” Kaplan continued. “He loves Alaska, has strong connections in philanthropy and will be a great leader for our board.”
About the Foundation
Through grantmaking and initiatives, Rasmuson Foundation aims to promote a better life for all Alaskans. Main funding areas are homelessness, health care, the arts, organizational and community development and human services including projects to address domestic violence, child abuse and services for seniors and people with disabilities. The Foundation was created in 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband E.A. Rasmuson.