Jan 2, 2024 | Press Releases

Key Leadership Transitions on Foundation Board of Directors

Wesley Sand retires from Board service after 16 years and Jerry Phillips, the eldest grandson of Kenneth W. Ford and Hallie E. Ford, begins Board service

Roseburg, Ore. Wesley (Wes) Sand, the grandnephew of Kenneth W. Ford and Hallie E. Ford, the “original Ford Scholar,” and strong proponent of The Ford Family Foundation’s investments in child abuse prevention and countless other efforts to springboard opportunity for rural children, has retired from The Ford Family Foundation Board of Directors. Assuming his seat on the Board is Gerald (Jerry) Phillips, son of Carmen Ford Phillips and eldest grandchild of the founders.

“This is life’s greatest gift,” shared Wes Sand, reflecting on his Board term. “Kenneth and Hallie established this Foundation to give all their resources back to the communities where their wealth came from. I’ve been honored to be a custodian, to contribute to this legacy.”

Wes notes that the three words that have anchored the past 16 years are honor, duty and obligation. He dedicated himself to ensuring that community stewardship guides the Foundation’s investments in perpetuity which, he reminds, “is a very, very long time.” He continually emphasized “family” in The Ford Family Foundation — welcoming in new Scholars at every annual Leadership Conference, boldly leading the creation of the Protect Our Children program to advocate for the most vulnerable children who are victims of abuse, engaging his immediate and extended family members in Foundation activities, and more. For the many Board and staff members who worked with Wes, he will be continually admired as “a big brain with a big heart.”

The Foundation now welcomes Jerry Phillips to its Board of Directors as of January 1, 2024. Born in Corvallis, Jerry spent most of his childhood there and in the southwest metropolitan area of Portland. He had the opportunity to work at his grandfather’s Roseburg Forest Products mill in Dillard and drove a pea combine in the Willamette Valley to put himself through college. Jerry spent a great deal of time with his grandmother, Hallie Ford, who gave him plenty of chores — from landscaping to changing lightbulbs — all of which made him feel like he had a purpose and place in her life. He recalls how Hallie would read letters from scholarship recipients; how each was a point of pride. 

Jerry was aware of his grandparents’ charitable focus from a very young age, including their anonymously giving to organizations like hospitals and various nonprofits. “I was raised with that consciousness of service,” said Jerry. “Where much is given, much is expected.”

Starting his career at Fidelity Investments, Jerry ultimately became an entrepreneur, successfully launching and selling three print industry-related businesses. He looks forward to supporting the Foundation’s efforts in education and community economic development, given his intimate knowledge of the value of its scholarship programs as well as the challenges of running a small business.

On Wes’ service on the Board, Jerry shared: “Wes is very grounded and incredibly intelligent. He takes the Foundation and its work very seriously and is always focused on impact. He has provided a great deal of guidance and connection to the family.”

“We are proud to welcome another committed rural advocate to the Foundation’s Board of Directors,” said Board Chair Toby Luther. “Wes’ long-term leadership and dedication has made an immeasurable difference in the lives of children and families across the region we serve — a trend that will only continue as Jerry assumes this role.”

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Wesley Sand JPG
Jerry Phillips JPG

About The Ford Family Foundation
The Ford Family Foundation believes in the power of rural communities. It is a private, nonprofit foundation proudly headquartered in Roseburg, Oregon, serving rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. Its investments through grants, scholarships and community building create the conditions so that children have the family, educational and community supports they need to succeed in life. www.tfff.org

General media inquiries
Mandy Elder, Learning Officer – Research and Communications
(541) 492-2393, melder@tfff.org


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