Letter from Board Co-Chairs
Lisl Schoepflin & Holly Roberson
Dear Panta Rhea Community,
Our story of friendship and collaboration started in 2004 when we met at a leadership retreat and quickly fell into long conversations about life, challenges and dreams. When Panta Rhea Foundation expanded to include our first cohort of non-family trustees in 2015, Holly was honored to be asked and excited to join.
This step for the Foundation marked the beginning of a series of important transitions for Panta Rhea. After Lisl became Board Chair in 2017, Holly and Lisl worked closely with the board and staff to shepherd in a new ED (now CEO). Joining in late 2019, Connie Malloy’s leadership has been incredibly grounded and full of care, grace and vision. Together we navigated the COVID crisis and ratified a new grantmaking strategy in 2020.
In 2021, after a long search involving trusted partners & grantees, we welcomed trustees from the broader social justice and nonprofit community, Solomé Lemma and Cedric Brown.
As the co-chairs of Panta Rhea Foundation, we are committed to inclusive and transformative philanthropy. Our goal is to explore additional pathways and tributaries to democratize and share the power of grantmaking, while continually balancing and redefining the role of legacy and stewardship in the Panta Rhea Foundation. Working in partnership with our fantastic board and staff to, we plan to:
- Actualize and deepen our new internationalist grassroots strategy;
- Improve justice and equity practices within the organization;
- Cultivate grantmaking tools such as participatory, trust based philanthropy;
- Engage in collaborative, network based donor efforts and expand our voice and role in donor organizing; and
- Deepen our transatlantic partnership with our sister philanthropic and nonprofit entities working in Germany (Schöpflin Stiftung) and globally (Spöre).
We uphold the spirit of Panta Rhea’s long standing values to be adaptable, resilient, bold, creative, caring, relational, and trusting of the emergent and iterative process of change. The dedication and leadership of our stellar staff as well as the critical role of partnership and collaboration in our strategies allow us to make a big impact while remaining a lean and flexible organization.
With gratitude and humility for the opportunity to share in the essential work of transformative change, we strive to boldly and creatively meet today’s diverse challenges with grounded, long-view initiatives that foster and engage the wisdom, dignity and beauty of the planet, its peoples and cultures. Onwards!
Lisl Schoepflin, President & Co-Chair and Holly Roberson, Co-Chair