2018 Year in
Giving Review

Director's Perspective

Photo of Roger Quarles
Roger Quarles
Executive Director

Making Idaho a place to learn, thrive and prosper, is at the center of every decision we consider. There are more than 7,000 non-profit organizations in Idaho, many of them doing important work. Our approach to giving looks to courageous leaders who exemplify our foundation’s values of innovation, opportunity, integrity, and results.

In 2018, the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation gifted $33 million to a wide variety of charitable organizations. Organizations led by doers. Those with integrity and grit. Those creating opportunities where there is a clear readiness to benefit. Those providing “hand-ups” not “hand-outs,” and those who can provide measurable results. These are leaders that see challenges as opportunities, and who are creating new opportunities for Idahoans.

Our giving strategy is tied to three focus areas; Learning, Awareness and Community. And while the financial component of what we do may be significant, much of our passion is tied to the time and energy we put into the programs and initiatives aligned with our core values. Our position is more one of doing than simply giving, just as we expect from our grantees.

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Striving for continuous improvement is a constant in our day to day work, and while the rewards are many through the opportunities we are able to provide, we embrace ways to think differently – always looking to do better.

Whether it is through BLUUM and their commitment to ensuring Idaho’s children reach their fullest potential by cultivating great leaders and innovative schools, the Mission43 Entrepreneurship Program and their partnership with Boise State Venture College – providing veterans and military spouses with resources, tools and the methodology needed to start their own businesses, or Idaho Ed News delivering investigative journalism and the most current data aimed to hold lawmakers and educators accountable for taxpayer dollars and student achievement; they all point to our vision to make Idaho a better place to learn, thrive, and prosper.

I invite you to take a few minutes to watch the highlight videos we’ve included below in our 2018 Year in Giving Review. These three initiatives speak to our diverse approach to philanthropic giving, and are examples of what innovative leaders are doing across the state of Idaho to make it an
even better place.

Vision & Values


Making Idaho a place to learn, thrive, and prosper.


Investing time, energy, and resources into: Limitless Learning, Innovative Leaders, and Stronger Communities.


  • Family Engagement
  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Opportunity
  • Innovation
  • Results

2018 Giving

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and expanding ways to learn, and to enhancing a sense of place and community for all Idahoans. View our complete 2018 Charitable Giving List.

  • Awareness$4 Million
    We believe in elevating conversation to inspire and encourage informed decisions.
  • Community$12 Million
    We believe philanthropic giving can enhance sense of place and transform communities.
  • Learning$17 Million
    We believe learning innovation and equitable access to learning options is essential for students to thrive in today’s world.
$4 Million $12 Million $17 Million
Total Given $0 million
Over $700 million given

2018 Highlights

  • Idaho Ed News and Idaho Ed Trends

    Idaho Ed News and Idaho Ed Trends deliver investigative journalism and the most current data aimed to hold lawmakers and educators accountable for taxpayer dollars and student achievement. Idaho spends $2 billion annually on public education while student achievement has stagnated over the past four years and still lags behind national indicators of performance and success. Idaho Ed News features stories, news, and commentary about education policies and practices and the people who create and implement them. Idaho Ed Trends aggregates the most current data to provide for exploration and comparison about public schools in Idaho. Information and articles are also shared via Facebook, Instagram, podcast, and a weekly e-newsletter.

    Learn More >
  • Mission43 Entrepreneurship Program

    In 2018, Mission43 introduced a program to help veterans and their spouses explore entrepreneurship as a viable way to transition from the military and enter the civilian workforce here in Idaho. In partnership with the Boise State University Venture College, this peer-centric 10-session course provides adaptive tools centered around the design thinking and lean startup methodology, as well as exposure and feedback through a well-established network at the college. In its first year, thirty-seven Mission43 members participated in the entrepreneurship program.

    Learn More >
  • Bluum

    Bluum was launched in 2014 to help Idaho’s children reach their fullest potential by cultivating great leaders and innovative schools. Bluum has helped 15 high-performing schools open or expand, by directing nearly $19.8M in school grants - creating 8,000+ new learning opportunities for students. Bluum’s Idaho New School Fellowship has empowered six outstanding educators to design, build, and launch high-performing public charter schools in Garden City, Caldwell and Fruitland. In September 2018, Bluum was awarded $17.1M in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program, to open or expand up to 19 more high-quality public charter schools in Idaho.

    Learn More >


  • Photo of Joe Scott
    J.B. "Joe" Scott
    Founding Chairman, Director
    View Bio
    The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation was established in 1966 by Joe and Kathryn Albertson, and is still very much a family foundation driven by legacy. Joe and Kathryn's grandson, J.B. "Joe" Scott, has served as the Chairman of the Foundation Board and Alscott, Inc. for more than 20 years. Joe stands firmly behind meaningful giving to create further opportunities for Idahoans and Idaho communities across the state. He enjoys mountain biking, skiing, hunting, and fishing; and more than anything spending time with his children and grandchildren.
  • Photo of Jamie Jo Scott
    Jamie Jo Scott
    Board Chair
    View Bio
    Over the course of Jamie’s career, she has been a leader in local and statewide philanthropy in Idaho. She served as the Foundation’s community grants coordinator and as a member and treasurer on the board of directors for more than 10 years before acting as executive director from 2008-2014. She has been active in the non-profit community as a board member and board committee chair of the Bogus Basin Recreational Association, and past board member of the Bishop Kelly Foundation, the Boise Art Museum, and the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Most recently, Jamie was selected for the Spring 2018 cohort of the two-year Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship. These 24 leaders join a network of diverse and talented leaders who are reimagining America’s public schools. Jamie is a Boise native and mother of two sons. She brings her personal, professional, and educational experience, her entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for a better Idaho to her leadership role as President of the Foundation.
  • Photo of Brain Naeve
    Brian Naeve
    Chief Investment Officer
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    Brian began his finance career 25 years ago at Dean Witter, and since then his experience and leadership has spanned managing investments and lending for a local bank start-up to nearly 10 years with the local arm of Amresco working in commercial finance. Brian joined Alscott, Inc. in 2006 to bring his expertise in underwriting, asset and investment management, industry analysis, and capital markets support to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation as Chief Investment Officer. He also serves as Vice President and Board member of the Foundation, President of Alscott, Inc., and sits on multiple local operating business boards. Brian grew up in Boise, and is a husband and dad with two amazing kids in the Boise school system. He is an avid outdoorsman who loves hunting, fly fishing, biking, golf, tennis, and skiing.
  • Photo of Brady Panatopoulos
    Brady Panatopoulos
    Chief Executive Officer
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    Brady is what you picture when you think of a hardworking, successful Idahoan. He spent 28 years building a career in Deloitte’s Boise office, ultimately becoming lead tax partner before retiring in 2012. Soon after, Brady started a new career as the CEO of the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, as well as the Chief Financial Officer of Alscott, Inc. Brady serves on the Advisory Boards for both the School of Accountancy and the College of Business and Economics at Boise State University, allowing him the opportunity to give back to the university that served him nearly 30 years ago. Brady spends his free time fishing, hunting, and spending time with his wife, two boys (both Boise State grads), and soon-to-be four grandchildren.
  • Photo of Roger Quarles
    Roger Quarles
    Executive Director
    View Bio
    Having served as an Idaho teacher, principal, superintendent, and ultimately chief deputy state superintendent, Roger has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing rural education, and appreciates the fierce independence of Idaho and Idahoans alike. Prior to joining the Foundation as Executive Director in 2013, Roger was co-director of the Idaho Leads project at Boise State University’s Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies, and served as an Assistant Professor in the Executive Educational Leadership Program. Roger remains active in the business community through his service on a variety of boards, including Chairman of the Teach For America Regional Board. He is an avid outdoorsman and tennis player.
  • Photo of Jacqueline Rush
    Jacqueline Rush
    Director of Employee Experience
    View Bio
    Jacqueline joined the Foundation in 2017 as the Director of Employee Programs and Experience. Over the course of her 25-year career in human resources, Jacqueline held various HR leadership roles in a global technology company and for the most recent ten years provided HR consulting services to businesses in multiple industries. In her work, her goal is to help improve employee and organizational success through people programs, and she sits on the Idaho State Council of SHRM Board as Certification Director. After time ‘living large’ out of state, her desire to return to her roots in Idaho brought her family back to Boise. Jacqueline actively supports her three boys through various sporting, scouting, and youth committees, and is currently serving as VP of the Parent Teacher Student Organization of Meridian Technical Charter High School.
  • Photo of Heather Hill
    Heather Hill
    Communications Officer
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    Heather’s marketing and communications career spans more than 25 years, having worked both agency and client side, as well as through her own business. She has played an integral role in developing and executing on brand strategy and marketing initiatives for startups, established brands, Fortune 500 companies, world-class sporting events, and global non-profits. Heather moved to Boise in 2008 to serve as VP Marketing & Communications for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. Prior to joining the Foundation as Communications Officer in 2016, Heather worked with St. Luke’s Health System as the Executive Director for FitOne. She is an avid cyclist and skier, and brings her passion for cooking and photography together through her Instagram handle @GetHealthyBoise
  • Photo of Bryan Madden
    Bryan Madden
    Program Officer
    View Bio
    Bryan’s experience growing up in a military family and his leadership as an Army officer has given him a unique insight into developing Mission43, the Foundation’s statewide initiative to help veterans and military spouses transition after the service. Prior to joining the Foundation as Programs Officer in 2015, he held operations and management positions in Army aviation units, including nine deployments across Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa as a Special Operations helicopter pilot. His military background, which included over 25 moves around the country, also helped him develop a strong sense for what makes a community a great place to live and play. That contributed to Bryan’s and his wife’s decision to relocate to Idaho in 2010, where they take full advantage of raising their three children around everything this state has to offer.
  • Photo of Melissa Merritt
    Melissa Merritt
    Grants Coordinator
    View Bio
    Melissa has spent a lifetime acquiring experience in program and administration related areas. In her varied career, she has held positions as a corporate travel agent, corporate travel administrator, presentation coordinator, database administrator, and executive assistant. After relocating to Boise, Melissa’s career evolved to include long-held positions at both Micron Technology and Deloitte and Touche LLP. As Grants Coordinator for the Foundation, Melissa is responsible for ensuring quality of the grantmaking process and tracking progress toward the Foundation’s mission. As a lifelong learner, she eagerly pursues career development through continuing education and is passionate about encouraging others to seek opportunity and strive towards excellence. Melissa enjoys time with her family, music, circuit training, yoga, hiking, biking, stand-up paddle boarding, and skiing.
  • Photo of Sam Fleetwood
    Sam Fleetwood
    View Bio
    A certified public accountant by profession, Sam brings a focus for organization, responsibility, and transparency. Prior to joining the Foundation and Alscott, Inc. as Controller in 2017, Sam was a managing director with Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he held various roles throughout the country. Although a transplant with his family to the area in 2012, Sam is a proud Idahoan. He is passionate about youth soccer as a coach for the Indie Chicas FC and Idaho Juniors FC organizations, where his daughter and son play, respectively.
  • Photo of Sean Harris
    Sean Harris
    IT Director
    View Bio
    Sean has 20 plus years of experience in the field of information technology in both the public and corporate sectors. He has been responsible for and managed many IT initiatives which include the incorporation of virtualization technology, network design and deployment, and cloud-based service catalog solutions for state agencies to Fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining the Foundation as IT Director in 2018, Sean worked at Dell EMC as an IT Project Manager and at Southwest District Health as an IT Database Analyst. Sean enjoys camping, fishing, skiing, golf, and especially participating in any sports his kids are doing at that time.
  • Photo of Devon Williams
    Devon Williams
    Creator of First Impressions
    View Bio
    Devon has a strong background in customer service, technology, and social media. Prior to joining the Foundation as Creator of First Impressions in 2017, she worked as a logistics coordinator in the maritime industry. Her time there taught her how to interact with different kinds of people with all different backgrounds. Devon graduated from Boise State University in spring 2015 and majored in Communications with an emphasis in Media Studies and a minor in American Sign Language. She is an avid sushi eater, organizing guru, she always makes sure everyone is having a good time, and will do so with a smile on her face!


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