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Pam Russell
Senior Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
March 16, 2016

CASE Names Recipients of 2016 CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Leaders of the Iowa State University Foundation and the Tyler Junior College Foundation in Texas are the 2016 recipients of the CASE Commonfund Institutionally Related Foundation Awards.

Institutionally related foundations are nonprofit organizations that cultivate and manage private assets to support the missions of the colleges and universities with which they are affiliated. These prestigious awards recognize professionals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement, quality and effectiveness of their foundations and the sector.

The winners will be formally recognized at the 24th Annual CASE Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations, April 6-8, in Phoenix, Arizona.

The 2016 recipients are:

Lisa M. Eslinger, senior vice president for finance and operations of the Iowa State University Foundation. Eslinger has almost 18 years of experience in institutional advancement at the Iowa State University Foundation. She started at the ISU Foundation in 1998 as controller and is now responsible for all financial and operational aspects of the foundation.

During her tenure at ISU Foundation, Eslinger completed two restructurings of the foundation's revenue model and also created its first gift acceptance policy, which has become a model for similar organization in the United States. She has overseen an eight-year comprehensive campaign that raised $867 million in gifts and commitments, the largest fundraising effort in Iowa State's history. Following a 2005 Iowa Supreme Court ruling about foundation records, she revised the foundation's public information policy and developed and implemented a process to document donor requests for confidentiality. Eslinger facilitated the foundation's first review of enterprise risk management and led a team in developing a plan to close risk gaps. She is the author of "Understanding Foundation Finances: Financial Oversight and Planning for Foundation Boards" (AGB Press, 2014).

"[Lisa] not only serves ISU Foundation, but she serves our industry as an expert, leader, and teacher for complex areas such as public information and open records, enterprise risk management, governance, volunteer engagement, IRF funding models, legal matters, and strategic planning," wrote Larissa Holtmeyer Jones, ISU Foundation president and CEO, in her nomination letter. "She regularly engages with donors and is often invited into dialogue about strategy and problem-solving."

Eslinger serves on CASE's National Committee for Institutionally Related Foundations and has spoken at CASE's Institutionally Related Foundation Conference.

Kimberly A. Russell, chancellor of LSU Eunice. Russell has more than 20 years of experience in institutional advancement. She began her advancement career as director of foundation and corporate relations at LeTourneau University in Texas.

Russell joined the TJC Foundation in 1999 as executive director. She was named vice president for advancement and external affairs in 2006. In 2012, she developed and implemented a $50 million public/private partnership campaign for a new nursing and health sciences building. Additionally, Russell developed the college's first Presidential Honors Scholarship, providing full tuition and fee scholarships for the inaugural class of 105 honors students. Russell also oversees numerous partnerships with local and regional businesses and economic development councils. During her tenure, annual contributions have increased from $800,000 to an average of $2.5 million annually, and the number of donors has grown by more than 10 percent each year since 2000.

"Under [Russell's] leadership, relationships with donors have grown and donations have continued to increase," wrote L. Micheal Metke, Tyler Junior College president, in his nomination letter. "Kim worked diligently to build a strong Foundation Board of Directors and an excellent Foundation Investment Committee, both of which have helped to ensure an unparalleled level of excellence at Tyler Junior College."

Russell left the TJC Foundation in August 2015 after LSU Eunice named Russell to serve as chancellor. Russell serves on CASE's Center for Community College Advancement advisory committee. The TJC Foundation was recognized by CASE in 2013 and 2014 for overall performance in educational fundraising, and the college received a CASE Circle of Excellence gold award in 2013 for its public/private partnership with Luminant. In 2015, the college also received a grand-gold award for PSAs and commercial spots as well as a silver award for advertising campaigns.

The awards are underwritten by Commonfund, which provides fund management services and investment advice to nonprofit organizations.

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