Meet our members! AFN’s greatest asset is our members—a diverse network of national, regional, and community-based foundations, financial institutions, and grantmakers—investing in advancing economic opportunity and prosperity. Check back each month and meet your peers!
1: What’s your main interest/focus on asset building in 2020?
While income is important, building assets is critical. Assets give people hope, opportunity, and freedom. The Puget Sound AFN chapter is specifically focusing on the deep racial wealth disparities that exist—committing to our education, action, and investment to help close this gap.
2: What’s the most “ah-ha” provoking new book or research that you’ve read in the past year?
I was very inspired by the AFN webinar about guaranteed cash assistance that showed how much healthier our society would be if we had a floor—a true safety net—through which no one would fall.
3: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from a grantee or a colleague?
The most important lessons I learned actually came from working on the nonprofit/fundraising side for seven years early in my career. I learned then how important it is to center the voices of those most affected in the work and how critical it is to have unrestricted funding. I also gained a deep appreciation for the nonprofit sector that I’ve never lost because those were the hardest jobs I’ve ever had.
4: What was your first job?
I was in charge of a salad bar at a pizza place when I was fourteen years old. I will not name the restaurant, but I will say that I didn’t eat at a salad bar for about twenty years after that.
About Jennifer Teunon, Executive Director, Medina Foundation
I oversee the operations of the Medina Foundation, a family foundation based in Seattle that makes more than 150 grants a year in fourteen Washington counties, primarily giving general operating grants to organizations addressing basic needs, education, and human services.