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 2021?
It may seem trite, but I believe a person’s passions, interests and unique abilities are their greatest assets. Through funding mentorship programs, the Holloway Family Foundation is focused on helping individuals translate their God-given human capital into financial capital. We are also supporting workforce skill development programs which increase income, enabling asset building in the areas of home ownership, savings and expanded social networks.
2: What’s the most “ah-ha” provoking new book or research that you’ve read in the past year?
I just finished reading “Together” by Vivek Murthy. The 19th US Surgeon General has written an engaging and timely book about the health crisis of loneliness. Sharing vivid personal accounts, as well as his medical expertise, Murthy identifies and offers tangible solutions, ultimately affirming the power and necessity of human connection.
3: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from a grantee or a colleague?
Years ago, when I was first introduced to the world of philanthropy, I learned that money is not a solution, it’s a tool. When used properly, grant dollars can help solve issues. But, like any tool, if used improperly, indiscriminate funding can actually make a solution harder to reach.
4: What is your favorite vacation spot or most memorable leisure trip?
We have owned a home in Keystone, CO since the early-nineties. Whether it’s taking long hikes in the woods, skiing until our legs shake, working thousand-piece jigsaw puzzles, or just sitting on our back deck marveling at the mountains, that house has provided countless hours of respite and rejuvenation for 3 generations of our family. In fact, I joyfully spent time there after Christmas making snow angels with my grandson!
About Valerie Holloway Skinner, President, The Holloway Family Foundation
My primary role at the foundation is to maintain strong relationships with our non-profit partners, to keep abreast of the needs and opportunity gaps in our community, and to remain an active learner in the areas of racial, gender and wealth disparities.