History of the Chrest Foundation
The Chrest Foundation is a private foundation based in Irving, Texas. The Foundation was established by Jeff Jensen and Lou Anne King Jensen in 1999 to share with others some of the financial resources they had been fortunate enough to receive through health insurance, telecommunications, and other family related business investments. The word “Chrest” was chosen as the name of the Foundation due to its general meaning of “goodwill.” The Foundation works on the principles of goodwill and friendship in its relations with domestic and international communities.
The Chrest Foundation continues a tradition of philanthropy and giving that began with the founders’ parents. The Jensen family has been engaged in philanthropy for many years in the United States, focusing their endeavors on underprivileged children, social entrepreneurs, college scholarships, diabetes research, and others.
Building on this tradition, the Chrest Foundation’s founders decided to add an international dimension to their grantmaking. The decision to allocate Foundation resources in Turkey was the result of previous travel to the Mediterranean area, including Turkey, for family holidays as well as an international conference related to social initiatives. The Foundation exclusively supported civil society endeavors related to Turkey and the surrounding region from 2001 until 2016.
In 2017, the Foundation’s endowment increased as well as the founders’ three adult children became more heavily involved in the Foundation’s activities. The combination of increased resources and succeeding generation engagement resulted in the addition of two new program areas focused on efforts in the United States: criminal justice reform and the environment. At present, the Foundation also continues its support of civic life in Turkey and the surrounding region.
Board of Directors and Officers
Lou Anne King Jensen - President
Jeff Jensen - Vice President
Haley Jensen - Secretary
C. N. Jensen - Treasurer
William Jensen - Director
Elizabeth Suhler - Program Coordinator and Grants Manager