General Updates | February 16, 2023

Welcoming Two New Board Members to Advance Justice

Laura Alvarez Schrag and Salome Mwangi add knowledge and experience ranging from social service to strategic planning and from NASA to Kenya.

Over the years, Foundation policies and efforts have been shaped, in part, by the dedicated leaders who have agreed to bring their experience and insights to our board of directors. We’re always excited to announce the appointment of new members, and that’s certainly true for Laura Alvarez Schrag and Salome Mwangi, both of whom call Idaho home.

“Our new board members bring fresh and exciting perspectives on what it means for the people of our priority communities—Native Americans, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and people in rural areas—to thrive on their own terms,” says Kevin Walker, Foundation president and CEO. “Salome and Laura have robust networks that will help us build new relationships with changemakers in Idaho and beyond. Their skills and lived experiences will enhance the board’s work, I have no doubt. We’re grateful they’ve chosen to join us.”

New voices bring new opportunities.

The Foundation can best support its mission—including through grantmaking, impact investing, and advocacy for the common good and responsible philanthropy—with a board of energetic and dedicated members. We’re excited to bring in Laura and Salome, whose ideas and perspectives will help propel us forward as we partner with grantees that promote justice in their communities.

Laura Alvarez Schrag

As the president and co-owner of Pondera Consulting in Nampa, ID, Laura provides a range of consulting services for startups, nonprofits, local governments, and companies of all sizes, including NASA, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Lactalis, and others. Her expertise is deep and wide, from diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) culture assessments to organizational change management, strategic planning, and leadership coaching.

“I teach my sons that every moment offers an opportunity to teach and to learn—and that respect for others comes first,” Laura says. “The Foundation’s mission and grantmaking approach puts that philosophy into action. I look forward to helping support organizations that lead meaningful change in their communities.”

Over the years Laura has successfully championed many important issues by tapping into her business acumen, diversity expertise, and dedication to community service. She’s earned several awards in recognition of her efforts.


Salome Mwangi

Based in Boise, ID, Salome is an accomplished speaker, trainer, and culture broker. A former refugee herself after being resettled in the U.S. from Nairobi, Kenya, almost 20 years ago, Salome now coordinates the Refugee Speakers Bureau for the Idaho Office for Refugees. She’s also an entrepreneur who tailors and leads training sessions and workshops that advocate for intentional cross-cultural living. In addition, Salome brings a background in banking, finance, and IT.

“Since I arrived in Idaho from Kenya, I’ve had a firsthand view of how immigrant and refugee communities are underrepresented among the decision makers who influence essentially all aspects of their experience,” reflects Salome. “I’m delighted that serving on the Foundation’s board offers an opportunity to change that.”

Salome is passionate about bringing more voices—and flavors—to the table as a way for all community members to connect. She particularly enjoys opening up her culture through sharing Kenyan cuisine and storytelling. She also loves traveling, meeting new people, and learning about their cultures.


Wishing outgoing board members well as their journeys move forward.

As we welcome new board members, we’ll be engaging with others in new ways as board alumni.

Board chair emeritus Lynda Bourque Moss of Montana completed her tenth and final year on our board. She guided us with energy, warmth, and creative vision, not only as board chair for three years, but also in prior stints chairing the program and investment committees. We thank Lynda for a decade of versatile and heartfelt service to our mission.

Two other board members are also finishing board terms. One is Cherie Buckner-Webb of Idaho, who chaired the nominating and governance committee, served on the executive committee, and frequently provided key insights to our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) journey.

The other is Father Larry J. Snyder of Minnesota, whose wise counsel and collegial warmth strengthened board culture and helped us weave JEDI into the practices and processes of the nominating and governance committee.

Both Cherie and Father Larry joined the board in 2017 and served with dedication and grace.

“We are grateful to Lynda, Cherie, and Father Larry for their contributions and impact on the Foundation,” says Kevin Walker. “They brought expertise, engagement, and thought partnership to their board positions, helping advance our mission during unprecedented, challenging times. I look forward to the ways in which these wonderful board alumni will continue to inform the work of the Foundation in the years to come.”

We look forward and stay focused.

We’re inspired by the ongoing opportunities to work with our board and to continue partnering with our grantees as they lead change that will bring social, racial, and economic justice to the communities they serve.

For members of the media and others interested in learning more about our new board members, please contact Communications Director Paul Bachleitner:  or (651) 225-7704.

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