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Foundation Fridays

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Meet Brian Taussig-Lux!

on Fri, 08/30/2013 - 10:13
Photo by Anna Taussig-Lux (age 13)

How did you meet Hal and Norma? I didn’t see Uncle Harold very often growing up, but I first remember him when he visited our family in the 70s.  I was probably 12 or 13 and was fascinated by his tales of traveling in Switzerland which seemed worlds away from the small California farm we lived on. I didn’t meet Norma until I came to Pennsylvania to work for Untours. I was impressed with her stories about living through the dustbowl and raising her kids on the Colorado cattle ranch with Harold and my father.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Meet Kate Wendland Duncan!

on Fri, 08/23/2013 - 10:21
Untours Foundation board member Kate Duncan at Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton, New Jersey

Kate has worn many hats at Untours from foundation board member to expert editor for many of us. She succeeded in describing Untours and its foundation beautifully and in under 100 words for the packaging of Equal Exchange's coffee: Hal's Blend. Quite a feat! Though she's moving onto a nursing career, she still does consulting with the foundation -- thank goodness!

Here's Kate:

How did you meet Hal and Norma? I met Hal at a job interview! I was hired in 2001 to work at Untours, part-time on the Swiss Team and part-time assisting Hal with the foundation. I met Norma at the first foundation board meeting I attended.

What is most unique to you about the foundation? There are very few hurdles for loan recipients to jump over. The projects the foundation funds have their work cut out for them already, and it’s very difficult for them to have to ask for money in sixty different ways on top of that. The board does due diligence certainly, but the application process is very simple and special.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: How to Start a Movement

on Fri, 08/09/2013 - 10:18
A movement always worth following: the peace movement!

I’ve participated in lots of trainings on how to start and lead movements. Some of the trainings have cost thousands of dollars. But here’s a short, sweet, and hilarious video that covers the synopsis of what I have learned. It’s the best 3 minutes you may spend today.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Too Hot in the Kitchen

on Fri, 08/02/2013 - 09:58
Start cooking, already!

I recently heard that we in the US spend more time watching cooking shows than actually cooking. So, why swim upstream!

Here’s a great and amusing 3 and a half-minute cooking video from a favorite foundation investment: IceStone.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Good Planets Are Hard To Find

on Fri, 07/26/2013 - 10:33
Dr. Alan Wright, president of SosteNica, an Untours Foundation loan recipient, discusses sustainability at Wesleyan University

In late June, President Obama gave a speech on climate change, which has received little media attention since. In his speech, the president suggested that citizens and communities consider investing in things that help the planet and divesting in things that don’t.

Our guest blogger, Dr. Alan Wright, takes on the question of divesting. Alan is the Founder and President of SosteNica, which invests in creative, smart, and sustainable development in Nicaragua.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: We're Still Cookin'

on Fri, 07/19/2013 - 09:40
EcoZoom industrial designer, Diana Sierra, working on product improvements with one of our pilot cooks in Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya

Last time, we introduced you to EcoZoom, makers of efficient cookstoves. Here’s an update from Amanda West, one of the company’s founders.

"We just opened our second office in Nairobi, Kenya and are introducing a new cookstove there that we designed WITH cooks. Meet the Zoom Jet!

It’s a charcoal only cookstove that reduces fuel need by 60%, burns clean, stays cools to the touch, is easy to clean, and keeps its bright color over its 5-year life."

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: We're Cookin'!

on Fri, 06/28/2013 - 10:16
EcoZoom's Ben West, Phil Ferranto, & Amanda West

The latest heat wave here in Media, PA, certainly has us cookin'. So does our recent investment in EcoZoom, makers of cookstoves that require 70% less fuel than most and produce fewer dangerous fumes. Thus far, EcoZoom has sold over 70,000 stoves in 14 developing countries.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: The Paper Trail

on Fri, 06/21/2013 - 17:05
Plant some trees!

While I reuse and recycle paper religiously, I used to happily gather up the catalogs from my mailbox and check out the latest in gardening supplies and fashion. I somehow didn’t see my paper-use disconnect.

I’m apparently with the mainstream on this one in liking catalogs. Surveys show that the vast majority of us still prefer the printed page to looking at catalogs and magazines on the Internet.

Then, I heard that “Victoria’s Secret” sends out over one million catalogs a day. I checked: yes, a day! And lots of other names, like L.L. Bean, are close behind.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Speaking from the Heart

on Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:25
Here's Bob checking out some of the amazing steps in San Francisco.

Our guest blogger is Bob Gough, who among many titles, is the attorney for the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy, which works on energy solutions including developing wind farms and straw bale housing construction on Indian reservations. Bob hosted Hal on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation several years back, and I finally met Bob when he set up a sample straw bale house in Washington, DC (!) and later came to our town of Media, PA, to give a talk on climate change. He has a great and contagious smile although he sent me this serious but wonderful photo!

Bob recently mentioned his PTSD to me,

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: A Musical Interlude

on Fri, 05/31/2013 - 10:16

The Untours Foundation promotes smart, green, and generous businesses including B Corporations, which use Gandhi's line: Be the Change. Here's a song by the same title for your listening and viewing pleasure!

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