Walton Family Foundation executive director resigns

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 7,130 views 

The Walton Family Foundation in Bentonville is looking for a new executive director after its leader for the past three years turned in her resignation.

The Walton Family Foundation was created in 1987 and is led by the family of Walmart Inc. founders Sam and Helen Walton. Annie Proietti, one of their granddaughters, is the board chair. The Walton’s youngest son, Jim Walton, is Proietti’s father.

In an email Wednesday (Oct. 5), Proietti said Caryl Stern would continue leading the foundation through the transition to a new executive director. Details regarding the job will be available soon on the foundation website.

“It has been an honor to work alongside Caryl for three years,” Proietti wrote in an email. “I am extremely grateful for her steady hand and strong leadership.”

WFF hired Stern in 2019. Before that, she was president and CEO of UNICEF USA for 12 years.

“It is time to contribute to the issues I care about without the daily administrative responsibilities that come with this role,” said Stern, who turns 65 this month.

Proietti noted Stern’s accomplishments with WFF, including launching a new strategic plan, supporting leadership transitions at the board and staff level and building a more cohesive culture.

“It is the unexpected moments that make it clear Caryl was the right leader at the right time for our foundation,” Proietti wrote. “Just six weeks after starting with us, we experienced a global pandemic. Caryl’s disaster response expertise helped to lead the foundation’s actions in the early days. And her DEI commitment and deep experience helped guide the foundation through the racial unrest in 2020 and the renewed focus on social justice.”

WFF has about 100 employees and additional offices in Denver and Washington, D.C.