Board consists of family descendants and two non-family member Galveston, Texas residents. Board members are elected to serve a three year term and are eligible to serve an additional term of five years.
Randall Kempner is senior advisor to the Energy and Environment program at the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. In this capacity, he focuses on policy and practice related to climate-focused investment, philanthropy, and economic development. He recently served as the CEO of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, a Texas-based grantmaking foundation that seeks innovative, sustainable solutions for human and environmental problems.
For the previous eleven years, Randall worked as a VP of the Aspen Institute and the founding executive director of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a global network of nearly 300 organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. The network’s members provide critical financing and support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) that create positive economic, environmental, and social impacts in developing countries. Before that, Randall served as the Vice President of Regional Innovation at the US Council on Competitiveness, where he focused on developing innovation-based economic and workforce development strategies for US metro areas. He led the Council’s work with the U.S. Employment and Training Administration on its Workforce and Regional Economic Development (WIRED) initiative and on the U.S. Economic Development Administration-sponsored Regional Innovation Initiative. He is a frequent author and public speaker on the topics of emerging market entrepreneurship, the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems and impact investing.
Randall graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an MBA and a Master of Public Affairs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard College. He serves as a board member of the Center for Global Business at UT Austin, the President of the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund, and an alumni director of the Texas Lyceum.
Emily is a Galveston BOI (Born on the Island). Emily loves Galveston and all that it has to offer including being one of her major influences for pursuing a career in social work. Emily graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2009 with a Masters of Science in Social Work and has been practicing in the field ever since. She has worked for non profits such as Communities in Schools and United Way as well as for the state of Texas at the Health and Human Services Commission.
Emily lives in Austin with her husband Keith Bray and identical twin daughters. She is very excited to be a part of the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund board and looks forward to giving back to the community where she grew up.
Carol Bunch Davis is Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of English at Texas A & M at Galveston. She is an Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator, chairs the campus’ Civic Literacy, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee and represents TAMUG on the Texas A & M University Diversity Operations Committee. She received her B.A. in Communication from Trinity University and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Southern California. Carol served on the inaugural Board of Directors at the Galveston Children’s Museum and lives in Galveston with her husband and daughter.
New York, New York
Chandler graduated from Texas Christian University in 2016 with degrees in Business and Fashion Merchandising. Born in Northern Colorado, she moved to Texas in high school and considers both to be home. Following college graduation, Chandler moved to Aspen and then later New York City where she has lived and worked for the past four years. She has held positions with Gucci, Bottega Veneta and most recently fashion-tech start-up The Yes.
Robert L. K. Lynch is the past president of the Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund. He has been very involved in the Galveston community, having been president of the Galveston Arts Center, the Galveston Historical Foundation, and The Grand 1894 Opera House. He served on the Galveston City Council for six years along with being on the Galveston Arts Commission, Planning Commission, Galveston Parks Board, and Galveston Port Facilities Commission.
Eliza Quigley has more than a decade as a senior leader within nonprofits, charitable foundations, and social service organizations with a deep understanding and expertise in program development and donor relations. Eliza is the immediate past President of the Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund, having served on the Board of Directors for 14 years in various roles before becoming the first of her generation to lead her family’s philanthropic endeavors into the sixth and seventh generations.
Eliza has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Boston University. While at the University of Texas School of Graduate Work, she specialized in Administration and Planning, and studied at the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service. In addition, she is certified in Alcohol and Drug Counseling Skills by the University of California, Los Angeles. She also holds a certification in Fine & Decorative Arts from Christie’s Auctioneers & the Royal Society of Arts in London and worked for a private art dealer in New York and for Sotheby’s Auctioneers in Los Angeles.
Eliza has lived and studied abroad in Florence and Rome, Italy; Cuenca, Spain and the United Kingdom, and has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East. While completing her Master’s Degree, she lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico and studied conversational Spanish for social workers.
Eliza sits on various boards as a trustee and as an advisor to the following organizations: The National Center for Family Philanthropy, The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing. The Galveston Roundtable of Foundations, The Galveston County Recovery Fund, The Johnny Mitchell Branch of the Boys & Girls Club, Temple B’nai Israel and is a lifetime Trustee of the Harry Rosenberg Library.
Benjy grew up in Galveston and lives on the Island with his wife and two children. He is currently managing partner of Simpson, Beeton, Shabot, & McConnell, a civil litigation law firm in Galveston. Following law school, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office before going into private practice. He obtained his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from South Texas College of Law. He has previously served on the board of directors for United Way of Galveston, the Advocacy Center for Children of Galveston County, and Galveston Island Meals on Wheels.
London, United Kingdom
Mr. Daniel K. Thorne is President of Star Lake Capital, Inc. He was a founder and remains an active member of the Board of Directors of Hamilton Thorne Ltd. a leading biotech company in Boston specializing in creating the state of the art tools needed for genetic research. He is founder and Chairman of the International Wildlife Trust dedicated to bringing to justice organized criminal networks responsible for the international wildlife trade. He was a founding partner of Thacher Associates, an industry leader in integrity monitoring and in disrupting the influence of organized crime in private enterprise.
He is also Chairman Emeritus of Global Heritage Fund and Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and on the board of the Harris & Eliza Kempner Fund.
In the past Mr. Thorne served as Vice-Chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Chairman of the Global Heritage Fund, as a Trustee of the Wildlife Conservation Society and for 20 years on the board of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.
Hetta (Peaches) Towler Kempner grew up in and lives in Galveston. A graduate of Ball High School she received her B A from the University of Pennsylvania. She has served for many years as a Life board member of the Fund.
Volunteering first at St. Mary’s Hospital, Peaches has a sixty year career as a volunteer on the island. She has mopped floors, taught CPR, served on many boards and committees, organized film festivals, raised funds, and asked for blood (donations.). Active in the community, she has been vocal about local issues and elections. Peaches is a co-founder of the Women’s Resource and Crisis Center and the Galveston Arts Center. Nationally, she served on the boards of the American Social Health Association and the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.
She has been honored to receive recognition from the Jefferson Awards and has been named a Steel Oleander.
Dr. Sasser was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. She received her BA from Vanderbilt University and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where she now resides.
She is involved in community service in Galveston, having served as president of Congregation B”nai Israel, past president of the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund, board member of the Sasser Family Foundation, and Chairman of the Galveston County Recovery Fund which raised and distributed over $3 million in private funds after Hurricane Ike hit the area in 2008.
Without previous experience in film making, she established Frieder Films in 2011 to make “Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge from the Holocaust”, a documentary film about her maternal grandfather and his family who rescued 1300 Jews from Nazi occupied territory by resettling them in the Philippines.