Friend of the Foundation Award

Since 1995 the Idaho Community Foundation has selected a Friend of the Foundation, which recognizes exceptional contributions to the success of ICF.  The award is presented at our annual events, which are held throughout the state.


Kenlon and Carol Johnson – 2016 East Idaho Friends of the Foundation

Mike and Jan McBride – 2016 South Central Idaho Friends of the Foundation

Mike and Jan McBrideMike and Jan McBride’s involvement with ICF began just a few years after the foundation was established. Jan’s parents, Wendell and Barbara Marshall created their first ICF fund in 1994 to benefit nonprofits in eastern Idaho. Barbara later created another ICF fund after Wendell passed away.

The Marshalls, who lived in Pocatello, were generous philanthropists who were just as likely to make anonymous gifts to Jan’s classmates to help them pay for school as they were to make major gifts to the town’s public library, which is named for them.

“We as a family were very supportive of this effort and it introduced us to the work of the Idaho Community Foundation,” Jan recalls. “It was a very large commitment for them, but they loved Pocatello and the people of eastern Idaho.”

The more Mike and Jan learned about ICF, the more enthusiastic they became. Jan served six years on the Southwestern Regional Grant Panel representing Twin Falls County, reviewing hundreds of grant applications every year and making recommendations for funding.

Mike was appointed to fill the seat of ICF Board Director Bill Hart after he passed away and served nearly 12 years on the board, including two years as chairman.

“ICF is a very flexible organization that is well run and can support a wide variety of philanthropic efforts throughout the state,” Mike said. “The investments returns are best in class, the management is outstanding and the grants panels are in tune with community needs. It’s a winning combination.”

The McBrides are also members of ICF’s Legacy Society and will establish their own fund to benefit nonprofits in Twin Falls County with proceeds from their estate.

They created their own philanthropic traditions with their three children at a young age by providing gifts at the holidays for local families, visiting and donating to the College of Southern Idaho Refugee Center and more. They continue with their four grandchildren today.

“We try to teach the three Ts – giving of time, treasure and talent to benefit others,” Jan said.

Mike and Jan have been married for 43 years and are active in the community. They have served on the boards of the First Federal Foundation, the Twin Falls Library Foundation, PEO, the education foundation and the YMCA. Mike also served as a trustee on the board of Linfield College in Oregon, where they met.

 “Our lives are enriched by service to others,” said Mike. “We love living and giving in Idaho.”


Esther Simplot – 2016 Southwest Friend of the Foundation

Esther SimplotA native of Wisconsin and a graduate in music from MacMurray College in Illinois, Esther Simplot met industrialist Jack Simplot while studying voice and working in New York City. They were married on January 22, 1972.

Through her performances on stage and her work behind the scenes, Mrs. Simplot has energetically showed her commitment to the performing and visual arts. Her first endeavor as a fundraiser began with a highly successful benefit concert at the Morrison Center in 1985. As she delved into the state of the performing arts organizations she realized that rehearsal and office space were critical needs for survival and growth. She and J.R. looked at many buildings in downtown Boise over several years.

In 1990, the Hendren Furniture Building came up for sale and Mr. Simplot purchased the building. He promised a $1 million endowment through the newly established Idaho Community Foundation if Esther could raise the funds to pay for major renovations. She succeeded and the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy opened its doors in the fall of 1992, housing Ballet Idaho, Opera Idaho and the Boise Philharmonic.

As the popularity of the three organizations grew, space became tight. In 1994, Mrs. Simplot organized another campaign to renovate the former Boise Fruit and Produce building to house Ballet Idaho. In 2007, Opera Idaho received its own space in a third building.

Today, Mrs. Simplot serves as the Chairman of the Board which operates and manages the Academy. Community leaders have frequently recognized her efforts to support and promote the arts. The Ada-Boise Counties Chapter of the March of Dimes named her one of the area’s 10 outstanding women, and Gov. Cecil Andrus presented her with the prestigious Jefferson Award for outstanding public service. In 1992, she was chosen as the Idaho Statesman Citizen of the year.

In 1994, Mrs. Simplot became the first Idahoan to be named a member of the Smithsonian National Board, where she served for two years. In April 1999, she was elected to the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts Hall of Fame.


Nancy Sue and Marc Wallace – 2016 North Idaho Friends of the Foundation

Marc and Nancy Sue WallaceNancy Sue and Marc Wallace have been involved with ICF since our earliest days. Nancy Sue was invited by ICF Founder John Fery and Steering Committee member Alice Hennessey to represent Kootenai County on the Northern Region Grants Panel, a volunteer opportunity that includes reading hundreds of grant applications from nonprofits and learning more about the projects for which they are requesting funding.

“I loved visiting the grant recipients,” Nancy Sue said. “ICF has always been important in North Idaho because it builds community here and around the state.”

Nancy Sue also served nine years on the ICF Board of Directors.

“How could anyone say no when John Fery and Alice Hennessey ask you to be involved?” she laughs.

They established The Nancy Sue and Marc E. Wallace Philanthropic Gift Fund at ICF in 2005. Marc accepted a position on the ICF Board in 2007 and served for nine years before retiring in February.

“ICF provides a mechanism for North Idaho residents to charitably give back to their region with administrative ease,” Marc said.

In addition to their long history with ICF, the Wallaces are active volunteers with many other community organizations. Nancy Sue is a co-founder of the EXCEL Foundation for the Coeur d’Alene School District, a former Coeur d’Alene City Council member and council president, and an Idaho Commission on the Arts commissioner.

She is currently on the board of Washington Trust Bank and is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Rotary and Junior League of Spokane, Chairman of both the Hayden Urban Renewal Agency, and the Hayden Arts Commission, and a member of the Idaho Capitol Commission.

Marc, an attorney is the area of trusts and estates, is currently serving on the North Idaho College Foundation Board of Trustees and is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Rotary. He previously served on the Kootenai Health Board of Trustees.

They enjoy travel, golf, biking, swimming and fishing, though Marc claims to only be a “fisherman want-to-be.”

The Wallaces met at Ferris High School in Spokane and have been married for nearly 45 years. They have two children and four grandchildren.


Previous Recipients

Treasure Valley Family YMCA
Richard and Jill Jurvelin
Harv Bickett
F.M., Anne G., and Beverly B. Bistline Foundation

Peter and Carolyn Johnson
Grangeville Community Foundation
The Purdy Family and Reidel Family
The Chesbro Family

Pete and Freda Cenarrusa
Gladys Schneidmiller and Gary Schneidmiller
Hazel Rose

Joe and Patty Marshall
Duane and Susan Jacklin
Lex and Celia Kunau
Virginia Willard

Irv and Trudy Littman
Doug and Billie Nelson
Richard and Donna Hutter
Tom King

Bill "Action" and Jackie Jackson
Ralph and Mary Lynn Hartwell
The Women's Gift Alliance
The Wood River Women's Charitable Foundation

Robert I & Barbara Troxell

ICF Steering Committee
The Foundation's Incorporators
ICF's Founding Donors

The Kissler Family Foundation

Roger Martell

Steele-Reese Foundation

Alice E. Hennessey

James H. Roper

J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation

Park Price III

John Fery

Nick Ifft
Margaret Gigray

Warren McCain

Jane and Arthur Oppenheimer

Miles Willard

John Chapman