Javon Dobbs, communications manager
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) announces the election of Dr. Cathann A. Kress of Powell, Ohio, as its new board chair, taking the helm this month. Kress will serve a one-year term as chair. She replaces Dr. Celeste A. Clark of Battle Creek, Michigan, whose term as chair expired in Dec. 2021.
“As board chair, Cathann’s community expertise and action orientation will serve us well as we embark on the next phase of our work. At this pivotal moment, she will help guide this foundation as we accelerate transformational change on behalf of children," said Clark, who will remain on the board of trustees.
Kress joined the WKKF Board of Trustees in 2016. She is vice president for Agricultural Administration and dean, College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University. Kress is responsible for leadership of the college which also includes OSU Extension, the statewide Agricultural Experiment Station (Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center) and the Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio. She is also a full professor in the department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership.
Kress grew up in a military and government service family and lived outside the U.S., primarily in the Middle East and South America, until she entered middle school in Iowa. She brings a unique perspective that blends sociology, education and agriculture practical experiences to her work.
“Cathann is a lifelong educator with rich executive leadership experiences that she brings to bear at the Kellogg Foundation,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the Kellogg Foundation. “As the chair of the board development committee, she has significantly contributed to the redesign of board learning opportunities – increasing relevance and focus. I’m looking forward to our partnership as we deepen our commitments to our grantees and communities.”
Kress has had an extensive career in higher and agricultural education and administration. She has served in various executive leadership roles including as vice president for Extension and Outreach at Iowa State University; senior policy analyst for Military Community & Family Policy in the U.S. Department of Defense; director of Youth Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; director and assistant director at National 4-H Headquarters; and assistant director of Cornell Cooperative Extension at Cornell University.
She has served on the boards of several public and charitable organizations, and currently serves on the State of Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Board of Trustees and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio Board of Trustees. Kress holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Iowa State University, and a master’s and doctorate in education from the University of Iowa.
“I’m deeply honored to take on this role of stewarding Mr. Kellogg’s legacy and his unwavering belief in people’s ability to solve the most pressing challenges facing children and families in their communities,” said Kress upon her election as chair.
WKKF also re-elected trustees Milton Chen of San Francisco, California; Roderick Gillum of Detroit, Michigan; and Richard Tsoumas of Battle Creek, Michigan to new three-year terms. Other board members include: Celeste Clark of Battle Creek, Michigan; Christina Hanger of Plano, Texas; President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron of Battle Creek, Michigan; Ramón Murguía of Kansas City, Kansas; Khan Nedd of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Kress as new board chair.
In addition to Tabron, the following staff were re-elected as foundation officers: Kathryn Krecke, general counsel and corporate secretary; Carla Thompson Payton, vice president for program strategy; Carlos Rangel, vice president and chief investment officer; and Donald Williamson, vice president for finance and treasurer.
Appointed to the board’s development committee were Nedd (chair), Chen, Hanger, Tabron (ex-officio) and Kress (ex-officio). Appointed to the CEO compensation committee were Kress (chair), Clark and Nedd.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti.