Born mid-century in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Roxanne Quimby developed an early passion for the arts and nature that was to become the central theme of her future business and social philosophy. In 1975, after receiving her BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, Roxanne moved to a small town in central Maine, where she used her life savings to buy her first 30 acres of woods. She built a small cabin where she and her twins, Hannah and Lucas, lived in harmony with nature for almost fifteen years without electricity, running water or other modern conveniences.
In 1989, Roxanne and her partner Burt, a beekeeper and refugee from New York, started Burt's Bees, a cottage industry which quickly evolved into an internationally renowned personal care company with a core commitment to pure ingredients, naturally efficacious formulas and earth-friendly packaging. In 2003, Roxanne sold the multimillion dollar company.
With the proceeds of the sale, Roxanne funded two foundations. The first awards grants to nonprofit organizations in support of the environment and the arts, and the second, an operating foundation which owns and maintains 120,000 acres of wilderness in the North Woods of Maine. Roxanne also serves as the founding director of the Quimby Colony, an artist in residence program located in Portland Maine, and in the summer of 2010, was honored to be appointed to the National Park Foundation by its Chairman, Kenneth Salazar, Secretary of the Department of the Interior.
Roxanne’s most stunning achievement, in her opinion, was her ascent of Mt Katahdin in August of 2010.
Welcome to the Quimby Family Foundation! The foundation was formed in 2004 by Roxanne Quimby - an entrepreneur, environmentalist, and philanthropist with the vision to advance wilderness values and to increase access to the arts throughout Maine. In 2005, we began accepting proposals and awarding grants to Maine based nonprofits focused on the arts and the environment. In 2014, a decade after the foundation was created, we added Healthy Living as an additional funding priority, and in early 2016 we entered a planning period with the goal of refining our mission and grant making strategy. The Board of Directors is composed of Quimby family members spanning two generations and we recently added an Advisory Board with extended family and community members.
It is a great privilege for our family to be engaged in this work and to learn from visionary leaders across the state of Maine. We are inspired and encouraged by organizations that are working tirelessly to protect the health of the natural environment and its inhabitants. Our family considers the work of the foundation as one of our greatest opportunities and responsibilities and we look forward to working with visionary organizations for years to come!
We envision thriving Maine communities empowered by reciprocal relationships with nature. We see people connecting with, eating from, and ultimately caring for Maine's farms, woods, and waters.
To grow human wholeness by fostering stronger relationships between people and nature.
Human Wholeness: To us, human wholeness is physical, emotional, social, and spiritual health. We believe in the inherent value of nature to advance all four.
We strive to work collaboratively, guided by the following commitments:
- We respect our partners time and commit to being accessible and responsive
- We commit to a culture of learning for our board, staff, and partners
- We commit to reasoned risk taking and creative problem solving
- We commit to listening and we seek feedback from all directions to encourage open communication and to foster collaboration
- We commit to honesty & transparency
- We commit to steward the foundations resources with the utmost integrity and care as we advance the foundation's mission
We prioritize projects that contribute to our desired impacts and exemplify our values.
Projects that are driven by and responsive to needs within the community are more likely to be relevant, meaningful, and successful.
Further, projects that have been developed and/or implemented with input and active involvement from community stakeholders and target populations contribute to the community connection and empowerment we seek.
We prioritize projects that support human wholeness for underrepresented populations and geographic regions throughout the state of Maine.
We prioritize projects that support the health of people and the planet and recognize the symbiotic relationship between the two.
We prioritize projects that empower individuals and communities to take ownership of their health through preventative/proactive nutrition and outdoor recreation.