The Friesen Foundation is a private family foundation located in Redding, California.
Launched in 2019, the foundation is currently developing a strategic plan, grant-making programs, and a long-term financial strategy. In 2021, the foundation anticipates funding three trail planning, design, or implementation projects in Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity, Lassen, or Tehama counties.
Grant awards average $10,000 to $50,000. Cash or in-kind match funding is encouraged but not required. The grant review team welcomes letters of support demonstrating public-private partnerships, shared vision from diverse stakeholder groups, and multi-year collaboration.
The Friesen Foundation is currently accepting grant applications by invite only.
The Foundation supports a broad range of community development projects including outdoor recreation, environmental restoration, public health, civic planning, and cultural arts in Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity, Lassen, and Tehama counties.
Projects are selected by an independent advisory committee using pre-determined evaluation criteria and strategic guidelines set by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors approves all final funding decisions. As a Northern California broad-based funder, grants will be awarded to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, public education, and government entities.
John A. Friesen was born and raised in Redding, CA, where his family owned and ran Owens Pharmacy. He attended University of the Pacific where he earned his Degree in Pharmacy in 1991, and CSU Chico where he earned his Master’s in Business Administration in 1996. John is currently the Executive Chairman of Owens Healthcare and Owens Real Estate. In 2019 John formed the Friesen Foundation and is a Foundation board member. He and his wife Patty have two boys and enjoy outdoor adventures including snow skiing, boating and cycling.
Royce L. Friesen was born in Hampton, Nebraska. His family relocated to California because of the depression and drought in the Midwest in the early 1940’s. Royce was in the US Navy and while in the Navy Reserves, began attending the University of the Pacific, where he earned his Degree in Pharmacy in 1965. Royce is currently the Founder of Owens Healthcare, Inc. and a board member of the Friesen Foundation. He and his wife Colleen enjoy traveling and between them have four children and seven grandchildren.
Kristen Gray, Executive Director
Kristen Gray manages the Friesen Foundation’s Program Development, Evaluation, and Grant Making. She has a strong background in philanthropy, most recently as St. Elizabeth Hospital's Development Officer for Mercy Foundation North and previously the Executive Director for Lassen Park Foundation. She also serves on the Red Bluff State Theater’s Board of Directors.
Jonz Norine a principal attorney at the Kenny & Norine law firm in Redding, California. He has lived in many places both in the US and overseas, but chose Far Northern California to live and work because of its rugged beauty and unending recreational opportunities. When not in the courtroom, he is likely to be found trying to get his wife and sons to go with him biking the trails, skiing the mountains, or kayaking the rivers and lakes in and around Redding.