Editor:

    It has come to our attention that the Committee to Re-elect Rep. Debbie Rodella has put out a flyer for her upcoming election that misrepresents and impugns the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Foundation. The purpose of this letter is to correct the misstatements in the flyer and to give the facts regarding the LANL Foundation.     The flyer claims to use the Foundation’s 990s to support their assertions. Unfortunately, the Committee has either misstated or misrepresented the information in the 990s.

    Specifically:

    • The compensation for all employees, including the CEO, is based upon an analysis of what employees are paid for similar positions in our region and in our field. The compensation for the CEO is set annually by the Executive Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.

    • The Foundation has never run a significant deficit. In citing a deficit, the Rodella Committee makes no distinction between the difference in a decline in funds due to investment losses in a down stock market (i.e., 2008 and 2011) and operating beyond the Foundation’s means. Our Board of Directors oversees the budget and assures that our financials and accounting practices are to the highest accounting standards. Our Net Assets at the end of 2005 were $56,344,240 and our Net Assets at the end of 2014 were $76,739,986.

    • Over time, LANL Foundation total funding toward education in Northern New Mexico has increased. The Committee fails to recognize that the Foundation shifted from primarily giving out grants to working directly in area schools with programs such as the Inquiry Science Education Consortium, which currently brings hands-on science to public school classrooms in 44 schools across Northern New Mexico and trains over 570 teachers how to teach science more effectively.

    • The LANL Foundation does not support private schools, only public schools, and non-profits supporting public schools as required by the original grant from Congress. On occasion, the Foundation has given small grants to a few private schools, but only for programs that were supporting public school children.

    The LANL Foundation, which was founded in 1997 to enhance education in seven northern New Mexico counties, takes no stand in political races. In fact, members of our Board of Directors may not seek nor hold elected office.

    We encourage anyone who has questions about our 990s, the federal reporting document required of nonprofits, our financials or about the Foundation in general to contact our current CEO, Jenny Parks.

    Our values are equal opportunity, openness, diversity, partnership, accountability and integrity. Since inception, we have invested over $70 million in public education, early childhood and college scholarships, in Northern New Mexico. For more information about the LANL Foundation, please visit our website at lanlfoundation.org.

    Hervey Juris

    President LANL Foundation

    Bill Wadt

    Treasurer LANL Foundation

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