Notable New Mexicans In Philanthropy Speaker Series

Partners In Philanthropy – Notable New Mexicans In Philanthropy Speaker Series

Notable New Mexicans In Philanthropy Speaker Series

In 2022, the Foundation’s Speaker Series focused on notable New Mexicans in philanthropy. Two events featured individuals whose personal philosophies of giving back to their communities and support of the philanthropic sector provide worthy examples for others.

Chet and Diana Stewart
The Albuquerque Museum hosted Chet and Diana Stewart in May. Chet Stewart was the owner and director of French Funerals and Cremations in Albuquerque for many years. He and wife Diana discussed the culture of giving in their family, how they have encouraged young people, including their own children, to develop a mindset of giving, and how they’ve made an impact in our state through philanthropy and leadership development across all sectors. Trustee Tom E. Antram moderated the conversation.

During the event, the Stewarts gave each of the 50 people in attendance $100 bills, asking them to use the money to support organizations that serve youth. In a ripple effect of the Stewarts’ generosity, the audience pooled their gifts together to provide opportunities for youth to award a grant during one of the Foundation’s Lunch and Learn events.

Ian McKinnon
In November, over 100 people attended the second, hybrid event, an informal chat with investment banker and Albuquerque native Ian McKinnon and moderated by Trustee Walter Stern. The event was held at McKinnon’s alma mater, Albuquerque Academy.

The conversation ranged from McKinnon’s path to philanthropy, to what he and his wife Sonnet see as their philanthropic priorities in creating a family foundation that involves their two now college-age children and the future of philanthropy in New Mexico.

McKinnon serves on the boards of several nonprofits including the Santa Fe Institute, and previously was on the boards of Albuquerque Academy and Marin Academy. He is also one of the founding partners of the New Mexico United professional soccer team. McKinnon recounted that his formative years growing up in Albuquerque set him on his current path.

“In my career, I found opportunities to give back, like being involved with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, despite a demanding career as an investment banker. It may have seemed like a sacrifice, but I got more out of it than the ‘little brother’ did. That’s part of philanthropy — giving time and talent, not just money. Whatever really drives you, volunteer for that cause. You’ll see lives change, and there’s nothing better,” he said.

To view the McKinnon event, visit To find out about upcoming Notable New Mexicans in Philanthropy Speaker Series events, visit