Denbury Scholarship Fund at CFT provides educational opportunities for employees and their families.
CFT fund holders Eileen and Chris Kendall
North Star Values: Opportunity, Education, and Generosity
Chris and Eileen Kendall have recently established two charitable funds at CFT: The Denbury Scholarship Fund and The Kendall Family Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund.
Chris is the CEO at Denbury, an energy transition-focused company with corporate headquarters in Plano and employees and locations across Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Texas. “As CEO, I’m aware that my family’s economic picture is strong, and we want to provide opportunities for our employees and their families by sharing what we’ve been blessed with,” said Chris.
Chris encourages other business leaders to ask questions about possibilities in terms of giving to support employees and the community. “We were able to open a door we didn’t even know existed when we started exploring the possibility of a scholarship fund from Eileen and I,” said Chris.
The Kendalls have a heart for students and higher education. “A lot of scholarship opportunities leave out students who aren’t at the very top of their class or who wish to attend a trade school. Beyond the financial support of a scholarship through our fund, we hope that it also gives the individual more confidence and helps them believe in themselves,” said Eileen.
Chris and Eileen experienced financial stress within their own families when they were working to pay for college and understand how big a difference a scholarship opportunity can make in educational growth and career success. “We really focus on helping those who may not otherwise be able to attend,” said Eileen.
“We feel very blessed and want to use a lot of what’s been given to us to make the lives of others better. We’ve seen firsthand how many people are struggling to put themselves or their children through college. Working with CFT to find a path to create a scholarship fund designed for our employees and their immediate family members has created an opportunity to have a real impact,” said Chris. So far, they’ve awarded 20 scholarships and will be awarding more in 2022.
“We’ve been very happy with our relationship with CFT. We went from not knowing at all about donor-advised funds to opening a fund that’s enabled our giving to be so much more organized. We plan ahead now, even with giving through our fund on CFT’s North Texas Giving Day. Our fund has enabled our giving to really fit into our lives now; it’s not just something to get around to,” said Eileen.
“CFT has been an amazing steward of our donations. It’s been incredible to watch the charitable dollars we’ve invested through our fund grow. Because of the investment aspect of donor-advised funds, we’re able to give even more,” added Chris. Through their fund, in alignment with their passion for education and opportunity, some of the recent organizations they’ve supported include the American Heart Association, where Chris serves as chair of the Dallas board, Literacy Achieves, and POETIC.
They’ll also be passing on their legacy of giving to their children, who they’ve named as successor advisors to the fund beyond their lifetimes.
This story was originally featured in our 2021 annual report. For additional details and content, click here.