What part of the organization and mission speaks most to you and why?
The part of the organization we are fascinated by is Heroes in Arms and the implementation of whole blood based on science from the US Army. We find it intriguing that this is the first use in a civilian setting right here in South Texas. Given Kristen’s professional role to support the US military and their families at USAA, it is interesting to see linkages and that this type of blood can positively impact outcomes for survival during trauma and lowering the need for emergency transfusions.
What do you like to do?
As a couple, we enjoy entertaining, trying new restaurants, traveling, and cheering on our kids at every soccer, baseball, and basketball game. Jonathan is an avid sports fan and Kristen has creative interests – painting and designing. Life is busy, fun, and never dull!
What motivates you?
We are motivated to provide the best lives we possibly can for our two kids, Weston and Emmaline. We hope to give them every opportunity to learn, thrive, and be happy. We are also motivated to use our gifts and talents in a way that positively impacts other people which includes our Board service. At the end of the day, people are everything. If we have the ability to help someone or make their lives better in some way, that is our priority.
Is there anything about your time on the board you would like to share? Most cherished moments, greatest accomplishments, something you are looking forward to?
We are both grateful to be on the Board and for so many new friendships that have enriched our lives. For Kristen, serving together with my Dad who was a mentor as we led Champions Fore Charity is a fun memory, and he taught me a lot about the organization and why their work matters so much to South Texas. I will never forget when he told me that although he hoped we would never have to receive blood due to trauma or cancer, we would also be so glad to live where we are if we ever did.
We will always remember when my grandfather Homer Olsen took the stage at the ball a couple of years ago just a few months before he passed away and are thankful for his example of compassion and generosity and the way the Red and White Ball always brought the family together (Olsen prom!).
Although we are missing both of them and my grandmother greatly, this year is perhaps the most exciting year of serving for us because we are honored to be co-chairing the Red and White Ball with Erin and Jeremy Schulz. Our goal for the year is to bring awareness of the incredible work of the foundation outside of those who attend the ball through our Champions initiative.
We have some very exciting plans to reveal about who will be involved in this effort, but these community leaders exemplify the spirit and compassion of San Antonio. We are energized and cannot wait to continue planning for the Big Hearts, Big City ball at La Cantera this October and are thankful for the incredible support we have received so far.