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The Reser Family Foundation was formed to honor the legacy of family values and community involvement so cherished by the Reser Family. Founded by Pat Reser and her late husband Al, the Foundation was granted charitable status in 2010 and awarded our first grants in 2011.
Today, Pat Reser, along with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, guide the work of the Foundation, partnering with diverse organizations across Oregon to strengthen the people and places that make our state so unique and inspiring
“When Al and I knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, we came up with four pillars that were going to be our supports: I would continue school and graduate before we had children; I would not work in the family business — my passion was education; we would raise our children in our faith, and we would always give back to the communities in which we lived and worked.
That seed to give back was planted in 1957, and we’re not through yet.”
– Patricia Reser
Learn more about the Reser’s Fine Foods story
in Al Reser’s book, No Small Potatoes.
Mari Jo Prlain is a long-time veteran of Reser’s Fine Foods, joining the company as Director of Human Resources in 1990 and becoming Corporate Director in 2002. She was named Executive Director of The Reser Family Foundation in 2010.
An Astoria native and Oregon State University graduate, Mari Jo has worked across the nonprofit sector in ways that underscore the importance she places on family. She was treasurer of The Sauvie Island Elementary School, a PTA board member at Alice Ott Middle School and served on a variety of committees at David Douglas High School. She also provided leadership as a team parent, treasurer and president of the Tualatin Hills Water Polo Club. In both her Foundation role and personal life, she is committed to helping support and strengthen nonprofit organizations in neighborhoods and communities throughout Oregon.
Lacey Sortman joined The Reser Family Foundation in 2018. She holds a master of science degree in urban studies from University of Nebraska-Omaha’s School of Public Administration, and was recruited to Oregon in 2016 as a Hatfield Resident Fellow for Portland State University. Her nonprofit experience includes positions administering disaster relief funds and supporting foundation program teams.
Lacey is passionate about people and community building. She has worked as a Court Appointed Special Advocate through Tulsa CASA and is a previous director for Green Drinks Tulsa. Away from work, you’ll probably find her at the dog park or on a roadtrip with her family. In 2015, they completed the big adventure of visiting all 50 states in one year!
Please note that unless initiated by the Foundation Director, personal communication with individual Foundation Trustees by representatives of any applicant organization is not encouraged.