About us

In addition to providing legal and fiscal oversight, the board of directors guides the foundation in making well-informed decisions on how to use the foundation's resources to benefit our mission.

Paul Brainerd

Paul Brainerd, President

Paul is the founder of the Brainerd Foundation. He relies on foundation staff to make funding recommendations, but stays closely involved in the environmental community by attending conferences, meeting with activists and joining staff on site visits.

Paul is a founding member of Social Venture Partners, an effort to encourage professionals to give back to their communities; co-founder (along with his wife, Debbi) of IslandWood, an environmental learning center for schoolchildren; and founder of Conservation Strategies, a nonprofit group with the goal of creating a pro-conservation majority in key local, state and federal governing bodies. He enjoys hiking, backpacking, skiing (cross-country and downhill), collecting photographs and traveling to remote places in the world.

Sherry Brainerd

Sherry Brainerd, Vice President

As vice president and a member of the board of directors of the foundation, Sherry (Paul's sister) supervises and assists foundation staff, interacts with grantees, and participates in site visits. She spent many years in the business world co-founding and running two technology-based companies in the science and medical device arenas. She now combines her nonprofit interests with work as a management consultant. She has served on the national board of directors of Trout Unlimited and on the board of Conservation Strategies.

In her spare time, Sherry volunteers at her local animal shelter, making sure the shelter dogs get a bit of extra attention. She lives in the Northwest during part of the year, and she can be found hiking trails, talking to folks about local conservation issues, or standing in the middle of rivers with her fly rod in hand.