A Firm Foundation (Episode 80) Guest: Kym Eisner
Today's guest on the podcast is Kym Eisner, the executive director of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. This year happens to be the Neilsen Foundation’s 20th anniversary. For those who are unfamiliar with the Foundation, its namesake Craig H. Neilsen, was an entrepreneur who sustained a spinal cord injury in 1985 and formed the foundation in 2002. This was an attempt to catalyze research and support for people living with a spinal cord injury.
In the last 20 years, The Neilsen Foundation has contributed almost $360,000,000 to both research and nonprofit organizations serving people with spinal cord injuries. Given this milestone, we wanted to talk with Kym Eisner about the foundation’s work, hear some of the history of the foundation and learn what’s going on right now.
As always, please share your thoughts with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening!
Kym Eisner, MFA, is the Executive Director of the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Kym also serves as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors. She is responsible for the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan, vision setting, and ensuring the values of the Foundation drive day-to-day decision making. Essential to her role is creating an institutional culture that prioritizes partnership, the removal of unnecessary barriers, and enthusiasm for new ideas. Kym works closely with the Co-Trustees and Board of Directors on the vision of the organization as set forth by Craig H. Neilsen. She provides leadership in strategic planning and all operational areas, ensuring the development of innovative and effective programming.
Kym has more than 25 years of hands-on non-profit leadership experience. Prior to her work in the scientific and disability communities, she worked with both emerging and established non-profits, as well as serving on numerous boards focusing on education, social services, health system infrastructure development, and the arts. Kym holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Riverside and a Master of Fine Arts and Non-Profit Management from UCLA.
Neilsen Foundation Funding Opportunities
Supporting the wide array of research opportunities to identify effective treatments and move them from the laboratory to clinical testing, the SCIRTS portfolio encourages limitless creativity and leadership in research.
For non profit organizations providing programs for those living with spinal cord injury and services that are community-driven, empowering, and inclusive of all ages and backgrounds to enhance quality of life.
For research about the interrelation of behavioral, social, psychological, and other factors that affect quality of life for the spinal cord injury community.
Providing scholarships at selected institutions for students with spinal cord injury and funds to create and maintain opportunities to lead full lives in and out of the classroom.
Supporting specialty clinical training in focused rehabilitation programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Created to honor the legacy of Craig H. Neilsen, celebrating influential voices in the world of spinal cord injury.
This podcast is made possible by a grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center. The information provided and opinions expressed in these podcasts do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. For more information about the Foundation’s National Paralysis Resource Center visit https://www.christopherreeve.org/living-with-paralysis