About The Dakota Foundation
The Dakota Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 by A. Bart Holaday to focus his philanthropic efforts on initiatives that foster social entrepreneurship in the states of North Dakota and New Mexico. Since that time it has been managed by Holaday and his wife, Lynn, who served as foundation executive director, and his sister, Janet, foundation secretary-treasurer.
Bart Holaday grew up in Jamestown, N.D., and graduated from high school there in 1960. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and, afterwards, received a Rhodes Scholarship that took him to Oxford University in England for three years of graduate study. From Exeter College, Oxford, he earned a master's degree in politics, philosophy and economics. He also earned a law degree from George Washington University. In 2006 he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of North Dakota (UND), Grand Forks.
In his career he spent time in both the public and private sectors. A Chartered Financial Analyst, he retired in 2001 as managing director of the private markets group of UBS Asset Management in Chicago, where he and his team managed $19 billion in private equity, real estate, oil, gas and timber.
Holaday serves on the board of Jamestown College in his home town. At UND he chairs the Center for Innovation Foundation and is involved with the university's entrepreneurship program. He also serves on the boards of Alerus Financial, Adams Street Partners in Chicago, the Air Force Academy's Falcon Foundation and on the investment committee of the Northwest Area Foundation based in Minneapolis.
An energetic man with wide-ranging interests, he established the Dakota Foundation "to address social issues and enhance human capabilities through activities that combine business discipline with charitable intent."
In addition, the Dakota Foundation funds a post-graduate fellowship at Exeter College of Oxford University that each year sends a top graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy to Exeter for two years of graduate work. Holaday is recognized as one of Exeter College's top three benefactors and is a member of the Court of Benefactors. At the Air Force Academy Bart is chairman and a founding member of the U.S. Air Force Academy Endowment.
As a North Dakota native, Holaday has a deep affection for the state and for the special values he describes as "a strong work ethic, personal integrity, self-reliance and straight-forward dealing." Similarly, he is committed to the people and communities of his adopted state of New Mexico where he and his wife spend much of their time.
Mrs. Holaday, the former Lynn Buckingham Villella, was a native New Mexican who spent much of her professional career as a newspaper and magazine writer, editor and columnist. For more than a decade she headed the marketing communications program of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, the region's largest multi-institutional health delivery system, and served as executive director of the New Mexico Heart Institute. She became one of the country's first professionals to receive certification from the American Society of Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations. She retired in 1998 from Albuquerque Academy, an independent secondary day school which she served as director of institutional relations and publications.
Active in community affairs, Mrs. Holaday served in leadership positions with the New Mexico Symphony Guild, Junior League, Women in Communications, the Albuquerque Academy Parents' Association, the Mayor's Task Force on Alcohol/Drug Abuse and Crime, the United Way of Central New Mexico, the Public Relations Society of America, the New Mexico Advertising Federation and theYWCA of Albuquerque. She was state president of the New Mexico Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations.
Abundant energy and an inquisitive mind led her to travel widely to more than 90 countries and to explore such interests as SCUBA diving and Scandinavian culture. She was a gourmet cook who edited four community cookbooks, one being the best-selling Simply Simpatico. Mrs. Holaday died from ALS on October 1, 2010.
Bart and Lynn Holaday are the parents of five adult children and have five grandchildren.
Janet Holaday received a bachelor's degree in French, Spanish and education from Colorado College and a master's degree in accounting and business law from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. She became a Certified Public Accountant, and, after briefly working as a fiscal officer at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Little Rock, Ark., joined the accounting firm founded by her father, Sidney. E. Holaday. It was the first father-daughter CPA firm in North Dakota. She is now semi-retired, continuing with a small tax practice and serving as secretary-treasurer/manager of Patio Homes Association. She served as secretary-treasurer of Jamestown Medical Foundation and has provided both professional and pro bono accounting and auditing services for numerous non-profit organizations in central North Dakota. She served for a decade on the state board of the North Dakota State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and has held several leadership positions including state treasurer, state registrar and state regent. She has been treasurer of Dacotah Chapter, NSDAR for 20 years. She is active in organizations supporting wildlife and environmental preservation, historical preservation and genealogical research.
Our Advisory Board
- T. Justin Bronder
- Erin A. Finger
- Brett C. Holaday
- Will Kusler
- Andrew J. Sellers
- Peter B. Villella