Family Giving with Christena Huntsman Durham

The Huntsman family has made a significant impact on the lives of Utahns by dedicating their efforts to create transformative change in the healthcare sector. Christena Huntsman Durham, as the Executive Vice President of the Huntsman Foundation, continues her father Jon Huntsman's legacy by deeply investing in healthcare services and research. 

Jon Huntsman was the founder and executive chairman of Huntsman Corporation, an $11 billion company specializing in raw material refinement. He shifted his philanthropic focus to cancer research and treatment following his own battle with the disease. This commitment led to the establishment of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the region's sole National Cancer Institute–Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, gifted by the Huntsman family to the state of Utah. 

Following her father's passing, Christena and her siblings assumed control of the family foundation. “When my dad was alive he made all of the decisions. When he passed away, all nine board members now had an equal vote. That was a big transition,” she said. They chose to expand the foundation's scope to include mental health treatment, an area they were passionate about making a difference in. This decision resulted in the founding of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, aimed at reshaping mental health services in Utah. 

Christena emphasized the challenges involved in determining the allocation of resources for philanthropic endeavors, advising donors to contribute to causes they are passionate about and to focus on the ultimate goal of their philanthropy. She suggested asking the question, "If that person wasn’t there, would I still give to that organization?" as a helpful guide when deciding where to direct charitable contributions.  

 The Huntsman family's generosity has alleviated the suffering of countless Utahns experiencing health crises. Their example of issue-focused family giving has significantly impacted healthcare and philanthropy in the state, leaving a lasting legacy for current and future generations.

Has your family decided on a giving focus? Request a Philanthropic Consultation to determine and align your family’s giving goals.


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