Jackie Gibney wasn’t looking to sell the business her family owned for nearly 40 years. But when an opportunity arose, the timing was so good “it had to be a God thing,” she says.
Transitioning from president of Jacobs Marketing to chief relationship officer at The Stable gave Jackie more time — for family, reflection, and spirituality. That’s a big reason she sold, she says.
Selling her business wasn’t the only recent change for her, however. Last year she and her husband, Rusty Kocon, moved into a new home in Wayzata. They’ve been settling in with their blended family of his four and her three kids, ages 14–21.
Life is busy, fun, and often hilarious, Jackie says — especially when all the kids are there. And she loves it.
And with more free time, Jackie can focus more on her passion of helping others.
Another New Leadership Position
Last December Jackie joined the Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota (CCF) Board of Directors. “I love the work they’re doing,” she says. “The awareness CCF has of our community’s needs and current events is really important. The way it’s able to help donors meet these needs — I don’t know anyone else who’s doing that. I’m really impressed and proud to be part of it.”
She has a lot of trust in Anne Cullen Miller’s leadership, she says, and loves CCF’s mission. “It took me five years to commit to a term on the board because I knew I couldn’t focus on it before. But I’m here now and super excited!”
As a new board member, Jackie says she’s learning a lot. “I never knew about donor advised funds until I joined the board,” she says. “They are such an amazing way to create a legacy and a simple, treasure-growing way of giving back.”
A Thoughtful Approach to Philanthropy
Now Jackie’s family has a donor advised fund of its own. Opening the fund has allowed Jackie and Rusty to maximize their charitable deductions. And they appreciate the flexibility the fund provides in deciding how they want to direct their dollars to charities.
Although donor advised funds are new to Jackie, philanthropy isn’t. More than a decade ago, Jackie established the Gibney Funds at the University of St. Thomas (UST). Her vision was to create an opportunity for college students to use not only their minds in college but also their hearts. Each year Jackie’s family contributes to the funds, and UST students in the school of business serving on a board decide how to grant out the money. Now known as the Damus Awards, the 2021 grants went to organizations and programs promoting racial equity. Jackie reflects on the impact of the awards, “The positive ripple effect this has had on the students has been far beyond my dreams.”
Jackie has witnessed how grantmaking invites reflection and discernment, and she’s excited to bring it into her home. “It can help you have deeper conversations with your family about what you believe in, what’s important to you, and how you want to give back.”