The Thomas Dubois Hormel Foundation reflects the interests and passions Tom Hormel held close to his heart during his lifetime, one that was centered in music and art and that took seriously humankind’s most compelling stewardship — environmental rights. The Foundation envisions a world where people have an equal opportunity to access the arts, learn to express themselves creatively through education in the arts, and to acquire an appreciation and understanding of the importance of preserving nature and the planet that has been bestowed to them. The foundation offers grants supporting music and art therapy, education in music and the arts, plant-based nutrition services and programs, and the preservation of the family’s Hormel Historic Home and the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center.
The Thomas Dubois Hormel Foundation is a private foundation established in 2020 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. The foundation was organized for the purpose of granting funds to charitable causes in the fields of art, music, and nutrition.
The foundation does not respond to unsolicited applications for funding.
BM ’24, jazz piano
First-year undergraduate jazz pianist and composer Esteban Castro, from the Greater New York area, captivates audiences with performances that are intimate and sophisticated beyond his years. He has performed with jazz greats Billy Hart, Willie Jones III, Wayne Escoffery and Mike Dease. At 13, Esteban was chosen as the First Prize Winner in the Parmigiani Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Competition in 2016, making him the youngest to receive this prestigious award. At 14, he was the youngest First Prize recipient at the 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition. With over 30 compositions to his name, Esteban has garnered three ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Awards and 12 Downbeat Student Music Awards. He was selected as a pianist for the Grammy Band in 2017 and 2018, as a Young Arts Finalist, and as a member of the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. Recently, he performed Prokofiev’s 1st Piano Concerto as the winner of Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Concerto Competition. Esteban has played to sold-out venues such as The Blue Note, The Montreux Jazz Club, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and Dizzy’s Club. He has also performed abroad in Switzerland, Italy, France, Peru, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
BM ’23, jazz piano
A native of Oneonta, New York, Tyler Henderson began playing music at age 5 in his local church and took up the saxophone, guitar, and French horn upon entering middle school. At first, he learned music by ear and did not start with classical piano lessons as most pianists do. He was inspired to play piano seriously upon hearing the work of famous pianists Bill Evans and Vince Guaraldi, and worked hard to develop his skills while participating in his school’s jazz band. Tyler then moved with his family to Houston upon his acceptance into the prestigious High School For Performing and Visual Arts at age 13. In Houston, Tyler had the pleasure of playing with Wynton Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Sean Jones, Don Braden, and has been encouraged by masters such as Barry Harris, Javon Jackson, and Robert Glasper through his participation in incredible programs such as YoungArts and the Thelonious Monk Institute All-Star Tour. After being accepted into the Juilliard School in 2019, Tyler moved to New York City to attend school and be a part of the New York jazz scene. Now entering his junior year at Juilliard, Henderson collaborates with many musicians at New York venues such as Dizzy’s, the Django, and more. He hopes to keep the spirit of Swing alive from the music of the past, yet be forward-thinking and open to new ideas. He is passionate about the history of jazz and hopes one day to become an educator along with his performance career. He cites Wynton Kelly, Phineas Newborn, Erroll Garner, Earl “Fatha” Hines, and Keith Jarrett as his biggest musical influences.
President for the Thomas Dubois Hormel Foundation
Marisa’s commitment to the arts, as well as a healthy mind and body through food is borne out in her life’s work. As a member of Actor’s Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild, she appeared in a Pizza Hut and IBM commercial, an American Express industrial, and a staged reading at the Brooklyn Academy of Music while also having worked as a registered nurse, art gallery assistant, retail sales associate and an investment consultant. At age four, she caught the performing bug after being cast alongside her brother as one of the King of Siam’s many children in an upstate New York regional production of The King and I. She took ballet lessons while in grade school and studied music conducting in high school. After moving to New York, Marisa studied acting and dance at various studios including the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. She later co-founded The Company of Players performing the works of Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe and other playwrights throughout the city. She also travelled across the country performing on stage at regional theaters and was cast in a play about six courageous nurses who served during the Vietnam War, A Piece of My Heart, part of the 2002 Fitchburg AmeriCulture Arts Festival, 57 miles outside Boston.
Marisa was the founder of a plant-based cafe and creative arts center in South Florida which melded the celebration of the arts with plant-based food. Food that fuels the mind, body, and soul. She is also the author of the wellness art book, Bodies on Raw.
She is a proud sponsor of the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Professional Dancers Society, the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, the Organic Consumers Association, and the Organic Farming Research Foundation.
Marisa has a BA from Georgetown University and a BS from New York University.
Secretary for the Thomas Dubois Hormel Foundation
Charles’s passion for social justice and the arts has led him to a dynamic career in film, television and theater. Television: promotion and marketing positions at HBO and Thirteen/WNET. Executive producer of the Emmy-nominated news magazine, In the Life, the longest-running television series on LGBT issues and culture (1992-2012). Film: co-director of the award-winning documentary, The Lady in Question is Charles Busch which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was shown on PBS stations and Sundance Channel. Co-founder and programmer of Jersey City’s LGBT film festival, Chillfest (2005-2017). Theater: producer of the Hong Kong premiere of A Language of Their Own for two seasons (2015-2016). Also conducted international interviews for Marisa Hormel’s groundbreaking book, Bodies on Raw. Charles currently gives talks both virtually and in person around the world promoting the In the Life Collection and was instrumental in finding its permanent home at the UCLA Film & Television Archive where its 200+ episodes, web exclusives, and unedited interviews can be viewed anywhere at no cost on the UCLA Library web portal.
Charles was named one of Out magazine’s “Out 100” in 2002 and holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.
Treasurer for the Thomas Dubois Hormel Foundation
Jennifer is the CEO of the MIH private family trust and oversees financial planning, legal contracts, and program budgets. She also concurrently serves as treasurer for the Food for Health Foundation and was the executive director of the Thomas D. Hormel Foundation from 2017 to 2019.
Since 2006, Jennifer had a successful freelance career in the field of Finance and Administration. She worked with clients from a multitude of industries including film production, real estate development, apparel design, and brand consulting. Her client list included Spacehouse Productions, Storytellerz, Mercedes Castillo, and O+CO.
Before working as a freelancer, Jennifer served as controller for the non-profit Hereditary Disease Foundation in Los Angeles from 2002–2005. As a liaison between donors and scientists, she was instrumental in overseeing the foundation’s financial collaboration with medical research institutions worldwide. Jennifer was also responsible for financial planning and analysis, grant and postdoctoral-fellowship distributions, and endowment accounting.
Prior to joining the Hereditary Disease Foundation, Jennifer spent four years in New York City at Oppenheimer Haueter & Co. Beginning in 1999 she served as Finance Manager and supervised human resources and accounting. Then in 2001 she became Finance Director and was responsible for financial planning, managing budgets and financial statements, and working alongside the tax and legal team. Before Oppenheimer, she worked in project accounting for IDEO Product Development in Palo Alto, CA.
Jennifer holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA from the University of San Francisco. She currently resides in San Diego, CA, although she spent many years feeling at home in New York and San Francisco. Her interests include theater, animal rescue, and plant-based nutrition.