In 1959, Robert and Patricia Kern founded a new business in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Despite many setbacks, this business eventually grew to become Generac Power Systems, one of the world's largest independent manufacturers of complete engine-driven generator systems. The company makes power generators for several applications, including industrial, commercial, residential, recreational, vehicle and communications, with systems that range from three to 6,000 kilowatts.
When Generac Power Systems sold a division of the company in 1998, a portion of the proceeds went to establish the Kern Family Foundation, a private, independent grant-making organization based in Waukesha, WI. In 2006, the Kerns sold the balance of the business and directed a significant portion of the profits to grow the Foundation.
In keeping with the vision of its founders Drs. Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern, the Kern Family Foundation seeks to enrich the lives of others by promoting strong pastoral leadership, educational excellence and high quality, innovative engineering talent.
In practice, the Foundation intentionally focuses on systemic change, rather than charities. It seeks to target funding toward broad impact, long-term programs. The Foundationís programs include a partnership with Project Lead the Way (a pre-engineering program for middle and high school students) as part of the K-12 STEM Program, the Pastoral Ministry Program, the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN), the Education Reform Program, and the American History, Economics, and Religion Program.
Unsolicited proposals are not accepted.