The Wilson Foundation was established as a private grantmaking foundation by John R. Wilson, a native of Duluth, Minnesota, in 2021.

John is a lifelong Minnesotan. After growing up in Duluth and Minneapolis, John received degrees in Business Administration and Economics from Hamline University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

John has made a career of bringing innovative biotechnology products to market with the goal of improving human health. As a serial entrepreneur for the past 30-plus years, John and the companies he has formed have been at the forefront of the design, development and manufacture of products for the field of biotechnology, particularly cell culture devices and bioreactors for use in cell and gene therapy.

The Foundation is incorporated in Minnesota and based in the Twin Cities. It is governed by a small group of advisors to the founder who serves as the Foundation’s President.

Mission and Vision: 

The Wilson Foundation’s mission is to empower individuals and families to break the cycle of poverty and to advance environmental sustainability through actions that address climate change. We will identify and support impactful organizations, programs and initiatives with the goal of improving the overall quality of life and elevating the entire community.

Values that guide the Foundation’s work:

Humility: We seek to learn from the lived experiences of those who have experienced poverty, as well as those who have demonstrated creativity in mitigating persistent poverty.

CollaborationWe are more powerful when we work together with those having similar goals and values.

Pragmatism: We bring a problem-solving perspective to the decisions we make and the programs we support.

Abundance MindsetWe bring a sense of boundless optimism, positivity and hope to our mission and decisions. By seeking what is possible, we find more  . . . more options, more resources, more impact.


CEO/Wilson Wolf


CFO/Wilson Wolf

Board Member
Special Projects Liaison/Wilson Wolf


JEAN SAZEVICH, Executive Director