Meet the Board – Engelstad Foundation

Betty Engelstad


Betty Engelstad was born January 1, 1933, in a small farming community in Minnesota.  After high school, she worked as a teller at First National Bank.  It was during these years that she met Ralph.  He was unlike anybody she had ever known.  He was a hockey player, a contractor and he had dreams of leaving to develop property.  They were married May 1954 after a whirlwind courtship on Ralph’s part.

They have a daughter Kris.  Ralph left in 1960 to build their home in Vegas, and a year later Betty joined him. When Betty saw the mounds of dirt in the front yard she asked why there was sand to only find out that unlike Minnesota soil, Las Vegas soil resembles sand.  During Ralph & Betty’s early years she worked as Ralph’s bookkeeper. She is dedicated to helping less fortunate others through her philanthropic gifts, but she is also a devoted wife, mother and grandmother to Sean & Erin.

Kris Engelstad McGarry


Kris Engelstad McGarry is a 58-year resident of Nevada and is a graduate of UNLV. Her parents, Ralph and Betty Engelstad, implemented the Engelstad Family Foundation in 2002 for philanthropic endeavors. She has served as the Trustee of the Foundation and has continued to focus the attention towards educational scholarships, medical research and assistance to the disabled.

The Engelstad Family Foundation has served as the principal benefactor to Opportunity Village, Three Square, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, Miracle League, Spread the Word Nevada, Project 150, UNLV and others, resulting in $200 million dollars in scholarships and grants.

Jeffrey M. Cooper


Jeff serves on the Executive Board of the Las Vegas Area Council as the Vice
President for Endowment Development and is a member of the Good Scout
Luncheon committee.

His previous Scouting positions include Committee Chairman,
Committee Member, Chartered Organization Representative, Varsity Coach and
Merit Badge Counselor. He received the Duty to God Award, Wood Badge Beads
and is a James E. West Fellow. As Council Vice President of Endowment, Jeff
hopes that his efforts will help fund the future Scouting programs so that area youth
will continue to enjoy and benefit from what Scouting offers.

He treasures his experience as a Scout and is committed to the Boy Scout Oath and Law. He strongly believes in the values of Scouting and lives his life as an example of the attributes and goodness that the Scouting movement seeks to instill in the youth of each rising generation.

Every day, Jeff does his duty to God, his country and to his community. Jeff has served as president of the Nevada State Board of Accountancy, chairman of the Opportunity Village Foundation, treasurer of the College of Southern Nevada Foundation, trustee/treasurer of the Engelstad Family Foundation, and is an active leader in his church.

Sean McGarry

Assistant Trustee

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sean attended Bishop Gorman High School. A recent graduate from the University of Arizona. Sean attended the Eller School of Management, earning a degree in finance. Sean is currently employed by New West Communities working in real estate development. He hopes to follow in his family footsteps by having a positive impact in the Las Vegas community