Our Story

The DeBruce Foundation was established by Kansas City business and civic leader Paul DeBruce. The foundation focuses on expanding opportunity in Kansas City and at the national level. Driving transformational change requires a research-driven, collective impact approach.

The DeBruce Foundation believes in creating opportunity for everyone. Effectively expanding access to achievement requires transformational change in how we supply individuals with the tools for success. We listen to all perspectives to seek solutions that pave pathways to the American Dream. We hear you, we see you – and more importantly, we’re ready to begin working together to create meaningful and lasting change in communities across our country.

Paul DeBruce | Founder and Chief Executive Officer
paulPaul DeBruce is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DeBruce Grain, Inc. which is comprised of grain facilities, grain trading, grain and oilseed processing facilities, wholesale fertilizer terminals, fertilizer trading, feed ingredient handling facilities and feed ingredient trading throughout the U.S. and Mexico with about 75 locations and sales of around $6.0 billion.

Mr. DeBruce was on the Executive Committee of the Board of the National Grain and Feed Association, was on the Customer Advisory Board of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) and is a past member and Board member of the Kansas City Board of Trade and the Terminal Grain Elevator Merchants Association (and served a term as President of the latter).

Mr. DeBruce has been active in the Kansas City community including currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art as well as being Chairman of the Finance Committee, previously serving on the Board of the Civic Council of Kansas City, the Board of the American Royal, the Board of the Ozanam Home for Boys and involvement, both Board and Committees, with assorted other Kansas City community organizations.

Mr. DeBruce served on the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Advisory Council, was appointed a director and designated Deputy Chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank for three years and served as Chairman of the Bank for two years.

Dr. Natalia Peart | Chief Operating Officer
nataliaNatalia Peart brings thought leadership and vision to the DeBruce Foundation, where she serves as Executive Director for the Foundation’s research and innovation collaborative, ThinkShift.

Natalia Peart has more than 20 years experience as a clinical and community psychologist, a leadership and performance consultant for national organizations, an executive coach, and a nonprofit leader. She has previous experience with the Corporate Executive Board and Gallup Organization, and most recently served as the CEO of the YWCA of Omaha.

Natalia holds a BA in Psychology with Honors from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Clinical/Community Psychology from the University of Maryland. She completed her clinical internship at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital.

Natalia has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha Branch, and the University of Nebraska’s Medical Center Board of Counselors. She served as an adjunct faculty member at Creighton, and was named a Woman of Distinction by the Midlands Business Journal.

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