Michael Castens
Grants & Operations Manager

I chose philanthropy because: Philanthropy serves as a catalyst for positive change and unites people and communities. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

I Won't Eat: Hominy, under any circumstances.

One word to describe Moving the Needle: Critical

Three people at your dream dinner: Jim Lovell, John McEnroe, and Marc Forster (space travel, tennis, and movies — all my favorites in one place).

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As the grants and operations manager for the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF), Michael works primarily with the chief operating and financial officer as well as the Foundation’s vice president to ensure an ongoing connection between the strategic plan and the Foundation’s day-to-day operations. He is primarily responsible for providing critical administrative, grants management, logistical, and office management support.

Michael has over 12 years of experience in administrative and operations management, and he most recently worked as a research assistant for the Office of Campus Life at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His career includes volunteer service at Heifer International’s Heifer Ranch Learning Center in both education programming and volunteer placement. Michael has also had leading roles in management and customer service. He has a BA in Communication from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and has traveled extensively in Western Europe and the former Yugoslavia.

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