Fernanda Kellogg: Diamonds
Tiffany blue: It typically symbolizes sapphires and pearls and luxury. But to Fernanda Kellogg, president of the Tiffany and Co. Foundation and one of Audubon’s 2010 Women in Conservation Rachel Carson Award winners, it represents the ocean. “I think of water as being as precious as diamonds,” she says. “It’s only been fairly recently that people have put the same kind of energy into ocean conservation as they have with land conservation. There’s more work to be done.”
For a decade, the Foundation has been doing its part, focusing on responsible mining, park restoration and beautification in urban settings, and most recently coral conservation. “The materials to make Tiffany jewelry—diamonds, gold, and silver—are extracted from the earth,” she says. “Pearls are harvested from the sea. Land protection and ocean conservation are key areas for us.”
Kellogg has been with the Foundation since its start in 2000, and has run it for three years. She’s part of a team that gives out environment and art grants to non-profits. Last year, for example, the group awarded Trout Unlimited $250,000. Fishermen and jewelry makers might seem like an odd match, but Kellogg explains that the goals of the two organizations align when it comes to Alaska’s Bristol Bay. “The [Tiffany] company will never buy any gold that comes out of mining from that area because it should always be preserved as a natural habitat. Trout Unlimited protects that area for the salmon and trout. So that gets us from Trout Unlimited to responsible mining.”
By protecting the environment, the Tiffany and Co. Foundation is safeguarding its source material. And Kellogg, with an enthusiasm and respect for the outdoors that started when she was young and was massaged by her parents’ involvement in environmental conservation, seems poised to push the Foundation as far as she can in this realm.
No where was that more clear than during her acceptance speech at the Women in Conservation luncheon. In her coral-colored suit, black-bowed headband, and Tiffany bird lapel pin, Kellogg accepted the award with class and a tip of the hat toward Audubon’s early anti-feather trade pioneers. “Had the Tiffany Foundation been around in the early 1900s, I believe we would’ve joined Audubon in that very first historic campaign,” she says. With Kellogg at the helm, that’s easy to envision.