In December 2005, F. Roger Hardesty and his wife Donna J. Hardesty established The Hardesty Family Foundation. Roger, the founder and CEO of United States Aviation and The Hardesty Companies, is rooted in Tulsa with diverse business holdings. Their journey to success involved tremendous sacrifice, embodying the pioneering spirit that led to the creation of the Foundation. They strongly believe in the virtues of hard work and determination and seek to support projects that share these values, encouraging others to dream big and achieve their aspirations.
The primary purpose of The Hardesty Family Foundation is to address specific needs in Tulsa and the surrounding areas. Being native Oklahomans, Roger and Donna feel a profound responsibility to give back to their state and contribute to a brighter future for all who call Oklahoma their home.
Both Roger and Donna hail from rural Oklahoma and initially pursued careers in construction and real estate. Roger’s early experiences with construction and mechanics paved the way for his successful expansion into the ready-mix concrete business. Additionally, his love for aviation led to the establishment of various related ventures, including the renowned United States Aviation, known for its fixed-base operations and aircraft charter services.
Donna, a graduate of the University of Tulsa, maintains strong ties to Oklahoma and places significant emphasis on the value of education in her grantmaking endeavors. Her deep commitment to public stewardship drives her involvement with charitable organizations, aiming to address the pressing challenges faced by the state of Oklahoma.
Roger Hardesty was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2022. Oklahoma Hall of Fame Induction Video
The Foundation operates under the guidance of its Board of Directors, who are responsible for setting up grantmaking programs, establishing guidelines and policies, managing the Foundation’s investments, and ultimately making all final decisions regarding the approval or rejection of grant requests. In most cases, the Directors do not meet with applicants to evaluate proposals; however, the Foundation’s staff is available for meetings if deemed helpful.
Final decisions on grant proposals are reached collaboratively by at least two Directors. Applicants will be promptly notified of the outcomes. It’s important for applicants to recognize that the Foundation receives a large number of proposals, and as a result, not all proposals can be funded or granted the full amount requested.