History of the Foundation

John Gogian – Founder

John Gogian founded his Family Foundation on October 18, 1982, to further his diverse philanthropic interests. His empathy for those less fortunate was shaped early through family life experiences and inspired the Foundation’s work.

Mr. Gogian’s brother David, an excellent student and athlete, was struck by encephalitis at age 11 and suffered infection and brain damage. After surviving the illness, David spent the rest of his life struggling with mental and physical disabilities until his death at age 28. Their mother Rosalia was dedicated and compassionate in her devotion to David, as well as to others who faced hardship and had few resources. Mr. Gogian’s father was devoted to institutions formed by Armenian Americans in Southern California that helped immigrants take advantage of opportunities in the U.S. and increase their self-sufficiency.

Mr. Gogian became a successful entrepreneur and businessman and was active in the community. Through this service, he gained much first-hand knowledge of the crucial role of efficiently run local organizations in providing support to people in periods of need. When he sold his business, Pacific Cold Storage, in April 1994, Mr. Gogian was able to increase the size of the Foundation and its capacity to make meaningful grants.

John Gogian passed away on July 3, 2019, after celebrating his 90th birthday. He accomplished much in his life, but he was most proud of the support he could offer to assist developmentally disabled adults and children, vulnerable seniors, and vulnerable youth. He understood firsthand the difficulties faced by families with a special needs child, and he was filled with compassion to ease their struggles. He had a huge heart, and the Foundation will continue to fulfill his legacy.

Lindsey StammerjohnExecutive Director (ret.)

Lindsey Stammerjohn began working for the John Gogian Family Foundation in 1996 after the Foundation was endowed in 1995 by the sale of John Gogian’s company, Pacific Cold Storage. As the Managing Director, she was responsible for the Foundation’s grantmaking and day-to-day operations.  As her education and experience grew, John Gogian took notice, promoting Ms. Stammerjohn to Executive Director in 2005. The hallmark of Ms. Stammerjohn’s career was her devotion to developing deep, long-term relationships with the executive directors of the organizations funded by the Foundation.  She believed that these relationships were the catalysts for open dialogue, collaboration, and true partnership.  Always an innovator, in 2010 Lindsey created the “Forum,” which convened grantee partners, provided training, and built a networked community. Under Ms. Stammerjohn’s careful guidance, the Foundation has consistently provided grantee partners with programs, advice and consulting from industry experts, and the resources to build capacity and their long-term sustainability. Ms. Stammerjohn retired on September 15, 2021, after 25 years of serving the Foundation and philanthropic community.