JKBF focuses on prevention of suicidal behaviors through scientific research into the bio-environmental contributors to suicide risk, support and services for those at risk of mental health and suicidal challenges, and programs fostering creative expression through artistic legacies.

The James Kirk Bernard Foundation was founded in 2010. It is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation based in Colorado with Federal Tax ID# 27-1791881.


Board of Directors

Sallie Bernard, President

Sallie became a mental health advocate when her son Jamie died from suicide in 2010. Sallie co-founded JKBF to help address suicidality and to honor the creative legacy of Jamie and others like him. Since 2013, Sallie has served on the board of the Aspen Hope Center, which provides innovative and effective crisis services in the western region of Colorado.

Sallie has been an autism advocate since 1996. She was the board president of Cure Autism Now, served on the board of Autism Speaks, and is the board president of SafeMinds. Sallie served on the science committees and reviewed grants at each organization. Sallie’s son Bill has autism, and she founded Ascendigo Autism Services in 2004 in the Colorado Rocky Mountains near Aspen to provide the same outdoor adventure opportunities for children with autism that typically developing children enjoy. Ascendigo now offers summer camps, winter ski lessons, comprehensive year-round adult services, transition programs, and behavior therapy.

Sallie spent over 20 years in the marketing business before devoting herself full time to non-profit activities in 2005. She graduated with honors from Radcliffe College, Harvard University, in 1979. Sallie has resided in Aspen, Colorado since 2002 and enjoys the Colorado outdoors.


Tom Bernard, Vice President & Secretary

Tom Bernard had a 30-year career in global finance before retiring in Aspen, Colorado to devote himself to writing and philanthropy. He has served on several corporate and nonprofit boards, and was board president of Aspen Words, the literary arm of the Aspen Institute. Tom is a published author. With Sallie, Tom co-founded Extreme Sports Camp, now known as Ascendigo, offering summer and winter recreational opportunities to children and adults on the autism spectrum. Tom is Jamie’s dad and co-founder of JKBF, as well as the father of Bill and Fred.


Heidi Roger Kidd, Treasurer

Heidi Roger Kidd has more than 30 years of accounting and tax preparation experience in a corporate retail environment as well as non-profit organizations. Heidi has been involved in drafting federal and state legislation for scientific research (including the Children’s Health Act of 2000) and non-profit fundraising. She has served on various boards for autism advocacy and public policy concerns.


Lyn Redwood, Director

Lyn Redwood, R.N., M.S.N., is a Nurse Practitioner and spokesperson active in autism and child health research and advocacy. Lyn has co-founded non-profit research/advocacy organizations and served as a public member of the NIH’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and an Integration Panel Member for the Department of Defense’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Program.


Theresa Wrangham, Director

Theresa Wrangham has more than 30 years of business administration experience, half of which were spent in non-profit organizations with concentrations on project management, accounting, and organizational policy. She is executive director of a nonprofit advocacy organization and has co-founded and served on various boards supporting education, services, and health-related concerns in children and youth.



Elizabeth Bell, Executive Director

Liz has dedicated the majority of her career to non-profit organizations, while also working to maximize the potential of her three children–researching, networking and advocating, especially, for her son with autism, epilepsy and other health conditions. Her work has spanned science, services, and artistic creation, matching the three programmatic areas of JKBF.

Prior to joining JKBF, Liz served in a variety of roles as board member, committee member, grant reviewer, chapter leader, fundraising walk co-chair, expert panelist, contributing writer, and parent advocate for organizations including the Autism Society of America, Cure Autism Now, Autism Speaks, the Autism Treatment Network, and Ascendigo Autism Services. She was appointed to the California Blue Ribbon Commission for Autism (2006) and served as an appointed member of the NJ Governor’s Council for the Medical Research and Treatment of Autism (2010-2017) where she was instrumental in formulating grant programs, reviewing grants, and making scientific research funding decisions. Liz recently joined the Board of Directors of The Arc of the Central Mountains.

With a creative spirit and lifelong interest in design, Liz entered the art world in a support role as it became evident that her son had a talent for painting, and that time spent with a brush was often his most peaceful and fulfilling opportunity. Liz has promoted his work through SomethingtoSayArt, and was a founding trustee, Secretary, and Co-President of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, a grassroots arts organization that celebrates art in the everyday. Liz conceptualized and founded Chance on Main, a ‘for-purpose’ retail store in Pennington, NJ, which featured products of social enterprises and creations of local artisans and individuals with a variety of special needs. Liz serves on the 2019 Access Community Advisory Committee of the Aspen Art Museum.

Liz holds a BS from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, and had an early career in the field of hotel and commercial real estate market analysis, appraisal and evaluation. She lives in Basalt, Colorado with her husband Peter and, off and on, their three grown children.


The James Kirk Bernard Foundation (JKBF) honors the life, work, and passions of Jamie Bernard, a kind, creative, and brave young man who lived his life with generous humor and quiet courage until the day he died from suicide. Jamie was a triplet brother of Fred and Bill and spent his summers as a counselor at Extreme Sports Camp.

Jamie attended Bard College, from which he received a posthumous degree in 2010. Jamie was a beautiful human being who lives on in the memories of those he left behind, and in the writings and drawings which amount, after only twenty-two years, to an admirable life’s work. The art displayed throughout this website is Jamie’s work.

Jamie’s Creative Legacy

Aspen Public Radio interview


Order Jamie’s book Taming the Blank.

The stories in Taming the Blank, a short collection of James Bernard’s writings compiled by close friends and teachers at Bard College, can be read both as a window into Jamie’s progression as a writer as well as for their humor, insight, and total originality. The collection includes Daniil Platonovich, James’ senior project and very much a work in progress that offers insights into his writing process, perfectionism, and love of Russian literature; Taming the Blank, a series of tutorial writings conducted under Professor Cole Heinowitz that depict his overactive imagination wrestling with itself as well as the immovable ten-minute writing exercise deadline; and earlier writings from his high school years in which his interests and temperament truly begin to reveal themselves.

Contact Information

James Kirk Bernard Foundation
P.O. Box 3562
Basalt, CO 81621
Federal Tax ID # 27-1791881

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Corporate Documents

Form 990 Public Disclosure 2018
Form 990 Public Disclosure 2017
Form 990 Public Disclosure 2016
Form 990 Public Disclosure 2015
IRS Letter of Determination
Conflict of Interest Policy