KFF was founded in 2000 by Ben and Barbara Kacyra as a nonprofit public benefit corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

This section describes the KFF organization, its people, operations, funding approach, and history. It also gives contact information.

Directors & Management

Barbara B Kacyra
Founder and Director Emeritus

Ms. Kacyra is a founding director of KFF and currently serves on its Medical and Heritage committees in addition to having served as the board’s immediate past President. In 2003 Ms. Kacyra co-led the establishment of CyArk, a KFF pilot project to digitally record, archive and share the world’s most significant cultural heritage sites. In 2008 CyArk was spun off from KFF as an independent nonprofit and Ms. Kacyra continues to serve on its board.

In the commercial field, Ms. Kacyra, with her husband, Ben, co-founded several corporations engaged in diverse businesses including high technology manufacturing and software, real estate development, and asset management. Currently, Ms. Kacyra is a principal in KGI Investments, a corporation engaged in asset management and real estate development with operations in Northern California, Nevada and Hawaii.

Ms. Kacyra has also been active in the volunteer sector, serving as President of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Northern California Chapter; Chair of the City of Orinda Design Review Committee; Chair and co-author of a pilot Early Childhood Education program; and member of SIP (School Improvement Plan for review and analysis of fine art programs) to name but a few.

Ms. Kacyra holds a BFA with high distinction from the California College of the Arts where she taught for several years. Her particular areas of interest include architectural preservation/restoration and the psychological impacts of the built environment.

Ms. Kacyra and her husband have three grown children and four grandchildren.


Ben K. Kacyra
Director and President

Mr. Kacyra is a founding director of KFF and currently is leading the Human Energy pilot project in addition to serving as the board’s President. In 2003 Mr. Kacyra co-led the establishment of another KFF pilot project, CyArk, to digitally record, archive and share the world’s most significant cultural heritage sites. CyArk was spun off from KFF in 2008 as an independent nonprofit and Mr. Kacyra acted as its CEO and Chairman through 2016. Mr. Kacyra continues to serve on the CyArk board.

Mr. Kacyra’s business career has included co-founding, with his wife, Barbara, several corporations engaged in diverse businesses including high technology manufacturing and software, and real estate development and asset management. Currently, Mr. Kacyra is a principal in KGI Investments, a corporation engaged in asset management and real estate development with operations in Northern California, Nevada and Hawaii.

As CEO and cofounder of Cyra Technologies, Mr. Kacyra oversaw the development and production of a fully integrated laser 3D imaging, mapping, modeling, and CAD system and holds several patents relating to that development. Cyra was acquired by Leica Geosystems in 2001 and Mr. Kacyra remained on its board of directors through March of 2004.

Prior to Cyra, Mr. Kacyra was CEO of Cygna Corporation, an engineering and construction management firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area which he co-founded in 1973. Under his leadership, Cygna became one of the top 80 engineering companies in the United Sates. In 1989 Cygna’s engineering business was acquired by a major AEC design and construction firm.

Mr. Kacyra’s activities have also included serving on the University of Illinois President’s Council and on the Board of Trustees of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Mr. Kacyra and his wife have three grown children and four grandchildren.

Mr. Kacyra holds a MS degree in engineering from the University of Illinois.

Joe Turner

Mr. Turner has a long career in the investment management side of the business and has served on Kacyra Family Foundation’s board since 2002.

Joe began his career with Dean Witter’s Walnut Creek office in 1968. He became a fee-only investment advisor in 1977 when he formed an SEC-registered investment advisory firm. In 1988, Joe joined with Martin Pring and co-founded Pring Turner Investment Management. Joe has taught multiple graduate level courses at Golden Gate University in San Francisco on financial planning topics related to business cycle investment strategy.

Mr. Turner has been an officer, on the board of directors, or a member of the San Francisco Technical Securities Analysts Association since 1974. He has been active with Our Brother’s Keeper’s, a fraternal 501(c)3 charity.  Joe served on the board of directors and as secretary/treasurer of the Pleasant View Volunteer Fire District for eight years. He has also been on the investment committee of Onward!, a legacy community foundation since 2004.

Joe is a graduate of Oregon State University. In his time away from the office he enjoys hunting, hiking and spending time with family and new grandchildren.

Dave Olson
Director and Treasurer

Mr. Olson is a well known San Francisco businessman and philanthropist. He has served on KFF’s board of directors since 2002 and currently serves as its Treasurer and member of its Heritage Committee. During the last fifteen years, he has served in many capacities including director and trustee of many organizations including the Tahoe Maritime Museum, the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation, the Ironworkers International Apprentice Trust, the Steel Construction Council, Orinda Community Fundraising Committees, the San Leandro Vocational Education Committee, and historic automobile and boating organizations. Mr. Olson was one of the early investors and was a member of the board of directors of Cyra Technologies, a San Francisco Bay Area based high technology laser scanning and software company.

Mr. Olson’s business career has included founding and/or leading several corporations engaged in diverse businesses including steel fabrication, real estate, and shipyard and boat building. Currently, Mr. Olson is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Olson and Company, one of the largest West Coast steel fabricators.

Mr. Olson’s career with Olson and Company (formerly Bostrom Bergen and Meddco Metals) began over 35 years ago as a Project Manager and Estimator. He progressed to the position of Chief Operations Officer in 1995. Mr. Olson became Chairman and CEO, as well as sole owner of the company in 2002. Through his business enterprises, Mr. Olson has been involved in major West Coast and Texas building construction projects, nuclear and alternative energy projects, classic and speed boat design and construction.

Along with his wife, Lynn, Mr. Olson has been a major contributor and has been instrumental in leading significant fund raising campaigns including the construction of the new Orinda public library and the establishment and support of the Orinda Film Festival. He and his wife have two sons and three grandchildren.

Mr. Olson holds a B.S. in business administration from California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, California.

Thomas M. Lucas, S.J.

Professor Lucas has served on KFF’s board since 2002 and is currently a member of its Heritage, Human Energy, and Education committees.

Professor Lucas has taught at the University of San Francisco, where he served as director of USF’s Thacher Gallery, and at Seattle University where he taught and served as University Art Curator.  Lucas holds a doctorate in Theology and Art from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. He designed and directed the restoration of the rooms of St. Ignatius in Rome and curated an exhibit on Jesuit architecture at the Vatican Library. His book, Landmarking: City, Church, and Jesuit Strategy, won an Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities book prize in 2000. A nationally recognized liturgical designer, his work at St. Ignatius Church, San Francisco, has won awards from the AIA. He has lectured at more than 25 universities in the US, Europe, Mexico, and Asia.

Sharene Kacyra
Director and Vice President

Ms. Kacyra’s career has been focused on the behavioral health field, working to develop programs for individuals experiencing mental illness, homelessness, and developmental and intellectual disorders. As VP of Project Management for a large behavioral health company, Ms. Kacyra oversaw the development of over 30 new residential and outpatient programs in California, Delaware, and Michigan, and managed property acquisitions and facility renovations. She has also provided individual and group counseling to clients of County Behavioral Health Court. 

Prior to her work in the behavioral health field, Ms. Kacyra worked in education at the University of the Pacific and Diablo Valley College in career counseling and student servicesand volunteered as a project manager for CyArk. Ms. Kacyra currently runs her own consulting practice providing services to behavioral health companies, county mental health services, and California regional centers.

Ms. Kacyra has one grown child and two dogs.

Ms. Kacyra holds an MA degree in forensic psychology from Argosy University and is working on obtaining a PsyD from Cal Southern University.

Operation & Funding

KFF’s general approach to operations and funding

Medical and Educational Areas: KFF provides support in its Medical and Educational areas by funding existing organizations involved in work aligned with KFF’s mission and vision. KFF’s general approach is to solicit proposals from organizations it selects based on their specific activities, quality of work and need. The specifics of funding are addressed under each of these two areas.

Heritage and Human energy: In the Heritage and Human Energy areas, KFF’s vision is novel and pioneering and no known work aligned with its vision in these areas exist. Consequently, KFF’s approach is to undertake the creation of pilot projects to test the validity of the concepts and the feasibility of achieving its vision and goals and based on the success of that work conducts further work in preparation for spinning off the pilot projects as independent nonprofit foundations.

KFF partners with organizations involved in the general areas of its vision to initiate such programs and pilot projects and it acts as a funder and incubator for such projects and programs. KFF’s programs and projects are further detailed under each of these two areas.

Funding Policies: In working with educational and institutional partners it selects to perform specific scopes of work to further its vision and objectives, KFF pays for direct costs and expenses. Such direct costs include staff salaries, expenses, and consultants directly attributable to these scopes of work

Indirect costs such as overhead, administration, facilities, etc., that support the entire partner organization are requested to be borne by the partner organization. Where such costs are reimbursed it is KFF’s policy not to bear more than 15% of the direct cost of the project.


Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Kacyra Family Foundation
21 Orinda Way, Ste C 208
Orinda, CA 94563 United States

Phone: 925.254.6994

Fax: 925.253.0544

Email: benkacyra@gmail.com