About the Foundation
The Mark Ross Foundation was established in 1985 by Mark Ross, a San Francisco businessman and real estate investor. Mr. Ross grew up in China, of Russian parentage, and came to the United States as a teenager. He established an import-export business in San Francisco. He was soon joined in that enterprise by John and Mina Vitlin, and the business that they built continues to this day. Victor Vitlin is the President of those companies and continues the tradition of innovation and service begun by Mark Ross in the waning years of World War II.
In 1985 Mark Ross, in consultation with his advisors, decided to leave the bulk of his wealth to a Foundation upon his death. Following the death of Mr. Ross in 1995, the responsibility of managing the Foundation transferred to his long-time friends, advisors, and business partners, who manage the Foundation to this day.
As the Foundation moved into its third decade, the Directors decided to acknowledge two changes in the management and emphasis of the Foundation’s operations. First, several of the directors announced their intention to make the Foundation a significant beneficiary of their gifting plans. Second, the directors determined that they wanted to make JUSTICE, as an abstract concept and as a living goal, the central theme of their grant-making deliberations.