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Jo Lynn "Jody" Allen (formerly Jody Patton) is an American businesswoman and philanthropist. She serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vulcan Inc., a private project and investment management firm based in Seattle, Washington. She is also the co-founder and president of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.
Jody Allen is the sister of Paul G. Allen, co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation. She grew up in Wedgwood, a middle-class neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Her mother, Edna Faye Allen, was a Seattle school teacher who promoted reading throughout her life. A book list that Faye Allen prepared for her daughter is available online. Allen's father, Kenneth Samuel Allen, served as an associate director of the University of Washington libraries. The Allen family has given more than $30 million to fund local libraries throughout the Pacific Northwest since 1990.
Today, Allen lives in Mercer Island, Washington, outside of Seattle. "As lifetime Seattle residents, the Pacific Northwest has played a key role in shaping who we have both become," Allen said of her and her brother in a public letter.
In 1986, she co-founded Vulcan Inc. with her brother to manage their family's business and charitable endeavors. Vulcan's former Chief Financial Officer described her as being "responsible for having the trains run on time" and said Allen had "a particular passion for real estate development, building things in general."
Allen is also president of Vulcan Productions, a company that produces films, digital programs, and outreach initiatives, and has produced or executive produced more than a dozen documentaries and feature films. In 2013, she signed on as a backer of two documentaries, the Richard E. Robbins-directed film Girl Rising and the nuclear power documentary Pandora's Promise. She is the Vice-Chair of First & Goal Inc., which oversees operations of the Seattle Seahawks. She was involved in negotiating the public-private partnership that led to the construction of CenturyLink Field in Seattle, and was an adviser to her brother when he first considered buying the Seattle Seahawks. In 1997, a Seattle reporter wrote: "Jody Patton thought buying the Seahawks was a great idea; thus was born Allen's efforts to acquire the team and build a new football stadium." Allen also supervised building the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, renovating the Seattle Cinerama, and bringing the EMP Museum to Seattle.
Allen co-founded the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation in 1990. Since then, the Foundation has given more than $469 million in grants to over 1,400 nonprofit organizations. About 75 percent of the Foundation's giving has been focused on projects in the Pacific Northwest region.
Allen is the President of the Board of Trustees of the EMP Museum in Seattle, a nonprofit museum dedicated to pop culture and music. The Seattle Times credited Allen with helping her brother make EMP a reality: "Although Allen gets most of the credit...it is the brainchild of both these close siblings. Allen provided the money and inspiration; Patton, as executive director, is largely responsible for the vision that made it happen."
With her brother, Allen co-founded the Allen Institute for Brain Science in 2003 and currently serves as Chairman of the Board for that Seattle non-profit organization, which provides free online public resources to scientists around the world. She serves on the board of the Seahawks Charitable Foundation, and has served on the boards of ArtsFund, the Theatre Communications Group, the University of Washington Foundation, the Museum of Glass, the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Allen has three children; she is divorced, and was known as Jody Patton while married.
Allen studied drama at Whitman College and has an interest in the arts. Some of the Allen family's reported family traditions include visiting Powell's Books in Portland and making an annual trek to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.