The Edward Lowe Foundation is a national, nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship and land stewardship. Our entrepreneurship programs, which revolve around education, recognition and research, focus narrowly on second-stage companies — those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. Our land stewardship initiatives play out at Big Rock Valley, our 2,000-acre home in southwest Michigan, where we are committed to preserving the property’s unique biodiversity through innovative land management practices.
Ed Lowe invented Kitty Litter in 1947. A cleaner alternative to the ashes and sand previously used in litter boxes, clay-based Kitty Litter enabled more cats to remain indoors and reshaped U.S. pet demographics, with cats outnumbering dogs. What’s more, this simple product led to the creation of an entirely new industry, and today the cat litter business generates annual U.S. sales of nearly $2 billion.
An entrepreneur herself, Darlene established her own interior design business, Haymarket Interiors, in the late 1960s. In the 1970s, she became vice president of design and facilities planning at Edward Lowe Industries, where she managed the design and renovation of more than 80 diverse projects, including the foundation’s 2,600-acre campus, Big Rock Valley.
Board of Trustees members (left to right): Jack Pycik, Paul Bowles, Murray Swindell, Pete Pairitz, Dan Wyant and Darlene Lowe (seated).
Darlene and Ed Lowe established the Edward Lowe Foundation in 1985 to leverage entrepreneurship as a strategy for economic growth and community development.