September 2020
Leaders in the Field
Grandma’s House of Hope cares for people experiencing homelessness, hunger and illness. With the onset of COVID-19,they saw the need for their services, particularly food, skyrocket and their volunteerism declined by 75%. In spite of these challenges, Virginia DePaola, Volunteer Outreach/Donation Center Manager, helped to effectively quadruple their food distribution serving over 60,000 meals each month. The Nana's Kidz food distribution program provided more meals this summer than any other program.

Je'net Kreitner, CEO, participated in the 2014 Executive Learning Group and was a recipient of a Clare Rose Sabbatical.
Congratulations to the City of Huntington Beach, the County of Orange, and Mercy House on the groundbreaking of their new 174 bed navigation center! It’s so encouraging to see that despite the pandemic, people have continued to work together to address homelessness. Mayor of Huntington Beach Lyn Semeta referenced the long term goal of including permanent supportive housing. The center is set to open in November.

To access the full article, click here.

Larry Haynes, Executive Director, was coached in our 1997 Executive Coaching Program, was trained as a coach in 2011, and was a recipient of a Clare Rose Sabbatical.
Pretend City is proud to partner with First Five OC, Children’s Home Society, and Early Childhood OC to provide distribution kits for more than 700 daycare providers in Orange County. The partnership kicked off the last week of August and will continue for nine months.

You can read more about this community partnership in the OC Register article here.

Sandra Bolton, Pretend City's Executive Director was a participant of the 2013 Executive Learning Group and the 2017 Leadership Reading Group. Sue Harrison, Chief Development Officer was coached in the 2017 Executive Coaching Program and is a frequent attendee of our Fieldstone4U Zoom webinars.
Although the pandemic has halted much of our country’s operations, it hasn’t stopped some of its most dangerous criminals: human traffickers. Great work is being done by Ronnetta Johnson, Executive Director of Waymakers, and her team to address this challenge. Waymakers co-founded the O.C. Human Trafficking Task Force to fight human trafficking in partnership with law enforcement and the community.

To read the LA Times article featuring Waymakers and their response to this growing problem, click here.

Ronnetta was a participant of the 2017 Executive Learning Group.
The power of collaboration is real! Longtime partner with WHW, Western Digital recently donated flash drives to support job seekers with their readiness and search needs. This generous gift was facilitated by Western Digital’s Milissa Bedell, Director of Global Giving & Doing and Ky Begley, Specialist in Global Giving & Doing. Pictured is CEO of WHW, Trina Fleming, beaming with gratitude!
Way to go Chris Baiocchi, Vice President of Fund Development with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County! Chris completed the USC Nonprofit Resilient Leaders & Capacity Building Program - a 10-week course covering everything from board development and individual giving to program evaluation and marketing.

Chris was coached in the 2018 Executive Coaching Program.
Congratulations to Orangewood Foundation! After nearly two years of planning, construction, and inspection, the Samueli Academy residential building is officially finished and will be home to 48 students. This will provide a safe and clean space to live and work on their schoolwork five days a week. On weekends students will return to their family homes. Many of the students that will live in the residential hall are students of promise and foster youth.
Kudos to Orange County United Way for presenting "Community Chat: Gender, Domestic Violence, and Homelessness" hosted by Director, United to End Homelessness, Becks Heyhoe. Network members
Maricela Rios-Faust, CEO of Human Options, and Brateil Aghasi, CEO of WISEPlace highlighted and discussed the intersection of domestic violence, gender and homelessness. Their insights and knowledge of the subject are extremely valuable especially in this COVID environment.
To hear what was addressed in the chat, please click this link.
Maricela was a participant in the 2007 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group and was coached in our 2010 Executive Coaching Program. Brateil participated in the 2013 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group and is a trained facilitator in our Creative Encounters by Fieldstone program.
Kudos to Child Guidance Center & CEO Lori Pack! Their team of licensed mental health therapists are providing comprehensive telehealth services to hundreds of children, teens and parents weekly during this incredibly stressful time. Their innovative Strong Families, Strong Children program continues to support the mental health, housing, legal and other basic needs for veteran and military-connected families. Lori shared, “vulnerable families in Orange County are under tremendous stress and financial pressures right now. We have to make sure that families have access to the mental health services that their children need now, and into the future."

Lori was a participant of the 2010 Executive Learning Group, and was coached in the 2011 Executive Coaching Program.
Great work is being done by Greg Bradbard, President of Hope Through Housing Foundation and his team! Over the past six months, they have pivoted efforts ensuring the safety of its affordable housing residents, conducting over 15,000 wellness checks, delivering 75,000 meals to home-bound seniors, and offering virtual financial coaching low-income families who have lost jobs and hours.

Greg was a participant of the 2000 Executive Learning Group and was coached in the 2010 Executive Coaching Program.
Congratulations to Rochelle Mills, President & CEO of Innovative Housing Opportunities, for being honored by Rep. Lou Correa as a 2020 Women of the Year award recipient. Rochelle is among a group of exceptional businesswomen recognized for impactful contributions to the 46th Congressional District of communities.

To view the digital ceremony, click here.

Rochelle was a participant of the 2019 Executive Learning Group and is currently being coached in our Executive Coaching Program.
Kudos to Nadia Babayi, Executive Director of Laguna Beach Seniors and her team. During the pandemic and after a quick crisis management assessment by her staff and board, they decided to create the “Susi Q without Walls” and transitioned all programs and services to an online platform. It took a month to help seniors shift to remote programming and the outcome was one of astonishment!  As of August 2020, more than 4,000 seniors attended their (30) programs and an average 500 to 700 people participated in programs every week.  
Nadia is a member of OC Strategic Plan for Aging and collaborates with other senior center representatives monthly. They are leading the pack in Orange County with the number of programs and service offerings.  

Nadia was a participant of the 2005 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group.
Great things are happening at Families Forward! They held their first ever Virtual Gala, Light Up the Night, honoring the organization’s supporters and raised more than $400,000 towards programs and services to prevent and end family homelessness in Orange County. 

In addition, Orange County Business Journal wrote a fantastic article, From Peace Corps to Nonprofit Leader, in their September 7th issue on their CEO, Madelynn Hirneise. It features her journey from spending time in Guatemala with the Peace Corps to assuming leadership at Families Forward as Chief Executive Officer in October, 2019. 

To read the complete article, click here.

Families Forward was also selected as 2020 Nonprofit of the Year by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris for Assembly District 74. The California Nonprofit of the Year award was created to honor the contributions being made by nonprofits in the communities they serve. The award is an opportunity for elected officials to recognize the excellent work being done in their districts.

Maddie participated in the 2019 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group and is currently being coached in our Executive Coaching Program .
The Wooden Floor’s CEO Dawn Reese and Board Member Linh Nguyen, Vice President of Advance Beauty College, were both recognized for Senator Tom Umberg’s 34th Women of Distinction Awards as top three nominees in the arts and business sections, respectively. Dawn and Linh are strong leaders within the community whose expertise and guidance at The Wooden Floor helps make a difference in the lives of the students served.

Dawn participated in the 2007 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group, was coached in 2012, and was trained as a Coach in 2013 in our Executive Coaching Program.
Congratulations to Eve-Marie Kuntzman, the new Director of Development of Compassion in World Farming, the leading global organization dedicated to farm animal welfare. Their vision is to advocate on behalf of all areas that are detrimentally impacted by factory farming - including animals, the environment, public health, and the well-being of workers and the communities they serve.

Eve will be be directly employing skills learned through participating in the 2019 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group, as she is charged with the task of building an entire fundraising team here in the US.
As the nation continues to respond the COVID-19 pandemic, Orange County United Way has worked to raise much-needed dollars for its Pandemic Relief Efforts, to assist low-income individuals and families at imminent risk of homelessness, the current Orange County population experiencing homelessness, and vital social and human services.

In Orange County, the unemployment rate increased greatly and many families were at risk of homelessness. Orange County United Way sought to address these problems and utilized a portion of its Pandemic Relief Fund donations to launch a Homelessness Prevention Program, dedicated solely to helping families on the verge of homelessness due to job loss or reduced income from the pandemic. To date, 5,160 households have been given $500 emergency debit cards (one per household) to help pay for rent, utilities, groceries and other essential basic needs. 

To see the other ways donations are being used to help the community, visit their website.

Tamara Thompson, Vice President of Development was a participant in the 2009 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group and is a current member of the Leadership Reading Group.

Leaders in the Field is a monthly communication highlighting Fieldstone Leadership Network members and their
achievements in the community.

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