November/December 2022

Leaders in the Field

Mark Lee, CEO at WTLC joined Karyn Bower and Jenna Stout for the program, “OC in Focus” where they discussed how domestic violence is a public health issue, as survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking are members of our Orange County community.

To watch the radio interview, click here.

Mark participated in 2020 Executive Learning Group and was coached in the 2021 Executive Coaching Program.

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach received a $400K grant from the State of California, slated for the renovation of the play yard at their Canyon Branch Clubhouse. In attendance were Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, Mayor Sue Kempf, City Councilperson George Weiss, BGCLB CEO Pam Estes, Board President Terry Anderson, LBUSD officials, Board Members, BGC Staff, as well as playground donors and club kids. This is very exciting for the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, as well as the city of Laguna Beach, especially seeing the club’s vision come to fruition during their 70th Anniversary! 

Pam participated in the 2003 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group, the 2009 Executive Learning Group, and was coached in the 2006 Executive Coaching Program.

Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO) and partner C&C Development celebrated the groundbreaking of Pacific Wind Apartments in the Carlsbad historic Barrio neighborhood. The Pacific Wind 89-unit housing community includes high-quality architectural design, open green spaces, and community amenities, including integrated on-site social services and workforce development programs benefiting approximately 465 residents of low-to-moderate income multi-generational families and individuals.

The project was featured in multiple media outlets, including The Registry Southern California Real Estate and Amazing Architecture.

Featured in the photograph are Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group graduates Miguel Garcia, Emilie Dang, and Brenda Walters.


Emilie Dang, Director of Community Impact and Programs at IHO, recently graduated from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Housing Policy Leadership Academy and was a speaker at the Center for Nonprofit Management Nonprofit Day in LA.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center has completed its first ever capital campaign, raising $1.2 million dollars! They are scheduled to break ground the first quarter of 2023 with "The Pat & Rose Young Studio," a new classroom complex. The design matches their building and includes ADA-compliant restrooms, will double the floor space, and will be built on the same area of land with updated landscaping.

Farrell Hirsch, CEO, participated in the 2019 Executive Learning Group.

Through the 40 Under 40 program, the Greater Irvine Chamber recognizes 40 next-generation business leaders and advocates who are making strides in their industries and the Orange County business community. We are excited to recognize Network members Nishtha Mohendra, Chief Program Officer at Families Forward and Taryn Palumbo, Executive Director of Orange County Grantmakers, who were among the honorees.

For a complete list, click here.

Nishtha participated in the 2020 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group and the 2022 Executive Coaching Program, and Taryn will participate in the 2023 Executive Learning Group. 

Child Guidance Center held their 40th Annual Holiday Tree Fantasy event at the Balboa Bay Resort. It was a tremendous success and their best fundraising event ever, raising over $330,000 to help expand mental health treatment services for children and families in Orange County. The event included a special message from Board Chair, Addie Zinone and her dear friend Katie Couric. There was immense generosity in the room, with one donor committing $100,000!

Rudy Gomez, Program Director, participated in the 2022 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group and is a current member of the Leadership Reading Group, and Rubi Becerra, Program Director, will participate in the 2023 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group.

The HOPE (Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement) Center located near St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton is now officially open! Governor Gavin Newsom praised county and local state officials, saying “the center is a model for the state.” Participating cities will no longer contract with individual nonprofits as the HOPE Center will act as a dedicated central hub where all homeless services can be coordinated. The new facility will also quickly dispatch mobile homeless outreach units with social workers, mental health workers, homeless liaison officers and community service providers to any location across the region.

To view the ribbon-cutting ceremony, click here.

We love it when Network members collaborate! Friendly Center's Power of Me Tutoring Program allowed students to participate in a week-long Entrepreneur Camp by Child Creativity Lab, thanks to funding from First Republic Bank, who also is a fiscal sponsor of Fieldstone! Weekly activities focused on entrepreneurship, including budgeting, business, and marketing. Students designed their own prototypes using their creative skills with recycled items. Once the students finalized their business plans, they pitched to a panel of possible “investors” where they also honed their presentation and public speaking skills.

Cathy Seelig, President/CEO of Friendly Center, participated in the 2018 Executive Learning Group and Katy Vandermost, Program Manager of Child Creativity Lab will join our 2023 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group.

Heather Miner has been called to be the next settled minister at Wright Congregational Church, UCC in Boise, Idaho. Heather was chosen for her direct leadership style, her ability to create community partnerships, and her inspirational written and spoken messages.


Heather shared, “Fieldstone helped me understand and become better at the parts of pastoring that require acting as an Executive Director; working with budgets, fundraising, and making relationships outside of the organization. It was uplifting to be with a learning group that shared many of the same challenges as did I, and I found creative, life-giving ways of responding to them.”


Heather participated in the 2018 Executive Learning Group and the 2019 Leadership Reading Group.

Peter Chang, Executive Director of Unconditional, a rescue for senior and special dogs, will not only join the Network in our 2023 Executive Learning Group, but has also joined the board at an organization that he has long admired. Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA), is an organization committed to enhancing the health, social and economic well-being of Asians and Pacific Islanders in Orange County, California.

Each year at our Holiday Gathering we encourage our guests to bring a $10 gift card to enter into an opportunity drawing. The lucky winner then has the privilege of presenting the collection of cards to their own organization's clients. This year, Sally Lawrence, who is retired, happened to be the winner, and is a stellar volunteer with the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Sally paid it forward by bringing the donated gift cards to the AFP luncheon, where Crystal Tosello, Director of Development at Grandma's House of Hope, was the fortunate recipient.

Coincidentally, Crystal will participate in our 2023 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group!

Last, but definitely not least, we would like to recognize Keith Johnson, Co-Founder of Fieldstone Group of Companies, and one of the reasons Fieldstone Leadership Network exists today. After 40 years of mentorship and support, Keith has retired from our board, and was celebrated at our Annual Board Christmas Luncheon with an inscribed rock commemorating his service and dedication.

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