July 2022

Leaders in the Field

Families Forward is excited to release their new brand! The development department, led by Michele Silva and Marika McCall, shared their new look with their leadership team, major donors, and key partners at a recent event at Strawberry Farms Golf Club.  Also premiered was a new Families Forward video.

To watch the video, click here

Michele is a currently being coached in the 2022 Executive Coaching Program and Marika graduated from the 2022 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group. Also in the picture are Network members, Madelynn Hirneise, Nishtha Mohendra, Rose Bermudez and Elizabeth Childs.

Grandma’s House of Hope announced an exciting new chapter in their story. Founder and long-time CEO, Je’net Kreitner, is stepping down as CEO and stepping into into a new role as Chief Storyteller and Major Gifts Officer. The 18-year old organization has provided more than 3.1 million meals to unstably housed children, outreached to more than 28,000 unsheltered individuals, and rescued and restored more than 3,800 women and men experiencing homelessness.

Maria Mazzenga Avellaneda will step in as Interim CEO while their Board of Directors engages in strategic planning and a search for a permanent CEO. Maria brings over 25 years of nonprofit leadership to the organization and joined GHH in January 2022 as Interim Managing Director.

Je'net participated in the 2014 Executive Learning Group and was a Clare Rose Sabbatical recipient in 2014.

Maria participated in the 2016 Executive Learning Group and was coached in the 2019 Executive Coaching Program.

Congratulations to Aaron McLean, former Academic Operations Manager at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, on his move to Stanford School of Medicine, where he will be the Faculty Affairs Administrator. In this new role,  Aaron will oversee the faculty search/recruitment process, manage faculty reviews, appointments and promotions, review communications and published materials for accuracy and clarity, compose and distributes offer letters, and on board new faculty members.

Aaron recently graduated from our 2022 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group.

The UC Santa Cruz Foundation Board of Trustees  elected business banking leader Janet Buck. The foundation board works in close partnership with Chancellor Cynthia Larive and other university leaders to advance private philanthropic support for the campus mission, while also fostering greater understanding of UCSC's activities and impact by the broader Santa Cruz community, California and the nation.

Janet has served since 2016 as a senior managing director in the business banking division at First Republic Bank, leading the Orange County and San Diego business banking teams. She established the Tony Awaida Fund for Environmental Solutions in 2018 in honor of her late son’s memory. This endowed fund supports the Coastal Science & Policy Program, which is training the next generation of coastal science and policy leaders.

“It is an honor to be of service to UC Santa Cruz as it continues its legacy as one of the most innovative and impactful universities in the country,” Buck said. 

For the complete press release, click here

Janet is a trusted friend and supporter of the Fieldstone Leadership Network. 

Congratulations to Antonio Ramon, former Project Manager at Innovative Housing Opportunities, as he relocates to San Antonio, Texas. He accepted the position of Project Manager with McCormack Baron Salazarone of the nation’s leading for profit developers of economically integrated urban neighborhoods. While we are sad to see him leave Orange County, we are excited for his new adventure.

Antonio recently graduated from our 2022 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group .

Gina Scott, Executive Director of HomeAid Orange County, was joined by Dave Prolo, Tara Morenc and Michael Battaglia in the dunk tank to raise awareness and funds for the families at the Family CareCenter as they celebrate five years in operation. More than 1,300 individuals have walked through their doors, welcomed with love and hope.

Gina participated in the 2002 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group, was coached in the 2014 Executive Coaching Program, was a member of the 2019 and 2020Leadership Reading Groups, and graduated from the 2021 Executive Learning Group.

This month CIELO successfully completed their first-ever Childcare Business Incubator Program! They had many passionate participants join and learn about opening up a childcare business from their apartment or home. The program was a success and included collaboration with their partners at One/IEFirst 5 Orange County, Orange County Community Foundation, @weareovhs, and the Oak View Neighborhood Community in Huntington Beach.

Iosefa Alofaituli, Executive Director and Co-Founder, participated in the 2013  Executive Learning Group .

Mara James, founder and CEO of Extraordinary Lives Foundation, met with LaVal Brewer, president and CEO of South County Outreach to discuss partnering to help local families and children in need. They discussed a holistic approach; in addition to providing food and shelter, they want to assist with counseling and mental health services. We can't wait to see what they achieve together!

Mara is currently coached in our 2022 Executive Coaching Program and LaVal participated in the 2017 Executive Learning Group .

Starting on July 16, Americans now have a new universal number to call or text for urgent help with a mental health crisis: 988. The number will become the new direct line to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

For information on when and how to use 988, how 988 is different from 911, what happens when you call, and more, experts answer these questions here!

Congratulations to our 2022 Learning Group Graduates!

Executive Learning Group

(left to right) Dave Lugo, MOMS Orange County; Brenda Rodriguez, Affordable Housing Clearinghouse; Grace Tsai, Dragon Kim Foundation; Shakoya Green, Thomas House Family Shelter; Julie Perlin Lee, Laguna Art Museum; Greg Eubanks, Crittenton Services for Children & Families; Brent Finlay, Anaheim Family YMCA; and Rashad Al-Dabbagh, Arab American Civic Council. 

(not pictured) Brenda Wells, i-5 Freedom Network; and Iliana Soto Welty, Mind OC.

Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group 1

(left to right) Tania Morales, Beyond Blindness; Anita Lewicke, Be Well OC; Dennis Williams, South County Outreach; Yanina Camarillo, Meals on Wheels Orange County; Heidi Cohn, My Safe Harbor; Jessica Ruelas, Friendly Center; Irene Samadoff, Girls Inc of Orange County; Nefta Pereda, Women's Transitional Living Center (WTLC); and Brian Arzate, Families Forward.

(not pictured) Antonio Ramon, Innovative Housing Opportunities.

Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group 2

(left to right) Christian Cantoran, Beyond Blindness; Mychael Blinde, Pathways of Hope; Aaron McLean, Chapman University; Marika McCall, Families Forward; Sean Theile, American Family Housing; Abby Ryan, Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach; Rodolfo Gomez, Child Guidance Center; Brenda Walters, Innovative Housing Opportunities; Edith Hernandez, Families Together of Orange County; and Lupita Gutierrez, Girls Inc. of Orange County. (not pictured) Thao Ngo, Orange County United Way.

Leaders in the Field is a monthly communication highlighting Fieldstone Leadership Network member organizations and their

achievements in the community.

We want to celebrate YOU!

If you would like to share a personal or organizational accomplishment

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