December 2016
Sonoma Valley Fund Newsletter


In This Issue
SVF Names New Board Members
Joshua Rymer Steps Down
Corrections and Amplifications
Quick Links
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Cheers to You This Holiday Season!

The Sonoma Valley Fund wants to thank all of you who gave this past year and to remind you that time is running out if you want to take advantage of charitable tax breaks for 2016. Please give to your favorite Valley organizations.  

We also want to thank Scott Smith and Marcelo Defreitas for a great holiday party on Dec. 11th. Delightful! 
And most of all, we want to express our appreciation to three retiring SVF board members for their dedication to the Fund and the Valley. They are: Valerie Pistole Scott Smith and Mandy Weltman -- top flight people who will be missed.

Sonoma Valley Fund Has Five New Board Members

Community Foundation Sonoma County has approved and Sonoma Valley Fund is delighted to announce the following five new Board members: 

Chip Allen 
Chip is a graduate of The Hastings School of Law, UC.  An estate planning attorney in Sonoma, Chip has practiced law for more than forty years and focused on estate planning for the past sixteen. He is also a member of the Trust and Estate Section of the American Bar Association and a member of Wealth Counsel, a national network of estate and business planning attorneys. 

Chip and his wife, Jeanne moved to Sonoma in 2000 and are both active in the community. Chip is a member of, and has served as Chair of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member and past President of the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Board. Chip also serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee for the Index Tribune. Chip and Jeanne love to travel in support of IncredibleACCESSIBLE, an organization founded by Jeanne to provide knowledge, confidence, and inspiration to people with mobility challenges - to go, see, and do, in their own community and around the world.  

Mollie Collins
Mollie graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her professional life includes twenty-one years as an educator in both higher education and secondary independent schools. Mollie has also been an executive search professional, ultimately forming her own firm which focused on providing leadership for large non-profits, particularly those devoted to education and human services. Mollie has served on eleven boards, and been an officer on six. She and her husband Dennis, (a past SVF Board Member) moved to Sonoma in 2007 and are active in the community. Indeed, Mollie was on the founding board of Impact100 Sonoma. 

Michael Mulcahy
Michael earned a BA at St. Mary's College and an MBA at the American Graduate School of International Management. 

Michael has been a leader in: fashion, retailing, franchising, high tech, strategy consulting and nonprofit management and fundraising in: Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. He currently works as a consultant to nonprofits and early stage for profit companies wishing to scale. Michael has served on the Board of Trustees, as well as working as the Executive Director of the De La Salle Global Education Fund. The Fund raised and dispersed millions of dollars to educate the poorest children around the world. Michael  has also served as President of the Board of Trustees for If Given a Chance Foundation; as Vice President, Board of Trustees, The Sonoma Valley Soccer Association; and on the Board of Directors for St. Mary's College Alumni Association.

With significant experience in the wine industry, Michael is also a member of the Sonoma Vintners & Growers Association. 

J. Lewis "Lew" Perlson
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Lew earned both a BBA degree from the Business School and a JD from the School of Law. Though not licensed to practice in California,  Lew is Of Counsel with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Milwaukee. An expert in trusts and estates, he has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America and named a "Wisconsin Super Lawyer" in Super Lawyer Magazine. Lew is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and has co-authored several publications.

Lew is on the board of the Sonoma Mentoring Alliance and serves as Chairman of the Governance Committee. He is a member of the Public Issues Committee of the San Francisco, Jewish Family and Children's Service - Sonoma County Region and Treasurer of the Congregation Shir Shalom Men's Club. In Milwaukee, he was president of Milwaukee Jewish Family Services and Congregation Sinai in Fox Point as well as serving on the Board of Trustees of the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation, Milwaukee Jewish Community Foundation and the Milwaukee Jewish Home Foundation.  
Lew and his wife, Bev bought their Sonoma home in 2010 and moved from Wisconsin in 2014. They moved to be closer to their sons, though Lew still considers himself a Cheesehead. 

Bill M. Sanderson
Bill was born and raised on a farm in Gaines County, Texas. He attended High School in Seagraves and university at Texas Tech, where he earned a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering. In 1960,  Bill joined Shell Oil Company where he worked for twenty-one years in exploration and production, including three years in Venezuela and five in London. In 1981, Bill joined a friend in Denver working in oil and gas and in 1989 they co-founded Western Gas Resources. Bill was President and COO and  stayed on the Board of WGR until 2006, when it was sold to Anadarko Petroleum Corp. During that same year, Bill helped launch Flatirons Field Services LLC, and has stayed involved in oil and gas to this day.
Bill and wife, Mabeth moved to Sonoma in 1996 and went back to farming. They planted a five-acre hillside vineyard and finally received a winery permit in 2004 (Madrone Ridge). Bill and Mabeth have one son, William Doak.

Congratulations to All!
Joshua Rymer Steps Down as Co-President of SVF 

Joshua joined the board six years ago, became President in 2014 and this past year has been Co-President with Peg Van Camp. His rise was a bit of surprise to Joshua,  " I hate to admit it, but I was very naive about nonprofit boards when I started. Then President, Barbara Young asked me to be her Vice President while we were attending a benefit dinner for a nonprofit partner. I had no idea that that would lead to me being President a year later!"     

In 2012, while Joshua chaired the Marketing & Communications Committee, SVF launched "Endow Sonoma Valley Month" and held four events. "We had speakers and panel discussions. In one year, we more than tripled the number of known legacy gifts to nonprofits in the Valley (from about 60 to over 200). Since that time, Valley nonprofits have benefited from several very large planned gifts, including three $1M+ gifts in the last year alone."

In 2014,  Sonoma Valley Fund got grant-making authority for the second largest gift Community Foundation Sonoma County has ever received, the Todd Fund. "I'm really proud of the incredible grant program that has been created from the Todd Fund. It will be a model for grant programs and could have a dramatic impact on nonprofits in the Valley". 

Most of all, Joshua says he is proud of fellow SVF board members, "As an all volunteer organization, our board members are asked to do the work for which most other boards have staff, including: events, reports, meet with nonprofits, manage the administration, and do donor solicitation. For instance,  I'm excited about the efforts that Art Grandy and other board members are making to reach out to donors."

Peg Van Camp said, "It's been such a pleasure working with Joshua. He is incredibly knowledgable about the people and issues in Sonoma Valley and is exceptionally well-organized which has been very helpful to all of us on the board.  We are pleased that he will stay on the board in an emeritus role this coming year."

Joshua says that  "SVF feels more solid, stable and directed than ever, and the new leadership is broader and more engaged than ever. That's the best!"
Corrections and Amplifications

None this Time!
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Donald Van de Mark, Sonoma Valley Fund

New SVF Logo   

An affiliate of Community Foundation Sonoma County