August 2019
Leaders in the Field  is a monthly communication highlighting Fieldstone Leadership Network Orange County
members and their achievements in the community.
For nearly 27 years, Margie Wakeham, one of our Executive Coaches and long-time Fieldstone Leadership Network advocates, has led Families Forward with dedication and vision, growing the organization into one of the most impactful agencies serving vulnerable families in the county. When Margie announced her retirement earlier this year, executive search firm Morris & Berger assisted the Board of Directors in a comprehensive, nationwide search for a successor CEO over the course of the past several months.
The board is thrilled to announce that Madelynn Hirneise, formerly Senior Director and recent Nonprofit Leader Learning Group graduate, has been selected by unanimous decision and will assume the role of CEO at Families Forward on October 1, 2019.

We are so happy for you Madelynn- and for all of the FF team!
Congratulations to David Gillanders , Executive Director, and his team at Pathways of Hope for their new partnership to provide food and housing services to the three colleges in the North Orange County Community College District. This first-of-its-kind partnership in Orange County will see Pathways of Hope deliver its expertise in food insecurity and housing stability at Fullerton College, Cypress College, and North Orange Continuing Education. The program kicks off in the Fall semester. David was a recent graduate of our Executive Learning Group .

Read more about it here !

Healthy Smiles welcomed Senator Umberg at the Healthy Smiles CHOC Clinic . He met Jesus, who was once a patient of Healthy Smiles when he was a little boy...and is now their dental assistant. Senator Umberg also learned that there are 14 sugar packets in a soda pop...and met four-year old Isabella during her first dental appointment. Ria Berger is the CEO at Healthy Smiles and was in our 2015 Executive Learning Group and was a recent speaker at our Fieldstone@4 event .

A team of volunteers was excited to assist Youth Employment Service (YES) by conducting mock interviews for students at Costa Mesa High School. YES is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the community by enabling Orange County young adults secure and maintain meaningful employment. Wendy Weeks is the Executive Director with YES and is an active member in our Network. She participated in our 2016 Executive Learning Group and is trained as a Creative Encounters f acilitator.

WHW Job Seekers were excited to have Volunteers from JPMorgan Chase & Co. help them with developing and perfecting their resumes! This critical job search tool is often what gets the interview.

Janie Wolicki Best and Rachel Cueva of WHW are two active members in our Network!

Thank you to JPMorgan Chase for helping job seekers confidently move forward in their job search!

Lauren Gavshon Brand , Chief Operating Officer of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) , will be leaving JFFS to take on a unique professional opportunity. Lauren is a graduate of our Executive Learning Group , is an Executive Coach and is a trained facilitator of our Creative Encounters program.
Lauren has worked to evolve the important work that JFFS does in the community. Now, she will strengthen the county in a different way. Lauren will be joining
MindOC, an organization whose mission is to build an integrated system of mental healthcare through its initiative BeWell Orange County. It is an extraordinary opportunity for her to be part of creating something she is passionate about, something that will significantly improve the landscape of care for those in our county who struggle with mental health issues.

Congrats Lauren!

Hats off to Rochelle Mills , recent graduate of our Executive Learning Group and a 2020 member of the Leadership Reading Group . Rochelle, President and CEO with Innovative Housing Opportunities will be honored at Bisnow's Orange County Power Women event Aug. 21 in Irvine. Referred to as a jill-of-all-trades, Rochelle worked as an architect, project manager, planning commissioner and more, prior to serving as CEO.

Innovative Housing Opportunities is a nonprofit developer that creates vibrant communities by providing high-quality affordable homes with services that help residents thrive and build strong futures for themselves. 

Thrilled you are part of our Network, Rochelle!

On September 14, HomeAid Orange County will celebrate its 30th anniversary at the Hotel Irvine. In 1988, the Building Industry Association of Orange County renovated two 1920 era farmhouses in Irvine fo r Families Forward on a parcel of land provided by the Irvine Company creating
12 beds for families who found themselves homeless. From that, the idea was born to establish a non-profit (HomeAid Orange County) that would collaborate with the building industry to build housing for those experiencing homelessness.

Congrats to our Network organizations for this accomplishment and a tremendous example of collaboration!

Kudos to Dawn S. Reese , CEO of The Wooden Floor , for her nomination from the Orange County Business Journal as a Social Innovator of their I nnovator of the Year Awards.

Dawn leverages her unique blend of experience in business, technology and the arts to propel young people forward. 

Dawn was in our 2007 Nonprofit Leaders Learning Group and is a Coach in our Executive Coaching Program .

Janie Wolicki Best , Chief Executive Officer of WHW and one of our Executive Coaches , will be making a big transition, with an assist from the Fieldstone Leadership Network Courage to Lead Retreat! Janie said the retreat was a great environment for really focusing inward. She realized that her mission in life is to continue serving children, and she was ready to make a big move. Idaho had been on her mind for a long while, and now she’s taking the plunge! As of September 1st, Janie will be serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Idaho, and will relocate with her family to the Boise area to the small community of Star, Idaho. Janie said, “Joining the Fieldstone Leadership Network has made a huge impact on my life, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to coach other nonprofit professionals.”

Stay in touch, Janie!
We want to celebrate you!
If you would like to share a personal or organizational accomplishment
in upcoming Leaders in the Field
publications, please direct your email here .