I am writing today with big news about some changes to the River Parkway Trust's staff. Last week, our Director of Business Development Finn Telles received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a position at Penny Newman Grain Company in a new product division. On behalf of the Trust's board and staff, I would like to congratulate Finn on this exciting career move. Finn made many significant contributions to the River Parkway Trust’s work during his five-year tenure, ranging from increasing the social media presence to volunteer support to the significant increase in business sponsorships. He has also highlighted the organization’s work with the Fresno Arts Community through art exhibits at the River Center, Respite by the River, and through the Parties for the Parkway program. While we are sad to see Finn go, we know that he will continue to be an advocate for the Parkway in his new role.
When I asked Finn to share his thoughts about this life transition he said the following.
“It has been an opportunity of a lifetime to work with the River Parkway Trust promoting the San Joaquin River Parkway. The Parkway is an asset that supports the economic development in our community, and it has been an honor to work with the local business community to enhance our efforts. I cannot express how grateful I am for the support I have received from the Board, Staff and hundreds of volunteers and program participants who have supported me and our efforts on the Parkway. I am extremely excited for my new career shift and the opportunities that it will bring, and I plan to continue to support the Trust’s efforts to implement the Parkway.” - Finn Telles
Finn's news created a void in our Fundraising department, but thankfully, we had just finished interviewing a candidate that can help us keep Parties for the Parkway and Business Sponsorships moving forward. I am pleased to welcome Bryna De Fede as the River Parkway Trust's new Development Associate. Bryna has worked for the organization for three summers as Camp Director of River Camp Firebaugh and has worked during the academic year as an education program intern. She is a recent Fresno State graduate with a degree in liberal studies, and during her last year at school helped manage the Vintage Days event on campus. Bryna has also participated in fundraising for the Children’s Miracle Network with her sorority.
I am also pleased to announce the promotion of Sarah Parkes to Development Director. Sarah has been part of the Trust’s regular staff since 2007 and has made significant contributions to the organization’s individual giving program. Sarah is familiar to most of our supporters due to her work on our newsletter and other communications. Sarah will now be overseeing all of the Trust's fundraising activities.
Finally, we have also hired a new individual to fill the Rental Events Coordinator position. I am pleased to welcome Jesus Luviano to the regular staff. Jesus immigrated to the United States in his teens with a desire to become a professional dancer. He grew up in Sanger and attended Fresno State, graduating with a degree in Recreation Studies. He has been involved in all aspects of the live entertainment industry, including seasonal positions with the Ellen Degeneres Show, Metropolitan Fashion Week, and management at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Jesus is pleased to join the River Parkway Trust and relocate closer to his family in Fresno.
Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 8, from 12-3 pm, for a special Farewell to Finn Party at the River Center. It will be an open house style celebration, so please stop by to give Finn your best wishes.