Our Team

The San Diego Foundation staff is made up of a group of skilled, experienced professionals dedicated to the organization’s mission. Led by Kathlyn Mead, President & CEO, the staff strives to provide quality support in philanthropic giving, and increase the amount and impact of grantmaking in the community.

Foundation team members can be contacted by calling:

Main Office: 619-402-1827esm
North County Coastal Office: 760-929-2800
North County Inland Office: 619-764-8602

 
B. Kathlyn Mead, President & CEO
Lori Hinojos, Board Liaison and Executive Manager


Adrienne Vargas, Vice President, Chief Giving Officer
Keely A. Bamberg, Director, Donor Relations
Kari Breitweiser, Manager, Development
Julie Bronstein, Executive Director, La Jolla Community Foundation
Esmeralda Cuevas-Anderson, Fund Service Coordinator
Leslie Harrington, Philanthropic Advisor
Pearl Hoeglund, Philanthropic Advisor
Leslie S. Klein,CFP®, Director, Development
Audrey Lewis, Coordinator, Charitable Giving
Kelli O'Merry, Coordinator, Scholarships
Lindsay Sloan, Director, Scholarships
Debra Sorey, Coordinator, Charitable Giving
Bridget Strickland Mitigation Advisor
Meryl Zwanger, Manager, Scholarships


Theresa Nakata, Vice President, Chief Communications Officer
Catrina Dulay, Coordinator, Graphics/Website
Jon Haber, Manager, Digital Communications
Nikki Kolupailo, Communications Specialist

Ryan Ginard, Manager, Center for Civic Engagement

Emily Young, Ph.D., Vice President, Community Impact
Kim Fields, Coordinator, Community Impact
Nicola Hedge, MPIA, Director, Environment Initiatives
Emily Guevara, Manager, Environment Initiatives
Vi Nguyen, Manager, Community Impact
Danielle Valenciano, Manager, Community Impact

Trudy Armstrong, Director, Regional Affiliates
Cassie Edmonds, Program Specialist, Regional Affiliates

Tracy Johnson, Executive Director, San Diego Women’s Foundation
Mara Holiday, Program Specialist, San Diego Women’s Foundation


James Howell, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Matt Fettig, Vice President, Chief Investment Officer
Daniel Brown, Controller
Michelle Caparas, Manager, Information Technology (IT)
Maria Houchin, Accountant
Perla Montoya, Coordinator, Payroll & Accounts Payable
Kerri Favela, Grants Manager


Anne Kilpatrick, Director, Human Resources & Administration
Joanna Barraco, Coordinator, Human Resources
Otto R. Delacruz, Facilities Manager
Christina Rodriguez, Facilities & Administration Assistant
Nuria Shariffi, Receptionist


Executive

The Executive Department works closely with the Board of Governors, Executive Committee, and Board Governance Committee to ensure that The Foundation's assets, funds, and community involvement are managed effectively.
 
B. Kathlyn Mead

B. Kathlyn Mead, President & CEO
President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation, Kathlyn Mead has been actively involved in community throughout her career. Charles R. Drew University recognized her commitment to community service by awarding her their 2011 Medal of Honor. Mead was named a 2008 Woman of Distinction by the University of Southern California, received San Diego’s 2004 KGTV-10 News Organizational Leadership Award, and is also a 2003 recipient of the YWCA of San Diego TWIN Award. Prior to joining the San Diego Foundation, Mead was EVP and COO of The California Endowment. Responsible for business operations, social finance/impact investments, and strategic corporate partnerships, Mead provided leadership and management for the $3B health foundation.

An established leader within diverse health related sectors, Mead also previously served as President and CEO, San Diego Council of Community Clinics. As Vice President, CalPERS Sector for Blue Shield of California, she developed cost effective, quality health care networks and products for California’s largest purchaser of health benefits. Mead was President and CEO for Sharp Health Plan, a health maintenance organization affiliated with the Sharp HealthCare integrated delivery system. While at Sharp, Mead developed and implemented the award winning public/private, 3-share insurance product (FOCUS) especially designed to offer access to affordable, quality health coverage for small business employees. Mead was Vice President, Managed Care, at Children’s Hospital San Diego, and held management positions with MetLife Healthcare Network of Colorado and Blue Cross of California.

Mead serves on the Board of Trustees for the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and the 22nd District Agricultural Association/Del Mar Fairgrounds. She previously served on the Boards of HealthCorps, The Kitchen Community, the California Association of Health Plans, the Consumer Center for Health, Education, and Advocacy, Community Health Improvement Partners, the Business Healthcare Connection, the San Diego Urban League, and the Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP).

Mead earned an MBA from the University of Southern California and attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She has two daughters and a son, and her husband is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at University of California San Diego.

Lori Hinojos

Lori Hinojos, Board Liaison and Executive Manager
Lori supports The Foundation by managing the activities of the Board of Governors and its nine standing committees in collaboration with the President & CEO. She ensures consistent and timely communications with the Board of Governors representing the executive office and The Foundation and supports all internal and external constituents. Lori brings over 20 years of experience in the health insurance industry, in both broker and health plan arenas. She has previous board liaison experience and several years of project management, executive level support and supervisory experience. Prior to joining The Foundation, Lori was with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan providing project management support to the Area Director and Sales Manager, and at Sharp Health Plan serving as Office Manager then Supervisor of Provider Relations.

 

Charitable Giving

The Charitable Giving and Donor Relations teams provide a range of services to potential and current donors, as well as professional advisors, to assist them in achieving their philanthropic goals. The team has a wide range and depth of knowledge in relation to charitable giving and the San Diego community. Together, these staff member serve as a comprehensive technical resource for specific giving strategies to reach their giving and community impact goals.
Adrienne Vargas

Adrienne Vargas, Vice President, Chief Giving Officer
Adrienne serves on The San Diego Foundation’s executive leadership team and oversees strategic direction for growing The San Diego Foundation’s asset base. She leads the Charitable Giving and Donor Relations departments, and develops programs and services to support donor cultivation, stewardship and recognition. Adrienne also leads outreach to professional advisors and designs planned giving programming. Her team of fourteen charitable giving professionals is responsible for creating strong and lasting relationships to grow charitable gifts, stewarding nonprofit charitable assets and promoting philanthropy in the community. Since joining The Foundation in 1997, Adrienne has worked in a variety of capacities, including VP of Fund Services, as well as in the areas of board and volunteer relations, human resources, grantmaking and marketing & communications. Prior to joining The Foundation, Adrienne worked for six years as a development officer for Grossmont Hospital Foundation. She also served as a staff assistant for the Harvard College Fund and as an eighth grade teacher at a parochial school in the Bronx. Adrienne graduated from Fordham University in New York City with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She is active in Estate Planning Council and the Council on Foundation’s affinity group for chief development officers.

Keely A. Bamberg

Keely A. Bamberg, Director, Donor Relations
Keely is responsible for developing stewardship, cultivation and recognition strategies that build enduring relationships between donors and The San Diego Foundation. She leads a team of four charitable giving professionals to provide more than 1,000 fund advisors with outstanding customer service, philanthropy advising expertise and grantmaking resources. She and her team also offer insights on charitable giving strategies that enable donors to leave a lasting legacy for their community. Prior to joining The Foundation, Keely led consulting projects in Phoenix that focused on strategic planning for nonprofit organizations. Before that, she spent seven years as a director of San Diego State University’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, where her responsibilities included directing a forum for early stage CEO’s as well as a program that matched MBA interns with more than 200 regional nonprofits. Keely earned her BA in International Political Economy from UC Berkeley, and her MBA from SDSU. She is also a member of the Association of Donor Relations Professionals, has a Certificate in Fundraising Management and is trained in multi-generational family philanthropy facilitation.

Julie_B Julie Bronstein, Executive Director, La Jolla Community Foundation & Director of Development, The San Diego Foundation
Julie provides strategic leadership and support to the La Jolla Community Foundation in addition to cultivating donor relationships and growing philanthropy in La Jolla. She works with members of the La Jolla Community Foundation to develop grantmaking strategies, coordinate outreach activities and facilitate membership meetings and events. Julie helps La Jolla-based fund advisors with their charitable giving and philanthropic planning. Prior to joining The Foundation, Julie was founder and principal of the Solution Group, a consulting firm where she assisted clients such as The Jane Goodall Institute, County Supervisor Dave Roberts and San Diego Coastkeeper with development, fundraising, event management and communications. She was also Director of Philanthropy for the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation, where she focused on donor relations and development, and managed the Professional Advisors Council. Julie is actively involved in the community, serving on the board of Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Planning and Development Council for Scripps Cancer Center, Stevens Division. She also volunteers for the Del Mar Schools Education Foundation and the Autism Tree Project Foundation. Julie has a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California with a specialization in intergovernmental relations, and a bachelor’s degree from Scripps College (Claremont).
Kari Breitweiser

Kari Breitweiser, Manager, Development
Kari’s main focus at The San Diego Foundation is to continue our commitment of building and maintaining relationships with the professional advisor community and charitably-minded individuals. Kari is active in developing working relationships with professional advisors, and providing presentations to target markets including law firms, trust and estates groups, professional associations, service organizations and other community groups. Kari had a leadership role in this arena at The San Diego Foundation in the early 2000’s. Prior to that she was a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch primarily working on investment and financial planning. Kari is a graduate from the University of the Pacific and holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Administration.

Esmeralda Cuevas

Esmeralda Cuevas-Anderson, Fund Service Coordinator
Esmeralda works with donors and fund advisors to ensure they have a high-quality customer service experience with The San Diego Foundation. She assists donors and fund advisors with accessing and utilizing NetCommunity, The Foundation's online grant system, and she also fields inquires related to fund administration, grants and donations. Since May of 2013, Esmeralda served as The Foundation’s Grants Administrator, in which she processed more than 7,000 grants in excess of $85 million, which facilitated important charitable gifts that have made a difference for the Greater San Diego community, and beyond. Esmeralda began at The Foundation in 2011, providing support to the Donor Relations team during the organization’s database conversion, and to the Scholarships team during the 2012 application season. In April 2012, she became the administrative coordinator for Donor Relations and held that role until her transition to Grants Administrator in May 2013.

Leslie Harrington

Leslie Harrington, Philanthropic Advisor
Leslie works with a portfolio of donor advised funds, helping individuals and families to develop their personal philanthropy by identifying value and interest areas, facilitating grantmaking meetings and introducing donors to nonprofit organizations via site visits and research reports. In particular, Leslie’s specialty is facilitating charitable giving for large families with multiple generations and/or complex family dynamics. She joined the Foundation in 1998 to manage the Weingart-Price Fund, a significant grantmaking entity with a focus on youth education and community economic development. Leslie later moved into the grants administrator role, and eventually transitioned into full-time relationship management and philanthropic advising. Prior to joining The Foundation, Leslie worked for Scripps Health Foundation. She previously received her real estate license and worked in real estate sales. Leslie earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics from San Diego State University. She is also a member of the Association of Donor Relations Professionals, has a Certificate in Fundraising Management and is trained in conflict resolution. Leslie is involved in the community, actively participating in Wednesday Club and the Point Loma Association.

Pearl Hoeglund

Pearl Hoeglund, Philanthropic Advisor
Pearl’s primary responsibility is to develop relationships and provide outstanding donor service to fund advisors. She works as a personal liaison for numerous individuals and donor couples, assisting them in the management of their respective donor advised funds, as well as reaching out regularly to develop their philanthropic strategies. Pearl also supports high-level donor fund administration, stewardship and grant administration activities. Prior to her current position, she provided operational and administrative support to the Vice President of the Malin Burnham San Diego Center for Civic Engagement, also at The San Diego Foundation. Previously, Pearl worked as grants associate at the Commonweal Foundation in the Washington D.C. area, a private foundation that operates and supports educational programs and projects assisting underserved children and youth. Pearl earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish, with a minor in Anthropology from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, after which time she taught Business English in Spain and Germany.

Leslie S. Klein, CFP®, Director, Development
Leslie oversees the development and implementation of a comprehensive planned giving strategy and manages The Foundation’s complex estate administration activities. In addition, she is responsible for leading the Foundation’s professional advisor outreach program. Leslie is responsible for working with charitably-minded individuals to establish new endowments, legacy funds and planned gifts. She brings to The Foundation more than 30 years of experience in the fiduciary and investment management marketplace. Most recently, Leslie served for 12 years as Vice President/Wealth Management Advisor at First American Trust. Prior to that, she worked at First National Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of California, HomeFed Trust and as a planned giving officer at Sharp Healthcare Foundation. Leslie graduated from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She is the current President of the Estate Planning Council of San Diego and Board Chair of the Financial Planning Association of San Diego.

Audrey Lewis

Audrey Lewis, Coordinator, Charitable Giving
Audrey provides critical support to key grantmaking and donor relations functions, and assists with planned giving activities. Audrey joined The San Diego Foundation in May of 2012 to help facilitate the Blackbaud database transition. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Capital University and a Master of Arts degree in higher education from Ohio State University, Audrey also brings a strong background in academic program administration and experience in residential real estate to her role at The Foundation.

Kelly OMerry

Kelli O'Merry, Coordinator, Scholarships
Kelli supports the Community Scholarship Program by providing customer service assistance to both students and parents during the application process and managing scholarship payments on behalf of students, as well as scheduling and preparing events and meetings. Kelli is a native San Diegan. She previously worked at the United States Geological Survey, providing administrative support to their San Diego Project office. She graduated with her bachelor's degree in Psychology from California State University, San Marcos and has a strong interest in providing help and assistance to students in need.

Lindsay Sloan

Lindsay Sloan, Director, Scholarships
As Director of the Community Scholarship Program and San Diego Teachers' Fund, Lindsay oversees the overall vision, planning, timeline and management of these programs. In addition to implementing the strategic direction, she works to provide guidance and expertise to donors of scholarship funds as well as new fund developments. Prior to her start at The Foundation in 2012 as Manager of Philanthropy 101, Lindsay spent nine years at Teach for America, working in recruitment and operations. Lindsay volunteers with Just in Time for Foster Youth and serves on the Price Scholarship Program board. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in Communication with a minor in Business from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Debra Sorey

Debra Sorey, Coordinator, Charitable Giving
Debra provides direct support to the Charitable Giving team and assists potential donors and professional advisors with inquiries about The Foundation. She also coordinates the new fund process, including drafting agreements, tracking and data entry. Prior to joining The Foundation in June of 2012 Debra was the Development Operations Manager at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ where her responsibilities included ensuring Raiser’s Edge data accuracy, integrity and security of constituent records, developing queries and conducting quality analysis. Debra earned an associate’s degree from William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Bridget_Strickland

Bridget Strickland, Mitigation Advisor
Bridget is responsible for the development and administration of mitigation endowments and non-endowments at The San Diego Foundation. Mitigation funds are a specialized type of fund that preserves land to offset the environmental effects of new development. She serves as the Foundation’s key liaison to land trusts, project proponents, land use consultants and other stakeholder groups to facilitate best practices in the field. Bridget first joined The Foundation in July of 2011 as the Program Associate for the San Diego Women’s Foundation. She brings more than 11 years of fundraising and marketing experience within various nonprofits where she has managed annual donor and membership campaigns, conducted group sales and honed skills in both web and graphic design. She also has experience managing fundraising events, grant writing, working with boards and cultivating donors. Bridget earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California, San Diego.

Meryl Zwanger

Meryl Zwanger, Manager, Scholarships and Teachers' Fund
Meryl provides high level support to the Community Scholarship Program and the San Diego Teachers' Fund in developing and efficiently managing the operations of the overall process, timeline and systems of both programs. This includes recruiting and facilitating volunteers to serve on selection committees, making grant recommendations and selecting recipients. Meryl joined The Foundation in 2011 working in the Arts & Culture Program where she coordinated Rising Arts Leaders events and supervised strategic planning, as well as worked to evaluate the impact of the Creative Catalyst Program and facilitated convenings and other program components. Her previous work experience includes research specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments and education coordinator at The Drawing Center in New York City. Meryl graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in Art History, earned a master's degree in Art History and Archaeology from Columbia University and an A.B.D. (Terminal) in Art Education from New York University.

 

Communications

The Communications Division includes The Malin Burham Center for Civic Engagement and the Communications department. The Center is where our community comes together to highlight challenges and opportunities we care about to create a vibrant and cohesive San Diego region through convenings, public programs and training/research. The Communications department informs and inspires our community about The Foundation’s philanthropic services and community impact through public relations, online marketing and social media.
 
Theresa Nakata

Theresa Nakata, Vice President, Chief Communications Officer
As Vice President, Chief Communications Officer, Theresa provides strategic leadership for the Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement, Communications Department and Government Relations. Prior to joining The Foundation, Theresa served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Pierce Education Properties, L.P. where she was responsible for business development, sales, market research, community relations, public relations and advertising for corporate, the $200 million student housing portfolio, third-party management contracts and real estate development contracts. Prior to this, Theresa was the Senior Communications Advisor at San Diego State University Research Foundation where she promoted faculty and staff research initiatives and led the community relations strategy team working on the city of San Diego College Community Redevelopment Projects abutting the SDSU campus. Theresa has also served as the national Public Relations Manager for P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Corporate and as Director of Marketing at Downtown Tempe Community. Theresa holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and marketing from the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and an MBA degree in marketing from Arizona State University.

Catrina Dulay

Catrina Dulay, Coordinator, Graphics/Website
Catrina supports the marketing and communications team by providing graphic and web design services to communicate The San Diego Foundation’s message to key target markets. Her support extends out internally to all departments and affiliates with graphic design and electronic communications, including web support and analysis. Catrina’s work experience includes freelance graphic design for print and web, as well as HTML and CSS client instructions with WordPress. She earned her AAS in Graphic Design from Platt College in San Diego, and completed coursework at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles.

Jon Haber

Jon Haber, Manager, Digital Communications
Jon is responsible for developing and implementing strategies focused on growing The Foundation’s digital footprint across four primary channels: Web, Mobile, Email and Social. He oversees day-to-day content shared on The Foundation’s website, blog, newsletter, email and social media networks. Previously, Jon worked as the head of digital marketing at a life insurance agency and a digital marketing coordinator at a time and attendance company. He holds a bachelor's degree in print journalism and communications from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Nikki Kolupailo

Nikki Kolupailo, Communications Specialist
Nikki oversees production management of all integrated marketing for The Foundation. Additionally, she will continue to enhance digital and new media strategies to increase awareness of The Foundation, all affiliates, initiatives and programs through social media and App development. Previously, Nikki interned within the department in the fall of 2010. She worked at MEA Digital as an Assistant Media Strategist developing online media strategies and media buying for clients such as Oakley, Cars.com, The Body Shop, and USAOpoly. She held previous internships with the San Diego Film Festival and the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at St. Mary’s University. Since 2009, Nikki has volunteered with the Chotomow Children’s Fundraiser to assist orphaned children in Poland. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in Marketing with a minor in Psychology from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Ryan Ginard, Manager, Center for Civic Engagement
Ryan leads The Center for Civic Engagement team in collaboration with community partners across the region to inform and inspire engagement in positive social change through convening and connecting the community in transformational dialogue, education and values-based public programming.

Ryan leads The Center for Civic Engagement in collaboration with community partners across the region to inform and inspire engagement in social change through convening and connecting the community in dialogue, education and values-based public programming. Previously, Ryan was a Policy and Media Advisor helping leverage over $2B in community infrastructure for the Australian Government. Ryan worked with residents and business on issue-based campaigns and also helped establish a new community foundation – the Western Corridor Community Fund – which supports innovative projects that enhance access to the community. In San Diego, he was a Field Organizer for a successful congressional campaign, and reported on local issues for the San Diego Uptown News. Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and advertising from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.

 

Community Impact

Emily Young

Emily Young, Ph.D, Vice President, Community Impact
Dr. Young leads The Foundation’s Community Impact department, working with donors, nonprofits, volunteers and other community partners to direct charitable giving to the region’s critical needs through initiatives to help all San Diegans work, enjoy, live and learn in a vibrant region. Dr. Young first joined The Foundation to start its Environment Program, focused on three areas: protecting and connecting an interconnected network of our region’s natural lands, community-based efforts to ensure clean air and water and revitalize neighborhood green space, and regional efforts to address climate change by reducing carbon pollution and preparing for changes that are coming. Before joining The Foundation, Dr. Young was an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, where she taught courses on environment and society, geography and Latin America. Along with professional work, she has volunteered and served on boards for a variety of environmental organizations and advisory committees. Dr. Young was awarded the 2011 Nicholas P. Bollman Award, which recognizes Smart Growth Leaders Who Inspire through Values and Actions.

Kim Fields

Kim Fields, Coordinator, Community Impact
Kim segued from project management of the CEO search to now supporting the operations of the Community Impact team by providing her extensive project management and organizational skills in the areas of research, managing logistics, tracking departmental budget and coordinating meetings. Prior to joining The Foundation, Kim worked at Ebix, BPO, an insurance certificate tracking firm, as a Service Center Manager and Biogen Idec, Inc., where for a period of seven years she supported several high-level executive team leaders. She is a native San Diegan and brings more than 20 years of experience in administration management.

Nicola Hedge

Nicola Hedge, MPIA, Director, Environment Initiatives
Nicola leads implementation of The San Diego Foundation’s environmental initiatives, working with donors, nonprofits, business and government partners to advance community efforts that protect our region’s clean air and water, natural resources and quality of life. First joining The Foundation in 2008 as a Thomas Murphy Research Fellow, Nicola managed the Climate Initiative since 2010, a collaborative regional effort to spur action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deepen community awareness about the local impacts of climate change. Nicola held previous roles managing a field office for a World Bank research project in rural Malawi, working with the production team of a public affairs show on public radio, and as a consultant on a student-run sustainable development project in Baja California, Mexico. Nicola earned her master’s degree from UC San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, her bachelor’s degree in International Business from Hawaii Pacific University, and is a LEED Green Associate.

Emily Guevara

Emily Guevara, Manager, Environment Initiatives
A native of San Diego, Emily is excited to combine her passions for the environment and philanthropy to protect the quality of life of our region in her role as Manager, Environment Initiatives. She is responsible for fostering community-based environment programs and initiatives that The San Diego Foundation supports through collaborations, convenings, and collective grantmaking. Emily first joined The Foundation in October 2011 and has served several roles including a Thomas Murphy Fellow and Manager, Research & Analysis where she provided support in developing and implementing Our Greater San Diego Vision. Previously, she worked for five years with several other nonprofits in Southern California including the Climate Action Reserve, Nature and Culture International and the San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research. Emily earned a bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry and environmental studies from Whitman College, and a master’s degree in environmental science and management from University of California Santa Barbara.

Vi Nguyen

Vi Nguyen, Manager, Community Impact
Vi works with local governments, nonprofits, academic institutions and community groups to identify and support strategic partnerships throughout the region aligned with Work, Enjoy, Live and Learn (WELL). Her main focus is on Live to Enjoy collective impact efforts, which ensures that limited resources are directed toward affordable housing access, mobility, and the environment and provide indiscriminate access to the region’s culture and community amenities. Vi first joined The Foundation team in 2013 as a Thomas Murphy Research Fellow and brought experience in graphic facilitation, project management and cross-sector collaboration development to the job. Vi earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from UC Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego.

Danielle_Valenciano

Danielle Valenciano, Manager, Community Impact
In her role as the Community Impact Manager, Danielle works with donors, nonprofits and volunteers to identify community initiatives that advance WELL (Work, Enjoy, Learn, Live), to create new partnerships and to leverage private and public funding for greater impact in the region. Danielle started at The Foundation in May 2011, providing local nonprofit organizations with services and tools to help increase their sustainability, and served as donor manager for more than 300 nonprofit funds. Prior to joining The Foundation, Danielle worked at the Muscular Dystrophy Association, where she managed a healthcare services program for more than 1,000 patient families. Danielle earned her master's degree in cultural anthropology from the University of California, San Diego..

Trudy Armstrong

Trudy Armstrong, Director, Regional Affiliates
Trudy joined The San Diego Foundation in 2008 and built the Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch/Del Sur, Ramona, and La Jolla affiliates. Through her dedication and leadership, Trudy was named Associate Vice President of Regional Outreach in 2011. Currently, she oversees the department including the opening of additional affiliates throughout the region, while still retaining the La Jolla and Escondido foundations, and shares oversight of the Rancho Bernardo and 4S-Ranch/Del Sur foundations with other Regional Outreach staff. With the help of the Matt McLaughlin legacy gift and matching program, Trudy will help facilitate grant focus areas for the affiliates, creating a synergistic and immediate impact on the North County region. Having lived and worked for years in the communities of Rancho Bernardo, Poway and Escondido, Trudy is extremely knowledgeable of the Inland North County area. Prior to joining The Foundation, Trudy spent a number of years in the newspaper industry, most recently as the Director of Sales and Marketing of the Pomerado Newspaper Group. She also served as the General Manager of the Bernardo News. Trudy is a graduate of Ohio University.

Cassie Edmonds

Cassie Edmonds, Program Specialist, Regional Affiliates
Cassie provides program area coordination, operational and administrative support to the Regional Affiliates and manages the department’s communication strategy, including the social media initiatives for the affiliates. Prior to joining The Foundation, Cassie served as an editor for CBSCollegeSports.com where her main focus was to maintain more than 150 partner websites with daily college sports updates. In an effort to become more involved in her community, Cassie moved on to become an events coordinator at KFMB where she was in charge of coordinating and implementing all station promotions and appearances. Cassie earned a bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of North Carolina.

Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson, Executive Director, San Diego Women’s Foundation

As the San Diego Women’s Foundation’s Director, Tracy oversees all operational aspects of the organization, including the driving of membership, engaging with the board of directors and facilitating a rigorous grant making process. Previously, Tracy was the Director of Sexual Assault Services at the Center for Community Solutions' Rape Crisis Center. She has also served as chair of the San Diego County Sexual Assault Response Team and as a core member of the San Diego Sex Offender Management Council. Before moving to San Diego in 2000, she was a licensed, practicing clinician in a Massachusetts outpatient mental health clinic. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Maine and is a graduate of the Fieldstone Emerging Leaders and Coaching Programs.
Mara Holiday

Mara Holiday, Program Specialist, San Diego Women’s Foundation

Mara supports the San Diego Women’s Foundation in efforts to educate and inspire women to engage in strategic philanthropy by providing program area and committee coordination, managing annual grantmaking processes and providing operational and administrative support. She has worked in grants management and fundraising since 2009 at Father Joe’s Villages, the San Diego Center for Children and most recently as the Development Manager for The New Children’s Museum. She also serves on the board of First Book-San Diego. Mara holds a bachelor of Arts from the University of San Francisco, and a masters of arts in Rhetoric and Writing Studies/Technical Communication from San Diego State University.

Finance

The Administration and Finance Department is responsible for financial reporting, tracking charitable gifts, managing the operational budget, and processing all grants. The department also manages all the administrative functions of The San Diego Foundation and ensures that The Foundation is supplied with sophisticated information technologies.
 
James Howell James Howell, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. James Howell, CFA, CTP, oversees the accounting, finance, and information technology roles at The San Diego Foundation. He is a member of The Foundation’s leadership team, coordinates the Finance and Audit committees, and works closely with staff, professional volunteers, and service providers to establish, administer, and monitor financial reporting, internal controls, treasury, insurance, grants administration, and information systems.

Prior to joining the Foundation, as CIO & Director of Research at Canterbury Consulting, Howell led investment strategy for $13 billion in assets and directed all functions related to manager and capital markets research. From 2007-2012, Howell was CIO & Director of Finance at The Scripps Research Institute responsible for investment, banking, and insurance relationships across $1.6 billion of endowment, pension, and other assets. Over the previous 17 years, Howell was an executive at United Parcel Service, most recently as Director, Capital Markets and Alternative Investment Officer for the UPS Retirement Plan.

A Certified Treasury Professional and Chartered Financial Analyst, Howell earned a Bachelor of IE degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA-Finance from Georgia State University. Howell serves on the Investment Committee of Loma Linda University and the Finance Committee of Alliance Healthcare Foundation.

Matt Fettig Matt Fettig, Vice President, Chief Investment Officer
As Chief Investment Officer, Matt oversees and manages the investment strategies and activities of The San Diego Foundation. This includes working with the Investment Committee of the Board of Governors, senior staff, auditors, professional volunteers, and outside consultants to establish, maintain, administer, and monitor policies related to The Foundation’s investments. Additionally, he serves as the organization’s ambassador for all investment-related activity. Prior to joining The Foundation, Matt worked for the last twelve years at Canterbury Consulting, an Orange County investment consulting firm, specializing in endowments, foundations, pensions, and family offices. Matt served as a Senior Research Analyst before becoming the firm’s Director of Manager Research in 2009. As a Partner of the firm, he oversaw $13 billion in invested capital, constructed investment portfolios, and established policy and asset allocation guidelines. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in Economics, Matt is a CFA Charterholder.
Daniel Brown Daniel Brown, Controller
Daniel oversees the general ledger, monthly financial statement preparation and analyzes The Foundation's financial transactions including: the grants administration process, contribution processing of cash, stock, property and in-kind gifts, and accounts payable. He also manages external relationships with auditors, tax specialists, banking and supporting organizations. Prior to his time at The Foundation, Daniel was the Director of Finance at Vericare and Audit Senior at Moss Adams. Other experience includes accounting positions with Deloitte & Touche in Sacramento and ING Investment and KPMG in Sydney, Australia. Daniel earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting/Finance/Marketing, and holds the professional qualification of Chartered Accountant, the internationally recognized equivalent of the Certified Public Accountant in the United States.
Michelle Caparas

Michelle Caparas, Manager, Information Technology (IT)
Michelle is responsible for managing The Foundation's database system, as well as oversight of a wide variety of information technology within the organization. Prior to joining The Foundation, Michelle worked as a program associate for Eureka Communities. Michelle graduated from UCSD with a bachelor’s degree in Management Science and received her MBA with an emphasis on Information Technology from San Diego State University.

Maria Houchin

Maria Houchin, Accountant
Maria joined The San Diego Foundation as staff accountant in 2008. In her role, Maria processes donations; monitors bank, credit card and matching gift program transactions for donors; reconciles donations, grants and other accounts; oversees finance vendors and serves as a primary liaison to bank institutions. Prior to her tenure at The Foundation, she spent many years as an Office Manager/Controller for retail and wholesale companies and a CPA firm. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the University of Colorado at Denver.

Perla Montoya

Perla MontoyaCoordinator, Payroll & Accounts Payable
Perla joined The Foundation as a Payment Services Associate in 2012 and became an immediate asset to the accounting department. In addition to handling payroll and all of the accounts payable duties of the organization, Perla assists the Controller and CFO directly with special projects as needed. Prior to joining The Foundation, Perla worked as a bookkeeper for a small construction company while finishing her college work. Perla graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Kerri Favela

Kerri Favela, Grants Manager
Kerri manages the grants team to provide support and oversight to all Foundation grantmaking programs. With 14 years’ experience at The Foundation in grants administration and program support, she has managed the Discretionary “Common Good” funds, program budgets, online application processes and database, volunteer review committees and grants reporting and contracts. Kerri works with the Community Impact, Regional Affiliates, Donor Relations and Finance teams to ensure the efficiency, consistency and effectiveness of all program and donor-advised grants processes. She is a member of the Grants Managers Network, a national association of grantmaking professionals, and provides support to nonprofit organizations seeking and submitting grants.


Human Resources & Administration

 
Anne Kilpatrick

Anne Kilpatrick, SPHR-CA – Director, Human Resources & Administration
Anne brings twenty years of nonprofit management experience to The Foundation providing guidance on recruitment, employee engagement and relations, performance management, best practice and policy development, and support to the Compensation and Benefits Committee. Previously, she worked at nonprofit organizations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota with missions that included health care policy advocacy and ombudsman services to vulnerable adults, and development of affordable housing with services throughout the Midwest. Anne received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Public Relations from the University of St. Thomas; completed a mini-MBA for nonprofit organizations and a human resources certificate program; and earned the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and the California-specific (SPHR-CA) certifications. She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and the San Diego chapter, and the San Diego Human Resources Roundtable.

Joanna Barraco

Joanna Barraco, Coordinator, Human Resources
Joanna supports the continuous improvement in the delivery of effective human resource services to highly professional staff in a complex organization. Joanna brings six years of experience in contracts and human resources administration while at San Diego based Cobham Composite Products. She is a native San Diegan, and member of the San Diego chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. Joanna holds a bachelor’s degree Education with a minor in Human Resources from the University of Arkansas.

Otto DeLacruz

Otto R. Delacruz, Facilities Manager
Otto Delacruz manages the operation of The Foundation's 36,000 square foot facility, building security, tenant leasing, and supervises the building's receptionist area. He also manages the facility's conference rooms, coordinating and scheduling meetings for multiple nonprofit organizations throughout the area. Prior to joining The Foundation, Otto retired from the armed forces as a U.S. Navy Chief with 20 years of air traffic control experience.

Christina Navarro

Christina Rodriguez, Facilities & Administration Assistant
Christina provides facility support by scheduling and coordinating preventative maintenance, stocking supplies and inventory and ensuring the building remains neat, organized and safe. She also supports the Finance department by processing all of The Foundation’s cash, check, credit card donations and cash receipts. Christina is a Notary Public of the State of California and is a member of the National Notary Association. She has worked at The Foundation for thirteen years, and prior to that she interned at The Chicano Federation and Girl Scouts of America.

Nuria_Shariffi

Nuria Shariffi, Receptionist
Nuria is the Foundation’s very own “ray of sunshine”. As the first person to greet our donors, stakeholders and guests, she is that warm smile with an infectious laugh than brightens the room and anyone’s day. Her positive attitude and eagerness to provide assistance to all is well known and respected by all who have encountered her. She is responsible for assisting with the building’s security, providing information to the public on multiple facets of our organization, room reservations, events, data entry, administrative and clerical support to staff. Prior to joining The Foundation, she spent six years at The San Diego Union-Tribune as the Human resources receptionist, additionally supporting security, telecommunications and the main entrance. Prior, she spent six years at the Hotel Del Coronado as a human resources assistant where she earned several awards for consistently providing outstanding customer service.