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
Julie Bronstein, Executive Director, La Jolla Community Foundation
Angelina Cordaro, Planned Giving and Estate Admin Coordinator
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
Christina Rodriguez, Charitable Giving Coordinator
Robyn Sharp, Planned Giving Director
Bridget Strickland Mitigation Advisor

Trudy Armstrong, Director, Regional Affiliates
Cassie Edmonds, Program Specialist, Regional Affiliates
Estela Mitrani, Regional Affiliates Manager


Theresa Nakata, Vice President, Chief Communications Officer
Catrina Dulay, Coordinator, Graphics/Website
Jon Haber, Manager, Digital Communications
Justin Nunez, Director of Communications

Dominique Navarro, Program Specialist, 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
Michelle Jaramillo, Community Impact Director
Vi Nguyen, Manager, Community Impact

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

Wyn Furman, Program Specialist, Scholarships
Kelli O'Merry, Coordinator, Scholarships
Danielle Valenciano, Director, Scholarships


James Howell, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Matt Fettig, Vice President, Chief Investment Officer
Daniel Brown, Controller
Michelle Caparas, Manager, Information Technology (IT)
Kirk Ehrhart, Senior Staff Accountant
Maria Houchin, Accountant
Kerri Favela, Grants Manager
Debra Sorey, Grants Specialist


Anne Kilpatrick, Director, Human Resources & Administration
Joanna Barraco, Coordinator, Human Resources
Otto R. Delacruz, Facilities Manager
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 provides leadership for one of the largest community foundations in California and the country. Through its collection of individual, family and corporate endowments and funds, The San Diego Foundation stewards and supports a broad spectrum of charitable purposes. The San Diego Foundation also engages the community in civic participation for promotion of improved quality of life throughout the vibrant San Diego region.

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.

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. As President and CEO for Sharp Health Plan, Mead’s leadership resulted in exceptional growth as well as development of an award winning public/private, 3-share insurance product (FOCUS). 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 is a Trustee for the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the 22nd District Agricultural Association/Del Mar Fairgrounds, The Children’s Initiative, and The San Diego Symphony Foundation. She previously served on the Boards of HealthCorps, The Kitchen Community, the California Association of Health Plans, Consumer Center for Health, Education, and Advocacy, Community Health Improvement Partners, San Diego Urban League, and Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP).

Mead earned an MBA from the University of Southern California and attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado. 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).

Angelina Cardaro Angelina Cordaro, Planned Giving and Estate Admin Coordinator
Angelina provides direct support to The Foundation in the areas of charitable giving, planned giving and estate administration. In her role, she assists potential donors and professional advisors with inquires, provides administration support and serves as the primary event coordinator for the Charitable Giving and Donor Relations team. Prior to joining The Foundation, she served as a client services associate at LPL Financial. Angelina has also volunteered for Hearts of San Diego, a nonprofit assisting with planning and organizing fundraising events for local charities. She is a native San Diegan, and earned a bachelor of arts in English from Ashford University.
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.

Christina Navarro

Christina Rodriguez, Charitable Giving Coordinator
Christina provides direct support to the Charitable Giving team, which includes coordinating the new fund process, drafting agreements, entering data and reporting. She also maintains key constituent contact information, updates and maintains mail codes and runs basic research reports. An employee of The Foundation since 2001, Christina has served as Facilities and Administration Assistant, in which she scheduled and coordinated preventative maintenance, supply stock and inventory and ensured the building remained neat, organized and safe. She also supported 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 is also a founding member of the Latina Giving Circle. Prior to joining The Foundation, Christina interned at the Chicano Federation and Girl Scouts of America.

Robyn Sharp

Robyn Sharp, Planned Giving Director
Robyn works with donors who wish to remember the community through Legacy funds and planned gifts. Additionally, she manages The Foundation’s estate administration activities and works with nonprofits in the community to establish endowment funds and planned gifts which benefit those organizations. Robyn began her career at The Foundation managing the San Diego Regional Disaster Fund following the 2007 Southern California Wildfires, for which she earned a commendation for leadership from the California State Legislature. More recently, she managed The Foundation’s corporate and mitigation clients, providing strategic program development and grantmaking support for employee engagement, sponsorships and other charitable activities. She has also worked in community relations with CareFusion, a global medical technology company, and community development with the San Diego Association of Governments. Robyn graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS in Psychology and American Cultures and holds a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from Indiana University.

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.

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.

Estela Mitrani

Estela Mitrani, Regional Affiliates Manager
Estela works with our regional affiliates in their development of membership, growth and grant making. She supports the Regional Affiliates’ goals and activities by working with members on strategies to establish corporate and other philanthropic relationships. Bringing more than 10 years of experience, Estela has worked with the San Diego Biotech Community, where she was responsible for the sales, strategy and growth development of In Vitro Diagnostic products distribution channels in Latin America. She successfully set up more than 40 international strategic partnerships and offices, and was directly involved in the medical product entry registration requirements of each country. Estela is also active with Headstart and the United Jewish Federation. A native of Mexico City, Estela studied International Business with an emphasis in Finance and Latin America at San Diego State 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.

Justin Nunez

Justin Nunez, Director of Communications
Justin drives the strategies and activities of the Communications Department to generate regional and national awareness for The San Diego Foundation’s services, programs and community impact. As Director of Communications, he manages media relations and marketing communications, including the integrated marketing execution at The Foundation. Prior to his role, Justin led the San Diego office of a global communications agency specializing in corporate and technology public relations. In addition, he has served as a communications specialist at a Washington-based political and public affairs consulting firm, leading a variety of national and local initiatives, including education, environmental and immigration-focused coalitions. Justin holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, specializing in marketing and accounting, from Boston College.

Dominique Navarro, Program Specialist, Center for Civic Engagement
Dominique provides programmatic support for The Center for Civic Engagement. She supports The Center’s mission of connecting and convening community partners in meaningful discussion and problem-solving of regional issues. Previously she was a Development Coordinator for a local research and action institute dedicated to economic and social justice. She started her work in San Diego’s nonprofit sector as a Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator for a small environmental organization. Dominique has also worked as a subcontractor for the County of San Diego and held a previous internship with an environmental education group in Maputo, Mozambique. She earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental systems & policy at UC San Diego, and her master’s degree in international environmental policy at the UC San Diego School of International Relations & Pacific Studies.

 

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.

Emily Guevara

Michelle Jaramillo, Community Impact Director
Michelle develops and manages strategies that advance WELL (Work, Enjoy, Live, Learn). Through collaboration with nonprofits, community stakeholders, government, business, philanthropy, and academia, she helps drive systemic change to address the needs of the region. Previously, as Communications Director of the San Diego Housing Federation, Michelle supported a coalition of leaders and organizations, working to ensure all San Diegans have access to a safe, stable and affordable place to call home. She also served as Director of Communications and Programs for the U.S. – Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership, overseeing development and public outreach efforts. Michelle was a co-founder and chair of the San Diego Chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and a co-founder and current chair of the Latina Giving Circle of San Diego. Michelle has B.A. in Political Science and Latin American Studies from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership and Management at the University of San Diego.

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.

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.
Wyn Furman

Wyn Furman, Program Specialist, Scholarships
Wyn provides high-level support to the Community Scholarship Program by recruiting and training volunteers to serve on selection committees, facilitating application reviews, and determining student award packages. She previously served as The Foundation's Manager of Community Research with her work resulting in more than $4 million in donor advised grants. Wyn originally joined the organization to support Our Greater San Diego Vision, a community-planning effort that engaged 30,000 people across the region. Wyn has been active with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy since joining The Foundation in 2010, and served on the steering committee of the San Diego chapter for two years. Since 2013, Wyn has served as communications chair on the board of the San Diego Leadership Alliance. She is also a member of Women Give San Diego and a dedicated volunteer with Animal Rescuers Without Borders. A native of Philadelphia, Wyn received her Bachelor's Degree in European History and French Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.

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.

Danielle_Valenciano

Danielle Valenciano, Director, Scholarships
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..


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.

Kirk Ehrhart

Kirk Ehrhart, Senior Staff Accountant
In his role as Senior Staff Accountant, Kirk drives support with analysis, preparation and review of reports on investments, financial reporting and individual donor funds. He collaborates with the Controller and CFO to ensure accurate and timely accounting of these functions. Prior to joining The Foundation, Kirk was a Senior Tax Associate at CBIZ MHM, LLC. Since 2012, Kirk has volunteered with Home of the Guiding Hands to assist with housing and programming for men, women and children with developmental disabilities. He graduated from the University of San Diego with a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California.

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.

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.

Debra Sorey

Debra Sorey, Grants Specialist
Debra manages the donor-advised grants process by receiving, reviewing, processing and monitoring payments for all donor-advised grants at The San Diego Foundation. She prepares the weekly board approval of grants, generates reports and ensures IRS compliance. Debra also provides grant related support to the Finance and Donor Relations departments to ensure all needs are met through outstanding customer service, communication and follow-up with donors. 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 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.


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.

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.