There is much to celebrate this fall, with several people affiliated with San Diego Foundation recognized with recent awards. Congratulations to Board of Governors Member Gisele Bonitz, Director of Community Scholarships Danielle Valenciano and Chief Development & Stewardship Officer Brian Zumbano on their awards!

Top 50 Latino Leaders of Influence

Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 and recognizes and celebrates the history, culture and achievement of members of the Latinx/Hispanic community. As part of San Diego’s festivities, the San Diego Business Journal announces the Top 50 Latino Leaders of Influence among community members throughout the region.

This year, two people affiliated with SDF were recognized by the San Diego Business Journal. Gisele Bonitz, member of the Board of Governors and Senior Strategic Risk and Controls Program Manager for Intel Corp., was recognized for her time on the San Diego Foundation Board of Governors, where she helped define the organization’s new mission, vision, values and Strategic Plan, and supported the foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund that granted $67 million for local nonprofit organizations.

Director of Community Scholarships Danielle Valenciano was also recognized as a Top 50 Latino Leader of Influence. Valenciano oversees the overall vision, planning, timeline and management of the Community Scholarship Program. She primarily works to develop and implement strategic direction and new fund development, as well as manage the development of the online scholarship application.

For the past two years, SDF has awarded a historic number of scholarships – $3.4 million to 1,025 students (2021) and $3.5 million to 989 students (2022) – the vast majority to first-generation, low-income students. These back-to-back, record-breaking scholarship totals are due to Valenciano’s leadership and management of the Community Scholarship Program.

Both Bonitz and Valenciano were recognized during the journal’s Oct. 11 awards ceremony and in the Oct. 10 special section of the San Diego Business Journal.

National Philanthropy Day

National Philanthropy Day is a special day set aside on Nov. 15 to recognize the great contributions of philanthropy and those people active in the philanthropic community. The San Diego celebration – hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), San Diego Chapter and one of the largest and most successful in the U.S. – will take place on Friday, Nov. 4.

During that celebration, SDF VP, Chief Development & Stewardship Officer Brian Zumbano will be recognized as 2022 Outstanding Development Professional by the AFP, San Diego Chapter. Brian is a long-time board member and Past President for AFP San Diego and mentor for LEAD San Diego. Zumbano was nominated by Mark Stuart, SDF President & CEO, and Gabby Herencia, Director of Community Giving with Peer Health Exchange.

Event organizers are looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate and share the power and impact of philanthropy in San Diego and celebrate the people who contribute their time, talent and treasure to positively impact the lives of local residents.