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Change in the Air

With the arrival of fall and as the autumn leaves begin to change, at the same time there are changes taking place at the Sonora Area Foundation.

As of October 17, Ed Wyllie, retired City of Sonora Community Development Director was selected unanimously by the Sonora Foundation Board to be its new Executive Director. Ed brings to the Executive Director Job over 32 years of local government experience with over 22 of the years as the City’s Chief Planner. Ed was born and raised in Sonora graduating from Sonora High School and four years later from Cal Poly with a degree in Urban Planning. Ed brings to the Executive Director position a great working knowledge of Tuolumne County and is familiar with many of the area non-profits. What I see as one of Ed’s greatest assets is his “people skills”.

Without question, it was difficult for me to leave the Sonora Area Foundation as its Executive Director, as I do not believe there is a better job in the entire county. But, the pull was too great for my wife and I, so we made the decision to relocate out of the state to be by our four wonderful grandchildren. I have left the Foundation knowing that the hiring of Ed Wyllie meant that the Foundation was being left in good hands. The Board hired a consummate professional who will lead the Foundation forward into a very bright future in giving back to Tuolumne County.

Although my tenure was for only one year, I am very pleased that the Foundation accomplished much through its community wide granting during that time. Tuolumne County is blessed to have so many donors who have set up funds through the years for so many worthy causes. Philanthropy is alive and well and through the capable leadership of its new Executive Director, dedicated staff and Board of Directors, I leave Sonora Area Foundation in very good hands.

Some of my final thoughts… I was very thankful that I had the opportunity to work for Tuolumne County’s only Community Foundation. Cathi Nies and Lin Freer are the two staff members that make the Foundation so successful day in and day out. Mick Grimes, Retired Executive Director is the icing on the cake, as he provides wisdom, knowledge and experience whenever he is called upon to do so. But all of this would not be possible without the expert leadership provided by the Board and its Board Chair Jim Johnson. What I will miss the most is the incredible charitable giving that is done by the numerous donors as they are the real hero’s of Tuolumne County. I wish Sonora Area Foundation the very best with its philanthropic endeavors!