This week marks the first anniversary of a change in leadership at the Sonora Area Foundation. While my official start date was the beginning of October last year, my early tenure was spent shadowing the former executive director, Ed Wyllie. On Thanksgiving weekend 2016 we switched offices and roles with Ed monitoring and mentoring until his departure and retirement. So today I offer my reflections on the last year in a form hopefully fitting for this season of gratitude. Here’s what I’m thankful for.
- The previously mentioned Ed Wyllie for the fine job he did leading the Sonora Area Foundation for five years and his continued support for the organization.
- Our Board of Directors for hiring me, allowing me to train side by side with Ed for two full months and providing guidance and support.
- Long term staff members Lin Freer and Cathi Nies for their significant and ongoing contributions to the Foundation and our community, service and support.
- The numerous (nearing two hundred) individuals, families, groups, clubs and businesses who have partnered with the Foundation to reach their charitable giving goals by establishing funds.
- Our area nonprofits who work tirelessly each and every day to make Tuolumne County a better place to be.
- The untold volunteers giving back, seemingly without end, to dozens of organizations, making a difference and in many cases being the difference.
- Those with a heart for our community.
- Those with a heart for giving – amazing people filling the gaps.
- Former executive director Mick Grimes for his counsel and support.
- Past members of our Board of Directors including the first Board President, Dr. Dean Cunningham and long term President Jim Johnson. I’m continually inspired by all of you and appreciate your ongoing support and love for this community.
- Our donors, who write checks with this simple instruction; “Keep doing good work.”
- The professionals supporting our work (attorneys, investment managers and accountants).
- Being able to provide services to our community without charging any administrative fees.
- Finally, the Symons family and our founder Irving J. Symons. The gift they gave to this community has made and continues to make such a tremendous impact
As we prepare to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with our family and friends I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the community by working every day to fulfill the mission of the Sonora Area Foundation to strengthen our community by assisting donors, making grants and providing leadership.
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at the Sonora Area Foundation.