Community Foundation Sonoma County is thrilled to welcome five new board members to the foundation’s leadership group. The new board members, Aiko-Sophie Ezaki, Alan Preston, Kit Driscoll, Ralph Lewin, and Teejay Lowe, bring a depth of expertise across their fields and across the county.
They are joining our board at a decisive moment for the foundation as we mark the end of a tremendous year of grantmaking—more than $16M—to support the nonprofit organizations working to better our community.
Aiko-Sophie was born and raised in the Sonoma Valley and graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in International Relations.
She took her interest in politics to community engagement work in the Bay Area, and is an experienced Program Officer with 10+ years of service managing a portfolio of 20+ community organizations, multi-million dollar scholarships, and developing grant strategies.
In 2013 Aiko Sophie and her husband moved back to Sonoma Valley, where they are raising their two children and running a construction firm.
She currently applies her passion for philanthropy through leadership roles as a member of the Sonoma Valley Impact 100. She has also been a member of the Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund grants committee since its inception in 2020.
Alan and his wife Susan are dedicated to service and are both active supporters of several Sonoma County non-profit organizations.
Alan recently joined the Board of Healdsburg Forever, a committee-advised fund of Community Foundation Sonoma County, and will become chair of the Healdsburg Forever in 2023. He is also a member of the Sonoma Advisory Board of 10,000 Degrees, which supports students from low-income backgrounds to and through college and beyond.
Alan’s work background includes a 30-year career with Chevron Corporation, culminating in holding the position of Corporate Vice-President (reporting to the Chairman) responsible for worldwide Human Resources and Medical.
Kit is a trusts and estates attorney and focuses her practice on estate planning for high-net-worth individuals and trust administration. She counsels clients in the wine industry, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, tech founders, real estate developers, venture capital and private equity investors, and other professionals.
Kit is a Co-Chair of the Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Section of the Barristers of the San Francisco Bar Association. Before becoming an attorney and while attending night law school, Kit worked in financial services—including as a business appraiser in Andersen’s San Francisco office. She earned her LL.M. in Taxation from NYU and her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of San Francisco School of Law.
Kit is a Sonoma County native and can be found volunteering at Giant Steps in Petaluma most weekends.
Ralph is the Executive Director of the Peter E. Haas Jr. Family Fund. The Fund focuses on equity and innovation in education, health and social services, as well as supporting work to advance our democracy.
Prior to joining the Fund, Ralph served as Executive Director of the Mechanics’ Institute, which was founded in 1854 and includes the oldest lending library on the west coast of the United States. Under his leadership, the San Francisco Chronicle named Mechanics’ the “Best of the Bay” and wrote that “the institute stands as a beacon of what a cultural institution can be for all citizens.”
Ralph previously served as president and CEO of California Humanities, a statewide partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Among other activities, he has served on the board of directors of Heyday Books, the Federation of State Humanities Councils, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute. His public speaking engagements include the White House, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Humanities Conference. He holds two bachelor’s degrees from UC Santa Barbara (political science and Germanic literature and languages) and a master’s in international relations from San Francisco State University. He has studied and lived in Argentina, Indonesia, and Germany.
TEEJAY K. LOWE
Teejay is Managing Director of West College Center as well as Managing Director for Jadewin Vineyards. He is former CEO of G&G Supermarkets.
Teejay’s background in the wine industry has been thorough and diverse in scope. As a developer, grower, retailer and management consultant, these roles have given him multi-faceted business perspectives and experience.
Teejay has volunteered on dozens of nonprofit boards and committees. He currently serves on boards for Sonoma County Fair and Exhibition, Cardinal Newman Catholic High School, and Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. He has also volunteered with St. Joseph’s Health, United Way, Junior Achievement, Santa Rosa Chamber, American Heart Association, and others.
Teejay is a lifelong resident of Sonoma County and currently lives in Santa Rosa with his wife.