Community Foundation Sonoma County is pleased to welcome Jessica O’Connell as our new Controller; Jessica joined CFSC in May. We are grateful to our outgoing Controller, Lynda Desloges (who is moving to South Carolina), for her generosity of time, talent and training, to introduce Jessica to the nuances of the Community Foundation’s systems and structure.
Jessica has spent most of her career in the North Bay area. She holds a Bachelor Degree from St. Mary’s College and in her early career she worked in the SRJC’s financial aid office. More recently, she brings a valuable skill set from her work with local public accountants (Santa Rosa and Healdsburg), and fund accounting expertise from city government work in Cloverdale and Cotati.
We sat down with Jessica to learn more about what makes her tick.
What have you learned about the Community Foundation that has most surprised or inspired you?
I had no idea how donor contributions to foundations profoundly impact our local community! Improving the quality of life of individuals, families, businesses in your local community is a very humble and noble act of mankind playing it forward and I am really pleased to be a part of an organization that facilitates philanthropy in this way.
What in your background has prepared you to serve as Controller at the Community Foundation?
I have 15 plus years in several areas of accounting: Tax, Audit and Government.
How do you think the Controller (you) supports donors, advisors, and nonprofits in our community?
As the controller, I will support donors, advisors and non-profits by ensuring due diligence, compliance, internal controls and risk assessment meeting generally accepted accounting principles.
What does your family think about your new role at the Foundation?
My family is so excited that I no longer have a long commute. (I live within 10 minutes of the Foundation’s Stony Point Office.) It’s such a great feeling to arrive home in just a few minutes and to be able to spend this extra time with my ten-year old daughter and amazing husband!
How do you spend your time outside of the office?
My home life consists of soccer, soccer and more soccer! Our family enjoys hiking, swimming, bike riding, music, theatre and volunteering. But mostly soccer.
(Editor’s note: Jessica’s favorite player, Lionel Messi, was just cheered on by Bay Area fans – including our new Controller and her family – at the Copa America.)
What is your superhero name and why?
Hurricane. I acquired this name from my family who lives in Southern California because when I go to visit my mother and father (in town) I can quickly put together a fabulous full course meal and invite all the cousins, aunts and siblings and have a gathering that is usually hard to put together because no one has the time. I then clean up pack my bags and travel back in a blink of an eye!