We have welcomed two new team members to Community Foundation Sonoma County (and we couldn’t be more excited!) Annette Williams brings a signature enthusiasm and versatility to her role as Program Coordinator. Nicole LeStrange joins us with extensive non-profit experience and an exceptional commitment to donor service as our new Philanthropic Planning Coordinator. We are especially grateful to our departing staff members Rubie Magallanes (Program Assistant) and Carolyn Dunn (Philanthropic Planning Coordinator) for their dedication, unique talents, and hands on training time!
We sat down with Annette and Nicole to find out more about how they got here, what it’s like so far, and some other fun facts:
What have you learned about the CF that has most surprised or inspired you?
A: I am utterly inspired by the generosity and goodness of our staff and our donors. It’s mindboggling to learn about the amazing programs in our community that have positive and lasting impact to families in need. I truly didn’t realize how much kindness and compassion is all around me.
N: I’ve learned that a primary function of the Community Foundation is to serve as kind of a matchmaker for individuals and community organizations. I didn’t know such a thing existed. I’m both surprised and inspired that there’s a really genuine desire to discover what the people CFSC serves (as well as the people they employ) are passionate about.
What in your background has prepared you for your new role at the CF?
A: My project management and marketing communications experience at hi-tech companies in Silicon Valley have provided a broad background of skills needed to juggle shifting priorities while keeping programs on track. I enjoy the challenge of simply trying to figure out the best way to get things done. My previous work experience includes Cisco Systems, WebEx and BEA Systems.
N: Nearly a decade in multiple positions at the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga was great preparation for the technical aspects of my new role, and workplace values overall.
How do you think your role supports donors, advisors, and nonprofits in our community?
A: I am supporting the Programs team in developing grantmaking procedures, processing applications, contracts and grants and providing technical assistance about online applications to our grant applicants. I have an outgoing personality and relish the challenge of meeting new people and learning new things. I look forward to getting to know our donors and those working and volunteering at nonprofits in our community.
N: That’s tough to answer briefly and I don’t want to put you to sleep summarizing my Job description! One of my favorite quotes is “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Ultimately my role is to support donors, advisors, and nonprofits in our community to the best of my ability, through the functions of my role at the organization.
How do you spend your time outside of the office?
A: I moved to Sonoma County two years ago and I appreciate exploring the wonders of Sonoma County. I particularly enjoy running and hiking at Spring Lake and Annadel State Park. But my favorite pastime is being on the golf course or enjoying a warm cup of clam chowder at Bodega Bay.
N: I’m lucky to have a couple of gourmet foodies who love to cook at home – so I spend a lot of time eating all of their goodies. I also love pretty much any kind of DIY home-improvement project, and hiking and being outdoors with my family and our goofy puppy.
What is your superhero name and why?
A: Wonder Woman –. Because like her I have Superhuman strength, speed, and durability to keep people and projects on track. Maybe someday I’ll earn the indestructible bracelets as well.
N: SUPER WHERE. I like making sure that everything is in its place, so I tend to move things that are scattered around back to their place. At my house, we all have different ideas about where that place is, so there’s a lot of “Nicole – where’s XYZ?” You also tend to hear that a lot after nearly a decade of working with K-6th graders and in administrative and/or executive support.