While visiting from Seattle, Barbara and Howard Wollner fell in love with Sonoma County and bought a home in Healdsburg. “We’re here part-time, but it’s not a vacation home. For us, it’s real Community,” explains Howard. “Community Foundations do a great job of uncovering giving opportunities, so we sought out the local one upon moving here,” says Barbara. With civic engagement in their blood, Barbara builds networks of people that make things happen while Howard helps organizations with strategic and transition planning.
Howard serves on the board of the Seattle Foundation, where their donor-advised fund, similar to their Kismet Fund here, focuses on the environment, education, social services and the arts. An artist herself, Barbara lights up when talking about the children served by the Imagine Bus Project North, a mobile arts program in Healdsburg which they support.
Howard adds, “We both grew up knowing the value of helping others, giving not only money, but time. Once, when we saw a problem in an organization, we scaled back our gift, explaining our concerns to the director. When the problems were corrected, we resumed our giving.”
The Wollners bring enthusiasm and teamwork to the Healdsburg Area Affiliate. They’ve also taken this concept of geographically-focused affiliates back to Seattle. Flying between two homes, cross-pollinating two communities with their ideas, passion and generosity, Howard and Barbara are active agents for positive change.