Mary and Marc Felton moved to Sonoma County in 2006. Marc had a career in high tech in the Bay Area and Mary is a former nurse. They started their own Family Foundation in 2005. In 2008 they came to the Community Foundation to learn more about local philanthropic activities and community needs. Later that year they helped fund a riparian restoration project on the Adobe Creek.
Marc is a third generation Californian who grew up in Monterey. As a high school exchange student in Japan he walked among rice paddies and saw how space could be used to its full potential sustainably for 1,000s of years. In 2011 the Feltons started a Certified Naturally Grown farm in West County. Marc decided to start the farm when the Sacramento River fall king salmon run dwindled to 5% of its usual population and his dream of operating a salmon charter fishing vessel evaporated.
In 2012 the Feltons moved their foundation over to Community Foundation Sonoma County because they wanted to focus on giving but not necessarily on the responsibility of administering and managing a private foundation. One of their favorite philanthropic services is conducting their grantmaking on-line, which has really simplified their giving and saved them valuable time.