Community Foundation Sonoma County’s board of directors has appointed a search committee to identify CFSC’s next president and CEO. The committee’s work has begun in earnest, developing a transparent, equity-centered process to guide the entire search. The committee announced the selection of an executive search firm, Carlson Beck, to help recruit the organization’s next leader.

The search committee is composed of seven current and former members of the board of directors. It is intentionally diverse to represent various demographics, geographies, and skill sets. The members are:

  • Thelia Wade, committee co-chair and board chair (CPA/PFS, wealth advisor, Buckingham Strategic Wealth)
  • Richard Davis-Lowell, committee co-chair and board vice chair (retired, BNY Mellon Wealth Management)
  • Lisa Carreno, board member (president & CEO, United Way Wine Country)
  • Pat Emery, board member (Of Counsel, Abbey Weitzenberg Warren & Emery)
  • Akash Kalia, board member (owner, Palms Inn)
  • Janet Ramatici, board member (retired, Petaluma Education Foundation)
  • Linda Kachiu, former board member and current finance committee member (CPA, Pisenti & Brinker LLP)

The committee compiled a list of 17 potential executive search firms and reviewed it using several criteria, including recent placements with community foundations and/or major philanthropies; experience in the Bay Area and/or Sonoma County; and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Of these 17 firms, seven were invited to submit proposals. The committee developed additional selection criteria, a standardized interview protocol, and a scoring system before principal consultants were interviewed. The three firms with the highest standards and scores were chosen as finalists. Following additional research and input from our DEI consultants at National Equity Project, representatives of each firm met with the full committee. From this rigorous process, Carlson Beck was chosen to lead our search for the next president and CEO of CFSC.

The search committee believes Carlson Beck is the best match for several reasons:

  1. It is a woman/minority–owned business with DEI values that highly align with our organization. It has a very strong record for executive placements of diverse candidates.
  2. It has recent experience placing CEOs at community foundations and philanthropies, including Marin Community Foundation, Arizona Community Foundation, Santa Cruz Community Foundation, and other major foundations.
  3. It is familiar with Sonoma County and our strengths and challenges. One consultant, Sally Carlson, is based in Marin County. The second consultant, Heidi Holzhauer, is based in Napa and currently serves as board chair for the Napa Valley Community Foundation. “They understand community foundations, and they know Sonoma County,” one committee member summarized.
  4. It has a clear process and scope of work to facilitate the committee and to engage the board, staff, and stakeholders. “It will represent us well in the community,” a committee member commented.
  5. Its fee is reasonable and within industry standards. The fee includes a one-year guarantee for the placed professional, as well as one year of follow-up resources for transition and onboarding.

The committee is dedicated to a fully transparent search process, and updates will be posted regularly here. All inquiries for the open position should be sent to Sally Carlson,

Join Our Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.