November 18, 2015 CFSC’s Behind the Scenes Engine: Finance and Operations Team
Every organization has a critical engine that keeps things running smoothly, ensures consistency and reliability, and controls resources and expectations in a measured way to meet the goals of the organization. At Community Foundation Sonoma County, our engine is the Finance and Operations Team.
We believe this team is pretty special and wanted to share with you more about them.
Karl Grimm is the Vice President for Finance and Operations. He oversees all financial transactions, reports and audits, as well as maintains relationships with banks, investment managers, the Investment Advisory Committee and much, much more. He is a CPA with extensive experience in both the nonprofit and private sector.
Lynda Desloges serves at the Community Foundation’s Controller. She plans and manages the day-to-day operations of the Finance and Operation Department through a myriad of duties, including, but certainly not limited to, accounting functions, monthly and annual financial statements, and coordinating our audit and 990 filings. In her previous career, she worked at the firm that developed our community foundation database so she is also our resident data expert (that we all appreciate greatly.)
Rachel Harstad is our Office Administrator, whose responsibilities include paying the bills, processing donations, cutting grant checks, reconciling investments, and helping to keep our network and workstations running smoothly, among other things. She was well prepared by her previous experience including managing a small office, bookkeeping, technical support, and over 12 years doing financial planning, during which she became fully licensed for life insurance, securities, and investment advising.
What do you enjoy most about your work at the Community Foundation?
Karl: I most enjoy the people I get to work with. My colleagues are great at what they do, our Board and Committee members are engaged and committed, and our vendors (banks, auditors, investment consultants) all seem to go the extra mile for us.
Lynda: Being witness to the generosity of Sonoma County residents and the efforts of so many to enhance and better the lives of everyone living here.
Rachel: The thing that drives me is the common goal we share of investing in our community to benefit all who call this beautiful area their home, now and for generations to come.
Why is Sonoma County important to you?
Karl: My wife and I chose Sonoma County as our next destination when we tired of southern California. We were attracted to the beautiful diversity (mountain, valley, and ocean) and the ability to buy good food and, of course, wine for our table that is locally produced.
Lynda: After being born and raised in New Hampshire and raising my two children there as well, it was a welcome change to relocate here and to be able to enjoy all that Sonoma County offers. I find relaxation along the Coast as often as I can and love showing visiting family and friends the area.
Rachel: It is my home. I was born and raised in Santa Rosa. My great-grandfather worked with Luther Burbank. Our roots run deep.
How do you describe your love of order, process, or numbers?
Karl: Numbers (measures) and processes are a kind of Rosetta Stone to translate activities and plans into an account of resources. A large part of what we do is to help get the most impact out of philanthropic resources. I value measures and processes because of what they enable CFSC to accomplish for our community.
Lynda: I so appreciate logical order, right down to simply maintaining a to-do list daily and tracking progress. With order, control comes more easily out of what could be chaotic. I also love the process of presenting a picture out of the many transactions we process and manage here. We take a lot of pride in processing accurately and in a timely manner.
Rachel: I have always been a bit of a nerd, I suppose. In time you realize not everyone is as fascinated by how things work, or finds as much satisfaction when balancing complex financial calculations to the penny. But these things still thrill me, so I embrace my geek.
Karl: I once accidentally attended an NHL referee training camp. I thought it was going to teach Dad’s how to referee Pee Wee Hockey or something. On the bright side, I was honored at the end of the training with the “most improved” award. It was well-earned because I only started ice skating lessons three months prior.
Lynda: Newly established life goal – to be a part of the Canine Companions for Independence family of dog breeders and/or puppy raisers.
Rachel: Graduated valedictorian of my class at Montgomery High.