The San Joaquin Valley Funders’ Collaborative is comprised of representatives from the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, The California Endowment, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Central Valley Community Foundation, Ceres Trust, Latino Community Foundation, Sierra Health Foundation, Water Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, 11th Hour Project, Common Counsel Foundation, Regenerative Agriculture Foundation, and an anonymous funder.
- Kathryn Gilje (Co-chair)
- Adriana Saldivar (Co-chair)
Latino Community Foundation
- Joya Banerjee
S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
- Sarah Bell
11th Hour Project
- Kevin Boyer
Regenerative Agriculture Foundation
- Ellen Braff-Guajardo
Sierra Health Foundation
- Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith
- Michelle Chung
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
- Paolo Diaz
11th Hour Project
- Kaying Hang
Sierra Health Foundation
- Amanda Hughes
Stanislaus Community Foundation
- Craig Martinez
The California Endowment
- Sarah Moffat
Central Valley Community Foundation
- Elizabeth Posey
Marguerite Casey Foundation
- Jazmin Segura
Common Counsel Foundation
- Mark Valentine
ReFrame It Consulting
- Kristine Williams
Enterprise Community Partners
Kathryn Gilje (Co-chair)
Kat Gilje is Executive Director of Ceres Trust. Ceres Trust, whose name honors the ancient goddess of agriculture, provides grants that support healthy and resilient farms, forests and communities; and the ecosystems upon which we all depend. Ceres Trust focuses on grassroots leadership and organizing, equity, and movement building toward systemic and transformational change. An agronomist and community organizer trained by Voices for Racial Justice in Minnesota, Kat previously was co–director of Pesticide Action Network North America; co–founder/director of Centro Campesino; and senior associate at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. She serves on the steering committees of the Bay Area Justice Funders Network and the Health and Environmental Network.
Adriana Saldivar (Co-chair)
As Program Manager, Adriana Saldivar leads Latino Community Foundation’s grantmaking and programming in the Central Valley. She supports local leaders in efforts to build power, increase civic engagement, and strengthen grassroots organizations in the Valley. She is passionate about immigrant and refugee rights, community-driven grantmaking, and cross-movement building.
Adriana has over ten years of experience in philanthropy, community organizing, and education. Prior to joining LCF, she spent five years at Open Society Foundations where she served as a Senior Program Specialist for the Immigrant and Refugee Rights portfolio, coordinating a $10 million grant-making initiative. In 2015, she was the program coordinator for the Emma Lazarus II fund, a $20 million rapid response initiative aimed at maximizing the impact of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Before that, she worked with undocumented and migrant students in the Central Valley helping them navigate higher education regardless of their immigration status. Concurrently she was an activist and community organizer focused on lifting up the voices of undocumented youth and farmworkers.
Adriana holds a BAs in Political Science, Latin American Studies, and Spanish Literature and a MA in International Relations from Fresno State University. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, dancing, organizing food/art tours, and hosting friends.
Joya is a senior program officer at the Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. She leads the Foundation’s grant program that is designed to advance a more sustainable water system that meets the needs of people and nature with a primary focus on California and the American West. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was an attorney at Latham & Watkins and worked for the City of New York, first with the Mayor’s Office of Operations and later with the Economic Development Division of the Law Department. She currently serves on the board of 826 Valencia, an organization that works with San Francisco students to improve writing skills, develop confidence in their voice, and inspire wonder in the world around them.
Sarah is Program Director for the Food & Agriculture program The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, and directs the Foundation’s program in ecological agriculture and regional food systems. She sits on the boards of Pie Ranch in Pescadero, CA and the Environmental Grantmakers Association and holds a B.A. in both English Literature and French from the University of Colorado. An enthusiastic supporter of permaculture and former student at the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, Sarah lives in San Francisco with her husband and two sons.
Kevin Boyer is the Founding Director of the Regenerative Agriculture Foundation. Before starting RAF, he spent 5 years managing the Regenerative Rangelands and Composting programs at The 11th Hour Project of The Schmidt Family Foundation. Kevin has worked for several food and farm-related nonprofits, and he grew up in Tulare County, California (one of the agriculture capitals of the world) surrounded by conventional agriculture. He maintains an active role in a California citrus farm that is transitioning to regenerative practices.
Ellen Braff-Guajardo, based in Fresno, California, is the Director of Regional Programs with the Sierra Health Foundation. Ellen serves as senior staff supporting the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund (SJVHF), a community-first funder collaborative whose mission is to advance health and racial equity across the vast San Joaquin Valley region of California. The SJVHF’s community-driven 2019 IHHEEL policy platform prioritizes immigrant rights, health access, housing, education equity, environmental justice and land use & planning.
Ellen draws on her extensive philanthropic and nonprofit knowledge and experience to support organizations and leaders tackling some of the worst health outcomes and environmental conditions in California. Prior to joining the Sierra Health Foundation, Ellen served five years as a national program officer for W.K. Kellogg Foundation on the Healthy Kids Team, where she developed and led a national strategic grantmaking portfolio in support of healthy community and health equity with a focus on policy and systems change.
Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith
Juliet Christian-Smith brings more than a decade of scientific research and policy analysis experience to her role as Senior Program Officer at the Water Foundation, with expertise in water, climate and sustainability issues.
Juliet came to the Water Foundation from the Union of Concerned Scientists where she helped lead water and climate work as a Senior Climate Scientist. She also brings a comparative perspective, having received a Fulbright Fellowship to study the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive in Portugal and having been a Murray Darling Basin Futures Fellow in Australia. Juliet has a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from UC Berkeley.
Michelle leads the Central Valley strategy for the Housing program at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), which works to support the efforts that generate housing supply, ensure equitable access, and build public and political will for housing. To this end, CZI seeks to support the intersectional work that champions equitable, sustainable land use policies. Prior to CZI, Michelle worked as a land use economics consultant in communities across the Western United States, focusing on affordable housing and community benefits policy and financing. She holds a BA in Urban Studies and Planning from UC San Diego and an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from UC Los Angeles.
Paola is the Food and Agriculture Program Coordinator at The 11th Hour Project. Her work focuses on co-creating healthy, regional food and farming system infrastructure, towards a just transition framework that centers racial, economic, and environmental justice, and community self-determination. She is a first-generation New Yorker with familial and ancestral roots in Colombia.
She graduated from SUNY Binghamton with a B.A. in sociology and psychology.
Kaying serves on the senior management team for Sierra Health Foundation and the Center for Health Program Management as the director of health programs. Before joining Sierra Health Foundation, Kaying served as associate director for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, where she worked with foundations, affinity groups, public policy groups and immigrant rights organizations. Previously, she served as senior program officer at the Otto Bremer Foundation in Minnesota and a program officer and senior consultant with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation.
Before she began her career in philanthropy, Kaying worked in state government as the state coordinator of the Refugee Health Program for the Minnesota Department of Health, and as assistant regional coordinator for the Refugee and Immigrant Health Program for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She served as the first Co-Chair of the national board of National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) based in Washington DC, and served on the board of Asian Americans in Philanthropy (AAPIP). Mark currently serves as co-chair of Smart Growth California.
Amanda is the Chief Strategy Officer for Stanislaus Community Foundation where she maintains knowledge and nurture relationships with Stanislaus County charitable organizations, community groups, and public agencies. Amanda helps to educate and connect local donors to the nonprofit sector, convene local stakeholders around regional issues and initiatives, such as the Stanislaus Cradle to Career Partnership, and manage all grantmaking and scholarship processes in coordination with the Foundation’s Grants/Program committee.
Amanda’s professional background is primarily in the nonprofit sector, with experience as a grant writer for a social service agency providing direct support for survivors of domestic violence and marketing/PR support for a healthcare organization providing end of life care. She have deep empathy for our nonprofit partners and the role they play to improve the lives of the most vulnerable populations in our county.
Craig Martinez joined The California Endowment in May 2012 as a program manager tasked with supporting policy and system change efforts to create healthier neighborhoods. Prior to joining The Endowment, Craig served as a health policy advisor in the Majority Health Policy Office of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee, first under the Chairmanship of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and subsequently under the Chairmanship of Senator Tom Harkin. His legislative portfolio on the HELP Committee included issues relating to public health, disease prevention, health disparities, mental health, HIV/AIDS, and public health preparedness. Craig currently serves as co-chair of Smart Growth California.
Sarah Moffat is a Madera native who moved to Fresno to attend California State University, Fresno. While taking classes there she interned for the State Bar of California in San Francisco, Girardi & Keese Law Firm in Los Angeles, Madera County Probation and Fresno City Council Member Tom Boyajian.
After studying political science at Fresno State she went to work in the Office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein as a staff assistant. She is now a field representative for Feinstein, and works on narcotics issues for her in the state. She is concerned about marijuana cultivation in the area, as well as other drugs. In her position, she is responsible for 16 central California counties, in addition to her work on law enforcement issues throughout the state.
Moffat was a 2008-2010 Democratic Delegate for Assembly District 29, graduate of Leadership Fresno Class 27, current member for the City of Fresno Sister City Committee for the City of Verona, Italy and board member for Prescription Abusers In Need (P.A.I.N.), a local nonprofit aimed at bringing awareness and assistance for prescription drug abuse in Fresno County. Moffat is an active member of the Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals (FLYP) Sunday and Wednesday softball teams, the FLYP Social Committee and was recognized as the 2009 FLYP’er of the Year. She is now the vice chair of FLYP.
When she is not working or involved in organizations, Moffat golfs, spends time with her nephews, and cheers on her favorite baseball team, the San Francisco Giants.
With over a decade of experience in grassroots and grasstops organizing and advocacy, Liz knows firsthand that change must be centered on the people most impacted by inequities and is committed to supporting new paths for communities through bottom–up approaches to policy change. Her role as a program officer for the Marguerite Casey Foundation allows her to leverage these skills and passion, learning about the creative models and collaborative strategies that community–based organizations use to address issues impacting low–income families.
After undergraduate school in Portland, Liz returned home to Alaska and worked in policy, organizing and advocacy for nearly a decade. She ran an award–winning statewide youth civic engagement initiative and eventually headed to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Liz worked for USAID as a senior policy analyst before joining the Marguerite Casey Foundation through the 2015 Momentum Fellowship cohort.
Jazmin Segura brings over twelve years of experience in immigrant rights and social justice movements in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors. She has a passion for racial and social justice and a deep commitment to grassroots organizing, advocacy, and movement building to bring about systemic change for low-income, immigrants and communities of color. Most recently, Jazmin worked at The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) where she developed and launched the foundation’s first Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building, providing timely resources to grassroots organizations that are on the front lines of organizing around issues of racial and economic justice in the Bay Area. Jazmin worked across the Foundation’s departments including the Development and Donor Services team to increase resources for immigrant and youth-led grassroots organizations.
Prior to her work at the Foundation, Jazmin was the Policy Manager at Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC). Under her direction, E4FC developed its first advocacy platform and created a leadership team of undocumented youth who led a successful statewide policy campaign to make career licenses accessible to all Californians regardless of immigration status. She also worked as a Policy Advocate at Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN) where she co-led a diverse coalition of immigrant rights, criminal justice, and faith-based groups to pass one of the most progressive immigration detainer policies in the nation which later became a catalyst for the California Trust Act.
Jazmin’s commitment to building community power is inspired by her family’s immigration journey to the United States. She was born in Mexico City and migrated to the United States at the age of nine to be reunited with her father. She grew up in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a Bachelor of Art’s Degree in Political Economy. Currently, she sits on the Board of Directors for the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley and is a former commissioner for the Human Relations Commission of Santa Clara County.
ReFrame It Consulting
Mark Valentine is the founder and principal of ReFrame It Consulting, which works with foundations and individual donors on grantmaking program design, implementation, and evaluation across a diverse array of issues, including: smart growth and sustainable land use, environmental health, energy and climate, marine and coastal conservation, and conservation finance. Amongst his clients is a private donor advisory service for which he manages a portfolio of grants focused on advancing sustainable land use policy in key regions of California.
Prior to founding ReFrame It, Mark was a program director with the Packard Foundation where he helped establish the nation’s largest conservation grantmaking program with initiatives across the western United States, Mexico, China, and the Western Pacific. In addition, he created an innovative interdisciplinary grantmaking initiative that highlighted the opportunities for strategic synergy between reproductive health, environment, and community development initiatives in select geographies within the Foundation’s global portfolio.
Kristine is a Program Officer with Enterprise Community Partners. Enterprise is a nationwide nonprofit organization focused on connecting low-income residents to opportunity through supporting and expanding affordable housing. Based in Stockton, Kristine works at the intersection of land-use and climate change. She delivers technical assistance to San Joaquin Valley communities working to secure funds under California’s landmark Cap and Trade programs. To date, Kristine has helped secure over $100 million for sustainable housing and transportation development in the region since 2017. In addition to her regional work, she is the current chair of the Stockton Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable and Workforce Housing.