Heart of Marin
Where volunteers, nonprofits, and leaders shine.
Where volunteers, nonprofits, and leaders shine.
The Corporate Community Service Award is presented to a business that has fostered and encouraged volunteerism and philanthropy among its employees.
The 2022 CVNL Heart of Marin Award for Corporate Community Service goes to the Marin Independent Journal.
The IJ sponsors dozens of nonprofit events each year as Media Sponsor and leverages its audience to deliver positive impact for nonprofits. Giving Marin Community Partnership, consists of corporate partners who support nonprofits by underwriting advertising sponsorships.
The IJ brings an audience of 800,000+ readers per month to each nonprofit sponsored; In addition to advertising, the Partnership has doubled the amount of annual cash grants from $60,000 to $75,000. More than $320,000 has been awarded to 45 nonprofits in the first five years.
The We Are One Marin initiative spotlights a different BIPOC-owned business every week. Congratulations to the entire IJ staff and the Giving Marin and We are One Marin partners.
The Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to an individual, other than a board member, who has provided exemplary volunteer service to a Marin Nonprofit.
The 2022 Heart of Marin County Award for the Volunteer of the Year goes to John Beltran, The Marine Mammal Center.
Sponsored by: Harbor Point Charitable Foundation
The Youth Volunteer of the Year award recognizes five full-time middle or high school students serving in a Marin nonprofit, education, or faith environment.
The first Youth Volunteer of the Year is Oliver Goldman, Marin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue
In the past 13 months Oliver has attended 16 incidents, 22 exercises, and 48 Search and Rescue events, and last year he was elected youth president of the team consisting of 60 adult and 40 youth members.
Oliver completed a 60-hour Public Safety-First Aid course and is American Heart Association CPR and AED qualified, he also attended a 50-hour California Search and Rescue conference in Tulare County in which he learned how drones and helicopters are used as well as the application of canines and trailing dogs.
Oliver has helped during carryout’s of injured hikers on Mt. Tam and searching for people with dementia in San Rafael.
Thank you Oliver for your contribution to Marin Search & Rescue.
The second Youth Volunteer of the Year is Talia Harter, San Rafael High School, Youth Transforming Justice, Marin County Office of Education, Marin Suicide Prevention Collaborative, the County of Marin, and Behavioral Health and Recovery Services.
In September 2021, Talia spoke on behalf of Marin County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and MCOE to the Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission in support of the Commission funding a 42-month Student Wellness Ambassadors Program. Her significant contribution to this work led to the Commission granting the funding.
In March 2022, MCOE held a youth led community meeting in response to the Fentanyl crisis. Talia was a panelist that advocated for more wellness resources at schools. As an outcome, she is the lead for the county-wide Youth Wellness Action Team developing a comprehensive Resource Guide.
Through her work for Youth Transforming Justice, MCOE, San Rafael High, Marin Suicide Prevention Collaborative, the County of Marin, and Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Talia embodies the collective impact approach in service to students in Marin.
Thank you Talia for advocating for student voices.
The third Youth Volunteer of the Year is Matteo Diaz, The Spahr Center
Matteo is a member of Spahr’s Youth Advocacy Coalition.
He helped organize and produce Queer Prom, a dance and social event open to all LGBTQ+ teens and allies. Matteo helped pick a theme, find sponsors and donations of food, partnered with a costume rental shop, and made sure things ran smoothly.
Matteo began working in the San Rafael School District on the issue of the lack of all-gender restrooms on campuses, specifically San Rafael High School.
Matteo reached out to school administration repeatedly. Through persistence, he was granted a meeting where he brought together administrators, the superintendent, teachers, transgender and nonbinary students, and Spahr reps. He conducted a walk-through, which highlighted the lack and inaccessibility of all-gender restrooms.
There are now ten all-gender restrooms on the campus, each stocked with menstrual products and open to every student. He is currently collaborating with the Department and Spahr’s Training Institute to advocate and include trans athletes on a county-wide level.
The fourth Youth Volunteer of the Year is Sophia White, Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery
Sophia volunteers at the Marin Food Bank, Junior Giants, Rec Inc, St. Anselm Church, Marin Catholic High School, Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery, and The Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
She began by assisting in the office with client records, reading and conversing with brain injury clients, and working in the garden to ensure that clients have an outdoor area while recovering. She volunteered in a research lab at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging where she studied a chemotherapeutic drug and its effects in the effort to help develop a drug to block protein pathways which inhibits cell degeneration.
Sophia applied for and was accepted into a Neuroscience Program at Duke University where she continued to learn about how the brain recovers. During this time, She continued volunteering as a math tutor and coached and mentored student athletes on the Marin Firebolts Volleyball Club.
The fifth Youth Volunteer of the Year is Alysha Lee, County of Marin Student Elections Ambassador Program, League of Women Voters, Novato High, and Beyond Differences
Alysha serves as an ambassador for the Marin County Student Elections Program and is one of two student liaisons working with the League of Women Voter advisors and the Office of Registrar on election outreach programs.
As a pre-registered voter, Alysha has been dedicating time to providing resources for teens to pre-register and register to vote. She assisted with training student volunteers from ten high schools and presented to students at elementary schools to share the importance of voting.
She helped develop the Stop Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Hate” curriculum and she designed AAPI art projects and researched stories that were geared toward middle schoolers. Her work culminated in an Asian-centered art project that combines art therapy techniques and encourages students to be champions of inclusion while giving them the ability to be represented and celebrated. Alysha’s work has impacted 3.9 million students in 8,900 schools in all 50 states. Her work has been so transformative that it is being translated into other languages and adopted in schools across the country.
The Excellence in Leadership Award, is presented to an executive director who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and whose vision has inspired meaningful and lasting change benefiting the organization and community.
The 2022 Heart of Marin Award for Excellence in Leadership goes to Andy Naja-Riese, Agricultural Institute of Marin.
AIM’s mission is to educate, inspire, and connect communities, farmers, and producers. They are best known as the operator of nine weekly farmers markets across the Bay Area with 1,000,000 shoppers a year, and 390+ farmers, food purveyors, and artisans from 44 California counties.
He oversaw a 12% growth in local farmers and small food businesses joining markets, along with a 81.2% annual retention rate. Through partnerships in West Marin, Andy was able to rescue the treasured Point Reyes Farmers Market, the first Bay Area organic market. Andy spearheaded the organization’s first-ever Path to Racial Equity with objectives that center diversity, equity, and inclusion. He has grown AIM’s annual operating budget from $2.1 to $3.99 million and increased grants and donations from $165,000 to $1.72 million.
Andy led a process to modernize their HR Systems, roll out a performance management system, and form an internal “Green Team” with the Board implementing an Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Policy. They replaced gas generators with electric battery packs to save approximately 752 gallons of gasoline per year and secured 540 reusable transport containers for small farmers to reduce waste leading to recycling 24,624 lbs. of trash and saving farmers $51,192 annually.
Andy began shifting AIM’s resources and philosophy to benefit BIPOC and historically disadvantaged producers, empowering the staff to change recruitment and market admissions to promote greater diversity resulting in 60 new producers. In addition, the Board has transitioned from 100% white representation to 57% People of Color.
Sponsored by: The Marin Community Foundation
The Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence Award is presented to an organization that has demonstrated exemplary service to their constituents.
The 2022 award for Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence goes to Mount Tamalpais College.
Mount Tamalpais College exists to provide an intellectually rigorous, inclusive Associate of Arts degree and College Preparatory Program, free of charge, to people at San Quentin State Prison; to expand access to quality higher education for incarcerated people; and to foster the values of equity, civic engagement, independence of thought, and freedom of expression.
Without access to quality education, incarcerated individuals continue to be denied opportunities to realize their potential–professionally, academically, civically, and personally. Education is an important pathway to economic opportunity and one of the most effective ways to address poverty.
MTC has reached over 3,500 incarcerated students at San Quentin and thousands more by partnering with 65 other colleges providing consulting on the creation of programs for incarcerated students. They have partnered with UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy on a study to examine the effects of MTC on the lives of students pre- and post-release.
Preliminary analyses find a direct correlation between the number of classes students have taken and a range of outcomes, including developing the skills to make a positive impact on the lives of others inside prison; improved self-concept and identity shift; and improved relationships inside and outside of prison. MTC achieved the ultimate educational recognition last year as they became the first independently accredited college dedicated to serving incarcerated students whose main campus is located inside a prison.
MTC’s success is a result of the conviction and determination of faculty, volunteers, and board with unprecedented support from students, the Warden, and staff at San Quentin.
Sponsored by: Comerica Bank
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has made a positive and notable difference during their career by significantly contributing to addressing a cause, issue, or discipline.
The 2022 Heart of Marin Award for Lifetime Achievement goes to Reverend, Doctor, Jane Adams Spahr.
Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr was ordained a Presbyterian Minister in 1974 to the Hazelwood Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh.
She describes herself as a lesbian and feminist committed to justice issues for the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community.
Spahr led the activist movement in Marin during the AIDS crisis beginning in 1983. During the time of the new and devastating disease, help was only provided to those affected – mostly gay men.
Janie introduced non-judgmental support for people with HIV/AIDS from the faith and spiritual communities. At a time when the country was led to believe that AIDS was sent to earth to rid the planet of gay people, the relationship people had with their religion became complicated, especially when their religion was their main source of solace.
Ministry of Light was a beacon for the LGBTQ+ community of Marin becoming Spectrum LGBT Center offering support groups facilitated by therapists including a lesbian & gay parents’ group, a group for heterosexual men whose wives had come out as lesbians, LGBT youth group, and a support group for teens whose parent had come out.
In November 1991 she was called to become one of the pastors at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York. This call was challenged and rescinded. After several appeals, the Commission refused to change the decision. In March of 1993 the Rochester Church invited Janie to become their evangelist to challenge church policies.
She helped found the organization ‘That All May Freely Serve’ serving as Minister Director for 14 years. After three decades of debate over its stance on homosexuality, members of the Presbyterian Church voted in 2014 to change the definition of marriage in the church’s constitution to include same-sex marriage.
Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr knew she wanted to be a minister at a young age. How lucky we all are that she did.
Congratulations, Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr
Sponsored by: Kaiser Permanente San Rafael-Petaluma
The Excellence in Board Leadership Award and $5,000 for the recipient’s nonprofit will be presented to an exceptional volunteer member of a Marin nonprofit board of directors.
Award Sponsor: BioMarin
Laura Anderson, Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships
Dr. Colleen Arnold, Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center
Chris Cabral, Trips for Kids Bay Area
Bruce Goines, Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority
Dr. Jason Lau, Marin YMCA
Marc Loupe, Alzheimer’s Association
Mary Jane Luck, SHE-CAN
Marty Meade, Marin American Indian Alliance
David Neagle, Ritter Center
Pamela Parker, Southern Marin Mothers’ Club
Carol Rebscher, San Geronimo Valley Community Center
Marion Soloway, Pony Barnes Foundation
Cheryl Sorokin, Marin Villages
Ida Times-Green, Sausalito Marin City School Board
Tiana Wimmer, Enriching Lives Through Music
The Corporate Community Service Award will be presented to a business that has fostered and encouraged volunteerism and philanthropy among its employees.
Award Sponsor: PG&E
Bank of America
Bank of Marin
Ghilotti Bros., Inc.
Hanson Bridgett LLP
Kaiser Permanente San Rafael-Petaluma
Marin Independent Journal
Redwood Credit Union
San Marin Animal Hospital
Volvo Cars Marin
The Excellence in Innovation Award and $5,000 will be presented to an individual, organization or partnership that has developed new, creative and effective strategies for advancing solutions to critical issues in our community.
Award Sponsor: Potrero Group
Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity
First Responder Therapy Dogs
Giving Marin Community Partnership
Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Drought Resilience and Water Security Initiative
Marin Foster Care Association
Osher Marin JCC
Shoreline Connectivity Project
Side by Side, Raices Unidas
The Volunteer of the Year Award and $5,000 for the recipient’s nonprofit will be presented to an individual (other than a board member) who has provided exemplary volunteer service to a Marin nonprofit organization.
Award Sponsor: Harbor Point Charitable Foundation
Jeff Amen, Community Action Marin
Alexander Battaglia, Operation Access
Lydia Bell, LITA (Love is the Answer) of Marin
John Beltran, The Marine Mammal Center
Joan Boyd, Guide Dogs for the Blind
Hunter Breck, Felidae Conservation Fund
Chad Brubaker, Call of the Sea
Natalie Clark, WildCare
Carla Condon, Age Friendly Intergenerational Center
Dick & Betty Currie, Guide Dogs for the Blind
Troy Evans, Marin County Search and Rescue
Noni Garner, O’Hanlon Center for the Arts
Peter Goetz, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Erika Gomez, Multicultural Center of Marin
Clara Greisman, Enriching Lives Through Music
Lesley Hu, Pierce’s Pledge
Suzanne Jansen, Center for Domestic Peace
Brian Johnson, Community Action Marin
Krissa Klein, Sonoma Ecology Center
Timothy Knowlton, Marin Humane
Nicole Lea, Family and Children’s Law Center
Marv Levinson, ExtraFood
Nancy Rae Ludwigsen, San Geronimo Valley Community Center
Nancy Malcolm, Vivalon
Rich Moore, Halleck Creek Ranch
Heather Parker, Hooves for Harmony
Alex & Tracy Peters, Las Gallinas Sanitary District Non-Marching Band
Ann Marie Santana-Turina, Marin Humane
Marc Schreiber, Family and Children’s Law Center
Virginia Schultz, Marin County Library Foundation
Lori Feldman & Carol Soker, Marin Court Appointed Special Advocates
Bonnie Spitz, DrawBridge
Bruce Todd, Canal Alliance
Becky White, 10,000 Degrees
The Excellence in Leadership Award and $5,000 for the recipient’s nonprofit will be presented to an executive director who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and whose vision has inspired meaningful and lasting change benefiting the organization and community.
Award Sponsor: Marin Community Foundation
Chandra Alexandre, Community Action Marin
Kay Carlson, Marin Open Studios
Kari Cordero, SANE-SART
Dave Cort, San Geronimo Valley Community Center
Aideen Gaidmore, Marin Child Care Council
Sarah Hobson, West Marin Fund
Ivana Jagodic-Meholick, Post-Partum Support Center
Andy Naja-Riese, Agricultural Institute of Marin
Mark Shotwell, Ritter Center
Samantha Tradelius, Sparkle Foundation
The Lifetime Achievement Award and $5,000 for a nonprofit of their choice will be presented to an individual who has made a positive and notable difference during their career by significantly contributing to address a cause, issue or discipline.
Award Sponsor: Kaiser Permanente
Rev. Dr. Jane Adams-Spahr
Judge Roy Chernus
The Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence Award and $5,000 will be presented to an organization that has demonstrated exemplary service to its constituents.
Award Sponsor: Comerica
Adopt A Family
Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity
Big Skills Tiny Homes
Bridge the Gap
The Cedars of Marin
Community Action Marin
Enriching Lives Through Music
Family and Children’s Law Center
Legal Aid of Marin
Make it Home Bay Area
Man 2 Man Urban Youth Advocate
Marin Child Care Council
Marin County Cooperation Team
Marin Foster Care Association
Marin School of the Arts Foundation
Mount Tamalpais College
North Bay Children’s Center
Southern Marin Mothers’ Organization
The Nika Project
Up to five Youth Volunteer of the Year Awards of $1,000 each will be presented to full-time middle or high school students serving a Marin nonprofit in the community, education, or faith environment.
Award Sponsor: Redwood Credit Union
Ruth Alvarenga, North Marin Community Services
Ashlyn Byous, WildCare
Matteo Diaz, The Spahr Center
Kimberly Escobar, Youth Leadership Institute
Oliver Goldman, Marin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue
Melissa Gongora, HeadsUp San Rafael Public Education Foundation
Talia Harter, San Rafael High School
Alysha Lee, County of Marin Student Elections Ambassador Program, League of Women Voters, and Beyond Differences
Maddie Mangino, Sparkle Foundation
Amanda Mueller, Marin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit
Samantha Podoll, San Geronimo Valley Community Center
Jada Swan, Project Awareness and Special Sports, Friendship Club TLHS
Sophia White, Schurig Center
Alisa Zhou, American Red Cross
Bank of Marin has served Northern California businesses and the people who run them for more than 30 years, providing insight, guidance and legendary service. Community commitment is one of the Bank’s core values, believing that strong communities benefit everyone. In the words of the Bank’s founder, Bill Murray, “We do well by doing good.”
Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) has honored local leaders and their causes at the Heart of Marin Awards for 29 consecutive years. As the largest recognition event in the county, the 30th Annual Heart of Marin Awards™ reached over 500 attendees and gave $35,000 to honor Marin nonprofits and the passionate individuals who dedicate their work to advancing our communities.
Learn more about becoming an award or media sponsor and the benefits of sponsorship.
Thank you for your interest and support!