Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership Announces Nominees for 2nd Annual Heart of Sonoma County™ Awards

Honoring 98 outstanding Sonoma County community leaders, volunteers, youth volunteers, and nonprofit organizations.

SONOMA COUNTY, CA, May 12, 2022 – Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2ndt Annual Heart of Sonoma County Awards™.

“Our mission with the Heart of Sonoma County is to celebrate the hard work and dedication of nonprofits, volunteers, and community leaders,” said Linda Jacobs, CEO at CVNL. “2021 continued to be a challenging year around the globe and locally in our own neighborhoods. Nonprofits and volunteers continued to rise to the occasion and provide critical services where and when they were most needed. We look forward to coming together and honoring these often-unsung heroes of our community.”

Heart of Sonoma County supports the local nonprofit sector, giving $35,000 to outstanding organizations and the committed individuals who serve them. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend the luncheon and Awards ceremony to cheer on their friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues who have been nominated. All nominees will be recognized at the event and award recipients will be announced. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

This year’s event will be held in person at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts on Thursday, June 9, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Register in advance, online at:  

The event is supported by Presenting Sponsor Comerica Bank and awards are made possible by the generosity of our award sponsors (see below).

And the Nominees are…

Corporate Community Service (Sponsor: open)

3rd Street Aleworks

Anesthesia & Analgesia Medical Group, Inc. (AAMGi)

Avid Coffee

Castañeda’s Marketplace

Century 21 Bundesen

Jackson Family Wines

Kaiser Permanente

Summit State Bank

Volunteer of the Year (Sponsor: open)

Susan Baur, Petaluma People Services Center

Michelle Blake, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin

Tom Giannini, Equi-Ed Therapeutic Riding Program

Keli Hendricks, Project Coyote

Bruce Hope, Sonoma Ecology Center

Nita Ledford, VIDAS Legal Services (North Bay)

Michael L Pezold, MD, Providence Medical Group Santa Rosa – Vascular Surgery

Chris and Daniel Pinney, Food For Thought

Stephen Prevost, Council on Aging

Chef Steve Rose, Chop’s Teen Club

Toni Rothschild, Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center

Bob Safreno, Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center

Kathy Sharp, Redwood Empire Food Bank

Shana Woodfield, The Living Room

Excellence in Board Leadership (Sponsor: Summit State Bank)

Mike Behler, North Coast Builders Exchange

Janet Connors, Sonoma County Alliance

Patrick Fanning, Occidental Center for the Arts

Vince    Figueroa, Elsie Allen High School Foundation

Bill Gabbert, COTS

Rosanne Gephart, Better Beginnings for Babies

Mona Hanes, Reach for Home

Clark Houston Lewis, Roustabout Theater

Lynn Martin, Sonoma Community Center

Kim Rothstein, Sonoma Family Meal

Karla Schikore, Petaluma Downtown Association

Excellence in Innovation (Sponsor: Kaiser Permanente Marin-Sonoma)
Common Ground Society

Generation Housing


La Plaza, a program of On the Move

Petaluma People Services Center

Side by Side

Sonoma County COAD

Volunteer Fire Foundation

Zero Waste Sonoma and Conservation Corps North Bay

Youth Volunteer of the Year (Sponsor: Peter E. Haas Jr. Family Fund)

Ferne Alvarez, Teen Services – Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley

Elise Curtis, Ceres Community Project, Pepperwood Preserve, and the Jewish Community Free Clinic

Oscar Fernandez, Teen Services- Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley

Galen Freed, Sonoma Ecology Center

Citlaly Garcia Alonso, Boys and Girls Club

Mirian Gonzalez, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance

Grace Hodges, Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center

Eternity McDonell, Cardinal Newman High School – Free CPR/AED Training Coordination

Angelina Renfree, Vitalant, & Cardinal Newman High School

Mar Rivas, Sonoma Land Trust

Fiona Smith, Sonoma Academy

Porter Stein, Sonoma Academy

Jennifer Tellez, Teen Services- Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley

Blake Thomas, The Bird Rescue Center

Lily Zichichi, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Excellence in Leadership (Sponsor: Medtronic)
Christine Castillo, Verity

Susan Farren, First Responders Resiliency, Inc.

Camilla Fox,  Project Coyote

Naomi Fuchs, Santa Rosa Community Health

Letitia  Hanke, The LIME Foundation

Madeleine Keegan O’Connell, YWCA Sonoma County

Nicole Monachello, Storybook Village Preschool

Cary Snowden, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley

Mary Stompe, PEP Housing

Luana  Vaetoe, Becoming Independent

Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence (Sponsor: Community Foundation of Sonoma County)

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley

California Human Development

Canine Companions

Common Ground Society


Farm to Pantry

First Responders Resiliency, Inc.

Food For All/Comida Para Todos

Food for Thought

Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center

Heartfelt Help Foundation

Humane Society of Sonoma County

Journey Center, Inc

The LIME Foundation

Make it Home Bay Area

North Bay Children’s Center

Our Village Closet

PEP Housing

Roustabout Theater

Russian Riverkeeper

Senior Advocacy Services Long Term Care Ombudsman

Social Advocates for Youth

Sonoma Family Meal


Vital Immigrant Defense Advocacy and Services (VIDAS)

Lifetime Achievement (Sponsor: Redwood Credit Union)
Steve Baxman

Dr. Susan Cooper

Naomi Fuchs

Ann Hancock

Rick Phillips

Nominees are also listed online at For more information on Award Sponsor packages contact Lauren Johnson, CVNL Event Manager:
Purchase tickets for the 2nd Annual Heart of Sonoma Awards on June 9th at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts and learn more about the event here: