Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership Celebrates 4th Annual Heart of Sonoma County Awards

Honoring Sonoma County’s outstanding nonprofit volunteers, leaders & organizations

SONOMA COUNTY, CA, March 7, 2024 – Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) and Presenting Sponsor Comerica Bank invite the community to celebrate and honor Sonoma County’s nonprofit volunteers, leaders, and organizations at the 4th Annual Heart of Sonoma County Awards™, March 14, 2024, at The Backdrop.

“Our mission with the Heart of Sonoma County is to celebrate the meaningful work and dedication of nonprofits, volunteers, and community leaders,” said Linda Jacobs, CEO at CVNL. “In the face of global and local challenges, 2023 continued to test our resolve, yet Sonoma County’s nonprofit community remained steadfast in service. As we gather for the Heart of Sonoma County Awards, let us celebrate the unsung heroes who embody the resilience and compassion defining our community’s spirit.”

Heart of Sonoma County supports the nonprofit sector by recognizing and honoring the outstanding individuals who serve our communities and distributing $35,000 in awards to local organizations.

The community is invited to attend the luncheon and awards ceremony to honor and cheer on this year’s 91 nominees. All nominees will be recognized, and award recipients will be announced at the event. Tickets must be purchased in advance and may be purchased here.

The 4th Annual Heart of Sonoma County Award Luncheon will be held on Thursday, March 14th, 2024, from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, at The Backdrop. The community is invited to attend and help celebrate. Reserve seats and tables online here or visit

This event is made possible with the support of Presenting Sponsor Comerica Bank and the generosity of Award Sponsors Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Santa Rosa Service Area (Volunteer of the Year), Acrisure (Excellence in Board Leadership), Ginnie and Peter Haas Jr. (Youth Volunteer of the Year), PG&E (Excellence in Innovation), Medtronic (Excellence in Leadership), Comerica Bank (Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence), and Redwood Credit Union (Lifetime Achievement).

4th Annual Heart of Sonoma County Nominees:

Corporate Community Service (Sponsor: Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership)

Exchange Bank

Hansel Auto Group

Redwood Credit Union

Traditional Medicinals

ZFA Structural Engineers

Volunteer of the Year (Sponsor: Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Santa Rosa Service Area)

Loeta Andersen, Sonoma Ecology Center

Walter Basinger, Redwood Empire Food Bank

Olivia Bolling, Sweetwater Spectrum

Kim Brown, Farm to Fight Hunger

Mary Carouba, Council on Aging

MaDonna Feather, Suscol Intertribal Council

Diana Garmus, Charlie’s Acres Farm Animal Sanctuary

Bill Hess, Committee on the Shelterless

Dondi Jones, Food For Thought

Michael Kaufman, Vital Immigrant Defense Advocacy and Services

Shannon McDermott, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency

Cindy McElrath and Merrie Dickinson, Goatlandia Farm Animal Sanctuary

Roseanne Mendelsohn, The Living Room

Laurel Stansberry, Girls on the Run North Bay

Fran Templin, Zane Templin Foundation

Rebecca West, Our Village Closet

Excellence in Board Leadership (Sponsor: Acrisure)

Wendy Davies, Treasure House Consignment Shop

Llisa Demetrios, Petaluma Arts Center

R.M. Horrell, Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County

Chris McAllister, Sweetwater Spectrum

Jill McCormick, Made in Santa Rosa Education Foundation

Annie Nicol, Committee on the Shelterless

Janet Nusbaum, Sonoma Community Center

Mark Soiland, Career Technical Education Foundation

Greg Steele, Children’s Museum of Sonoma County

Cati Young, Petaluma People Services Center

Youth Volunteer of the Year (Sponsor: Ginnie and Peter Haas Jr.)

Taylor Beaube, Redwood Empire Food Bank

Natalie Burton, The Robert Ferguson Observatory

Luis Chavarin Perez, Petaluma Adult School, Latino Service Providers, and Redwood Empire Food Bank

Luke Cilia, United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay

Rona Hansen, United Anglers of Casa Grande

Stella Koene, National Alliance on Mental Illness

Alexa Macias, Petaluma High School Link Crew

Cannon Meiers, Secret Santa, a program of Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership

Allen Phuong, Committee on the Shelterless

Alissa Sommer, Healdsburg High School

Lilly Streb, Sonoma Ecology Center

Ben Thomas, Petaluma High School

Satya Weimer, Goatlandia Farm Animal Sanctuary

Lauren Wilson, Miracle League North Bay

Marianna Wineinger, Sonoma Land Trust

Excellence in Innovation (Sponsor: PG&E)

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa

Common Ground Society

Cool Petaluma

Emergency Prep Help

Homeless Action Sonoma

Humane Society of Sonoma County

Petaluma People Services Center

Reuse Alliance, Inc.

Sonoma Family Meal

Sweetwater Spectrum

TLC Child and Family Services

Excellence in Leadership (Sponsor: Medtronic)

Wendy Davies, Sonoma-Mendocino-Lake Medical Association

Jennifer Emery, F.I.S.H. of the Santa Rosa Area

Susan Fette, TLC Child and Family Services

Susan Jan Hornstein, Well Trained Horses

Madeleine Keegan O’Connell, YWCA Sonoma County

Kathy King, Sonoma Overnight Support

Angel Minor, Conservation Corps North Bay

Margaret Sluyk, Reach for Home

Luana Vaetoe, Becoming Independent

Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence (Sponsor: Comerica Bank)

10,000 Degrees

Children’s Museum of Sonoma County

Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County

Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County

Committee on the Shelterless

F.I.S.H. of the Santa Rosa Area

Food For Thought

Heartfelt Help Foundation

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency

La Familia Sana

Northern California Public Media

Our Village Closet

Petaluma People Services Center

Presbyterian Church of the Roses

Reach for Home

Redwood Empire Food Bank

The LIME Foundation

The Living Room Center, Inc.

TLC Child and Family Services


Lifetime Achievement (Sponsor: Redwood Credit Union)

John Chute

Maxine Freitas

Erin Hoffman

Diane Jackson

George Loyer

For event information and tickets visit

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About CVNL

Since 1964, CVNL has advanced nonprofits and volunteerism by strengthening leadership, encouraging innovation, and empowering individuals in their communities. Passion alone isn’t enough when it comes to creating strong nonprofits. That’s why we work with aspiring and established leaders every day to help them build the skills and connections that can take their impact to the next level. Together we offer comprehensive programs that support nonprofits and volunteers including Learning & Leadership programs and trainings, executive search, customized consulting solutions, volunteer matching, and corporate engagement. Heart of Marin™, Heart of Napa™ and Heart of Sonoma County events support nonprofits of every size and mission through recognition and cash awards. Other programs and services include 100MARIN, Sonoma County Human Race, Secret Santa, Court Referral Program, Sonoma County Paratransit and Volunteer Services. CVNL’s Volunteer Services includes a range of disaster services for response, relief, and recovery in the aftermath of disasters in Marin, Solano, Napa, and Sonoma Counties. We believe that with confident and prepared leaders, our nonprofits will be better equipped to create healthy, happy, and more equitable communities.

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