Honoring Marin County’s outstanding nonprofit volunteers, leaders, and organizations.
SAN RAFAEL, CA, January 18, 2024 – Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 31st Annual Heart of Marin™ Awards. On Thursday, January 11, 2024, 536 community leaders, volunteers, elected officials, and business members gathered to celebrate the 31st Annual Heart of Marin Awards, held at the Marin Center Exhibit Hall in San Rafael, CA.
The awards luncheon honored and celebrated 111 nominees and recognized award recipients in eight categories, distributing $35,000 in awards.
“Every year, I am reminded of the brilliance of our community leaders,” said Linda Jacobs, CEO of CVNL. “The passion and dedication of executive directors, board members, volunteers, and businesses who are stepping up to address the needs of our community with innovative projects, collaborative partnerships, and positive, impactful solutions never cease to amaze and inspire.”
“Heart of Marin celebrates the passion and investments made by our local community, people, and organizations”, said Presenting Sponsor Bank of Marin’s Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking, Brandi Campbell. “Bank of Marin is honored to serve as the presenting sponsor of this event for the past four years. Bill Murray, the Bank of Marin founder, said it best – that our communities and people thrive when we ‘do well by doing good.’ We are honored to acknowledge Heart of Marin nominees and award recipients and thank them for helping us shape and mold the present into a future we can all be proud of.”
Ghilotti Bros., Inc. received the Corporate Community Service Award (sponsored by CVNL). Ghilotti Bros., Inc. believes that giving back to the community is an obligation and a privilege. They contribute through financial donations, in-kind work, employee drives, matching gifts, and volunteering. A core focus of their service is in working with local leaders to address homelessness in Marin.
The Volunteer of the Year Award (sponsored by CVNL) was presented to Mike Wing, Call of the Sea. A high school science teacher, Mike uses his skills to enhance understanding of marine and sailing science at Call of the Sea, a science-based educational program that fosters connection to watersheds, ocean environments, and nautical heritage. Mike is a volunteer educator specializing in plankton, microplastics, and sail theory. He created naturalist kits to teach about marine life and has been active in the movement against plastic pollution.
The Excellence in Board Leadership Award (sponsored by BioMarin) was presented to Dr. Colleen Arnold, Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center. Dr. Arnold began on the Board offering free training to parents and caretakers to empower families of children with disabilities. She created the Inclusive Santa event for children with disabilities featuring a calm, sensory-friendly environment, and an understanding Santa. She is an advocate for disability representation and has helped build strategic partnerships and alliances to increase and streamline resources and support for disabled children, individuals, and families.
The Excellence in Innovation Award (sponsored by PG&E) was presented to NAMI Marin, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Informed Training. NAMI Marin, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, provides advocacy, education, support, and public awareness to individuals and families affected by mental health conditions. This award was presented for their groundbreaking work in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Training for families. Their success led to a grant from the National Alliance for Mental Illness to scale the program to 700 affiliates across the country who now offer free workshops for the benefit of tens of thousands of families.
Five Youth Volunteer of the Year Awards (sponsored by Redwood Credit Union) were presented to:
- Marcos Vega, Youth Transforming Justice. Marcos is a volunteer advocate who supports middle and high school students in trouble with the law. He represents his peers in the restorative process to strengthen their relationships with the community and repair any harm caused.
- Kate Van Hooser, Share the Bounty and ExtraFood. In 2016, Kate and her brothers established Share the Bounty to facilitate the donation of homegrown fruits and vegetables to food shelters and those in need. In 2022, Share the Bounty merged with ExtraFood and Kate continued her support. In 2023, she coordinated over 100 gleans resulting in 6,439 pounds of produce.
- Ryder Lariviere, Boy Scouts of America. Ryder has served a variety of roles with Boy Scouts of America, including leading his troop, becoming an Eagle Scout, receiving the Congressional Award Gold Medal, and being selected as a member of the National Boy Scouts of America Youth Council, the highest youth governing body in Scouting. Ryder developed programming for 800,000 Scouts across the country addressing mental health, assisted with Marin’s largest food drive, Scouting for Food, developed software to assess wildfire risk and created STEM kits.
- Olivia Villanova, Becca’s Closet. For the past two years, Olivia has led a program at Redwood High School, Becca’s Closet, a pop-up store for homecoming and prom dresses, where over 400 free, new dresses were donated and made accessible to students in need.
- Surabhi Chinta, The Marine Mammal Center. Surabhi volunteers as a member of the Animal Care Crew to treat sick and injured marine mammals, clean pens, and administer meals and medication. Surabhi helps to rehabilitate thousands of animals and return them to their ocean homes; her focus, skills, and ability led her to be trained in the highest permitted skill for anyone under 18, tube feeding elephant seals.
The Excellence in Leadership Award (sponsored by Marin Community Foundation) was presented to Chandra Alexandre, Community Action Marin. Community Action Marin’s (CAM) mission is to alleviate the causes and consequences of poverty in Marin. Under Chandra’s leadership, CAM increased net assets from $4.4 million in 2017/18 to $7.3 million in 2021/22, grew earned and contributed income, and charted a course to sustainable growth. Chandra’s advocacy championing key issues such as housing, food insecurity, and early education has created a seat for CAM at county, state, and national tables.
The Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence Award (sponsored by Comerica Bank) was presented to Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California. Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California’s mission is to ensure equal housing opportunities for all and to educate our community on the value of diversity in our neighborhoods. They serve all classes of people protected by fair housing laws by providing fair housing counseling, education, investigation, enforcement, training, and advocacy. Accomplishments in 2023 include securing changes in state and local legislation involving COVID-related evictions/foreclosures; advancing Fair Chance ordinances outlawing discrimination in housing related to criminal records; and training 2,640 housing providers, tenants, and agency staff in fair housing laws and practices in Marin.
Berta Campos-Anicetti received The Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Kaiser Permanente San Rafael-Petaluma). Berta began her journey to empower and advance the lives of immigrants, Latinos, at-risk youth, and people from low-income households 34 years ago. Among her contributions are preventing teen pregnancy and advancing reproductive health education; empowering Latine community members; and advancing community health. Berta’s active participation in various agencies and committees and her ability to create partnerships and thread community members together have culminated in the removal of barriers to service and trust. She has ultimately lifted the voices of those previously unheard and/or unseen. Berta’s work has helped shape policies and systems that have moved equity forward in service to the whole community.
All recipients were presented with certificates of recognition from Congressman Jared Huffman, Senator Mike McGuire, Assemblymember Damon Connolly, and the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Additionally, winners (except Corporate Community Service) received an award of $5,000 for their nonprofits. The five Youth Volunteers of the Year received $1,000 each.
The 31st Annual Heart of Marin Awards was made possible by support from presenting sponsor Bank of Marin, Award Sponsors CVNL (Corporate Community Service), BioMarin (Excellence in Board Leadership), PG&E (Excellence in Innovation), Redwood Credit Union (Youth Volunteer of the Year), Marin Community Foundation (Excellence in Leadership), Comerica Bank (Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence), Kaiser Permanente San Rafael-Petaluma (Lifetime Achievement), and media sponsor Marin Independent Journal.
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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 the Sonoma County Human Race, Secret Santa, Court Referral Program, and Paratransit. We provide disaster preparedness training and serve as an Emergency Volunteer Center (EVC), overseeing spontaneous volunteers and donations for Napa, Marin, Sonoma and Solano Counties in the aftermath of a disaster. We believe that with confident and prepared leaders, our nonprofits will be better equipped to create healthy, happy and more equitable communities. Visit www.cvnl.org to discover more.