Philanthropy / Non-Profit Committee

Co-Chairs: Lisa Carreno | Elizabeth Gore | Julia DeNatale


  • Napa Valley Community Foundation

    Julia DeNatale, Vice President of Philanthropic Services

    Julia oversees the Community Foundation’s grantmaking, including donor-recommended and discretionary portfolios. Julia also leads the Foundation’s grantmaking initiatives, which currently include: Nonprofit Capacity Building; Disaster Relief; and, One Napa Valley, which incubated integration and legal services for immigrants that want to naturalize.

    Prior to joining Napa Valley Community Foundation, Julia was Director of Development and Community Education at Wolfe Center, a nonprofit organization in Napa. Her work in the private sector includes more than five years in marketing and promotions management at Bay Area radio and television stations. Julia is a native of Napa and has a bachelor’s degree in communications (with an emphasis in journalism) from the University of San Francisco, and is a graduate of class 20 of Leadership Napa Valley.

  • Northern California Grant Makers

    Steve Barton, Director of Regional Vibrancy & Sustainability

    Steve has a long history with NCG including stints on various committees as well as the NCG and Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers boards. Over the last several years he’s been a consultant on special projects, corporate philanthropy and social responsibility and briefings. As the Director for Regional Vibrancy and Sustainability he’s focused on programs, initiatives and projects that address the issues affecting our region from displacement and gentrification to income inequality to the arts, climate change and disaster resiliency.

    In addition to his consulting practice, Steve has been the Director for Foundation and Corporate Giving at Gap Inc., a program officer at the Marin Community Foundation, and served in Mayoral administrations in both San Francisco and Oakland. When he’s not working you can often find him at Amoeba Music, traveling abroad, binge watching an amazing series, exploring the Bay Area or at some wine bar.

  • Mendocino County Community Foundation

    Megan Barber Allende, President & CEO

    Megan Barber Allende holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and a bachelor’s in the Humanities, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prior to her work at the Community Foundation, she was a program director for the Western Wayne County, Michigan YMCA before founding her own substance abuse/violence prevention consulting business.

    In addition to her work at the Community Foundation, she has been an educational enhancement volunteer in the Ukiah Unified School District and a fundraising chairwoman and Guild member with Mendocino Ballet. Barber Allende lives in Ukiah with her husband, Dr. Jorge Allende, their two teenage daughters and a younger son.

  • Sonoma County Community Foundation

    Elizabeth Brown, President & CEO

    Community Foundation Sonoma County is the hub of philanthropy, connecting people, ideas, and resources to benefit all who live here. Thanks to the generosity of donors, they’ve given away over $200M in their 34 year history to hundreds of amazing organizations in the areas of education, arts, health and human services, environment, and animal welfare.

    Brown’s hometown is in Atlanta, but she currently resides in Healdsburg, CA. Brown holds a B.A. in political science from Davidson College, as well as a M.A. in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University. Brown has worked in philanthropy for 20-plus years. She came to California in 2001 after a decade in Washington, D.C. When she’s not working, you can find her at yoga or hiking. Brown is also newly engaged and loves spending time with her fiancé.

  • Northcoast Opportunities

    Patty Bruder, Executive Director

    Patty Bruder is the Executive Director of North Coast Opportunities, Inc. (NCO) is the Community Action Agency that serves Lake and Mendocino Counties, as well as parts of Humboldt, Sonoma, Del Norte, and Solano Counties. NCO was established in 1968 as part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty, with the mission of assisting low-income and disadvantaged people to become self-reliant. NCO provides a safety net of emergency assistance, employment, and training services for low-income individuals and families. NCO employs 250 people, has an annual budget of approximately $15 million, and has successfully managed major grants from federal, state, and foundation funders.

  • Independent Consultant

    Christy Pichel, Consultant

    Christy Pichel is the former President of the Stuart Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to supporting improvements in the public education and child welfare systems in California and Washington. During her tenure the Foundation invested over $200 million and engaged in numerous collaborations in philanthropy and with non-profit and public sector organizations.

    Her twenty years in philanthropy also included senior management positions at the James Irvine Foundation, the Public Policy Institute of California, and the CS Fund. Her earlier experience in non-profit organizations provided understanding of the potential and challenges of the sector that informed her approach in philanthropy. Pichel was a founder and executive director of the Summerfield Waldorf School in Sonoma County during its establishment on a permanent site with a bio-dynamic farm and garden. She was the administrator and board member of the Farallones Institute, an early pioneer in renewable energy and sustainable development.

    Pichel continues her interest in education, human services and philanthropy as a consultant for education and non-profit organizations and through board service. She currently also serves on the boards of directors of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, Conservation Corp North Bay, and West County Community Services. She is a member of the advisory councils of Dovetail Learning and Honoring the Path of the Warrior. She is a member of the planning committee for The Advancement Project’s K-12 Water Cooler Network and the Blueprint 2.0 Planning Team for the California Department of Education.

    Pichel received an M.B.A. in International Business from Dominican University and a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

  • United Way Wine Country

    Jennifer O'Donnell, Vice President Community Benefit

    Jennifer O’Donnell is the Interim President and CEO of United Way of the Wine Country. Prior to assuming this position, she was the Vice President of Community Benefit at United Way of the Wine Country (UWWC) overseeing United Way’s programs and investments in the community. She was originally hired by UWWC as the Education Program Officer to lead the development of the Schools of Hope Literacy Initiative.

    Jennifer has over twenty years experience working in non-profit advocacy, communication, education and program management. Prior to joining United Way, she coordinated the national Safe School Ambassadors bullying prevention program for the non-profit organization, Community Matters. She has been involved in advocacy and lobbying at the state and federal level for several environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, Georgia AirKeepers, and the Alaska Wilderness League.

    She is an active member of UWWC’s Women United, convenes the Sonoma County Funders Circle and serves on numerous leadership teams including the Healthy Mendocino Steering Committee, ROC Sonoma Executive Committee and Unmet Needs Committee, and Mendocino ROC Unmet Needs Committee.

    Jennifer is a former kindergarten teacher and a mother of two children. She has lived in Sonoma County since 2000.

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