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May 6, 2005

Cecilia Laiché, TCWF
(818) 702-1900


Nicole J. Jones, Jeffrey Seungkyu Kim, Taryn Lee and Adriana Godoy Leiss Bring Talents to Programs, Administration and Communications

Woodland Hills, CA – The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF) announces that Jeffrey Seungkyu Kim, Taryn Lee and Adriana Godoy Leiss have joined the Foundation and that existing staff member, Nicole J. Jones, has received a new assignment.

“All of these staff members bring diverse and valuable experiences to their various roles at the Foundation,” said Gary L. Yates, president and CEO. “The programs, administration and communications departments — along with the other members of our team — are all essential to fulfilling the Foundation’s mission of improving the health of underserved Californians.”

Nicole J. Jones takes on a new assignment as program director overseeing TCWF’s grantmaking related to the prevention of teenage pregnancy and violence. Previously, Jones oversaw the Foundation’s grantmaking in mental health and violence prevention. Prior to joining TCWF in 2002, Jones was a program officer at the California Community Foundation. She received an M.P.A. from the Bernard M. Baruch College of the City University of New York and a B.A. from UC Berkeley. “Young people prone to violence and teenage pregnancy often share many of the same risk factors,” she said. “This new assignment provides an opportunity to approach our grantmaking related to these two issues with a fresh perspective that is deeply rooted in prevention.”

Jeffrey Seungkyu Kim is program director overseeing TCWF’s grantmaking related to healthy aging and mental health. Before joining the Foundation, he was associate director of development for National Conference for Community and Justice – Los Angeles Region. Previously, he worked for the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center as deputy director for the legal services department. A member of the State Bar of California, Kim earned his law degree from University of Michigan and his bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University. “The Foundation’s leadership in improving the health and wellness of vulnerable, at-risk Californians is exceptional,” he said. “I look forward to building upon the grantmaking contributions of my colleagues in promoting the mental health of transition-age youth and healthy aging throughout the state.”

Taryn Lee joins the Foundation as its human resources manager, which is part of TCWF’s administration and finance department. “In my position as H.R. manager, I have the opportunity to interface with staff from all departments of the Foundation,” she said. “I am happy to be part of a group of people so committed to the promotion of health and wellness.” Lee brings 15 years of Los Angeles-based human resources experience to the Foundation, having previously served as director of human resources and administration for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and previously serving in human resource positions with Red Car, Inc., KCET, Wild Oats Market and Hemdale Film Corp. Lee earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from University of California, Los Angeles.

Adriana Godoy Leiss is executive assistant to Magdalena Beltrán-del Olmo, the Foundation’s vice president of communications. In that capacity, she helps manage the communications department budget, oversees event sponsorships and serves as a contributing writer to the Foundation’s publications. Leiss was a junior publicist for five years with BJR Public Relations in Culver City, where she worked with several nonprofit clients. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from California State University, Northridge. “It is an honor to work for a Foundation that values communications to emphasize its Grantees’ important efforts across the state,” she said.

The California Wellness Foundation is a private, independent foundation created in 1992, with the mission of improving the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. The Foundation’s Responsive Grantmaking Program prioritizes eight issues for funding: diversity in the health professions, environmental health, healthy aging, mental health, teenage pregnancy prevention, violence prevention, women’s health, and work and health. It also responds to timely issues or special projects outside the funding priorities. TCWF has awarded 3,858 grants totaling more than $460 million since 1992. Please visit TCWF’s website at for more information.

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