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Ten Nonprofit Executives Receive 2018 Cal Wellness Sabbatical Awards

Foundation funding to cover paid time-off for executive directors and professional development for staff.

Los Angeles (October 31, 2018) — The California Wellness Foundation announces that 10 nonprofit executives leading health- and wellness-focused organizations in California will be recognized with 2018 Cal Wellness Sabbatical Awards. The awards will be presented at the foundation’s Power Up! convening in San Francisco on November 13.

The Cal Wellness Sabbatical Awards program is designed to improve the long-term effectiveness of nonprofits by investing in the health and wellness of leaders and building staff capacity to manage operations. Each award includes a $30,000 grant to a non-profit to provide its executive director with a paid sabbatical, plus an additional $10,000 to cover expenses related to the professional development of next-level managers and staff. Executive directors take three to six months off from work to rest and renew while staff assume increased responsibilities and strengthen the leadership capacity within their organizations. Since the program was established in 2003, 91 Cal Wellness Sabbatical Awards have been granted to nonprofit organizations across California.

“Effective leadership requires rest and rejuvenation,” said Pamela Simms-Mackey, MD, a Cal Wellness Trustee and member of the selection committee. “But too often nonprofit leaders sacrifice their own health and wellness in service to others. We’re so pleased to honor and support these exceptional nonprofit leaders by creating an opportunity to recharge and revitalize the leadership capacity in their organizations.”

This year’s honorees are:

  • Aida Cardenas of Building Skills Partnership in Los Angeles.
  • Debbie Case of Meals on Wheels Greater San Diego, Inc. in San Diego.
  • Samuel Casey of COPE (Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement in San Bernardino.
  • Lian Cheun of Khmer Girls in Action in Long Beach.
  • Edward Figueroa of St. Mary’s Dining Room in Stockton.
  • Christa Gannon of Fresh Lifelines for Youth in Milpitas.
  • Melvin Mason of The Village Project, Inc. in Seaside.
  • Janeen Steel of Learning Rights Law Center in Los Angeles.
  • Nilda Valmores of My Sister’s House in Sacramento.
  • Dora Westerlund of Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation in Fresno.

About The California Wellness Foundation

The California Wellness Foundation’s mission is to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, healthy environments and safe neighborhoods. Since its founding in 1992, Cal Wellness has awarded more than $1 billion and 9,239 grants.

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