Orange County United Way and Working Wardrobes are the Bank of America 2023 Neighborhood Builders awardees, recognized for their work advancing economic mobility and building up underserved neighborhoods in Orange County.
Each organization will be awarded a $200,000 grant over two years, as well as leadership training for an executive director and an emerging leader on topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability, human capital management and strategic storytelling, and the opportunity to join a national network of peer organizations.
“This funding comes at a vital time for both nonprofits as they adapt their services and leadership to address evolving needs. Providing flexible funding and leadership training not only positions them for sustainable, long-term success but demonstrates our commitment to creating real change in the places where we live and work,” said Allen Staff, president, Bank of America Orange County.
The Neighborhood Builders program is one of the largest philanthropic investments in nonprofit leadership development in the nation. The program is invitation-only and the winning nonprofits are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Builders awardees.
“It’s through partnerships like the one we have with Bank of America that we’re able to provide the resources people need to achieve self-sufficiency,” said Bonni Pomush, chief executive, Working Wardrobes.
“Each person we help to harness their abilities uplifts them and their family, a neighborhood, our community. That’s not one life changing, that’s the foundation for world healing.”
Foundation for the Future
The Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF) is seeing some changes as it celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.
One of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing community foundations, OCCF recently surpassed $1 billion in cumulative granting since its inception. The foundation stewards more than $600 million in charitable assets through 640 funds benefiting a wide range of causes and has led critical initiatives to build a stronger Orange County community.
“Ranking in the top 1% in grantmaking and top 7% in asset size among nearly 800 U.S. community foundations, we are on a trajectory of unmatched growth thanks to our exemplary leadership team,” said Shelley Hoss, chief executive, OCCF.
To ensure that OCCF continues to build a strong foundation for the future, key leadership roles have been restructured to leverage the skills of each of OCCF’s senior leaders, effective Jan. 1.
Hoss remains the organization’s CEO, focusing on supporting OCCF’s board, key partners and donors, and community leaders to amplify philanthropic impact in Orange County.
Tammy Tumbling, who counted over 20 years of leadership experience when she joined the foundation as executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2019, has been promoted to president to lead organization-wide operations to ensure that OCCF achieves its strategic vision and goals.
Cathleen Otero, with 10 years of leadership at OCCF, succeeds Tumbling as chief operating officer to continue to elevate OCCF’s donor and community engagement platform and provide leadership to the foundation’s ongoing innovation and technology transformation.
Tracy Branson, OCCF’s chief financial officer of more than 33 years, remains in her role providing leadership of the foundation’s finance, accounting, audit and investment functions.
“OCCF is building on our strong history to elevate donor experience and philanthropic innovation and excellence throughout Orange County and beyond,” said Rachid Chamtieh, partner, Deloitte & Touche and chairman, board of governors, OCCF.
“We are thrilled to have leaders who are so passionate about the foundation’s vision and work during such a pivotal time.”
The World Affairs Council of Orange County (WACOC) held its 2023 gala at the Westin Orange County on Dec.16.
The sold-out event drew 460 guests for a night of live music featuring Brandon Bernstein, an upright bassist, a three-course dinner, and international programming featuring a discussion with Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the former national security advisor.
The discussion was moderated by Jerry Braakman, president and chief investment officer, First American Trust, and was followed by an audience Q&A session.
The gala included a silent auction featuring cultural gift baskets and items from consulates spanning 11 countries, international trips, artwork and much more. Bidders vied for food, wine, arts, clothing and more baskets donated by Southern California consulates and local donors.
The interactive auction raised $7,000 while introducing guests to new cultures.
The gala raised $61,000, which contributes to providing future events on international topics for Orange County and supports WACOC’s youth global education initiatives.
Sponsors included the Mark Chapin Johnson Foundation, First American Trust, Advanced Office, Chapman University, Orange County Business Council, Pacific Symphony, R&D Medical Products, the Consulate General of the State of Qatar and Zion Enterprises.
Bits & Pieces
Reimagine, a nonprofit serving people with disabilities throughout their lifespan, raised more than $15,000 at its recent inaugural Casino Night, which was sponsored by Farmers & Merchants Bank, City Lift, and Village Family Dental, among others.
On Jan. 23, The NAMM Foundation made a $10,000 donation to Sunkist Elementary during its Day of Service, which included NAMM volunteers as well as executives from Yamaha Corp., White House of Music, and Ted Brown Music and more participating in music-related workshops for school students.
South Coast Plaza, Haskell White, Delectable OC, Bank of America, Capital Group and the Peter & Ginny Ueberroth Family Foundation are among the 2023-2024 season sponsors for the Laguna Playhouse, which premiered “Ain’t Misbehavin,’ The Fats Waller Musical Show,” on Jan. 28 to a sold-out opening night crowd.