ALF masthead
ALF Mountain Valley Chapter
April, 2012
In This Issue
1st Year Fellows Cmte Chair's Message
Class XV Commencement Dinner is Next Friday
Exemplary Leaders Award Dinner
Sr. Fellows' Taking Stock Retreat
First Encore Fellow Placed
ALF National Leadership Retreat
Affinity Groups, Tables of 8
ALF National Book Project
Partner Profile: Nehemiah
Sr. Fellows' Dues
Checking In with ALFers on the Move
Save the Dates
Quick Links
Community Partners

Two-Star Partners


Western Health Advantage

One-Star Partners

Gilbert Assoc

Kaiser block  

PG&E logo

2012 ALF-MV
Star Club Members
Star Club Members support ALF-MV with a gift of $1200 or $100/month

Doni Blumenstock, Class I
Roy Brewer, Class IX
Matt Kelly, Class XI
Martha Lofgren, Class IX

Garry Maisel, Class IX
Dennis Mangers, Class I
Kris Martin, Class II

Cyril Shah, Class XII
Tom Stallard, Class VII
Pam Stewart, Class VIII
Stephen Tse, Class VII

Carlos Urrutia, Class IX
Michele Wong, Class VIII

2012 ALF-MV  Boosters
ALF Boosters support ALF-MV with a gift of $600 or $50/month

Joe Coomes, Class III 
Lina Fat, Class III 
Ed Glavis, Class VI
Jose Hermocillo, Class III

Bill Kennedy, Class IX
Ken Larson, Class V
Randy Reynoso, Class V
Babs Sandeen, Class XII
Bev Scott, Class IX
Fred Teichert, Class III

Like Us!
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ALF and ALFers continue to keep busy, with plenty of opportunities to engage.  Read on for more info....

First Year Fellows Committee Chair's Message 

Tom StallardTom Stallard, Chair, 2012 ALF-MVC First Year Fellows Committee

Hello from the First-Year Fellows Program Committee and Fellows Nominating Subcommittee!  As April steams toward May and the beginning of the new program year, the committee and staff are putting the finishing touches on yet another stellar ALF class.  Class XVI will start the second week of May when they meet together for the first time as a class at Granlibakken Resort in North Tahoe.  

We have filled the new class with an excellent group of regional leaders.  The Fellows Nominating Subcommittee spent most of last summer developing a list of invitees that was then approved by the board of directors.  We've had many enthusiastic acceptances and many more who wanted to participate in the program but whose schedules didn't mesh with that set for the class -- we'll swing back around and ask them to join Class XVII when we establish that schedule later this spring.

The current class, Class XV, has one session left -- please do join us on May 4th at Mulvaney's to welcome them into the Sr. Fellows Network at their Commencement Dinner.  And mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 23, 5:30 pm, for the Class XVI Welcome Reception, in honor of the new, incoming class.  On behalf of the committee, I hope to see you at both important events!


grad cap Celebrate on May 4th with Class XV as they join the Sr. Fellows Network.

It's a celebration you don't want to miss!

You and your guest are invited to join us to celebrate the commencement of ALF-MV Class XV as they join the Sr. Fellows network.

Help us welcome the new class of Sr. Fellows by congratulating them at a reception and dinner in their honor, held at Mulvaney's B&L Restaurant.  Get your tickets today!

Class XV has several surprises for you to give you a glimpse of the bond they have developed and the service they have given to the community.  Sure to be entertaining as well as reminiscent of your Fellows year!





Inaugural Sr. Fellows' Taking Stock Retreat Moves Forward
Thanks to those who pre-registered, this exciting new event will go on as planned!

Join us for the inaugural summer Sr. Fellows' Taking Stock retreat!  This is the only retreat for Senior Fellows in 2012 -- the traditional Sr. Fellows' Retreat has moved to February, 2013, so we hope you will join us for this different kind of retreat experience.

Do you love:
  • The times we can share deeply with each other?
  • Learning and planning together with ALF Sr. Fellows?
  • Being in a beautiful place with opportunities to be outdoors?  
If you agree then this is the retreat for you!  This may be the only time we do this, so don't miss your chance!

Our retreat will be facilitated by Kevin McCarthy, one of ALF's three curriculum facilitators.  Kevin is terrific and this promises to be a very special time.  Our time together will focus on:
  • The dynamics of personal change;
  • Dialogue in community;
  • Systemic change. 
We have received enough advance registrations that we are able to move forward in planning this first-ever event.  Join in by registering today!




First Encore Fellow Placed
Encore logoProgram leverages the experience of executives to improve local nonprofits

Our first Encore Fellow will be placed in Rick Jennings' (Class II) organization, the Center for Fathers and Families. The Encore Fellow will create and implement a strategic, multi-faceted marketing plan designed to strengthen the Center for Fathers and Families' role and visibility in the community. The assignment begins May 1st.

The Sacramento/Sierra Encore Fellows Program matches highly experienced professionals with nonprofit organizations where they can perform high impact work and help those organizations build capacity. The Encore Fellows Program is locally operated by ALF-MV in partnership with the Nonprofit Resource Center.

If you have an interest in becoming an Encore Fellow or have a nonprofit organization in mind for the program, please contact Karen at the ALF office,


FOUR SPOTS LEFT: ALF National Leadership Retreat Next Weekend

starburst 2Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6
Burlingame, CA (15 miles south of S.F.) 

The ALF National Leadership Retreat will draw leaders from ALF chapters around the country for a practicum on personal, organizational and community change, and, perhaps as importantly, to network with each other as Senior Fellows.

The retreat kick-offs with lunch next Friday and ends at noon Sunday. The curriculum includes critical concepts of personal change, dialogue and U Theory, as well as skills development and opportunities for applying learning in dialogue that explores the emergent opportunities for the work of ALF in the coming years.

Cost is $600 per person and includes program, meals and lodging. Spouses and significant others are welcome. Registration is limited to 60 participants -- JUST FOUR SPOTS REMAIN!

For more information or to register, visit or call 408-554-2000.

ALF Members Connect Through
Tables of Eight, Affinity Groups

Pick a restaurant and a date for a Table of Eight or make a reservation to join a table;
Join or start an Affinity Group

Tables of Eight
Kathy McKim and Pam Stewart set up a May 8th joint Table of Eight with our sister chapter to the south, the Great Valley Chapter based in Modesto. It quickly filled up. Stay tuned for a dinner with Studio Sacramento host Scott Syphax -- coming soon!

No agenda, no topic, no facilitators -- the Tables of Eight program is a low-key yet fun opportunity to meet and mingle with a small group of ALFers.  You pick the restaurant and the date, the ALF office sends out and tracks the invitations and everyone pays for their own meals. Contact the ALF office any time to get started!
The ALF Eagles (Golf Affinity Group) Kick off 2012 Schedule
Chair Michele McCormick has lined up a season of golfing experiences for the group, which kicked off on April 5 at Teal Bend (pictures) and a Nine & Dine at Northridge (pictures) earlier this week.  Next up: May 22 at El Macero . Would you like to enjoy a day on the links with other ALFers with the same passion?  Contact the ALF office to get on the group's listserv for announcements. 

Women's Affinity Group Sharpens Focus, Sets Dates
Chaired by Susan Frazier, the group, after a number of discussions, has identified that their sessions focused on sharing are a really important part of this group.  The group has scheduled regular gathering dates - they are all Thursdays and are spaced six weeks apart to accommodate the possibility of programmed evenings.  Contact the ALF office to get on the group's listserv for announcements.

Interested in joining or want to start an new affinity group? Email Scot at the ALF office to be added to a listserv or to get a new group started.

ALF National's Book Project

Can you help us tell ALF's story? 

Many Fellows feel that ALF remains a well-kept secret, even in the Houston area where our sister chapter has thrived for 30 years!  There are now nine ALF chapters scattered across the United States and the ALF-National Board decided that it was time to tell our story so people in other communities might learn from what we have learned over the years.  The board has contracted with Jeff Golden, a Senior Fellow from ALF-Oregon, to do just that.  His first step is to get input from Senior Fellows throughout the country.  An email will follow shortly with a 12-question survey, but if you have a story that you'd really like to share but don't want to spend time writing in detail, he can be available for a 15-20 minute phone conversation.

Interested in participating?  Contact the ALF Office to get started.


Partner Profile: NEHEMIAH
A look at one of ALF's Community Partners

Nehemiah In 1994, Nehemiah Corporation of America ("Nehemiah") was established with a $5,000 loan from a Baptist church in Sacramento, California for the purpose of promoting homeownership and economic development for underserved populations and communities. Its first project supported the building of affordable senior housing for its congregation.

In 1997, Nehemiah designed and introduced the first privately funded down payment assistance program in the US, The Nehemiah Program. This program offered down payment assistance for low- to moderate-income families who had sufficient credit and income to qualify for a conventional loan but needed funds for a down payment.

From 1997-2008, the Nehemiah Program helped over 325,000 families achieve homeownership and delivered gift funds of over $1.5 billion to households that would otherwise have not been able to afford a down payment on a new home. As part of the Nehemiah Program, homebuyers also received valuable education courses that included financial management skills, budgeting, and credit management principles. While privately funded down payment programs are no longer available due to legislation passed in October of 2008, the economic and social benefits of The Nehemiah Program remain visible in our communities.

Find out more at

Have You Sent Your Sr. Fellows' Dues? 

Consider an additional gift to celebrate 15 years of ALF-MV

Many thanks to those who have responded so far - your support is critical to the operation of our chapter and providing services to our 350 (and growing) members!  A second request was mailed three weeks ago to those who have not yet responded. 

Over the past fifteen years, our chapter has awarded a cash value of nearly $1.1 million in scholarships for participants in our First Year Fellows Program, a program that costs us $12,500 per Fellow to provide. This commitment to our community supports the widest possible representation of diversity in our ever-expanding network. Scholarship funds are raised from the Exemplary Leader Awards Dinner and through Senior Fellows' gifts and contributions.

With dues at just $20/month, we hope all members will be able to participate in this level of support for ALF, but also ask you to consider giving more in celebration of 15 years of ALF in the Greater Sacramento region.  We value your membership -- if there are conditions that prevent you from contributing your dues, scholarships are available.  Please contact the ALF office to request a full or partial scholarship.

Checking In with ALFers on the Move

Here's a look at what some of your fellow Fellows are doing over the past month.  Wanna share your news? Email it to

Thanks again to Stephen Tse for his magic behind the camera!
don brownCLASS I
Don Brown recently took a 40-mile training bike ride that took him across the Carquinez Strait Bridge as he prepares for his 545 mile ride from SF to LA in early June (3 to 9).  This will be his third consecutive ride to raise funds for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.  Check out his website at  His goal this year is to personally raise $20,000 in donations.

Faith Whitmore was named  as "Woman of the Year" for Senate District Six by Senator Darrell Steinberg (Class V).  Faith is a Sacramento native who is Executive Director of Francis House.  Senator Steinberg recognized Faith as "a compassionate and courageous woman who is respected throughout the region for her leadership and dedication to families, the homeless, and the voiceless members of our society. A woman of great vision, Faith combines her passion for human rights with exemplary leadership and a sound sense of fiscal responsibility. Please join me in applauding her leadership and joining her in the trenches to make Sacramento an even better place to live."


Doug Pringle's organization, Disabled Sports USA Far West recently completed a week-long winter sports clinic for 20 wounded warriors disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan. The group included four double-leg amputees, three single-leg amputees, a triple amputee and several arm amputees. They will conduct a summer sports clinic in Sacramento for 20 wounded warriors in June. 



Susan Frazier has taken on the role of project consultant for the GiveLocalNow initiative, a movement that encourages residents of the Greater Sacramento Region to donate money to local nonprofits.   




Gail Johnson Vaughan reports she is busily working on two major initiatives. The first is supporting Sacramento County in making the decision to continue to provide permanent families for teens in foster care by continuing to reinvest the savings achieved through their highly effective Destination Family Youth Permanence Program.  This is an amazing win/win situation.  The youth get permanent families and the cost of the services are covered by reductions in cost in the same fiscal year.  The pilot comes up for renewal in June.  "It's not a done deal.  Support from the ALF community will make a difference.  Contact me at for more info."  The second initiative is to transform the way foster families are recruited in Placer and Nevada Counties.  Far too many of those children are placed out-of-county far from their natural supports.  "The children have way too many moves while in care and their permanency outcomes are not what they could be," Gail says.  The "You Are Today's Foster Parent" campaign re-brands foster care emphasizing that foster parents are a respected member of the child's team.  "Lots of ways our Placer County Fellows could help..."

Friends-CARE, Dorothy Montgomery's organization, holds their only fundraiser Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 at the Woodlake Hotel (formerly known as the Radisson), 6:00-9:00 PM.  Tickets are $100.00 and tables and sponsorships are available. Contact Dorothy for tickets: 916-446-3838. Friends-CARE works to break the cycle of generational crime by providing services, intervention, community resources, and programs for these families and supporting the appropriate relationships between inmates and their families upon returning to the community.

By virtue of community property laws, so says Celia McAdams, she is now a small business owner.  On March 11, Celia and her husband opened Practice Yoga (, a new studio featuring Ashtanga and the Yoga Wall.  It's located at 807 16th Street in Sacramento, in a building owned by fellow ALF-er Mark Friedman (Class VII).  Also, classmates know Celia for knitting through all kinds of ALF gatherings and other camping trips,  but it's not just a hobby anymore -- she's gone pro!  Her first knitting design and article was published in the February-April, 2012 issue of Cast On Magazine.  They liked it well enough to accept another design, which is slated for the August-October 2012 issue.  Yes, they paid her!



Merle Serlin just got a great new artwork commission.  To quote Bob Shallit from the Bee, this is her "biggest commission ever: a yearlong job to produce four pieces for a Fortune 500 company in San Antonio.  The job for NuStar Energy calls for four 5-foot-by-8-foot depictions of historic San Antonio buildings, including the Alamo and Mission San Jose."  The bad news, she says, is that "I'll be working my tail off this year!  So if you want to visit, bring a bag lunch to my studio!"



Wendy Rae Hill, after numerous weeks in the hospital leading up to his birth, welcomed Bentley Jordan Hill Tedrick on March 9, 2012, at 4lbs. 15ozs, 18 3/4 inches. Mama Carrie welcomed home Wendy and baby on March 17 and all are doing great!

Kevin Duggan has been named president and CEO of Mercy Foundation. Kevin brings nearly 15 years of experience in fundraising, strategic planning, business administration and program design to his new position. Prior to his appointment last September as interim president and CEO of the Foundation, he served as vice president of philanthropy, working closely with Mercy ministry leaders, the Foundation's Board of Trustees, other volunteer leaders, and the chief philanthropy officers at each of the Mercy hospitals within the Aviva MerewitzSacramento region.

Seth Merewitz and wife Tali are the proud new parents of Aviva Chenya, born in Santa Monica on March 21, 2012 at 7 lbs, 11 oz and 19.5 inches.  From the looks of the baby announcement, there's no shortage of excitement for this latest production in the Merewitz family.

Tina Reynolds has been appointed to the Board of Directors for Sacramento Steps Forward. Sacramento Steps Forward supports the  goal of ending homelessness with an important and profound mission that requires the ideas, insights and efforts of all individuals, organizations, businesses and agencies. Sacramento Steps Forward is an initiative to rally the community towards a shared and collective effort to end homelessness.

Mary Kimball's organization, Center for Land-based Learning, holds their DINNER ON THE FARM on Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 5pm to 9pm.  The event will raise funds for their award-winning youth education programs, ensuring more students get hands-on experience in sustainable agriculture on California's farms and ranches. Featuring fine outdoor dining, a special spring menu will be prepared straight from their farm to your table delicately prepared by Executive Chef Robbie Lewis and Chef Timothy Hilt of Bon Appétit Management Company.





Several Sr. Fellows traveled to China recently, joining a delegation from the California Asian Chamber of Commerce to highlight the state's large and diverse economy. Ambassadors included Pat Fong Kushida (Class IV), President/CEO California Asian Chamber of Commerce; Tim Yamauchi (Class IX), PRIDE Industries Executive VP and CFO; and David Hosley (Class VII), Interim Vice Chancellor-University Relations, University of CA, Merced. Their mission was to educate and inform their hosts about California's offerings in Investment, Food and Wine, Environment and Energy, Education and Information and High-Tech services and industries.  


Class XV Commencement Dinner
Friday, May 4
Celebrate with Class XV as they join the ranks of the Sr. Fellows

Class XVI Welcome Reception
Wednesday, May 23
Welcome the new class as they begin their journey through the ALF program

ALF Exemplary Leader Awards Dinner

Wednesday, October 3
Presented by Nehemiah, join us in honoring Vicki Barber, Joe Coomes & Tom Stallard with the Exemplary Leader Award