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Foundations High-Impact Advisory Circle Takes Shape
Advisory Circle pix

As part of its mission to build a culture of philanthropy in the region, Stanislaus Community Foundation has formed an Advisory Circle of local philanthropists who will engage with the organization in coming years to galvanize more local charitable investments.

The Advisory Circle gathered for its first luncheon earlier this month, with presentations by local leaders on topics including crime and safety, regional economics, education and homelessness. In convening this group, Stanislaus Community Foundation hopes to impact its larger vision of making Stanislaus County a community of choice where people live, work and thrive.

“We know that compared to other regions, Stanislaus is philanthropically under sourced,” said Marian Kaanon, Stanislaus Community Foundation’s President and CEO. “Our new Advisory Circle is a network that we plan to engage and learn with, over time. Our goal is to collectively galvanize strategic philanthropic investments in our community.”

To serve on the Advisory Circle, an individual must display: an aspirational and positive future vision for Stanislaus as a community with opportunity, a track record of significant philanthropic investment, knowledge of community issues, a commitment to learn more about community needs, and a local network of influence among peers.

Advisory Circle Members are Carol Bright Tougas, John Evans, Jeani Ferrari, Ron Foster, Dianne Gagos, Mike Gemperle, Michael L. Gianelli, James Gilbert, Clive Grimbleby, Jeff Grover, John Jacinto, Mark Jensen, Bill Lyons, Ron Martella, John Mayol, Nicole Pesco, Norman B. Porges, Edwin Rizo, John Rogers, Robert Stewart, Julie Gallo Vander Wall, Ann M. Veneman, Gary West and Steve Zeff.

Since 2002, Stanislaus Community Foundation has nurtured partnerships and grown charitable resources to advance the common good in Stanislaus County. The Foundation oversees more than 140 charitable funds with assets totaling $30 million. For more information visit