Bank of America Student Leaders

Since 2004, Student Leaders has been part of our ongoing commitment to youth employment and economic mobility. Preparing a diverse pipeline of community-minded young students with the leadership training they need to be successful in the workforce is vital to our approach to driving responsible growth and helps to build thriving communities. Through our Student Leaders program we connect more than 300 community-minded high school juniors and seniors from nearly 100 communities to employment, skills development and service. They’re awarded paid summer internships with local nonprofits such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity and participate in a national leadership summit in Washington, D.C. The Student Leaders Summit focuses on skill building and creating a more civically engaged society. Note: in-person events will be in line with local and national guidelines around gatherings and travel and may be subject to change.

If you or someone you know have a passion for improving the community, click here to see where the Student Leaders program operates and learn more about our eligibility criteria. Click here for FAQs on our Student Leaders program. The application period for the 2021 Student Leader program is November 2 – January 29, 2021. Apply Now 

Hanson Bridgett Names First Woman to Lead the Bay Area Law Firm

San Francisco law firm Hanson Bridgett LLP said Tuesday that Kristina Lawson became managing partner, effective at the start of this year.

Lawson, who was managing partner-elect throughout 2020, is the first woman to lead the firm. She succeeds Andrew Giacomini, who held the role for almost 20 years. During his tenure, Hanson Bridgett expanded to three new cities, including Los Angeles, and saw the firm grow to more than 180 attorneys.

Giacomini was also ahead of the curve in embracing employees working remotely. In January 2019, Giacomini told me that the firm was giving up an entire floor at 425 Market St. since so many of the firm’s people were working from home. The law firm estimated the move would save more than $13 million. He said cost-cutting wasn’t the key driver, but rather a way to allow employees to work more effectively.

“We’re building a law firm for the future, not the past,” Giacomini said in the 2019 interview. “The ability to work remotely is a competitive advantage in recruiting talent.”

Giacomini continues as a partner in the firm, focusing on his construction litigation practice as well as the firm’s government relations practice.

Hanson Bridgett, founded in 1958, ranked No. 13 on the San Francisco Business Times list of the 75 largest greater Bay Area law firms, published in January 2020, based on the number of attorneys in the region.

Lawson joined Hanson Bridgett in 2017, becoming part of the law firm’s real estate and environment section, which she led. Earlier in her career, Lawson was a member of the Walnut Creek City Council and later mayor of the East Bay city.

“In my work with Andrew last year to help steer the firm through the myriad business and personal challenges caused by Covid-19, as well as to address the industry-wide racial reckoning sparked by the murder of George Floyd, one thing was clear: Hanson Bridgett is a truly unique organization,” Lawson said.

In 2012, Lawson was recognized in the San Francisco Business Times’ 40 Under 40 publication. Her goal by the time she had reached 40: “Make a difference.”

Redwood Credit Union’s 2020 Fire Relief Fund Distributes $424,420, Wraps Up Fund

Redwood Credit Union Community Fund (RCUCF) announced today the 2020 Fire Relief Fund has collected and disbursed $424,420 from 847 donors to support the immediate needs of fire survivors.

Developed in 2013 to support financial wellness and education, RCUCF received 501(c)(3) status in 2015 to expand its mission to also address immediate disaster relief in response to regional wildfires and floods in the communities RCU serves.

Recognizing that fire season has become a recurring event, RCUCF decided to proactively open a dedicated 2020 Fire Relief Fund before disaster struck. From the Fund, one hundred percent of the tax-deductible donations from individuals and businesses were given to fire survivors—in four local counties—who lost their primary residence or experienced significant financial hardship due to evacuation or fire-related income loss⁠. RCU donated the staff time to administer distribution of the funds and worked with these nonprofit partners to support families: North Coast Opportunities and Catholic Charities in Lake County; Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership and Catholic Charities in Napa County; West Marin Community Services in Marin; and Community Action Partnership, Corazon Healdsburg, and Catholic Charities in Sonoma.

In total, the Fund provided direct assistance to more than 543 households and 81 school children. In keeping with the goal to provide immediate relief, the Fund closed on January 4, 2021, exactly four months after its opening.

“RCUCF stands ready to help when needed, but in a year as challenging as 2020, it’s been critical to have the support of local businesses and nonprofits too,” said Cynthia Negri, President of the Redwood Credit Union Community Fund. “We mobilized quickly to get money to families that desperately needed help.”

In Napa County where the home loss was greatest, RCUCF initiated a separate $75,000 matching challenge grant. Promoted by the Napa Chamber of Commerce, local businesses and residents stepped up to fully meet it, doubling the impact of their donations and raising an additional $150,000 (included in the above $424,420 total). 

About Redwood Credit Union Community Fund, Inc.

Redwood Credit Union Community Fund, Inc. (RCUCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to supporting wellness in its communities. Early in its development, the Fund’s focus was financial literacy, but in 2015, the Fund expanded to help community members after the Lake County fires. Now, in times of disaster, the Fund kicks in to provide housing and food security, community-building efforts to promote resilience, connection, and healing, and mental health and wellness efforts for those impacted by a disaster. To learn more about RCUCF, visit

About Redwood Credit Union
Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, and more. RCU has more than $6 billion in assets and serves approximately 375,000 members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, or visit

Sonoma Raceway Names Award-winning NASCAR Executive Jill Gregory Executive Vice President and General Manager

Acclaimed NASCAR executive and sports marketer Jill Gregory has been named the new Executive Vice President and General Manager at Sonoma Raceway. Speedway Motorsports President and Chief Executive Officer Marcus Smith made the announcement Tuesday.

Named by Adweek one of “The Most Powerful Women in Sports” for the past two years, Gregory assumes leadership of the historic 1,600-acre property where she attended her first NASCAR road course race as a teenager.

“Growing up in nearby Modesto, my cousins brought me to NASCAR races at Sonoma when I was in high school,” Gregory said. “I’ve been a true fan of this place for most of my life, and now I’m blessed with a leadership opportunity to return and inspire others to have the same love for the region that I do.”

Gregory will follow Steve Page who announced his retirement last August after nearly three decades at the helm of Sonoma Raceway.

“Jill Gregory has demonstrated innovative leadership in sports marketing for more than 25 years,” stated Smith. “She brings a background of not only professional accomplishment and familiarity with our company, but as a native of northern California, she also brings a passion for the region that makes her an exceptional successor to follow Steve Page’s distinguished career.

“I’m thrilled that Jill is joining us at Speedway Motorsports, and I look forward to seeing all that she and our Sonoma Raceway team will accomplish in the years ahead.”

“Starting with the vision of Speedway Motorsports founder Bruton Smith, I’ve always admired the company’s efforts to grow the sport of NASCAR and embrace innovative, new opportunities,” added Gregory. “I look forward to taking that same aggressive approach to further establish Sonoma Raceway as not only a premier destination for NASCAR and NHRA events, but also elevating the historic road course as a year-round tourism and driving-experience attraction.

“I’m grateful to have worked with such a talented team of people at NASCAR, and I look forward to continuing those professional relationships from a new trackside perspective on the West Coast.”

Gregory is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Content Officer at NASCAR and the managing executive of the company’s Charlotte-based operations. She leads the marketing, media, communications, broadcasting and diversity and inclusion functions for NASCAR, and is responsible for the sanctioning body’s digital platform, including, the NASCAR Mobile app and fantasy games. Gregory will continue in her current role through January pending transition plans and begin her new position at Sonoma Raceway Feb. 1.

“Jill’s strategic leadership has successfully guided our sport through incredibly complex challenges, all while reinventing how we engage our fans and grow this sport,” said Steve Phelps, President of NASCAR. “The impact of her legacy driving smart change management and continuous improvement will be felt for years in our operation and we look forward to partnering with Jill in her new role.”

During her tenure at NASCAR, Gregory revamped NASCAR’s marketing, content and fan development strategies to elevate strategic planning and enhance collaboration across the industry. She also launched an effort to refresh and modernize the NASCAR brand, significantly elevated the sport’s diversity and inclusion platform, and was a key leader in NASCAR’s drive to become the first major league sport to return to live competition during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to joining NASCAR, Gregory was the Senior Vice President of Motorsports Marketing for Bank of America, and previously served as Director of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series marketing program for Sprint Nextel. In 2011, Gregory was selected for the inaugural class of “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business” by Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily.

Gregory earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and is a member of the Board of Directors for The NASCAR Foundation.

Dominican University of California Selected As School of National Service

Dominican University of California has been named a School of National Service by AmeriCorps in recognition of the University’s commitment to public service as a way to help pay for college.

AmeriCorps launched Schools of National Service on December 15. This new initiative is designed to help more AmeriCorps alumni achieve their higher education goals. By participating in the program, colleges and universities can gain access to the more than 1.2 million AmeriCorps alumni who have earned Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards.

Dominican’s Civic Action Fellowship offers incoming first-year students substantial scholarship support and an Eli Segal Federal Education Award in return for service in the community.

“AmeriCorps has a long history of partnership with higher education and this new initiative will continue that legacy by highlighting schools that are committed to the public good,” said Barbara Stewart, CEO of AmeriCorps, when making the announcement.

In 2020, Dominican partnered with California Volunteers and AmeriCorps to launch the Civic Action Fellowship, which integrates service and academic work with a focus on career preparation and community engagement. Dominican led eight California universities in developing this first-of-its-kind program, which is modeled after the Reimagining Citizenship initiative that began in 2018 as a partnership between Dominican and the City of Novato while California Volunteers CEO Josh Fryday was serving as the city’s mayor.

Meet Some of Dominican’s Civic Action Fellows:

  • Isa Ferris ’24, a first-year student from San Anselmo, came to Dominican to major in International Studies and run on the Penguins’ cross country team, but the biggest attraction was becoming a Civic Action Fellow with an opportunity to make a difference in the community. “I was drawn to Dominican because of the strong Service-Learning program and community outreach focus,” Isa says. “I felt like only at Dominican could I continue a high level of community involvement while also being a full-time student.”  This fall Isa worked with Canal Alliance, tutoring ESL students.
  •  Noah Pascual ‘24, a first-year student from San Francisco majoring in Political Science, is adjusting to his role at SPAHR LBGTQ Youth Group, his Civic Action Fellow’s assignment. He is honored to participate. “I was inspired to be a Civic Action Fellow because I felt that helping others in the local community would be really beneficial for me. Learning to foster change in an environment that’s new to me is exciting,” Noah says.
  • Oswaldo Calderon ‘24, a first-year student from Chula Vista majoring in Business, is a Penguins’ soccer player whose Civic Action Fellows’ partner site is at Canal Alliance in workforce development. He is inspired assisting and guiding hard-working people in the process of acquiring their construction license. He was also inspired by AmeriCorps’ motto and goals. “I wanted to be a part of a program that truly worked to make a change in the community,” he says “Being a part of this organization is truly honorable and a big responsibility. I plan to use this achievement to grow as a person and help as many people as I can. I hope to use my skills that I’ve learned and the experience to be able to make a change in our community in the future.”
  • Alyssa De Casas ‘21, a Biological Sciences major from Windsor, wants to give back to her hometown for the way the community has supported her and her success. Her fellowship role is in the Canal Alliance’s University Prep where she is supporting fourth through sixth graders with their distance learning and homework, specifically in STEM classes. “I am becoming a part of something amazing and I am taking on great responsibility to help communities,” Alyssa says. “I plan on finding a way to incorporate everything I’ve learned from the Civic Action Fellowship into my career. I plan to continue trying to find new ways to help and better my community.”

Civic Action Fellows are eligible to receive a substantial scholarship per academic year for incoming first-year students and the Eli Segal Federal Education Award after the completion of their service term. Students also receive 10 units of academic credit for the internship that is embedded into their service and six units of coursework designed to increase civic knowledge and effective practices in community engagement.

Redwood Credit Union Honored in the 2020 GonzoBanker Awards

GonzoBankers of the Year

Brett Martinez, Redwood Credit Union, Santa Rosa, Calif. Let us break it down for you. In the past decade, Mr. Martinez and his Gonzo team have quadrupled the credit union from $1.7 billion to $6+ billion while increasing net worth from 7% to 11.5% and knocking out a 1.25% ROA in a margin-compressed COVID year. But here’s the real kicker – Redwood simply bleeds its member focus and commitment to community. Once again in a year of pandemic, wildfires and social unrest, the Redwood team has been both a financial and hands-on leader of relief and commitment. Bravo Brett and team!

To see the entire article and winners click this Link

PG&E Employee Resource Group and Engineering Network Group Scholarships

Each of the ERG and ENG scholarships below are supported in part by PG&E and through fundraising and contributions made by members of these employee groups and fellow employees. These groups not only help bring our employees together, but also provide an essential bridge of communication to our diverse customers. Each group awards scholarships to students who have shown commitment to specific communities or causes.

Eligibility guidelines

Applicants for ALL of the scholarships listed below must:

  • Be a high school senior or graduate, have received GED certification or be an undergraduate or postsecondary undergraduate student. Veterans and adults returning to school are encouraged to apply.
  • Have a primary residence that is a PG&E customer in California at the time of application.
  • Plan to enroll full-time in an accredited college or university in the Fall.
  • ERG or ENG scholarships do not have gender or race requirements. Thus, students are encouraged to apply to more than one or all eligible scholarships.

For more and specific information on this please visit the website below:

Congratulations to the NBLC Members Recognized by North Bay Business Journal’s Nonprofit Leadership Awards

Helping to make the area a better place to live in a variety of ways, here are the individuals and organizations which received this year’s Journal Nonprofit Leadership Awards.


Walt Basinger

Volunteer Lead, Redwood Empire Food Bank

Alberto Botello

Camp Director – Camp Geneva Nunez, California Human Development

Omar Carrera

CEO, Canal Alliance

Che Casul

CEO, The Center for Social & Environmental Stewardship

Donna Cates

Board President, Becoming Independent

Duskie Estes

Executive Director, Farm to Pantry

Paul Fordham

Deputy Executive Director, Homeward Bound of Marin

Greg Friedman

Board Member, The Marine Mammal Center

Barbara Grasseschi

Board member, Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County

Tallia Hart

CEO, Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce

Maureen Highland

Executive Director, Petaluma Educational Foundation

Blanca Huijon

Executive Director, Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center

Ron Karp

Executive Director, Food for Thought

Ryan Klobas

CEO, Napa County Farm Bureau

Peg Maddocks

Executive Director, NapaLearns

Anita Maldonado

CEO, Social Advocates for Youth

Len Marabella

CEO, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa

Stephen Meacham

Marketing Committee Chair, Board Member, Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation

Karissa Moreno

Executive Director, Northern California Center for Well-Being

Suzie Randall

Interim Executive Director, Okizu

Mike Smylie

Executive Director, Gilead House

Bob Sonnenberg

CEO, Earle Baum Center of the Blind

Lise Tarner

Director, Past President, Boys and Girls Clubs of Napa Valley

Kathleen Woodcock

Director of Community Resources, Fund Development, Marin Center for Independent Living

Buck Institute Names Malene Hansen as Chief Scientific Officer

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging is pleased to announce the appointment of Malene Hansen PhD to the position of Professor and Chief Scientific Officer. She will begin her transition to the Buck on February 1, 2021 and fully assume the position effective August 1, 2021.

In this role, and in conjunction with Eric Verdin, MD, Buck President and Chief Executive Officer, Hansen will be responsible for providing leadership and guiding the strategic scientific direction of the Institute. She will also oversee research operations, faculty development, postdoc and student mentoring, and internal and external collaborations in support of this strategy.

“We couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Malene to the Buck,” says Verdin. “She is an extraordinary scientist with the background, vision, and skills necessary to enhance our leadership position in the field of research on aging and to accelerate our mission. Malene will play a critical role in leading our faculty and in enhancing our postdoctoral and graduate programs. She will also be a critical component of our relationships with academic institutions, biotech and pharmaceutical industry collaborators, and philanthropic supporters.”

Hansen comes to the Buck from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute where she is a professor in the Development, Aging and Regeneration Program. She is also associate dean of Student Affairs at Sanford Burnham Prebys’ Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, faculty adviser of Postdoctoral Training, and director of the Research and Development Core at San Diego’s Nathan Shock Center. Hansen is a global leader in the field of research on aging, and she is currently the chair of the National Institutes of Health’s Cellular Mechanisms of Aging and Development Study Section.

Hansen holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Copenhagen, and completed additional training at the University of North Carolina and Scripps Research. Prior to joining Sanford Burnham Prebys, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular genetics in the lab of Cynthia Kenyon PhD, while at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

“I am truly excited to join the Buck, not only because our field is at an inflection point for breakthrough discoveries that may help extend healthspan, but especially because I look forward to working with the terrific team of scientists and leadership there,” says Hansen. Her lab works to understand the molecular mechanisms that affect the process of aging using a combination of genetic, cytological and biochemical approaches, with a particular focus on the relationship between the cellular recycling process autophagy and aging.

Dominican University of California Recognized for Age-Friendly Programs

When Dominican University of California last month was designated an age-friendly university by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, it joined a network of more than 70 institutions around the world that have committed to becoming more age-friendly in their programs and policies.

Dominican is one of a handful of universities in California to have the designation, which heightens its credibility in its own local communities, said Dr. Ruth Ramsey, dean of Dominican’s School of Health and Natural Sciences. The other universities are California State University, Long Beach; California State University, San Bernardino; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Southern California; Palo Alto University; and Stockton University.

“I think it creates opportunities for our faculty to partner with other schools and to apply for grant funds to be part of initiatives that will advance this whole age-friendly perspective,” said Ramsey. “We’ve been doing this work for at least the last 20 years.”

A lot of the age-friendly work revolves around Dominican’s occupational therapy department, which Ramsey established early on when she joined the university 25 years ago.

“I became interested in these issues of aging, really, because I was at that point in my life caring for my aging father and seeing the challenges and the issues,” she said. “This has become a real focus of my professional work over the years.”

Ramsey said she feels fortunate to have other people at Dominican advancing the work, including Gina Tucker-Roghi, assistant professor in the department of occupational therapy.

Last year, Tucker-Roghi was awarded a $300,000 Geriatrics Academic Career Award grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant is provided over four years, at $75,000 a year, and is intended to develop resources and training opportunities for occupational therapists and other health care providers who serve older adults with dementia, which is Tucker-Roghi’s specialty,

“The federal government through this funding is trying to create really dynamic, educated faculty that are passionate about geriatrics so that we can create health care professionals that are equally passionate about geriatrics,” she said.

And that can be challenging.

“A lot of our students come into our occupational therapy program wanting to go into pediatric practice, for instance,” Tucker-Roghi said. “Given the shifting demographics in our country, we need a fair amount of our graduates … who are being trained in health care to go into geriatrics.”

Tucker-Roghi exposes students to opportunities in geriatrics by matching them with community partners, such as skilled nursing facilities. Some of that work is on hold during the pandemic because the top priority is to keep the residents safe, she said.

But Dominican has a number of partnerships, including with Marin Villages and the Council of Aging in Sonoma County.

Before COVID-19, Dominican’s occupational therapy students participated in the Sonoma County Council on Aging’s adult-day program for older people with dementia. The students provided respite to the caregivers on-site. Since the pandemic, they have pivoted to giving the caregivers managing their loved ones at home a break, either through socially distant visits or through video conference conversations.

Dominican also has collaborated for years with Marin Villages, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps older adults stay active, connected and independent within their own homes, said Cheryl Sorokin, president.

Students participate in a variety of programs, though the opportunities these days are more limited during the pandemic. But there was one recent project that stood out.

Marin Villages paired a number of its members with Tucker-Roghi’s students to create a personal profile, a document that goes into an older person’s medical file if they’re hospitalized. The students created a number of personal profiles through phone conversations with Marin Villages members, Sorokin said.

“A lot of older people when they enter the hospital are incapable, really, of explaining their preferences” because delirium is a common problem among elderly people, she said. The documents contain information, such as a dislike for loud TVs or a need for extra blankets for someone who tends to feel cold.

Ramsey said statistics show the global population of people over the age of 60 will double from 11% in 2006, to 22% by 2050.

“We’ll all have to become more age savvy,” she said.