Builders of the Field highlights philanthropic leaders who financially partner with the Network to support our work in the nonprofit community.
Chris Weil formed The Weil Company (now dba Christopher Weil & Company, Inc.) in 1989 to provide a platform to do his own investing and to advise and manage wealth for others; and investing “for our own account” remains an important component of what they do. The principals of CWC co-invest alongside their clients in all recommended investments.
Why do you give back to non-profits?
What people call “giving back” seems as natural to us at Christopher Weil & Company, Inc. as breathing out after breathing in. It would be unhealthy to the extreme to live by taking in only. All of life is characterized by taking in and giving out. Philanthropy is simply an instance of this. It is a healthy way to live.
What motivated you to make a gift to the Fieldstone Leadership Network?
I have known Janine Mason for many years and have admired her work in the various venues in which we have collaborated. Therefore, when she asked to talk with me about Fieldstone and to support its work, it was an easy and informed decision.
What impact do you think the Fieldstone Leadership Network makes on our community?
I am not a graduate of a Fieldstone program, but I know a number of people who are. In discussions with them there is a sense that the Fieldstone Leadership Network has allowed them to make material contributions, not just to their own institutions, but to their communities as well.
Do you have any personal stories you would like to share as the result of working with or benefitting from the Fieldstone Leadership Network?
It turns out that I know three Executive Directors who are beneficiaries of Fieldstone’s Clare Rose Sabbatical program. Each has testified to a radical improvement in their leadership skills when returning to work. I don’t think it is just coincidental that, in all three cases after their sabbaticals, their organizations experienced demonstrable improvements in operations, service delivery, development and employee satisfaction.
First Republic Bank Partners with Fieldstone Leadership Network to Sponsor the 2019 Fieldstone@4 Series
The Fieldstone Leadership Network (FLN) is proud to announce its partnership with First Republic Bank as the official sponsor of the 2019 Fieldstone@4 events in San Diego and Orange Counties. “This is a partnership with great synergy because we both share the core belief of investing in our nonprofit leaders,” said FLN Executive Director, Janine Mason.
First Republic Bank is committed to developing deeper relationships with non-profits. They believe that donating time, money and knowledge to those who are best placed to make a difference to the lives of many is the right thing to do. They also uphold a key focus in creating inclusive opportunities for our community.
The 2019 Fieldstone@4 events will be held quarterly in San Diego and Orange Counties. Based on the theory of the Third Place, each event features members of the Fieldstone Leadership Network sharing their personal wisdom and experience on a topic relevant to nonprofit leadership. Each event is open to all participants of the Fieldstone Leadership Network. For a calendar of events and topics, please visit our website at www.fieldstoneleadership.orgRead More
The Fieldstone Leadership Network (FLN) is pleased to announce that it has formalized another partnership agreement with the Clare Rose Foundation to continue to offer sabbaticals for nonprofit leaders in Orange and San Diego Counties. Available to leaders with at least 10 years of executive experience leading a nonprofit, the Clare Rose Sabbatical program began 5 years ago and has awarded 19 capacity building sabbaticals thus far. The program is offered as part of the Fieldstone Leadership Network with a goal of increasing the capacity of the individual leader by offering time for rest and renewal while providing the agency’s leadership team the opportunity to lead the organization and expand their professional experience. The program offers four opportunities, valued at $50,000 each, every year.
“The past five years have been a wonderful success and we are excited about continuing our relationship with Fieldstone. Their years of experience in leadership development and the reputation of their programs make them well-positioned to continue to reach our shared goals of sustaining and supporting nonprofit leaders with this program.” said Anne Vincent, President of the Clare Rose Foundation.
According to Janine Mason, Executive Director and President of the FLN, “it is an extraordinary experience to find a partner with whom your organizational values align. Fieldstone and Clare Rose share similar philosophies which makes working together easy, effective and pure joy. It is a great privilege to be able to make this opportunity available to those leading in the nonprofit sector.”
FLN and Clare Rose Foundation anticipate working with an additional 20 organizations over the course of the next five years.
You are invited to apply for this once-in-a lifetime opportunity! Please share this opportunity with your colleagues who might also feel called to this experience. Additional information can be found on our website, where you can watch a video and hear from recent sabbatical recipients, read the Durfee report, and review the application and timeline.Read More
The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership
Hear how the Fieldstone Leadership Network has supported the growth and development of Lee Ann Kim, Founder of Pacific Arts Movement. As we move closer to Thanksgiving, we are grateful for her story and her invitation to keep the work going for other nonprofit leaders in our community.
Courage has nothing to do with our determination to be great.
It has to do with what we decide in that moment when we are called upon to be more.
In these turbulent and challenging times, leaders often need courage to stay true to deeply held values amid the complexity of roles and responsibilities. For those who serve our communities, it’s especially crucial that there is time and space to renew spirits, reflect on purpose and reignite the passion that underlies the work. Recognizing this need, FLN offered a three day leadership retreat called The Courage Way: Fortifying Nonprofit Leaders. Last week, 24 nonprofit leaders gathered in Malibu for this unique professional and personal development experience.
Designed to provide meaningful opportunities for individual learning and group reflection as well as space for leaders to slow down and move at a different pace, Serra Retreat Center, perched above the Pacific Ocean, provided breathtaking views and quiet spaces to support the intentionality of the retreat’s goals. Led by facilitators Janine Mason and Sue Carter Kahl, leaders were provided with tools and time to explore the connection of who they are with what they do. While reflecting on their “true work”, time and space were also provided for leaders to build relationships with other leaders and to take time for themselves. The grounds offered plenty of walking paths and a labyrinth to complement and encourage the work.
“The learnings and fellowship of the retreat were life changing and deep beyond measure” according to Scott Larson, CEO of HomeAid OC. Carolyn Zollars of the San Diego Botanic Gardens concurred saying “I am so grateful to have been able to step away from my “every day” work to participate. I look forward to implementing better ways to interact with my team members and fellow leaders going forward. ” Janie Wolicki Best of WHW in Orange County summed up her experience by saying; the retreat is “an amazing program to help nonprofit leaders to have courage, to be centered and to recharge”.
Participants in the retreat were, as pictured above, Back row– Vanessa Davis, Just in Time for Foster Youth; Michelle Ginn, Carlsbad Education Foundation; Kevin O’Neill, SAY San Diego; Lisa Wood, Casa Teresa; Gil Brady, Nativity Prep; Third Row – Scott Larson, HomeAid OC; Nadia Babayi, Laguna Beach Seniors; Teresa Stivers, Walden Family Services; Mia Roseberry, Wounded Warrior Homes; Joe Buehrle, SAY San Diego; Kristianne Kurner, New Village Arts; Second Row – Cat Corral, TransenDANCE; Natalie Julien, Thomas House Family Shelter; Janie Wolicki Best, WHW; Carolyn Zollars, SD Botanic Gardens; Front Row – Sue Carter Kahl, Facilitator, Bonnie Benitez, Consumer Attorneys of SD; Sheila Romanski, Crystal Roses; Sonay Caruso, FLN; Nancy Batterman, Options for All; Wendy Weeks, Youth Employment Services; Janine Mason, FLN & Facilitator; and Trina Hester, KPBS.
The retreat was based on the Circle of Trust approach developed by Parker Palmer and the Center for Courage and Renewal. Trained and certified as facilitators, Sue and Janine, created a “safe space” that welcomed the soul to show up. In solitude, and large-and-small group discussions, leaders were invited to reflect deeply using poetry, nature, art and various wisdom traditions as guides. The retreat also included training on asking honest, open-ended questions. This training culminated with each leader participating in a Clearness Committee, a process of discernment that lets one hear their inner voice and wisdom. It was the capstone of the retreat experience.
Leadership Retreats are offered as part of the Fieldstone Leadership Network’s continuum of programs to support nonprofit leadership in Orange and San Diego Counties. The retreat is offered bi-annually. For more information, visit https://fieldstoneleadership.org/leadership-retreat
and watch this short video on our November retreat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wImR6a8q4rkRead More
As part of our Leadership Reading Group Program, author Scott A. Huesing joined San Diego leaders to discuss leadership and his best selling book, Echo in Ramadi.
Echo in Ramadi is a captivating story of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines during the Second Battle of Ramadi in support of Multi National Forces Surge Strategy in 2006. It is a snapshot of a time that changed the face of operations on the battlefield and provides insight into how Huesing led young men as they began to battle through firefights and raids in the urban battlefield of Ramadi, Iraq. It is a story of sacrifice and survival, the unbreakable bonds of brotherhood and the importance of human connection.
Huesing is a retired United States Marine Corps Infantry Major with 24 years of honorable service, both enlisted and as a commissioned officer. During his career, spanning 10 deployments to over 60 countries worldwide, including Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, he planned, led and conducted hundreds of combat missions under some of the most austere and challenging conditions. While Huesing is a proven combat leader, he insists, “there is no such thing as combat leadership, just leadership”.
As part of our discussion with Huesing, he expounded on his commitment to train and develop leaders throughout his company and how this translates outside of the military and extends to an organization, his philosophy of doing the “little things”, the importance of authenticity, and simplifying the objective so everyone on the team understands what a win looks like. Huesing also discussed “friction” and how it pays to be prepared for the unexpected.
Currently, Huesing serves as the executive director of Save the Brave, a nonprofit that connects veterans to each other through outreach and share experiences to help them build community and heal from the trauma and stress of combat.
Fieldstone’s Leadership Reading Group brings nonprofit professionals together to study leadership through literature. With a goal of creating well-read nonprofit leaders while imparting facilitation skills and building trusted relationships among nonprofit leaders, the Leadership Book Club offers a unique opportunity to study and develop leadership in a communal setting. Currently, Fieldstone hosts four groups in both San Diego and Orange Counties. Groups start each September. More information and applications are on our website under the Programs tab.
Decades of research has found that when youth of color internalize rigid ideals of femininity and masculinity, they have markedly lower life outcomes in a cluster of related areas that include health, education, reproductive health, and economic security. Yet few nonprofit organizations or their funding partners are encouraged to do innovative work around gender like they are with race and class.
Yesterday, as part of our Crossroads and Turning Points program, the Fieldstone Leadership Network hosted Riki Wilchins, Executive Director of TrueChild. Riki discussed the need for nonprofits to consider gender and gender norms as essential lens for their program strategy. The discussion called for us to reconnect race, class, and gender in an “intersectional” approach that would dramatically improve the socioeconomic outcomes for youth of color.
This program was made possible through a strategic partnership with San Diego Grantmakers and offered as part of its Summit on Advancing Gender Equality. This partnership makes available the opportunity for leaders of nonprofit organizations to be exposed to the same speaker and knowledge from which their funding partners are learning. Our hope is that a mutual understanding of issues and best practices will lead to a shared understanding of program design and strengthen the effectiveness of the funding process.
Our thanks to FLN member, Mama’s Kitchen, for hosting this training session.Read More
The rain to the wind said,
“you push and I’ll pelt.”
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt.
And lay lodged – though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.
This week, we lost a dear and important member of the Fieldstone Family. David R. Langlois, original board member of the Fieldstone Foundation passed away after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Dave was the first person recruited by Peter Ochs and Keith Johnson to join them as they established The Fieldstone Company in 1981. Dave was responsible for the building operations of the Orange County region and served on the company’s foundation board since its inception. He was the foundation president for 29 years before he stepped down in 2012 as part of his retirement plans.
During his time as President of the foundation, Dave served with a clarity of vision and a purity of heart. He understood the deep impact a grant from the foundation could have on the agency and the clients it served. Dave also recognized the importance of human capital and volunteered as a board member for Habitat for Humanity, International. As part of his work with Habitat, Dave coordinated Fieldstone’s support of the first multi-family Habitat community to be built in Rancho Santa Margarita located in south Orange County in the late 1980’s. Dave also recruited others to support the effort, which resulted in 48 families having a forever home. Former President Jimmy Carter came to the community groundbreaking to celebrate.
Dave and his wife, Luana, were also active with The Wooden Floor in Santa Ana, California. The Wooden Floor is a creative youth development nonprofit that helps underserved children achieve success in all parts of their life using the vehicle of dance. Dave was thrilled and impressed by the young people and how hard they worked to perform in their shows and to do well in school. His love of this work was the inspiration for Fieldstone’s gift to A Step Beyond, which was made to honor Dave for his various contributions to our communities. Based on the model of the Wooden Floor, A Step Beyond is located on the campus of the Center for the Arts, Escondido. The agency is currently building the Dave Langlois Youth Center, which will house much needed space to expand its services. A matching gift from Fieldstone enabled A Step Beyond to raise the necessary capital quickly and the building is expected to be completed and opened in October 2018.
Dave was a gifted and talented man. He was a fighter pilot in the Navy, a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was a business leader and a faithful servant. He was a man of deep integrity, generous compassion and unwavering faith. He loved his routines, disliked wearing a tie and looked forward to his beer at the end of the day. In all of his roles and activities, Dave was respected and admired by those he encountered. He inspired people to do and be their best. He made Fieldstone better for being part of the family.
Today we “know how the flowers felt.” But we also know, as Dave would remind us, that he is in a better place. So slowly, we will rise again and continue our work in the world. The way Dave would want us to.
Not being a man who liked too much attention, no services are planned at this time. But you are invited to grab a beer, say a prayer of thanksgiving in whatever way feels good to you, and toast to a very good man.Read More
Throughout our history, Fieldstone has always included the insight and wisdom of its nonprofit partners to help it craft its strategic direction. We believe the inclusion of the leaders we serve has played a key role in our ability to design and offer the services needed by the sector. Last week, this tradition continued as ten nonprofit leaders from Orange and San Diego Counties joined Fieldstone Leadership Network staff for a two-day strategic focusing workshop.
Using the Network’s framework of “Build, Deepen and Sustain”, the workshop was facilitated by Tom Hall of AlbertHall Associates. The group used its time together to explore our current leadership offerings and examine how our work remains relevant in addressing the needs of nonprofit leaders and their organizations, what offerings need to be created and which ones, if any, should be eliminated or modified. The group also worked to further develop our newly launched Creative Encounters by Fieldstone program and to kick start our new fundraising and development efforts.
Each of our thought partners is an active member of our Network and each of our eight leadership development programs was represented by someone in the cohort. Our thanks to the following leaders for sharing their wisdom and time with us:
- Vince Beresford; In-N-Out, Slave 2 Nothing Foundation
- Joe Buehrle; SAY San Diego
- Shana Buxser; CHOC
- Matt D’Arrigo, Clare Rose Foundation
- Vanessa Davis, Just in Time for Foster Youth
- Torrie Dunlap; Kids Included Together
- Don Han; Orange County Human Relations
- Gladys Hernandez, Habitat for Humanity, OC
- Kathie Lembo; South Bay Community Services
- Katie Sawyer; San Diego Women’s Foundation
Despite our hard work and higher than expected temperatures, fun was had by all. As one of the participants shared, “it was everything I love about Fieldstone – deep and meaningful conversation with passionate colleagues, nurturing old connections and forming new ones, wonderful hospitality and a sense of being truly cared for, and the possibility of greater impact on the world as a result!”
The Fieldstone Leadership Network is pleased to announce the addition of Sonya Caruso to our team. Sonya joins us at our first ever Director of Development. In this role, she is responsible for creating, implementing and growing Foundation-wide donor relations in Orange and San Diego Counties. Her efforts will be key as the Fieldstone Leadership Networks continues its transition from a fully funded corporate foundation to a private operating foundation supported by others in the community who also value the leadership development of our nonprofit sector.
Sonya received her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. She holds a Masters degree in Non-Profit Management from the University of Oregon. During her post-graduate studies she earned the Academic Achievement Laurel Award Scholarship. To further her expertise, she earned a Certification in Fundraising Management (CFRM) from Indiana University.
Sonya’s passion for stewarding non-profits to achieve a greater impact and effectiveness has resulted in 20 years of experience in non-profit development. Throughout her career, she has worked in key positions both nationally and internationally. Her experience includes working for organizations like the Ronald McDonald House Charities (Minneapolis), the University of Oregon Museum of Natural History, the John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts, Sportstar Marketing Group (Italy) and the San Diego Museum of Arts. In 2007, Sonya was selected as the Executive Director of the Escondido Education Foundation where her vision and execution substantially contributed to the financial stability, growth and overall impact of the organization. Sonya has also worked within a diverse array of philanthropic sectors as a consultant, helping each client leverage their capacity and adjust their organizational culture to uncover growth opportunities. Some of her clients included the California Music Project, the National Association for Autism Research, the Council of Korean Americans and the Pacific Dental Services Foundation.
Sonya is active within her local philanthropic community. She has volunteered in a leadership capacity as the Chair of the Ashley Falls Jog-A-Thon, an Advisory Board Member of Villa Musica and on the Gala Committee for Ocean Discovery Institute.
Sonya is an avid runner and has completed several marathons. Running and yoga are a key part of her daily lifestyle. She is also a member of the outdoor fitness group, “Gut Check” San Diego. Her active and growing family is at the heart of it all. With two athletic boys, you will often find her at their races or soccer, football and basketball games. Sonya is a nature enthusiast who loves local, national and international travel and the ability to learn about and experience new destinations and cultures. Over the years, she has a nurtured passion for Italy and spent over two years living in Sardinia in the hometown of her husband.
Please join us in welcoming Sonya to the Fieldstone Family!