Mission & Vision

The North Valley Community Foundation provides visionary community leadership by identifying emerging challenges in our region. NVCF brings together diverse groups of problem-solvers, mobilizes resources, and equips community leaders. We build and energize a community of engaged citizens and philanthropists who strengthen the common good.

Community Visionaries

NVCF identifies emerging challenges in our region and addresses them by bringing together diverse groups of problem-solvers, mobilizing resources, and equipping community leaders.

Community-benefit projects sometimes need a place to incubate their ideas without having to become independent nonprofit organizations. We support, champion, and provide services to unincorporated nonprofit projects that benefit the community.

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Our Team

The North Valley Community Foundation is made up of a dynamic team that shares a common belief that each person has an opportunity to make their impact on the world around them. It delights us to serve our community to make it a better place for everyone.
Alexa Benson-Valavanis
President & CEO

Alexa took the post of CEO in July of 2005. Under her leadership the Foundation developed a new business model aimed at driving social innovation locally and around the globe. During her tenure, NVCF has established 500 charitable funds and raised more than $60 million for social good. Assets under management have grown from $1 million to more than $19 million.

Bill Hubbard
Chief Financial Officer

Bill brings decades of experience with the Foundation to his current work on our team. His background in accounting, nonprofit law, and real estate offers our team the knowledge and expertise of a true professional, while understanding the heart and history of our community foundation.

Debbie Blue
Executive Assistant

Debbie offers welcome to each person and group who comes to the Foundation to meet with our team. Meanwhile, she manages countless details for our contracts, organizes us daily, and supports all of our efforts with a smile.

Carolyn Engstrom
Office Manager

Carolyn joins our finance team as a staff assistant and detail guru. She is the primary interface with all our clients who use our financial services. She has a background in accounting and thrives in an active and complex office environment.

Lisa Finwall
Financial Consultant

Lisa is a can-do team member focusing on the social bank — solving problems, managing requests, and staying on top of a million details.

Courtney Brown

Our Finance team is complete with Courtney in the mix. Her charm, love of data, and financial prowess are assets we know will serve our clients for years to come.

Chris Hayashida-Knight
Director of Operations

Chris brings 20 years of information technology and operations experience to NVCF. He helps keep systems running smoothly and efficiently.

Katie Good
Program Coordinator

Katie draws on her experience as an educator and reading specialist to oversee Reading Pals, our community reading program in partnership with the Chico Unified School District.

Logan Todd
Communication and Program Coordinator

Logan brings his experience in design and communication to the NVCF team with special focus on how to help our clients communicate with social impact.

Tatiana Briggs
Administrative Specialist

Tatiana brings organization and generosity to the many administrative projects required by the business of NVCF. Her keen eye for detail makes everyone’s work flow more smoothly.

Board of Directors

Sherry Holbrook

Co-Chair NVCF Grants Committee
Owner, Holbrook Furniture
Founder and President, Orphan Care International

Joe Wilson

Public Affairs Manager, Pacific Gas & Electric Company

Deborah Rossi

Co-Chair NVCF Development Committee
VP Investments, Stifel Nicolaus

Vanessa Sundin

Sundin Law Office

Earl Jessee

Senior Consultant, Matson & Isom Technology Consulting

Diane Ruby

CFO, Sheraton Real Estate Management

Janet Wietbrock

Caring Communities, The Hignell Companies

Farshad Azad

9th Degree Black Belt V.P. World Hapkido Association

Manoah Mohanraj

Director of Physical Rehabilitation at Meredian Management services.

Program Sponsorships

The North Valley Community Foundation helps new community charitable programs without nonprofit status get off the ground by providing fiscal and administrative support as well as insurance coverage.

Social Venture Incubator

NVCF helps identify and launch the next generation of high impact social ventures. We invest in bold ideas, providing changemakers with a comprehensive set of innovative resources to profit the world.


One of our greatest contributions to the community is our ability to bring people together to engage in public discussions and problem-solving.


Community leadership requires collaboration and we partner with other foundations, corporations, nonprofits, donors and government agencies on cross-sector solutions that multiply our reach and impact.


NVCF offers the knowledge, skills and tools to help community members be as effective as possible in working with others to create the future together.

Whether you are an established or emerging leader or work in business, government, education, or public service, each of us has an important role to play in making our organizations and communities all they can be.

Reading Pals

Reading Pals is a local literacy campaign started by community members who recognize the importance of reading and the implications that illiteracy will have on our community if the problem is not addressed. 

We are committed to providing every child an opportunity for an excellent education through one-on-one reading help for students who currently do not read at grade level with a focus on 3rd grade.

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Clean & Safe Chico

Clean & Safe Chico is an action group comprised of diverse organizations that have come together to address growing concerns about cleanliness and safety issues in Chico through collaborative problem-solving, resource-sharing, research, and advocacy. All participants vet the projects presented under the Clean & Safe Chico umbrella, but endorsement for particular programs, policies, and issues must be given by each individual organization to show support.

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