Stanislaus Community Foundation announces Chief Philanthropy Officer

Melissa Van Diepen

Stanislaus Community Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to stewarding charitable resources and building a more vibrant Stanislaus, announces the hire of Melissa Van Diepen as Chief Philanthropy Officer.

In this new position, Van Diepen will lead all asset development and marketing efforts on behalf of Stanislaus Community Foundation, combining donor stewardship, customized philanthropic programs, and marketing/communications to build and deploy charitable assets in the community. Additionally, in her role, Van Diepen is responsible for the development of donor-facing tools and strategies that further the philanthropic impact of current donors who give through SCF to local organizations and causes. 

Van Diepen grew up in Fresno and is a graduate of California State University, Fresno and is accredited as a Certified Fund-Raising Executive. She finds fulfillment working for organizations with strong missions of service. She started her career in 1997 at The Modesto Bee and moved to the nonprofit sector in 2011 with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Melissa joined Community Hospice Foundation in 2015 as the Major Gifts Officer and was promoted to Executive Director in 2018. Currently, she is the president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Yosemite Chapter. 

“We are excited to have Melissa join Stanislaus Community Foundation,” said Marian Kaanon, Foundation CEO and President.  “With her background and relationships, we are strengthening our superior level of service to those who entrust us with their charitable funds. We are also doubling down on bringing more philanthropic dollars to meet the changing needs of our region.”

Community Hospice Foundation welcomes Francine Foley as new Executive Director

Francine Foley

Community Hospice Foundation a charitable organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness to support the patients and families of Community Hospice, is pleased to announce Francine Foley as their new Executive Director.

Foley has served in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years. She brings to the Community Hospice Foundation strong experience and expertise in leadership and management, with extensive relationship and fund development skills.

“Community Hospice is delighted to welcome Mrs. Francine Foley to our organization and look forward to her serving as our Foundation Executive Director,” said C. DeSha McLeod, President and CEO of Community Hospice. “Mrs. Foley is a mission driven and a respected member of our community who exudes positive energy, passion for nonprofit work and compassion for the mission of Community Hospice. I am confident she will provide strong leadership for our Board members, donors, Friends of Community Hospice auxiliary members, staff and volunteers.”

 Before joining Community Hospice Foundation, Foley served 14 years as the CEO of United Way of Stanislaus County playing a critical role in the development and success of the organization. Prior to United Way she served 8 years as the Executive Director of the Parent Resource Center. Foley holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration-Nonprofit from the University of San Francisco.

The Community Hospice Foundation is comprised of a volunteer Board of Directors as well as the Friends of Community Hospice auxiliary; both groups serve to raise funds and awareness of Community Hospice through diverse channels such as planned gifts, memorial donations and special events.

Community Hospice appoints new Medical Director

Dr. Peter Lai

On Sept. 1, Community Hospice, a nonprofit hospice agency serving the Central Valley since 1979, will welcome a new Medical Director. Dr. Peter Lai will serve as a full-time Medical Director serving Community Hospice patients and families throughout the Central Valley including those residing at the Alexander Cohen Hospice House. Dr. Lai will also play a vital role in the development of new specialty programs for palliative and hospice patients. 

“Community Hospice is very pleased and honored to have Dr. Peter Lai accept our Medical Director position,” said C. DeSha McLeod, President and CEO of Community Hospice. “As a respected and dedicated member of our medical community, Dr. Lai has extensive medical expertise and patient involvement, education and leadership skills that fully support our mission. We are proud to welcome him and feel he will be a great addition for our patients and families as well as our Community Hospice family.” 

For more than 35 years, Dr. Lai has served in various leadership positions in our community to promote health and wellness. Dr. Lai previously served as the Director of Cardiovascular Research and Chief of Cardiology at Sutter Memorial Medical Center, as well as the Department Chair of Medical Specialties and Chief of Cardiology for Gould Medical Group in Modesto, California. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and Society of Cardiac Angiography and Intervention, and a Member of the Heart Rhythm Society, Mayo Clinic Alumni, Stanislaus Medical Society and American Medical Association. 

Dr. Lai received his Medical Degree from the National University of Singapore. He completed an Internship in General Medicine at United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong and Internal Medicine Residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Lai furthered his education completing a Fellowship in Cardiology and Angioplasty and received specialized training in Pacemaker Implantation at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. Dr. Lai is licensed by the State of California, Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease and Subspecialty Board Certified in Interventional Cardiology.

Oak Valley Community Bank announces new Commercial Loan Officer

Mona Dmitrenko

Oak Valley Community Bank announced that Mona Dmitrenko joined the bank as Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer. She is currently based out of the Sacramento Capitol Mall Branch.

Dmitrenko joins the Oak Valley team with 30 years of banking experience including commercial and agribusiness lending. In her new role, she will be responsible for commercial lending and business development in the Capital region. “We are excited to have Mona on our team” stated Cathy Ghan, EVP Commercial Real Estate Group. “Her knowledge and expertise in sourcing and financing C & I, agribusiness, public, and special use properties make her a great asset to the bank,” she concluded.

“The bank is actively exploring branch expansion opportunities in the Greater Sacramento region. Mona’s experience will help with future expansion efforts in Sacramento and surrounding areas,” said Chris Courtney, President & CEO.

Dmitrenko earned a Degree in Marketing from San Jose State University. She has been a member of Bev’s Angel Project and Lend a Heart, Lend a Hand-Animal Assisted Therapy for six years. When away from the office, Mona enjoys cycling and home remodeling. She resides in Fair Oaks with her husband Kyle.

Oak Valley Bancorp operates Oak Valley Community Bank & their Eastern Sierra Community Bank division, through which it offers a variety of loan and deposit products to individuals and small businesses. They currently operate through 17 conveniently located branches: Oakdale, Turlock, Stockton, Patterson, Ripon, Escalon, Manteca, Tracy, Sacramento, two branches in Sonora, three branches in Modesto, and three branches in their Eastern Sierra division, which includes Bridgeport, Mammoth Lakes, and Bishop. 

Bay Valley Tech president nominated for leadership award

Phillip Lan

Congressman Josh Harder is nominating Bay Valley Tech president and tech innovator Phillip Lan for the 2022 James Irvine Foundation Innovation Leadership. Award winners receive a $250,000 grant to expand their beneficial programs. 

“The Central Valley needs more good paying 21st century jobs. Creating those jobs of the future means equipping our workers with the skills they’ll need to grow and succeed. By expanding the educational opportunities, we have at home, we’re making it possible for families stay and work right here in the Valley,” stated Congressman Harder. 

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, independent foundation that provided $109 million in grants in 2020 to organizations in California. Since its founding in 1937, Irvine has made more than $2.09 billion in grants throughout the state. Its singular goal is: a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically.

Bay Valley Tech is an innovative free code academy, training students in modern programming skills and connecting them with prospective employers. Bay Valley Tech also supports the broader tech community by sponsoring hackathons, software meetups, Women Techmakers, high school tech events and the Valley Agtech Summit. Bay Valley Tech’s free technology training is available to adult students in San Jose, San Francisco, Fremont, Pleasanton, Sacramento, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Stockton, Modesto and the surrounding communities.

Stan State President Ellen Junn to serve as WSCUC Commissioner

Ellen Junn

The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) announced the appointment of Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn as one of the organization’s new commissioners. 

Junn’s appointment began July 1 and will continue through June 30, 2024, with the possibility of serving another three-year term. The WSCUC accreditation process aids institutions in developing and sustaining effective educational programs and assures the educational community, the general public and other organizations that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness.

“WSCUC is pleased to welcome President Junn to the Commission,” said WSCUC President Jamienne S. Studley. “Her commitments to education quality, equity and student success, and her experience across multiple institutions, will contribute to the Commission’s work to achieve excellence and equity through improvement and accountability.” 

WSCUC commissioners dedicate numerous hours to conducting site visits, examining programming and outcomes and making recommendations to help strengthen institutions.  

Junn, who will serve on the commission’s Finance and Operations Committee, brings more than three decades of multi-faceted experience in higher education to her role as commissioner and is very acutely familiar with the accreditation processes.  

WSCUC’s chief goals are to: promote institutional engagement in issues of educational effectiveness and student learning; develop a culture of evidence that informs decision making; and foster active interchange among public and independent institutions.