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Wisdom from the Front Lines: Lessons for Disaster Planning

Thursday, October 26, 2017 -
8:30am to 12:00pm PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360 | San Francisco, CA
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The current wildfires and recent hurricanes and earthquake drive home the urgency of community response and the community concerns that drive recovery. They also remind us to prepare for the risks we face in the Bay Area and, for funders who reach beyond our local area, to be ready for disasters elsewhere. 

In this first session on disaster planning, response and recovery, we will come together over breakfast with Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa community foundations to hear how they're responding, and learn about the opportunities ahead for recovery.  We will also hear from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy about how foundations can provide strategic support after disasters. Funders will also have a chance to talk with colleagues about the best course for their foundations, given their priorities, funds available, and partnerships. 

Following breakfast, we'll hear from two philanthropic leaders about the disaster plans of their organizations and lessons from disasters in the Monterey area in recent years, the devastating Cedar Rapids flood in 2008, and disasters in Louisiana.

This event is open to all. Please click on the link to register.  If you experience any problems please email

Join Us To:

  • Have breakfast, hear the latest about the fires in Northern California and discuss strategic responses to support impacted communities.
  • Learn about the plans and strategies of philanthropic institutions that have successfully responded to disasters.
  • Learn how their response experience directly shaped their current plans.
  • Tap the wisdom of experienced philanthropic leaders to inform your own disaster plans.



8:30 am - 10:00 am: Breakfast conversation about the Northern California Wildfires
10:00 am - 12:00 noon: Experts apply lessons from previous disasters to planning for the future.


Strategic responses to the Northern California fires:

  • Megan Barber Allende, President and CEO, The Community Foundation of Mendocino County
  • Elizabeth Brown, President, Community Foundation Sonoma County
  • Terence Mulligan, President, Napa Valley Community Foundation
  • Anna Hurt, Assistant Director, Disasters and Grants, Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Disaster planning:

Dan Baldwin has led the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) as President/CEO since 2010. He is responsible for growing and stewarding the CFMC’s philanthropic resources to meet the changing needs of Monterey County. The CFMC holds more than 450 charitable funds and has total assets of approximately $220 million. In 2016 the CFMC granted more than $15.4 million to hundreds of nonprofits throughout Monterey County and beyond. Dan was the 2015-2016 President of the League of California Community Foundations.  Prior to joining the CFMC, Dan was the President/CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation in Iowa. He led the foundation’s efforts in responding to the 2008 flood, the worst natural disaster in the community’s history, and played an integral role in the creation of the Endow Iowa income tax credit program for building endowments at community foundations. Dan was a 15-year museum professional, serving as President/CEO of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids. He was previously Executive Director of Old City Park Museum in Dallas, Texas, and Director of Collections and Conservation at the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis.

Kellie Duhon joined Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Louisiana as a Community Relations Consultant after serving in government and nonprofit management for over ten years. She most recently served as Chief of Staff to First Lady Supriya Jindal and Executive Director of The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children. Kellie helped the Foundation raise over $2 million to improve technology and access to interactive hands-on tools in classrooms across Louisiana. In her role at BCBS, she oversees corporate sponsorships, strategic community investments, evaluates funding proposals on behalf of the corporation and serves as a community liaison during disaster relief efforts. She has been involved in Hurricanes Gustav, Ike, and Harvey, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the 2016 Louisiana floods. Kellie has had the privilege of working on the campaigns of Lt. Governor Bill Bolling (VA) in 2005, Congressman Dave Reichert (WA) in 2006, and Governor Bobby Jindal (LA) in 2007.

Moderator – Andrea Zussman is the Manager of Regional Vibrancy and Sustainability for Northern California Grantmakers where she develops and manages NCG’s Disaster Resilience, Relief, and Recovery program to bolster the knowledge, capacity, and systems of Northern California’s philanthropic sector for disasters She is an accomplished innovator, dedicated leader and skillful problem-solver with more than 25 years in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.  Before coming to NCG, Andrea developed and implemented the multi-faceted disaster resilience portfolio at The San Francisco Foundation. She has also developed disaster preparedness education programs, integrated social justice and peacebuilding into international relief and development programs, supported emergency humanitarian programs around the world, and directed a local chapter of an international professional association.

Targeted Audience

Program and operations staff are encouraged to attend. Where possible, funders should consider sending representatives of both parts of their organization to learn together.

This program is open to NCG members and non-members.  We will be serving breakfast before the program from 8:30 to 10am to facilitate dialogue and networking.  


PLEASE NOTE: NCG's office building is currently under construction. Please take a look at the best ways to access our office. Learn More > 


Center for Disaster Philanthropy

San Diego Grantmakers

Southern California Grantmakers