October 20, 2011

Kern Community Foundation Blog: "Bright Spots" and "Sparkplug Leaders" Making a Difference

Kristen A. Beall, Ed.D.

"Hey Kermit! Being green is easier than you think."

Going Green, Read to Succeed, A Nice Surprise

Kermit the Frog got it wrong when he sang "It's not easy being green."  At least, that's what I thought after my lunch yesterday at Lassen's with Sasha Windes, Founder and Executive Director of KernGreen, an effort founded through a local nonprofit committed to educating the residents and businesses on the benefits of integrating green practices in daily work and personal life. 

Going Green:  Kermit the Frog got it wrong when he sang "It's not easy being green."  At least, that's what I thought after my lunch yesterday at Lassen's with Sasha Windes, Founder and Executive Director of KernGreen, an effort founded through a local nonprofit committed to educating the residents and businesses on the benefits of integrating green practices in daily work and personal life.  One of the more impressive services offered by KernGreen is the Certified Green Business Program, a relatively "pain-free" experience that helps local businesses reduce their environmental impact by making smart economic decisions that also boost their bottom line.  In these challenging economic times, local nonprofit charitable organizations would be wise to consider whether "going green" with Sasha's help can free up financial resources better used for your organization's mission.

Read to Succeed:  This morning I had the privilege of attending Kern Adult Literacy Council's "Read to Succeed Brunch" as a guest of Kern Superintendent of Schools, Christine Lizardi Frazier, and Kern Community Foundation Director, Steve Sanders.  Success story Rudy Zaragoza was recognized as KALC Student of the Year and offered personal testimony to the importance of the Literacy Council's mission. He closed his remarks by expressing special thanks to two people -- God and KALC Executive Director Donna Hylton. It takes a real "sparkplug leader" to make that short list in my opinion. Well done Donna!

A Nice Surprise:  I received official news that Kern Community Foundation was awarded a $500,000 grant from The James Irvine Foundation to increase our philanthropic and leadership capacity.  The grant was one of 24 new grants totaling $8.8 million recently approved by the Board of Directors of The James Irvine Foundation.  One way the grant will benefit Kern County is by providing dollars to fund projects that help local arts and culture nonprofits improve their business operations and plan for sustainability. More information about these funding opportunities and other projects made possible by the Irvine grant will be available on the Foundation's website in 2012.      

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