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A Fantastic Board Is Getting Better

One of the compliments Valley Vision is often paid is the strength of our volunteer board.  You will find chancellors, college presidents, top business leaders, and leading foundation and nonprofit executives who are all committed to making the region more prosperous, just, and sustainable.  These volunteers set our direction and hold Valley Vision to a tough performance standard.

Today we are announcing the addition of five new directors to the board, bringing the count to 33.  We have so many board members because Valley Vision covers such a large area – 3.8 million people spread across eight Sacramento Valley counties.  Our directors serve not just as fiduciaries but, more importantly, as regional trustees looking out for current and future generations and getting our region “future ready.”

We are particularly excited about this new group of leaders as Valley Vision heads into 2019 and our 25th year of operation.  So just who are they?

Trish Rodriguez is the senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente in South Sacramento and Elk Grove.  She oversees integrated health plan and hospital operations, which includes a Level II trauma center.  Trish is responsible for the provision of health care to more than 247,000 Kaiser Permanente members in the South Sacramento County area. Kaiser Permanente insures over 50 percent of the South Sacramento County population and employs approximately 3,400 staff members and nearly 400 physicians.  She is a health care professional with more than 28 years of experience in health care operations and strategic planning in a variety of leadership positions.  She has been with Kaiser Permanente for more than 26 years. Her career spans from Alberta, Canada to Hawaii to California.  Trish is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Leadership Program, completed her master’s in public health at the University of Hawaii, and holds a bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.  She has been heavily involved in community and business organizations over the past 5 years.

Scott Sanford is the vice president of customer service for PG&E. Scott leads the teams responsible for the entire “meter to payment handling” process, including meter specification, purchase, testing, installation and maintenance, along with customer billing, payment processing, collections, and credit policy.  He joined PG&E in 2012, bringing over 25 years of operational experience from within the wireless telecommunications and cable industries. He has held various senior leadership positions with McCaw Cellular, AT&T, and Comcast.  Scott holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota, and an MBA from Regis University of Colorado. A graduate of California Chamber of Commerce Civic Leadership program, Scott now serves on the Roseville City Board of Appeals.  He is the only PG&E corporate officer based outside San Francisco.

Ryan Montoya is the chief technology officer for the Sacramento Kings.  His responsibilities include providing direction and managing the Sacramento Kings’ new technology and innovation strategies to enhance the fan experience and improve the team’s performance.  Additionally, he oversees all technology for Sacramento’s downtown entertainment and sports complex, Golden 1 Center. The new arena is the world’s most technologically-advanced professional sports and entertainment venue.  Throughout his career, Ryan has advised, invested, and served at all levels of early-stage technology companies.  A native of Colorado, Ryan received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and an MBA from California State University, Sacramento.

Stephanie Bray is the president and CEO of United Way, California Capital Region.  She is a nonprofit professional with 25 years of experience in fund development and volunteer management for local, regional, and national organizations.  Prior to taking this position she was the Executive Director of the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, a supporting organization for San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. Stephanie also previously served as Assistant Dean for Health Sciences Advancement at UC Davis Health System, overseeing fundraising for the School of Medicine, the Medical Center, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing and several other centers of medical excellence on UC Davis’s Sacramento Campus.  She has served in fundraising leadership positions with the American Cancer Society, UNCF/The College Fund, Learning Ally, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  Stephanie is a graduate of Douglass College, Rutgers University, and was a participant in Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management in July 2012.

Cate Dyer is the chief executive and founder of StemExpress, a company founded in 2010 to accelerate the speed at which biospecimens can be used for research, and, ultimately, to create new cures and treatments.  Since then, the company has expanded globally and has bi-coastal facilities, cutting edge laboratories, and stem cell collection centers, with a proven record of supporting clinical trials and accelerating R&D. StemExpress isolates primary cells and stem cells from human blood-derived products using highly developed protocols. StemExpress has increased cellular recovery in the collection of bone marrow, peripheral blood, and cord blood products for researchers. These innovations support Cate’s goal of directly impacting and improving patient care.  Cate serves on the Board for Capital Public Radio, the UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and is an active member of Vistage, a worldwide peer-to-peer membership for CEO’s.

With leadership like this, Valley Vision’s future as the region’s trusted convener, collaborative problem solver, and independent researcher will only get stronger and more impactful in the years ahead.  To learn how you can get involved, please call us or visit

Bill Mueller was Chief Executive of Valley Vision.

Valley Vision Goes Back to School

It’s that time of year again, as summer comes to an end and leaves start to turn familiar colors of brown and red, that excited parents and eager children return through the front doors of their elementary school for “Back to School Night.”

Valley Vision was excited to participate in Back to School Night at both Martin Luther King, Jr. Technology Academy and Leataata Floyd Elementary School as they welcomed  their students back for a new academic year. Students and parents learned about programs and events happening at the schools, and were also able to meet and interact with teachers and staff. There were plenty of games and activities for everyone as both schools actively showcased what makes their institution special. Martin Luther King Jr. Technology Academy was especially lucky to have both Senator Richard Pan and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty as part of the welcoming committee. Both elected officials gave welcoming speeches and announced each student would receive a free backpack for attending the evening’s event.  While Valley Vision was at Leataata Floyd Elementary School, project associate Emma Koefoed interacted with parents to collect data on Internet accessibility as a way to gauge how families are responding to the low-cost Internet programs. As a thank you, Valley Vision was excited to give away $25 dollar gift cards to four lucky winners who participated in the survey.

As part of our Connected Communities Initiative, Valley Vision, in partnership with services providers such as AT&T and Comcast, has been working to help provide information on low-cost Internet services that are currently available to families in low-income neighborhoods, including the communities near Leataata Floyd Elementary School and Martin Luther King, Jr. Technology Academy. By meeting certain requirements such as having a child in the SNAP/CalFresh program, be a recipient of SSI, or a HUD Housing residents, can qualify a home for Internet connectivity at speeds up to 10 megabits per second, for $10 per month.

Access to the Internet is an economic gateway, providing life-altering opportunities for people of all ages. In 2015, Wired Magazine quoted a study by Pew Research that found “15 percent of Americans don’t have access to the Internet at all, most notably senior citizens, adults without a high school education, and low-income families.” In 2016, the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) found that although Internet connectivity had increased overall for California households, mostly due to increased use of smartphones, “lower-income Californians remain less likely to have access.” CETF found that only 68 percent of people who make less than $22,000 annually reported being able to get online at home.

Being able to access the Internet means many things. For students, it provides a chance to perform research relating to school work, obtain higher education, access online tutoring tools, and boosts their capacity for learning and educational attainment. Availability of low-cost Internet solutions provides opportunities for parents and guardians as well who are part of that 68% of low-income Californias without access to the internet. With reliable any-time Internet access at home and not having to depend on public libraries, employment offices, or local restaurants for free WiFi the chance for social and economic mobility become possible.  At Valley Vision, we will continue our work to close the digital divide in the Sacramento region, and we invite you to get involved!

To learn more about AT&T ACCESS click here. To learn more about Comcast Essentials click here. To keep up with Valley Vision’s work to advance livability in the Sacramento region, subscribe to our Vantage Point email newsletter!

Emma Koefoed is a Valley Vision Project Associate contributing to the 21st Century Workforce and Healthy Communities impact areas.