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Evan Schmidt

Evan Schmidt joined Valley Vision in 2014 and became CEO on July 1, 2020. Evan has a long record of success developing community inspired solutions across Valley Vision’s many initiatives – including leading Valley Vision’s research, such as regional polling and future of work; supporting Valley Vision’s impact areas advancing prosperity, equity, and sustainability; and leading strategy and evaluation efforts across the organization.  

Professional Experience

Evan came to Valley Vision with 15 years of experience as a community development professional. She has worked as an evaluator and a private consultant prior to joining Valley Vision. She led evaluation projects for organizations across the U.S., helping them become more effective and impactful. Additionally, she has advanced major regional community initiatives and conducted research at UC Davis in community development and environmental planning before coming to Valley Vision. Evan’s experience in community development spans years and content areas – including economic development, community engagement, land use planning, public health, and more. Her commitment to community is foundational to her professional and civic leadership – always working to create access, opportunities, prosperity, and well-being for all.

Awards & Affiliations

In addition to her CEO role, Evan is an active civic leader, currently serving as Co-Chair of the California Stewardship Network and sitting on Boards of Directors or Advisory Committees for multiple community organizations. She was recognized as one of the region’s 100 Most Notable Business Leaders in 2021, has authored scholarly publications, and has contributed to a variety of regional and statewide media outlets.


  • Bachelor’s of Arts, University of Kansas
  • Master of Science, Community Development, University of California, Davis
  • Master of Arts, Geography, University of California, Davis


Spending time outdoors with my family and our dog. Planning weekly neighborhood potlucks. Roadtrips and car camping. Writing, reading, and thinking. Singing along to loud music in the car.

Evan’s Top 5 Strengths

  1. Strategic – Creates alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, quickly spots the relevant patterns and issues.
  2. Ideation – Fascinated by ideas. Able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
  3. Relator – Enjoys close relationships with others. Find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
  4. Arranger – Can organize, but also has a flexibility that complements this ability. Likes to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.
  5. Individualization – Intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. Figures out how people who are different can work together productively.

CliftonStrengths is a talent assessment tool developed by Gallup to help individuals maximize their unique talents. At Valley Vision, all staff have the opportunity to take this assessment to help better understand their natural strengths and increase our team’s ability for radical collaboration.