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Welcoming Three New Valley Vision Staff Members

By Meg Arnold

We’re really pleased to introduce the three new staff members whom we welcomed to the Valley Vision team between mid-February and late March. In reverse order of their arrival, they are Renee John, Grace Kaufman, and Kari MacDonald. They have all jumped in with both feet to contribute substantially in each of their roles, even as COVID-19 has added so much change and uncertainty to life. We’re delighted to have them all with us!

Renee John joins us as a Project Leader, and will be leading our extensive 21st Century Workforce impact area in partnership with Managing Director Trish Kelly. Because she arrived on March 30, she has the distinction of being the only staff member we’ve ever onboarded entirely remotely – a situation she’s responded to with flexibility, patience, and good humor. Renee brings with her ten years of workforce development experience, as a director with a community-based nonprofit, where her work included Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act projects, administering community block grants, youth employment, refugee and English language learner initiatives. Renee has a track record of strong collaborative relationships with a variety of partners, including workforce investment boards, governmental agencies, educational institutions, the business community, nonprofits and other service providers.

Grace Kaufman joined the Valley Vision team in early March, as a Project Manager with responsibilities in our Clean Economy impact area as well as on the Listos California Emergency Preparedness Campaign project team. Grace was previously with the Local Government Commission (LGC), where she worked in the climate and energy field, supporting local policymakers and stakeholders in their efforts to build more livable communities within the Sacramento region and throughout California. In the process, she gained extensive experience organizing and facilitating collaborative meetings with diverse stakeholders. Grace is passionate about environmental justice, sustainability, public health, and pedestrian-oriented design.

Kari MacDonald, the least-new of our new staff members, has been on board with Valley Vision since mid-February. As Senior Director of Business Operations, she manages the business and finance operations of the organization, including ensuring organizational productivity and efficiency, implementing strategies, and optimizing organizational performance. Her career to date has spanned nonprofit, for-profit and governmental organizations, exposing her to multiple perspectives and approaches to community issues. She has more than 20 years of experience in financial analysis and accounting and is skilled in capacity building, finance, board development, grant making, program evaluations and operations.


Meg Arnold is Interim CEO of Valley Vision.