For a while after the October wildfires, people thought Napa Valley, renowned for its wineries and tourism, would bounce right back. It wasn’t hit as hard as Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Of the 600 homes that were lost here, as many as 45% were second homes. But recovery has been slower than anticipated. An almost-invisible class of people in the agriculture and hospitality industries has been hurt.
Thousands of low and moderate income hourly workers in Napa's agriculture, hospitality and retail industries are getting direct financial aid thanks to the generosity of the Napa Valley Community Foundation, vintners, grape growers and many individual donations.
“Our founders were looking out, looking forward, and asking, ‘What is going to happen when all the Baby Boomers leave their leadership positions?” explains etsuko kubo, On the Verge program director. “Will we have people who are trained and who have personal and professional networks built that will help to serve the social good?"
Ygnacio Lopez first came to the United States when he was 30. He couldn’t read or write in Spanish and didn’t speak any English. More than three decades later, he still struggles with both, but with the help of volunteers from Napa’s On The Move, Lopez spent months studying American civics, passed his citizenship test and interview.
On the Move is adding a mobile office – a hitch trailer dubbed “Community on the Move” – to its fleet of programs and services. The concept was created by a group of professionals participating in On the Verge, an On the Move leadership program. The “Vergers” presented the 1969 Silver Streak Travel Trailer, which took about 35 days to refurbish, to Napa County providers during a kickoff event at Napa Lutheran Church on Thursday.
The mission of a Napa based organization called On the Move is to develop young people as leaders by building exceptional programs that challenge inequities in their communities. Our guest is Executive Director Alissa Gentille who talks about what it takes to make this happen. (Support for this report has been provided by The Dean Witter Foundation.)
In 2015 the Community Foundation Sonoma County established the Latino Leadership Fund, recognizing the opportunity to act as a catalyst in building diverse leadership so that our future leaders reflect the demographics of the communities they are serving.
As an intergenerational leadership organization, On the Move modeled their practice internally in a significant way when they hired Alissa Gentille, who started out in one of their young emerging leaders programs, as their current Executive Director.