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Chapter History

AFP California Valley Chapter

 California’s Valley Chapter was chartered in 1987 and has been serving the education and networking needs of fundraising professionals in the southern region of the San Joaquin Valley ever since.

The chapter’s monthly workshop and networking meeting is open to AFP members, prospective members, and others involved in fundraising for non-profit organizations including board members and volunteers. The chapter is managed by volunteers from the membership. 

The chapter hosted its first National Philanthropy Day in 1987. That early tradition has been followed each fall and includes seminars for the fundraising professionals and an awards luncheon that recognizes philanthropists and fundraising professionals.

Among the awards presented on National Philanthropy Day is one that recognizes a professional fundraiser for her/his accomplishments and adherence to the principles of ethical fundraising practices established by the Association.

On January 1, 2010 the chapter had 75 members representing organizations of all sizes in Fresno Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare counties. They serve a variety of non-profit organizations that support charitable causes and community betterment from A to Z including the arts and culture, animal welfare, education, health care, human services, poverty reduction, social issues and services.

Scroll down to see

  • Chapter Presidents
  • Outstanding Fundraising Professional awardees
  • Charter Members.



1987    Gary Griesser

1988    Valerie J. Lung

1989    Michael C. Ford

1990    Carol Pharr

1991    Dena Cochran

1992    Richard Francois

1993    Elizabeth Olson

1994    Thomas H. Canar

1995    Jim Meinert, Ph.D.*

1996    Art Enns

1997    Barbara Divinney

1998    Gary Cardaronella

1999    Gary Cardaronella and

            Bud Dickerson, Ed. D.             

2000    Bud Dickerson, Ed.D.

2001    Peter Smits, Ed.D.

2002    Melisha Ford

2003    Corrine Martin

2004    Joan Minasian

2005    Vivian St. Louis

2006    Carol Davies

2007    James Collier

2008    Yezdyar Kaoosji, CFRE

2009    Valerie Castles, CFRE

2010    Linda Calandra

2011    Roxanne Hinds

2012    Dana Lucka

2013    Jane Fortune

2014    Kathleen Price

2015    Kathleen Price

2016    Rico Guerrero

2017    Teri Amerine



1989    Pat Ogle

1990    Gary Griesser

1991    Richard Francois

1992    Elizabeth Olson Looney

1993    Thomas Canar

1994    Dena Cochran

1995    James Meinert, Ph.D

1996    Dave Kyle

1998    Amy Sherman Smith

1999    Peter Smits, Ph.D

2000    Michael C. Ford, Ph.D., CFRE

2001    Bud Dickerson, Ed.D.

2003    Joan Hensleit-Minasian

2004    Melisha Ford

2005    Mark Deffenbacher

2007    Vivian St. Louis

2010    Valerie Castles, CFRE

2011    Linda Calandra


1987 CHARTER MEMBERS                       

Garry S. Griesser

Judith C. Sharp

Patrick C. Ogle

Linda Holmes

Lorey Smith Sigl

Bob Sabroe

Michael C. Ford

Judy Minasian

Consuelo M. Sterling

Pamela Bills

Gary T. O’Connell

Dena Cochran

Guy Wharton

Sharon Green

Robert Shumaker

Richard K. Francois

Lynn Eilefson, CFRE

Sheila Woodward

Linda Hightower

Belle Trinkle

Harry Miller



* Professional designations indicated if held at the time of office or award achievement.


Prepared by Valerie Castles, CFRE