Navigation Links
The 2009 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards Honor Extraordinary Californians for Innovative, Practical Solutions

Six Californians Win $750,000 for Inspiring Work on Green Jobs, Substance Abuse, Literacy Programs, Asian American Theater, Youth Services and Community Revitalization

Elected and Appointed Officials to Honor Recipients Today at a Sacramento Event

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The James Irvine Foundation will hold an event today in Sacramento to announce and honor the recipients of the 2009 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards. Now in its fourth year, the awards celebrate extraordinary leaders who are advancing innovative and effective solutions to significant state issues. The awards are intended to publicize proven solutions that can inform policymaking and better the lives of more Californians.

The six recipients - further described below - will each receive $125,000 and additional support from the Foundation. Presenters at the event will include California elected and appointed officials such as:

  • Controller John Chiang;
  • Treasurer Bill Lockyer;
  • Assemblywoman Julia Brownley;
  • Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin;
  • Kim Belshe, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency; and
  • Dale Bonner, Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

Recipients will also participate in a roundtable discussion about the ways California might adopt the successful models they've created in their communities.

"While tough economic times can exacerbate some of our most pressing problems, they also present an opportunity to adopt new approaches so we are using scarce resources as wisely as possible," said Jim Canales, President and CEO of the Irvine Foundation.

For more information on this year's recipients - including longer summaries and photographs - visit:

Recipients of the 2009 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award are:

Josefina Alvarado Mena, Safe Passages/Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority, Oakland

In the fifth grade, Alvarado Mena led a lunch strike, demanding healthier, culturally relevant foods. She succeeded and hasn't stopped since. She leads a groundbreaking collaboration, Safe Passages/Youth Ventures Joint Powers Authority (JPA), which includes Alameda County, the City of Oakland, and the Oakland and San Lorenzo Unified School Districts. Typically JPAs manage transportation and infrastructure projects, but Alvarado Mena argued that the issues facing low-income youth are just as complex and also involve numerous agencies. Her partnership - which leverages public and private funds - improves the delivery of violence prevention, mental health and juvenile justice programs. As a result, children in their Early Childhood Initiative show reduced aggression and improved social behavior; a middle school violence prevention/social skills curriculum resulted in 72 percent fewer suspensions; and alternatives for juvenile offenders have dramatically reduced the recidivism rate.

Tim Dang, East West Players, Los Angeles

The nation's oldest professional theater of color, East West Players has been the stage for major Asian American actors (Tony Award-winner B.D. Wong, Star Trek's George Takei and House's Kal Penn, among others). Under Dang's leadership, East West Players has also become a full-fledged regional theater and multicultural hub. Dang has expanded the public's understanding of "Asian American" by showcasing a wide range of Asian characters and cultures, as well as non-Asian artists. He has brought new playwrights and audiences (nearly half of whom are non-Asian) to the theater through his emerging playwrights contest, innovative new works and creative outreach strategies. Dang's influence extends well beyond his theater, with East West Players' school performances and workshops aimed at bridging the gap among students of different racial backgrounds.

Kathryn Icenhower, SHIELDS for Families, Los Angeles

As a social worker in South L.A. during the 1980s' crack epidemic, Icenhower saw too many babies born addicted to drugs. Icenhower discovered that many women refused treatment at rehabilitation centers because they knew their children would go into foster care. She created a new model that keeps families together by letting children stay with their mothers at the treatment center, while also helping families address issues connected with substance abuse through family therapy, parenting classes, and housing, education and job training services. More than 80 percent of SHIELDS' clients complete their treatment programs (triple the national average), and the decrease in drug-exposed newborns saved one hospital $60 million per year. Icenhower also designed an initial assessment protocol that, during a child-welfare crisis, offers immediate assistance and treatment options. This new practice, recently adopted countywide, is expected to dramatically reduce new foster care cases in L.A. and save the county $92 million over five years.

Luis Santana, Reading and Beyond, Fresno

Shaped by his work with street kids in South America - and his own reading struggles as a child in Brazil - Santana believes that the path to a brighter future is paved with books. Reading and Beyond - begun 10 years ago in a church with 30 children - now tutors 600 students a day in 16 locations, including in an RV classroom that travels to students and families in their neighborhoods. The organization assesses each child's reading abilities, designs individualized plans and reassesses the child every nine weeks. On average, 70 percent of children enrolled for at least six months improve one grade level in reading, and some have improved four grade levels in one year. Building on Reading and Beyond's success with parents - nearly 17,000 have utilized the program - Santana has launched "College Now" to help parents gain a college education and improve their job prospects. His future plans include opening a Family Resource Center offering multiple services to local families.

Richard Valle, Tri-CED Community Recycling, Union City

Long before "green jobs" were popularized, Valle built a thriving business that benefits the environment and provides job opportunities for youth and workers who face employment challenges. It all started after Valle came back from Vietnam and began working with young prisoners. Realizing that they could thrive if given a chance, Valle founded Tri-CED nearly 30 years ago and has since employed 1,500 people ages 14 to 24, many of whom are at-risk or formerly incarcerated. Tri-CED today processes 2,208 tons of recyclables a month, while also helping employees turn their lives around. Many Tri-CED employees earn their high school diplomas, enroll in college, keep their jobs, support their families and stay out of trouble. Valle is now exploring a venture to recycle computer parts as well as a partnership with Chabot College to create a $4 million environmental education center that would offer vocational training, field trips for school children and English-language classes.

Jennifer Vanica, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, San Diego

San Diego's Diamond neighborhood was home to 88,000 people, 42 gangs, no major grocery chain, an intersection known as the "Four Corners of Death," and a deserted, 20-acre industrial lot - until Vanica and her staff engaged the community in turning it into a thriving commercial and cultural plaza. More than 3,000 residents helped plan, design, build and lease Market Creek Plaza. So far, this effort has led to 11 businesses, more than 500 jobs, millions of dollars reinvested in the community and lower crime - gangs have even declared the Plaza neutral territory. Residents can also invest in this venture. Vanica helped create the nation's first Community-Development Initial Public Offering, and now 416 residents - investing as little as $200 - own 20 percent of the Plaza. Notable in the current financial environment, residents have received 10 percent annual returns on their investment. Vanica and her staff are now seeing elements of their model replicated elsewhere, while also supporting 35 local groups that are developing a dozen additional projects, including a cultural "village" with affordable housing, new retail and office space.

About The James Irvine Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The Foundation's grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1 billion in grants to more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With $1.4 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $78 million in 2008 for the people of California.

    Contacts:  Jenny Park
               415.901.0111 ext. 340

SOURCE The James Irvine Foundation
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. James B. Hawkins Appointed to IRIDEX Board of Directors
2. James Cracknell Launches Siemens Stroke for Stroke Week
3. Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital to Receive James Brady Award From Brain Injury Association of Illinois
4. HealthCoach Welcomes James Herrera as Vice President of Consulting
5. Cadence Pharmaceuticals Chief Medical Officer James Breitmeyer to Present at JMP Securities Healthcare Focus Conference
6. Loma Linda University to Dedicate Proton Treatment Center to Cancer Therapy Pioneer James M. Slater, M.D.
7. MedcomSoft appoints former U.S. presidential health advisor, James Haveman, to health Care advisory board
8. Bobby Rush Revue and James Super Chikan Johnson Announced for Post-Race Concert
9. ATS Medical Appoints James L. Cox, M.D. as Medical Director
10. Dr. Lewis Drusin receives American College of Physicians James D. Bruce Memorial Award
11. James E. Harris to Become Chief Financial Officer of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of ... Carol Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, ... In honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect ... hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Malvern, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... is the recipient of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best ... New York City on October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, ... a treadmill relay – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart ... or more. , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving for ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Health ... interactive health literacy software tool, and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an ... education, today announce a new strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s strategic partner, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/22/2017)... , Sept. 22, 2017  As the latest Obamacare ... Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham ... that the medical device industry is in an odd ... tax, the 2.3% excise tax on medical device sales ... also want covered patients, increased visits and hospital customers ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader ... that it has been ranked #1 by its users for ... Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked ... and medical centers over 200 beds and holds one of ... user survey history. ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... 13, 2017   OrthoAtlanta has been named the ... Host Committee (AFHC) for the 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) ... at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia . ... "I,m In" campaign, participating in many activities leading up to, ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: