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Jessica Thomason Named Executive Director of Napa Valley College Foundation

The Napa Valley College Foundation has appointed Jessica Thomason as its new executive director, announced Malcolm de Sieyes, foundation president.

In her new role, Thomason will oversee and direct all aspects of the foundation, including fundraising, capital campaign, operations, events, scholarship and grant programs and staff and consultant management. Thomason will work closely with the foundation board of directors and Napa Valley College Superintendent/President Dr. Ron Kraft.

“We are excited about the broad experience Jessica brings to the foundation, having served in similar roles in our community,” said de Sieyes. “She brings an incredible work ethic, plus the energy and drive necessary to help us achieve our goals.”

“The Napa Valley College Foundation has the opportunity to play a vital role in supporting Napa Valley College’s mission and increase philanthropic support to benefit student learning,” said Kraft. “I look forward to working with Jessica and the foundation board to create new and innovative fundraising plans for student scholarships and campus projects.”

Thomason has more than 16 years of fundraising experience including major and planned giving, donor stewardship, corporate sponsorships, board development, and institutional leadership, as well as special events, marketing and public relations.

“The foundation has a rich legacy in providing student scholarships and more recently, grants to students financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Thomason. “It is an honor to work alongside the foundation board, College leadership, donors and community members to give back in meaningful ways, especially now when students need support more than ever.”

Most recently, Thomason served as executive director of OLE Health Foundation, where she managed all annual fundraising campaigns, events and marketing. Prior to that, she was development director and then executive director for the Napa Valley Opera House. Thomason has also served as development director for the Asante Africa Foundation, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and VOENA children’s choir.

Thomason received her B.A. in communication studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara and her M.S. in strategic fundraising and philanthropy at Bay Path University in Massachusetts.

Napa Valley College Foundation is an independent, community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1968 to increase community awareness and raise funds to support Napa Valley College and its students. The foundation works alongside the college to provide student scholarships and financial support for instructional equipment, programs, capital projects and other college needs. Scholarships provide access to higher education for students with limited resources.

In the 2019-20 academic year, the foundation awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships to 209 deserving students, including college-bound high school students. In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the foundation awarded 182 emergency relief grants through the Foundation Action Strike Team (FAST) campaign. Current projects include a capital campaign for a Wine Education Center to support the College’s Viticulture, Winery and Technology program.

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