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New Leadership Brings Passion & Productivity To Petaluma Educational Foundation

News from the Petaluma Educational Foundation:


The Petaluma Educational Foundation (PEF) is pleased to announce the appointment of two current members of the Foundation, Maureen Highland, who has been promoted to interim Executive Director, and Alicia Hansel, who has been named President of the PEF’s Board of Directors.

Ms. Highland and Ms. Hansel bring a fiscal acuity and leadership to the organization that ensures the equitable access to technology, fine arts, environmental studies, athletics, and numerous programs providing innovative and engaging curriculum-based programs to all 37 local public, charter, and not-for-profit private Petaluma area schools.  

Highland’s previous role as PEF’s Director of Development and Marketing made her promotion a natural progression. Graduating in 1991 from University of San Francisco, Ms. Highland has spent the last 24 years strategically implementing and exceeding marketing goals for prominent Bay Area organizations.

A 21-year resident of Petaluma, Highland has been instrumental in increasing the impact of PEF’s role in building partnerships with local businesses and stewarding growth opportunities for the Foundation’s endowments, scholarships and grant programs.

Understanding the complexity of overseeing and executing goals set forth by the non-profit organization which manages the PEF Impact Grant program (gifting over $2,531,000 to date) and PEF Scholarship program (awarding over $2,462,000 to date), her demonstrated professionalism and cooperative attitude will secure PEF’s longevity as a front-runner of educational advocacy in the community and a strong partner for local organizations wishing to enhance the positive impact on all 13,000 students annually enrolled in our schools. 

Ms. Hansel, the former Sonoma State University Water Polo Coach and graduate of University of California, Berkeley, is a well-seasoned veteran of guiding her team to success.

An engaging leader in her own right, Mrs. Hansel has served in numerous volunteer positions at PEF since 2008.

On July 1, Hansel takes office as the President of the Board of Directors of the 32-year-old foundation after serving as Vice President for the past year.

"PEF is entering into a wonderful chapter with Maureen stepping into the Executive Director role. I am looking forward to a very productive year collaborating with my fellow board members to advance the long-standing mission of PEF to support our students and school communities.

PEF is committed to honoring the gifts from our donors to augment the local school system with resources and programs so that today’s students enter society as competitive, independent citizens prepared for a multitude of career options in the future,” shares Hansel.  

The Foundation wraps up a strong fiscal year under the leadership of current PEF Board President Chris Wallner.

“We are poised for another impactful year with the continued momentum of growth in sales at PEF’s two downtown thrift stores, Alphabet Soup and Alphabet Soup @ Home, as well as focusing on the organization’s commitment to build our grant endowment,” shares Wallner.

PEF is embarking on a solid, well thought out plan to continue to grow the foundation’s grant endowment providing stable and long-term funding to support the education of all Petaluma youth for years to come.  

The mission of the PEF since its inception in 1982 has been to support local schools. We believe every child has a dream. As a foundation we create community partnerships to fulfill these dreams.

The Petaluma Educational Foundation, which does not receive any government funding, relies totally on thegenerosity of the community to raise essential funds to support grants and scholarships for all Petaluma Schools.

This year’s 2014 BASH is on September 6 and kicks-off PEF’s annual PEF Impact Grant Program fundraising campaign.

The foundation looks to the community at large to help support our efforts to enhance the academic experience of all Petaluma's students.

Any amount donated is an investment in our students and the future of our community – that investment is needed now.  

Petaluma Educational Foundation (PEF) is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. Since 1982, PEF has been reaching Petaluma’s K-12 students through PEF Grants gifted to local schools and PEF Scholarships awarded to graduating seniors. Founding members tapped into the generosity of Petaluma, with a mission to invest in the courage of our teachers determined to inspire the hearts and minds of our students.
Lyndi Brown June 26, 2014 at 12:16 PM
Congrats to Maureen Highland for takin the helm at our wonderful PEF!

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