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Philanthropy & Nonprofits

Voices for Children Appoints Kelly Capen Douglas as New President & CEO



(July 17, 2019) RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA—Kelly Capen Douglas has been appointed president & chief executive officer of Voices for Children(VFC), the local nonprofit organization certified by the Court in Riverside and San Diego Counties to recruit and train Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers. CASAs serve as consistent, trusted adults for children who are in foster care after experiencing abuse or neglect. In addition, CASAs have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of foster children by providing critical information to judges making decisions about the children’s futures.

Douglas will be responsible for leading the entire organization beginning October 14, 2019. She will work closely with Jessica Muñoz, executive director for Riverside County, who has led the day-to-day operations of the organization’s CASA program in the county since 2015.

Douglas has spent the last 26 years working in the legal and higher education communities. She has served as the general counsel of the University of San Diego since 2005, where she led the university’s legal department and was the chief legal advisor to the board of trustees. Before joining USD, she was a partner at Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps LLP (now Dentons). Douglas received a law degree from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University.

An engaged community volunteer, Douglas currently serves as vice chair of the Goodwill Industries of San Diego board of directors, and is active in various leadership roles with the National Association of College and University Attorneys. She was honored by both organizations for her service, receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award from Goodwill and the First Decade Award from NACUA. She was recognized most recently as a 2019 recipient of the First Chair Award, which recognizes in-house counsel around the country who have made significant contributions to the legal community.

Ms. Douglas and her husband, J.D. Douglas, chief financial officer at the Challenged Athletes Foundation, have two adult children, Courtney and Collin, who are students at Stanford University.

Board chair William B. Sailer said, “On behalf of the board of directors, I am honored to welcome Kelly to Voices for Children. Her diverse experiences at USD and Luce Forward will help her lead VFC in its mission of advocating on behalf of foster children in Riverside and San Diego Counties. An exhaustive search was conducted, and the board is grateful to the many qualified candidates who expressed interest in the role. As we welcome Kelly, we would also like to express our profound gratitude to David Bialis for generously serving as interim CEO during our search and until Kelly joins us in October.”

“I am honored to join our dedicated and passionate Court Appointed Special Advocates, staff, board members, and other stakeholders, as we continue to advance Voices for Children’s tradition of excellence and impact in our community,” said Ms. Douglas. “Through our CASAs -and the power of strong relationships and human connection -we have the unique opportunity to change the trajectory of the lives of our foster children and other at-risk youth.”

Founded in 1980, Voices for Children (VFC) transforms the lives of abused, neglected, and abandoned children in foster care in San Diego and Riverside Counties by providing them with trained volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs). CASA volunteers advocate for a foster child or sibling group in Court, school, and in the community to ensure their needs are met. VFC believes that every child deserves a safe and permanent home, striving to provide a CASA volunteer to every child in the foster care system who needs one. Last year, VFCCASAs and staff advocated on behalf of more than 3,000 foster children across San Diego and Riverside Counties. For more information, visit

California law allows the Juvenile Court to designate one organization per county as its official CASA program. This designation gives a CASA volunteer the legal authority to investigate the circumstances of a child who has been abused or neglected, spend time with the child, and make best interest recommendations to the Juvenile Court. In early 2015, Voices for Children was asked by the State of California Judicial Council to rebuild the CASA program in Riverside County. In June 2015, VFC’s Riverside County CASA program launched. Since then, the program exceeded its early goals and continues to grow, serving more than 400children through the advocacy of more than 300CASA volunteers. With the addition of the program in Riverside County, VFC has the opportunity to provide CASAs to 13percentof all foster children across the state of California.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Hawaii Chamber as Honorary Global Member



Empowering Future Generations: IERCC and Chamber of Commerce Hawaii Forge Partnership for Youth Development

In a landmark meeting that signifies the growing collaboration between regional chambers of commerce, the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce (IERCC) proudly welcomed the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii as an Honorary Global Member. This momentous occasion was marked by a ceremonial presentation led by Eddy Sumar, MBA, CCE, CICE, a distinguished member and Chair of the Education and Youth Skills Development Liaison at IERCC.

Eddy Sumar, renowned for his passionate advocacy for youth education and skill development, met with Sherry Menor-McNamara, CCE, President & CEO, and Tyler Hunt, Associate Vice President of Membership Services, of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. The meeting was not just a formal presentation but also an opportunity to share the innovative approaches IERCC is employing to champion youth development.

In a unique and inspiring gesture, the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii representatives were introduced to IERCC’s youth initiatives through a trilogy of educational books authored by Eddy Sumar himself. These books – “A Treasure Hunt With OTIS,” “The Hidden Dreams,” and “The Cutting Edge” – are a testament to Sumar’s dedication to empowering the youth. Each book addresses critical areas of youth development:

  • “A Treasure Hunt With OTIS” provides wisdom to guide young lives.
  • “The Hidden Dreams” unlocks the potential of identifying and pursuing youthful aspirations.
  • “The Cutting Edge” offers vital insights into understanding credit and financial literacy.

Edward Ornelas, Jr., President & CEO of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce, expressed his enthusiasm for this new partnership, stating, “This collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii represents a significant step in our ongoing commitment to foster the leaders of tomorrow. By combining our resources and expertise, we can more effectively prepare our youth for the dynamic world they will inherit. Our shared vision for youth development and education is the cornerstone of this partnership.”

The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii expressed its enthusiasm for the collaboration, recognizing the value of the resources provided by IERCC. This partnership is a significant step towards a shared goal of fostering a brighter future for youth through education, skill development, and empowerment.

The Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce is enthusiastically developing plans to launch a summer internship program exclusively for students from the Inland Empire, offering them the opportunity to travel to Hawaii for this enriching experience. This initiative, which stems from the IERCC’s recent collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, is focused on providing Inland Empire students with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the diverse business and cultural environment of Hawaii. The program aims to equip these students with invaluable hands-on experience in various industries, enhancing their skills and broadening their perspectives. This visionary approach underscores the IERCC’s dedication to fostering the professional and personal growth of its youth, preparing them for successful careers in an increasingly interconnected world.

The IERCC is committed to continuing these collaborative efforts and looks forward to a fruitful and impactful partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, collectively striving to nurture the leaders of tomorrow.

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Philanthropy & Nonprofits

A Great Milestone Reached! The Otis Dream Project Has Been Recognized in Zambia, Africa!



A Great Milestone Reached! The Otis Dream Project Has Been Recognized in Zambia, Africa!

Have you been wondering what happened to the establishment of the NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), the Otis Dream Project in Zambia, Africa? Well, wonder no more! As of August 10, 2023, the Otis Dream Project has become a reality! Yes, the government of Zambia has recognized the Otis Dream Project as a legal entity. Thanks to our incredible team on the ground and all the hard work they put into the project, the Otis Dream Project has become a legal NGO in a much shorter time frame than most NGOs in that country. This is a BIG milestone, the first of many more! Again, thanks to our hardworking team: Derby Chipwande, Chali Ezra Mwansa, and Edwin Mukwamba.

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San Manuel Orange County Golf Tournament Raises $425,000 for Five Tribal, Local & National Nonprofits



24th Annual Tournament Recognizes O.C. based Meals on Wheels and Radiant Futures Among Others 

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Tribal leaders, business and community partners united for this year’s annual golf tournament to raise $425,000 for tribal, local and national nonprofits, making it the largest year for funds raised at the annual event. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has donated more than $3 million to 50 nonprofit organizations as a result of its annual golf tournament. The tournament was the first Tribal event at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club since the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians acquired an interest in the property earlier this year. 

The annual event commenced on July 16 with a celebration and a check presentation of $85,0000 each to five inspiring tribal, local and national nonprofits. The following nonprofits were awarded: Lakota Waldorf School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota dedicated to providing an exemplary education to reservation students while incorporating their culture; Voices for Children which serves children in Riverside and San Diego County who are in foster care by providing court appointed special advocates; Citrus Counseling Services located in Redlands which provides mental health services at low or no cost; Radiant Futures of Orange County provides crisis support, services for survivors, and education to prevent domestic violence and human trafficking; and Meals on Wheels OC which provides programming to nourish the wellness of senior citizens in Orange County. 

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman, Lynn Valbuena, says she is moved by the community’s commitment to providing a hand up to nonprofits that are dedicated to making a difference regionally and throughout Indian Country.

“Each year I stand in awe of the thoughtfulness and generosity of our sponsors and partners to continue San Manuel’s mission of supporting organizations that are truly the boots on the ground for making our world a better place,” said San Manuel Chairwoman, Lynn Valbuena. “These five nonprofits are improving the lives of so many Native Americans, as well as local communities, and we are proud to help. The tournament is one of the many ways San Manuel demonstrates its value of giving back.” 

This year, golfers teed off on ocean-view golf courses at Pelican Hill Golf Club in Newport Beach and Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Golf Links in Dana Point from Monday, July 17 to Thursday, July 20. 

Presenting sponsors of the tournament included Imagine This and PENTA Building Group. Yaamava’ Resort & Casino was also joined by its sports partners from the LA Dodgers, LAFC and the Anaheim Ducks.

Supporting nonprofit organizations is part of the Tribe’s commitment to their Giving Pillar also known as “San Manuel Cares.” For more information on San Manuel Care’s Program, please visit:

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