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Announcing the 2013 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Feb 04, 2013

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2013 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards. The awards recognize Californians who are implementing innovative, effective solutions to critical state issues. This year’s recipients are particularly collaborative in their approaches and excel at building upon the resourcefulness and determination of California’s residents to improve the future of our state.

They are:

Aida Cardenas, Building Skills Partnership, Los Angeles — Aida leads a unique labor-management collaboration that is increasing opportunity for thousands of low-wage workers while improving the competitiveness of their employers.

Karen Christensen, Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County, Capitola — Karen is bringing together landowners, environmental groups and government agencies to craft innovative solutions that protect water and other natural resources.

Stuart Cohen, TransForm, Oakland — Stuart champions innovative regional planning to create affordable, vibrant communities that improve our quality of life and help the environment.

Jeff Oxendine, Health Career Connection, Oakland — Jeff leads efforts to strengthen California’s health workforce and expand opportunity for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to launch rewarding careers in the state’s growing health industry.

José Quiñonez, Mission Asset Fund, San Francisco — José helps low-income families build assets and establish credit scores by turning informal lending practices into recognized financial activity.

Jill Vialet, Playworks, Oakland — Jill offers a unique approach to recess at hundreds of California elementary schools that improves student learning and behavior, and reduces bullying.

We are honored to support their work. We encourage decision makers in the public and private sectors to consider how they can apply lessons from award recipients’ breakthrough solutions to problems facing our state.

For more information about the 2013 recipients, including short videos depicting their inspiring work, please visit We encourage you to share with your networks the news of the awards announcement and especially the awards videos. On Twitter, you can join the conversation using #IrvineAwards, and on Facebook, you can share our post about the awards.

Nominations for 2014 Awards

In addition, we are now accepting nominations for next year's James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards. We encourage you to tell us about someone who is successfully addressing a critical issue for the state's future. Visit our website to learn more about nominating a leader.

The Foundation provides each award recipient with $125,000 to support his or her work and assistance sharing proven approaches with policymakers and practitioners in the field. The website provides additional details about the awards, profiles of past recipients and answers to frequently asked questions.

We are honored to support the outstanding 2013 recipients, and I hope you will consider nominating an effective California leader for the 2014 awards.


James E. Canales
President and CEO
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Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine Foundation from 2003 to February 2014.


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