2016 GVSA Logo

Eight Honorees to Receive Prominent Awards for Making Positive Impacts in Communities

 Today, April 7, 2016, California will be presenting the 2016 Governor’s Volunteering and Service Awards and the Hoffman Prize to honorees that have gone above and beyond in the world of service and volunteerism.

“The men and women that we recognize today are California heroes,” said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.  “Their generosity and dedication are a real inspiration.”

Chief Service Officer Karen Baker will present the awards to the honorees in the Governor’s Council Room in the State Capitol in Sacramento today at 4 PM.

“We have the pleasure to be able to recognize these amazing men and women, who are dedicated to volunteerism and service,” said Karen Baker, California’s Chief Service Officer.  “Our communities are made better and more resilient thanks to these remarkable honorees that inspire us with their selfless acts of service, and we are excited to present them with these awards.”

The 2016 Governor’s Volunteering and Service Award winners and the Hoffman Prize winner are the following:

Hoffman Prize – Bobbi Silten, Executive Vice President of Global Talent and Sustainability at Gap Inc.
The Hoffman Prize recognizes an exceptional California business executive who demonstrates outstanding and impactful work fostering volunteerism in his or her local community, the State of California, the nation, and the globe. Bobbi Silten has led Gap Foundation at Gap Inc., overseeing its global community investments in women’s advancement and youth first jobs, and volunteer programs for employees worldwide.  Bobbi was tapped to lead Gap Inc.’s Global Sustainability practice, where she is tasked with vendor monitoring and capability building, environmental sustainability, global stakeholder partnerships, and sustainable innovation.  She served as a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions, which provided advice to President Obama on the best ways to mobilize citizens, nonprofits, businesses and government to work more effectively together to solve specific community needs. She co-led the Youth Employment Program working group, which developed the Connecting Youth & Business toolkit.  She co-founded “Reimagining Service,” a five-year national cross-sector initiative to increase the impact of volunteerism, and served as the chair of the Reimagining Service Council until 2014. She serves on the Leadership Council for Opportunity Nation and is also a volunteer mentor to alumni of Summer Search, a national youth leadership program.

California’s Volunteer of the Year – Cheryl Antony, Shelter Cove
This award honors an outstanding Californian whose volunteer service is exemplary and inspirational.  Cheryl Antony is a well-known asset in her Shelter Cove community, a small town in Humboldt County.  She is a firefighter, a first responder, a duty officer, a public information officer, a member of the Shelter Cove Community Emergency Response Team, a basic life support trainer, an EMT, and more.  She is also active with Meals on Wheels, with her church, and as a Board Member.  Cheryl received nine letters of support with her nomination.  She inspires others by her dedication and devotion.

Catherine Milton California AmeriCorps Member of the Year – Desiree Farnal, YouthSERVE (a program within CalSERVES, VIP at the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County)
This award honors a California AmeriCorps member who has made a substantial impact to their community.   As a third year AmeriCorps member with more than 3,500 hours served, Desiree Farnal currently serves at YouthSERVE in Santa Cruz.  She supports more than 400 teens to be the difference in their community with a number of service projects.  For example, under her leadership, these teens tutored 100 seniors in personal technology through weekly sessions at the local senior center and community hospital.  She always finds a way to say “yes” to teens who are interested in community service.

California’s Governmental Agency of the Year – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
This award honors an outstanding state, county, or city agency or department that has demonstrated a remarkable dedication to engaging volunteers.  Under the Community/Law Enforcement Partnership Programs Unit, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has one of the largest Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs in the nation with over 3,500 volunteers assisting over 18,000 employees, who in turn serve over 10 million residents.   The Community/Law Enforcement Partnership Programs Unit’s extensive experience with volunteer roles and best practices has become a “go-to” resource for California agencies wanting to create or revitalize their respective volunteer programs.

California’s Disaster Volunteer Program of the Year – The San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (SF NERT) Disaster Corps Unit
This award honors an outstanding California disaster volunteer program that has demonstrated an unwavering service commitment to the local community.  Volunteers from the San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team Disaster Corps Unit deployed to two areas of California – Lake County and Tulare County – that were experiencing a declared disaster and had an impact directly on residents, as well as assisted County officials by becoming a force multiplier for their efforts when there were too few staff to meet the need.

California’s Nonprofit of the Year – NextGen OC, Jewish Federation and Family Services of Orange County
This award honors a California nonprofit that has shown an extraordinary ability to leverage volunteers in service to their organization.  NextGen OC, Jewish Federation and Family Services of Orange County is a 100 percent volunteer organization of 21-45 year olds who work on a number of service projects.  One of their successful events was “Tikkun for Troops” in which over 2,000 care packages were assembled for those deployed in service to our country by volunteers from the Orange County community.  The care packages were assembled for the troops by over 200 volunteers, in 4 hours.  They now have plans to double the amount of care packages for the 2016 year.  (Special note: the nomination was submitted by a serviceman in Iraq.)

 California’s Business Volunteer Program of the Year – The Sacramento Kings
This award honors an outstanding California business with an innovative, high-impact employee volunteer program.  With values of “Do good,” “Impact the world,” and “Make Sacramento proud,” the Sacramento Kings engage volunteers to meet community needs focused on health, sustainability, and education.  By investing their time, resources, talent, and passion, they are not only about rallying the community around their team, but also rallying them around meeting community needs.

Service Spotlight Award – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Los Angeles
This award honors a group or individual who has uniquely met a community need with the power of service. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles came with a need for tens of thousands of volunteers.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Los Angeles stepped in offering more than 10,000 volunteers for nearly two weeks, who worked tirelessly in different capacities along with the Southern California community. It was known as “one of the largest outpourings of community service in church history.”