2014 Governor’s Volunteering and Service Awards

Hoffman Prize Winner

David Porges

David Porges joined Deloitte in Los Angeles in 1998 to start the firm’s first community relations office outside New York City. Today he is Director of Deloitte’s national Corporate Citizenship group, responsible for an $11.5 million budget and team of 16 professionals executing the firm’s issue, program, marketplace, impact measurement, and thought leadership strategy.

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In 2011 David was made a Firm Director for his 13 years of increasing leadership, innovation and impact inside Deloitte and externally. In 2007, he developed the Deloitte Center for Leadership & Community, a capacity-building program for nonprofit CEOs that has been recognized by Points of Light Foundation as a corporate best practice. It has expanded to 16 major offices in the US and India and has had more than 1,500 participants. In 2010, Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg selected David to be one of Deloitte’s “Faces of Excellence” for this work.

David also co-founded LA Community Leaders, a network of 100 professionals who manage corporate responsibility programs in the region. In 2008 he initiated a major pro bono project with the Governor’s office and CaliforniaVolunteers to create the nation’s first Disaster Corps, a group of 1,000 volunteers trained to work alongside police and fire personnel during a crisis. For this effort, he was appointed by the Governor to serve on the CaliforniaVolunteers Commission. In this role, he also co-leads the commission’s Business Partners program, a network of 50 major businesses working at the forefront of philanthropy and service in the state.

Recently, David served as an advisor on corporate social responsibility at USC’s Annenberg School of Communications. He also co-founded UNITE LA’s Business Advisory Council, which is focused on creating greater connectivity between the business community and public schools across LA. He currently leads The Taproot Foundation’s advisory board in LA and also serves on the steering committee for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s new Office of Veteran Affairs.

In 2013, David received the “Outstanding Commissioner of the Year” Award from California Governor Jerry Brown and in September 2014 will receive CaliforniaVolunteers’ Hoffman Prize for distinguished service promoting volunteerism at the local, state, national and global level. He is frequently asked to speak on issues related to CSR and employee engagement.

Before joining Deloitte, David was Vice President of Coast Federal Bank in Los Angeles, responsible for public, government and community relations, the John Wooden speaking program and all corporate communications for the $11 billion institution. He graduated with honors from Cal Poly, Pomona, and today lives in Pasadena, California, with his family.

 


Volunteer of the Year Award Winner

Gail Nebenzahl

Gail Nebenzahl recently completed her service as a board member of SFCASA (San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocates), after serving as a volunteer CASA. Since 2000, when Gail completed her 40 hours of training and was sworn in by a judge as a CASA, no one has worked more tirelessly to support the healthy development of children in foster care in San Francisco.

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Gail took on the role of advocate for three siblings, mentoring and advocating for their rights while helping them navigate difficult challenges. Gail would pick up the children weekly, assist with homework and take them on outings: playgrounds, stow lake, California Academy of Sciences, Angel Island, Muir Woods. They explored the many kinds of foods of the Bay Area.

Gail went the extra mile, uncovering resources to ensure they had what they needed, such as a photography class for one and singing lessons for another. One of the siblings, Maria was in foster care for the second time for severe neglect by her mother, now incarcerated. During the first six months Maria was in three foster homes. Gail found her first foster home to be frightening. In the second home, at only seven years old, Maria was made the housekeeper. Though the child qualified for tutoring and therapy, this foster mother did not allow it. Gail fought for a better placement, finding a responsible family with whom Maria has now been living for ten years, in a guardianship.

Gail knew Maria also deserved to have the best education and sought support so Maria could attend a K-8 Catholic school on full scholarship. Maria had missed going to church and it was the only place she had felt safe and enjoyed the community of people. From a Catholic family, she wanted to be baptized and Gail arranged for her to meet the priest. Maria chose her beloved second grade teacher to be her baptismal mother and the priest became her baptismal father. Maria now had a COMMUNITY of support that she could not have created on her own.

In 2004, Gail joined the Board of Directors. A fearless fundraiser, Gail introduced dozens of community members to SFCASA. Knowing there were more foster youth to be served, she launched the SFCASA Guild to raise financial support and visibility. She recruited the first Guild Chair and together they created the precursor to our annual Fostering Change Gala fundraiser. They held house parties and events to raise money and awareness. She solicited hundreds of auction items walking local neighborhoods, sharing the SFCASA mission.

A fourth generation San Franciscan, Gail holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, San Francisco and earned her Masters of Arts in Anthropology from San Francisco State University at age 60. While raising three children with her husband Bernard, Gail worked as a dental hygienist for 29 years, was active in the integration of public schools, and marched in Civil Rights rallies. She has served on the Board of Cross Cultural Family Center, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and Women’s Interfaith Dialogue on the Mideast.

 


California’s AmeriCorp Member of the Year

Kalyn Bocast

Kalyn Bocast was born and raised in Chico CA. After completing the Butte College Connections Program with a 4.0 GPA her senior year of high school, she transferred to Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. During her time of study, she joined the Natural Resources Club as well as the Club for the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, and spent many weekends serving her community through volunteer projects. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Protection she moved to Central America to promote environmental stewardship and gain further experience in her field of study. While there, she spent six months volunteering with Long Way Home, a non-profit in Guatemala dedicated to using sustainable solutions to promote education, employment, and environmental awareness. During her service there, she received an award for “excellent work ethic & group leadership.” She then traveled to Balgue, Nicaragua where she spent the duration of her year volunteering with Project Bona Fide, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting food sovereignty both locally and regionally.

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After returning to the U.S., Kalyn joined the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project. Over the course of her term as an AmeriCorps Service Member working with the California Conservation Corps, she created programs, spearheaded projects, and provided many opportunities for learning and service within her community. A highlight of her service was her creation, development, and direction of Creek Days, a three day watershed recovery fair for over 400 students and community members in Humboldt County. In addition, she planned and implemented a volunteer service project in the rural community of Briceland that focused on stabilizing the banks of a local watercourse. Furthermore, in conjunction with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Kalyn assisted in starting an extensive watershed restoration program at a local high school. With hopes to expand on the work of her year 20 service term, Kalyn has chosen to dedicate another year of service to the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project and the California Conservation Corps.

 


Governor’s Volunteering and Service Award Winners

2014 Winners

David Porges

Hoffman Prize Winner – David Porges

David Porges joined Deloitte in Los Angeles in 1998 to start the firm’s first community relations office outside New York City. Today he is Director of Deloitte’s national Corporate Citizenship group, responsible for an $11.5 million budget and team of 16 professionals executing the firm’s issue, program, marketplace, impact measurement, and thought leadership strategy.

In 2011 David was made a Firm Director for his 13 years of increasing leadership, innovation and impact inside Deloitte and externally. In 2007, he developed the Deloitte Center for Leadership & Community, a capacity-building program for nonprofit CEOs that has been recognized by Points of Light Foundation as a corporate best practice. It has expanded to 16 major offices in the US and India and has had more than 1,500 participants. In 2010, Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg selected David to be one of Deloitte’s “Faces of Excellence” for this work.

David also co-founded LA Community Leaders, a network of 100 professionals who manage corporate responsibility programs in the region. In 2008 he initiated a major pro bono project with the Governor’s office and CaliforniaVolunteers to create the nation’s first Disaster Corps, a group of 1,000 volunteers trained to work alongside police and fire personnel during a crisis. For this effort, he was appointed by the Governor to serve on the CaliforniaVolunteers Commission. In this role, he also co-leads the commission’s Business Partners program, a network of 50 major businesses working at the forefront of philanthropy and service in the state.

Recently, David served as an advisor on corporate social responsibility at USC’s Annenberg School of Communications. He also co-founded UNITE LA’s Business Advisory Council, which is focused on creating greater connectivity between the business community and public schools across LA. He currently leads The Taproot Foundation’s advisory board in LA and also serves on the steering committee for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s new Office of Veteran Affairs.

In 2013, David received the “Outstanding Commissioner of the Year” Award from California Governor Jerry Brown and in September 2014 will receive CaliforniaVolunteers’ Hoffman Prize for distinguished service promoting volunteerism at the local, state, national and global level. He is frequently asked to speak on issues related to CSR and employee engagement.

Before joining Deloitte, David was Vice President of Coast Federal Bank in Los Angeles, responsible for public, government and community relations, the John Wooden speaking program and all corporate communications for the $11 billion institution. He graduated with honors from Cal Poly, Pomona, and today lives in Pasadena, California, with his family.

Gail Nebenzahl

2014 Volunteer of the Year Award Winner – Gail Nebenzahl

Gail Nebenzahl recently completed her service as a board member of SFCASA (San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocates), after serving as a volunteer CASA. Since 2000, when Gail completed her 40 hours of training and was sworn in by a judge as a CASA, no one has worked more tirelessly to support the healthy development of children in foster care in San Francisco.

Gail took on the role of advocate for three siblings, mentoring and advocating for their rights while helping them navigate difficult challenges. Gail would pick up the children weekly, assist with homework and take them on outings: playgrounds, stow lake, California Academy of Sciences, Angel Island, Muir Woods. They explored the many kinds of foods of the Bay Area.

Gail went the extra mile, uncovering resources to ensure they had what they needed, such as a photography class for one and singing lessons for another. One of the siblings, Maria was in foster care for the second time for severe neglect by her mother, now incarcerated. During the first six months Maria was in three foster homes. Gail found her first foster home to be frightening. In the second home, at only seven years old, Maria was made the housekeeper. Though the child qualified for tutoring and therapy, this foster mother did not allow it. Gail fought for a better placement, finding a responsible family with whom Maria has now been living for ten years, in a guardianship.

Gail knew Maria also deserved to have the best education and sought support so Maria could attend a K-8 Catholic school on full scholarship. Maria had missed going to church and it was the only place she had felt safe and enjoyed the community of people. From a Catholic family, she wanted to be baptized and Gail arranged for her to meet the priest. Maria chose her beloved second grade teacher to be her baptismal mother and the priest became her baptismal father. Maria now had a COMMUNITY of support that she could not have created on her own.

In 2004, Gail joined the Board of Directors. A fearless fundraiser, Gail introduced dozens of community members to SFCASA. Knowing there were more foster youth to be served, she launched the SFCASA Guild to raise financial support and visibility. She recruited the first Guild Chair and together they created the precursor to our annual Fostering Change Gala fundraiser. They held house parties and events to raise money and awareness. She solicited hundreds of auction items walking local neighborhoods, sharing the SFCASA mission.

A fourth generation San Franciscan, Gail holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, San Francisco and earned her Masters of Arts in Anthropology from San Francisco State University at age 60. While raising three children with her husband Bernard, Gail worked as a dental hygienist for 29 years, was active in the integration of public schools, and marched in Civil Rights rallies. She has served on the Board of Cross Cultural Family Center, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and Women’s Interfaith Dialogue on the Mideast.

Kalyn Bocast

California’s AmeriCorps Member of the Year – Kalyn Bocast

Kalyn Bocast was born and raised in Chico CA. After completing the Butte College Connections Program with a 4.0 GPA her senior year of high
school, she transferred to Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. During her time of study, she joined the Natural Resources Club as well as the
Club for the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, and spent many weekends serving her community through volunteer projects. After graduating
with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Protection she moved to Central America to promote environmental stewardship and gain
further experience in her field of study. While there, she spent six months volunteering with Long Way Home, a non-profit in Guatemala dedicated
to using sustainable solutions to promote education, employment, and environmental awareness. During her service there, she received an award for
“excellent work ethic & group leadership.” She then traveled to Balgue, Nicaragua where she spent the duration of her year volunteering with
Project Bona Fide, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting food sovereignty both locally and regionally. After returning to the U.S.,
Kalyn joined the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project. Over the course of her term as an AmeriCorps Service Member working with the California
Conservation Corps, she created programs, spearheaded projects, and provided many opportunities for learning and service within her community.
A highlight of her service was her creation, development, and direction of Creek Days, a three day watershed recovery fair for over 400 students
and community members in Humboldt County. In addition, she planned and implemented a volunteer service project in the rural community of Briceland that focused on stabilizing the banks of a local watercourse. Furthermore, in conjunction with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Kalyn assisted in starting an extensive watershed restoration program at a local high school. With hopes to expand on the work of her year 20 service term, Kalyn has chosen to dedicate another year of service to the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project and the California Conservation Corps.