Jolene Telles was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley town of Los Banos. After graduating from University of California at Santa Barbara with a major in Spanish, she moved to Houston, Texas, and worked with Project 21, a federally funded program to assist Spanish speaking K-8 elementary students’ transition into the US school system. Jolene left teaching to attend law school at the University of Houston. She and her husband, Dr. John Telles, moved to Rochester New York, where she was admitted to the New York Bar and practiced law, with an emphasis on business.

Jolene and her husband returned to their native San Joaquin Valley in 1979 to settle and start a family. Though admitted to the California Bar, Jolene dedicated herself to raising four sons, running a business founded in 1986 marketing a patented garden product, managing family business interests, and serving the community. Most recently Jolene served three years as President of San Joaquin Valley Town Hall lecture series, ushering in its 75th season, continues 40 years of fundraising for Valley Children’s Hospital, is a community advocate for Arts and Parks and has joined the board of the Fresno Arts Council.

Jolene is an avid fruit, vegetable and flower gardener, and also enjoys tennis, snow skiing and fly-fishing with her husband and with their four sons, daughter-in law and two grandchildren, who all share an enthusiasm and love for Fresno and a commitment to a better future for their community.