When people come together, communities thrive

This is the guiding principle behind everything we do here at the Central Valley Community Foundation in our work to promote effective philanthropy and build stronger communities.

CVCF builds partnerships with donors, funders, and grantees on projects that generate real, measurable impact throughout the Central Valley.

The staff at CVCF is dedicated to assisting the communities and residents of the six counties we serve. 2017 brought some new members to our already outstanding team, including the addition of former Mayor of Fresno Ashley Swearengin as the President and CEO.

Please continue reading below to meet our exceptional team. We look forward to working together with you to help our communities thrive!

Ashley Swearengin, President & Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.)

Oversees the overall management and direction of the Central Valley Community Foundation, ensuring that CVCF makes progress everyday towards accomplishing our mission: to cultivate smart philanthropy, lead, and invest in solutions that build stronger communities.

Ashley Swearengin is president and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation, a charitable foundation serving the six counties of Central California and providing over $100 million in funding to over 650 community benefit organizations over the last decade.  Prior to joining CVCF, she served as Mayor of the City of Fresno from 2009 through 2016.  As mayor, she implemented substantial changes to improve the delivery of city services, revitalize the downtown and urban core, promote business and job growth, address chronic homelessness, and stabilize the city’s financial position.  Before becoming mayor, Ashley led a number of economic development initiatives in the Fresno region, including the Central Valley Business Incubator, Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development, and the Regional Jobs Initiative.  She holds MBA and BS degrees from California State University, Fresno.


Ann-Marie Padilla, Community Engagement Associate               

Phone: 559-226-5600

Performs administrative duties at the front desk, manages the coordination and scheduling of events with community partners at CVCF.


Candice Troutman, Executive Assistant                                         

Phone: 559-825-6186

Manages the President’s/CEO’s calendar, travel arrangements, correspondences, board/committee meeting arrangements, and maintains ongoing projects for the CEO in collaboration with Board members and fellow CVCF staff.


Claudia Ruiz-Alvarez, Director of Donor Services                          

Phone: 559-825-6182

Focuses on providing exceptional and differentiated service to donors, prospective donors, nonprofit organizations, and colleagues. Claudia carries out CVCF’s mission by facilitating the establishment and effective operation of donor-advised, designated, scholarship and agency funds.


Danielle Bergstrom, Policy Director                                                           

Phone: 559-825-6191

Connects the work of CVCF to state and federal policy initiatives, develops research to better help policymakers understand the landscape of the Central Valley, and connects with funders to increase investment and impact in the region.


David Johnson, Special Projects                                                      

Phone: 559-825-6187

As a Foundation donor, a past board member and interim CEO, and now as a senior advisor, David provides critical institutional memory at the Foundation and continues to play a key role in donor relations, fiscal management, and project oversight. Drawing on his 30 years in the agriculture industry, including as VP of California Operations for Dunavant Enterprises, David is also leading the Foundation’s strategy to engage more Valley farmers in philanthropy through crop gifting.


Elliott Balch, Chief Operating Officer (C.O.O.)                               

Phone: 559-825-6192

Coordinates and supports grantmaking, community engagement, and policy work; recruits staff talent; designs and implements strategies for program and asset growth; oversees contracts for mission-related projects; and develops opportunities for innovation in capital management and operations.


Gretchen Moore, Director of Community Engagement               

Phone: 559-825-6188

Directs community engagement and communications activities in cooperation with CVCF staff, community partners, funders, and grantees.


Kelvin F. Alfaro, Senior Program Officer                                        

Phone: 559-825-6190

Ensures quality and timeliness of all aspects of grants processing and management and oversees grants management staff. With knowledge of grantees, CVCF history, and pertinent regulations, Kelvin works with staff and Board members to enhance CVCF’s long-range planning, strategy implementation, and communications.


Kerri Horn, Chief Financial Officer (C.F.O.)                                     

Phone: 559-825-6180

Provides accountability of the financial affairs of CVCF and serves as the chief financial advisor regarding fiscal resources and outlays. Kerri directs, administers, and coordinates policies and procedures related to: finance and investment management, safeguarding of assets, and compliance with internal controls.


Miguel Ramirez, Community Engagement Manager                    

Phone: 559-825-6189

Provides information to our local communities through a variety of outlets, including broadcast and social media. Facilitates communications between nonprofits, organizations, and community leaders. Miguel also oversees media relations and manages CVCF’s website.


Phuong Bui, Grants & Finance Associate    

Executes a variety of administrative, data, and accounting tasks to support grantmaking and finance.


Travis Jeffus, Staff Accountant                                                        

Phone: 559-825-6193

Executes a variety of accounting and financial control monitoring duties for CVCF.  Travis ensures proper accounting for gifts, grants, and other financial transactions, thereby safeguarding the integrity of CVCF’s funds.