Friday, September 18, 2009

Volunteer San Diego Welcomes New Staff and AmeriCorps members!

First of all, please extend a warm welcome to Veronica Baker, VSD’s new Development Director! Veronica has been involved with nonprofit organizations her entire life, primarily in a fundraising capacity. Her previous affiliations include Mainly Mozart, Kids Korps USA, Cygnet Theatre, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego, and North Coast Repertory Theatre. Veronica is passionate about helping nonprofits succeed, and is excited to be involved with an organization that plays such a vital role in helping build a stronger community.

The end of summer often signifies the beginning of new AmeriCorps terms. We also said bittersweet goodbyes to our former AmeriCorps members, Adrianne Burleigh and Brandi Love, as well as staff member Seth Connolly. We wish them the best of luck in their next adventures! Please welcome our newest AmeriCorps members!

Sharon Lynn, Volunteer Relations Coordinator
Citizen Action AmeriCorps

I have been a volunteer in the Volunteer San Diego office as a special projects assistant for the last two years. I love the work Volunteer San Diego does for the San Diego community at large and how they support both sides of the volunteer equation – the individuals who volunteer and the agencies that benefit from the services provided by the volunteers.

Therefore, it is with great pleasure that I am starting a year of AmeriCorps service here. I now get to dive further into projects that I am already excited about.

I was raised in Los Angeles, lived in Northern California for 13 years and have resided in San Diego since 2005. I am very involved in my congregational life and I lead one of our ministries. I also minister to inmates at Donovan State Prison. I love it in San Diego and have no intention of ever leaving!

Gypsy Walukones, Disaster Outreach Coordinator
Citizen Action AmeriCorps

I am thrilled to be working with Volunteer San Diego as the AmeriCorps Disaster Outreach Coordinator. I moved to San Diego a year ago after 5 years in Seattle. Originally from the fishing town of Petersburg in Southeast Alaska, I have always considered survival skills and emergency preparedness to be significant in my life. I began volunteering with Volunteer San Diego’s Disaster Cadre earlier this year and also completed the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Academy this past spring, learning light search and rescue, basic fire suppression, emergency management and medical triage.

I have a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Oregon and am working on a Master of Forensic Science from National University. My previous work experience includes seasonal work processing salmon roe, collecting biological samples and statistical data for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, years as a barista in small, locally owned coffee shops, selling artisan cheeses in the Pike Place Market, and writing web content and search engine ad copy for small businesses.

Nathan Kieso, AmeriCorps VISTA
Community Organization Liaison

I came to VSD through AmeriCorps VISTA to see the world, meet interesting people and provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for them. Before coming to San Diego, I worked with AmeriCorps*VISTA in the recovery efforts after the 2008 Iowa flood, immediately after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Iowa. I was a lifelong resident of Iowa City, Iowa until I came to San Diego and I am thrilled to be here!

Jennie McDonald, AmeriCorps VISTA
Community Organization Liaison

I recently moved to San Diego from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and am glad to live closer to the ocean. For the past two years, I have worked as an intake coordinator for VSA arts of New Mexico, a non-profit arts organization that primarily serves people with disabilities. In 2006, I was an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) member, and worked in several projects throughout the Northeast and Gulf Coast, including Hurricane Katrina recovery work in Mississippi and Louisiana. I graduated from Colorado College in 2005 with a Bachelor’s in Women’s Studies. I am passionate about helping others, and look forward to this year of service and getting to know San Diego!

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