Irvine Foundation Announces 2016 Leadership Award Recipients

The James Irvine Foundation has announced the six recipients of the 2016 Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards, which recognize California leaders who are advancing innovative and effective solutions to significant state issues.

This year's recipients are Lenore Anderson, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice (Oakland), who is working to improve public safety through crime prevention activities and  a statewide support network of crime survivors; Elizabeth "Izzy" Martin, CEO of the Sierra Fund (Nevada City), whose efforts are aimed at reducing the adverse effects of abandoned mines on water quality in the Sierra Nevada; and Dean Schillinger, founder of the Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital/UCSF (San Francisco), who is engaging youth to thwart the rise of Type 2 diabetes. Kate Sofis and Todd Rufo, executive director of SFMade (San Francisco) and director of San Francisco's Office of Economic and Workforce Development, respectively, received a joint award for forming a public-private partnership to support the growth of urban manufacturing and higher-wage jobs, while Peter Weber, founder of Fresno Bridge Academy (Fresno) was recognized for his work to reduce poverty in the Central Valley through the innovative use of public assistance funds.

The foundation awarded $200,000 to each recipient's organization, for a total of $1 million.

"Many of our state's most creative and effective leaders are successfully tackling enormous challenges, yet remain outside the public spotlight," said Irvine Foundation president and CEO Don Howard. "We hope these awards will help expand the impact these leaders are having in California by providing them with both recognition and support."