Sonoma Valley Fund names 4 to board
Sonoma Valley Fund, an affiliate of Community Foundation Sonoma County, has named Kimberly Blattner, Suzanne Brangham, Dennis Collins, and Bill Lynch to its board of directors.
“Each of these new board members brings enormous experience and a wealth of community knowledge to our board and will be invaluable resources to Sonoma Valley Fund and all of our nonprofit partners,” said Barbara Young, Sonoma Valley Fund’s president.
Blattner, a resident of Sonoma since 1982, was raised in Oregon and came to California to attend Stanford University, where she earned a BA in political science and was captain of the women’s varsity swimming team. She later received an MA and elementary and secondary teaching credentials from UC Davis and taught high school for 14 years, serving as chair of the English Department at Sonoma Valley High School from 1988 to 1990. She has served on the boards of Presidio Hill School, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, SFMOMA Docent Council, League of Women Voters of Sonoma County, Enterprise for High School Students, and La Luz Center, where she was board chair for two years. She is currently a member of Sonoma’s Community Services and Environment Commission.
Brangham was born in New York, went to college in Pennsylvania, and began teaching fine arts and commercial design in Arlington, Virginia. She moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s, where she held several positions in advertising and public relations. There followed a move with her family to Florida, where she entered the field of interior design. A published author, Brangham has been featured in numerous national magazines and has appeared on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “Oprah.” Brangham retired in 1987 only to begin yet another career in building rammed earth homes. Then came the renovation of a 19th-century Victorian home in Sonoma, turning it into a successful restaurant and an award-winning culinary school, Ramekins.
This was followed by development of Sonoma’s MacArthur Place, a 64-room Country Inn, Spa, and Conference Center, featuring the award-winning steakhouse, Saddles. Brangham is deeply involved in Sonoma philanthropic activities and serves on many professional and nonprofit boards in the community. She has previously served as an advisor to Sonoma Valley Fund.
Collins was founding headmaster of the nationally recognized San Francisco University High School. He has also served as chief executive officer of the James Irvine Foundation from 1986 to 2002. During his tenure there, the foundation grew its asset base from $385 million to more than $1.7 billion. Collins has also had a longstanding relationship with Occidental College in Southern California, where he has been dean of students, director of admissions, and more recently, senior vice president for Institutional Advancement and External Relations, capping a career dedicated to education. Raised in Seattle, Wash., Collins earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Stanford University. He and his wife, Mollie, moved to Sonoma in 2007. They have two daughters and six grandchildren, all of whom live in the Bay Area. Mollie Collins was a founding board member of Sonoma’s Impact100.
Lynch was born and raised in Sonoma Valley in his family’s newspaper business, The Sonoma Index-Tribune. He has worked in every aspect of newspaper publishing since that time. In 1989, Lynch became editor and CEO, and served as editor and publisher from 2003 to April 2012, when he retired. He currently serves as a consultant to Sonoma Media Investments, The Sonoma Index-Tribune’s new owners, and he also writes news stories on occasion. Lynch holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. A graduate of the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School, he served three years as officer in the Navy. Lynch has participated on the boards of numerous local charitable organizations, including the Sonoma Chamber of Commerce, Boys & Girls Club, Mentoring Alliance, and Vintage House senior center.