Social Media Associate
Danya Adolphs brings a variety of skills to her work as Social Media Associate at Community Initiatives. With a background in both writing and healthcare, Danya combined these skills, adding grant writing and marketing communications to her repertoire through the Technical and Professional Writing Program at San Francisco State University. Always interested in social causes, she has acted as a volunteer for several nonprofit organizations in San Francisco and Madison, Wisconsin. In her free time, Danya enjoys traveling and delighting in food from around the world. Her true passion is learning and experimenting with cooking and healthy eating. Most recently, this led her to create the Homegrown Marin Market, a community food event to support new chefs and local agriculture in the Bay Area. When not at Community Initiatives, Danya works as a nutritionist at UCSF Medical Center.
Administrative Assistant/Executive Assistant
Andrea Aguilar brings to Community Initiatives a strong background in classical antiquity, museums and education, as well as a wealth of knowledge and experience in customer service and administration. In the past few years, she has held the position as an elementary school art teacher in Oakland, a guide and docent trainer for numerous Bay Area museums, and most recently the Administrative Assistant at Debra J. Dolch, Fiduciary Services. She recently received her M.A. degree from San Francisco State University in Museum Studies, although she will always be a wildcat at heart (B.A. degree from the University of Arizona). As a member of the Bay Area Emerging Museums Professionals Organization, she frequently attends new exhibitions and gallery openings. She is a native San Franciscan, a devoted runner, and an art enthusiast.
M. Melanie Beene
President & CEO
During more than three decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, Melanie Beene has served as a management consultant, a development director, philanthropy program officer, board member and volunteer with hundreds of nonprofit organizations throughout the country. For eight years she managed the Advancement Program of the National Endowment for the Arts. Her foundation clients included the Bush, Ford, Heinz and Packard Foundations, as well as the Pew Charitable Trusts, among others. She served as Program Director, Arts, for The James Irvine Foundation and for The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Her publication, “Autopsy of an Orchestra,” has become a classic case study, and she has written articles for The Reader, Grantmakers in the Arts Newsletter. Her board service includes Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts, Institute of Nonprofit Management (USF), and the Alliance of California Traditional Arts, among others. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. from the University of Tennessee. Melanie, a former member of the California Bar Association, lives in San Francisco.
Jim brings experience from a variety of industries to Community Initiatives. For the last decade, he has been in the Engineering field, mostly as a staff accountant for Brown and Caldwell, and for LFR, Inc. He has extensive computer skills and has worked with many software packages. In his spare time, he plays soccer, softball, and basketball, and brews beer. Jim is a graduate of Heald Business College and lives in Walnut Creek.
Payroll & Accounts Payable Specialist
Rey Canoy brings to Community Initiatives a wealth of payroll and accounts payable experience. He served as Accounts Payable Specialist at the Dynalectric Company and also at a variety of organizations in temporary positions with NCIRE. Earlier experience included accounting and payroll positions at Wollborg/Michelson Personnel Service and CB Richard Ellis. Rey’s nonprofit experience includes payroll work at Edgewood Center for Children and Families. A native of the Philippines, he grew up in Hawaii. He is a graduate of Heald College, and now lives in San Francisco’s Richmond District.
Bodil, (pronounced Bow-Dill), was born and raised in Denmark and is a world traveller. She has a wealth of professional experience including working in real estate to help first time buyers gain access to affordable housing, project management for Tides Center, Quios, Inc. (a global text message start-up), and NetJet Communications (an internet start-up). From 2008 she has been a Contract Manager at Tides Center where she managed a $19 million portfolio of complex program grants and contracts. Both Bodil and her husband are practicing artists who live in SF and Benicia. Bodil's education included a B.A. (summa cum laude) and M.F.A. (textiles) from San Francisco State University. Bodil describes herself as an enthusiastic, self-starter who is able to problem solve creatively, so she should be just the ticket for Community Initiatives.
Interim Director of Financial Services
Ken has worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations over the past 20 years in both operations and finance & accounting roles. Most recently, Ken was the COO for Resource Media, a nonprofit organization that provides strategic communications to environmental campaigns. Prior to Resource Media, Ken was the Director of Finance and Administration for the Stuart Foundation, a family foundation focused on funding programs for children and youth in California and Washington. Ken has worked for both the San Francisco Zoo and the Brookfield Zoo in suburban Chicago. He earned a BA from the University of Chicago. Ken and his family have lived in San Francisco since 1997 and he has devoted his volunteer time toward helping public schools manage their budgets during a period of declining funds from the state. He also has served as the Treasurer for the Randall Museum Friends, supporting a small science and art museum.
Director of FSP and Philanthropic Services
Arts and education have dominated Prudy Kohler’s career in the nonprofit sector. For more than 20 years she taught arts and humanities and held administrative positions at the high school and the college level. She then spent another seven years working in philanthropy as a Program Officer at The James Irvine Foundation. Most recently Prudy served as interim executive director of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and as interim director of the Cultural Equity Program at the San Francisco Arts Commission. She is the owner/founder of ART FOR LUNCH, a program that provides hands-on art making workshops for team building in businesses. Her educational background includes a B.A. in art history from Pomona College and an M.A. also in art history from San Francisco State University. A practicing artist (photo-transfer techniques), Prudy lives in San Francisco.
With a solid background in financial accounting, Tommie Luu brings to Community Initiatives experience in strategic planning, management support, and teamwork commitment. Most recently, he held the Accounts Payable/Receivable Specialist position at Hatchbeauty, LLC, and prior to that held the Assistant Accountant position at Walt Disney Animation Studios in San Francisco. Tommie is an exceptionally skillful pianist and thoroughly enjoys exploring new cultures through food and travel. He has a B.S in Accounting from San Francisco State University and was born and raised in San Jose, CA. He currently is residing in Oakland, CA.
Grant Accounting Specialist
Scott brings with him nearly 20 years experience as an auditor in the insurance sector. Most recently he spent 8 years as Senior Premium Auditor for a national insurance company, working on National Accounts, compliance issues, and new auditor training. Scott’s educational background includes a Master of Public Administration from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University. Scott is passionate about theater, dance, performance, cultural policy, philanthropy, and fiscal sponsorship.
Susan has a decade of experience working for environmental and social justice organizations in the areas of administration, finance, and grants management. She was the Government Grants Manager for the Tides Center in San Francisco, where she oversaw the compliance management for several million dollars of Federal, State and Local government funding. Psychology and psychotherapy are Susan ’s other professional passions—she holds an MA in Counseling Psychology and is a practicing therapist (as a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern). Susan loves art, the outdoors, and people—she enjoys painting, backpacking and exploring wilderness, and is interested in building sustainable communities.
Director of Human Resources
Melanie has been a Human Resources professional for over 15 years and has worked with a variety of organizations. Prior to her arrival at Community Initiatives she worked as a Director of Human Resources at a non-profit health care facility. She earned a Masters of Arts in Human Resources and also served in the Army Reserves as a Staff Sergeant for many years providing human resources leadership. Melanie is committed to the non-profit sector and believes in its values. She currently volunteers for the Northern California Golden Retriever Rescue (NORCAL) and finds enjoyment in finding forever homes for rescued Golden Retrievers. Melanie lives in Brentwood.