2019 Annual report

Letter From Executive Director

Lisa Wittke Schaffner

Foundation Goals 2020

  • Identifying and closing the gaps in the educational system, starting with early childcare and preschool
  • Improving career and college exposure and readiness throughout all schools
  • Decreasing the negative health impacts associated with poverty, especially pediatric dental health and mental health
  • Creating opportunities for the most under-resourced populations to improve their quality of life and career opportunities

"How can we make the greatest impact for long term change?"

John Jordan was engaged and committed this year in asking the hard questions about where the greatest needs and inequities existed within the community we serve. The John Jordan Foundation uses civic engagement and public policy advocacy to expand the reach and impact of our work. The active philanthropy model John visualized in 2012 now helps organizations to enhance programs, grow the services they offer to their clients, and stay focused on data to improve reporting.

Throughout 2019, the Foundation collaborated with other investors and agencies to increase investment in our community around equity in education, health, and income stability. The fires of October 2017 compounded some of our biggest challenges, and 2019 brought more fire and flooding events. These crises lead us to also add a mental health focus for even our youngest citizens. This issue will continue to grow as we uncover what the needs are in schools and clinics. A multi-year investment in scaling up counseling for school districts in the northern part of the county is just the beginning for JJF.

The Foundation participates in many events, expanding the ability to support the community-based organizations in their fundraising and development work as a way to broaden programs.

Sharing a story, committing funding, and providing a match investment are ways we work to support these groups. There is now a deeper understanding about health disparities and the direct link to education and income to outcomes.

We also continued our investments and provided support and leadership on county wide initiatives including Sonoma County Funders Circle, Upstream Investments, Health Action, the Violence Prevention Partnership and Cradle to Career. The health outcomes of all children, working toward innovation education, and empowering families to be economically stable will continue to guide our work. There is an ongoing need for focused investments, and we encourage collaboration between entities and are granting based on these considerations.

We move into 2020 with a continued urgency for system improvement, the community will again rebuild and focus on our most under-resourced neighbors. The work with our partners to achieve greater equity in health, education, and income stability continues.

Please contact me with any questions.

Lisa's Signature
Lisa Wittke Schaffner

Who We Are

Lisa Wittke Schaffner

Lisa Wittke Schaffner

Executive Director
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Lisa is the Executive Director of the John Jordan Foundation in Healdsburg, California. The Foundation was established in 2012 and focuses on educational, income stability programs and health access.

Prior to this position she was Chief Executive Officer of the Sonoma County Alliance for seven years, the Alliance is a coalition of business, agriculture, labor and individuals organized to protect private property rights, to encourage a healthy economy.

In 2012, Ms. Schaffner was elected to the Sonoma County Board of Education, serves as President and was re-elected in 2014 and 2018.

Lisa is the Chair of the Redwood Credit Union Board, Co-Chair of Health Action Sonoma County, sits on the boards of the Sonoma County Fair, United Way of the Wine Country, Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation, Family Justice Center, Social Advocates for Youth, 10,000 Degrees Advisory Board and is on the Career Technical Education Foundation Board. She is the also on the Operational Team Member for Cradle to Career, the Upstream Investments Policy Committee and the policy team for the Violence Prevention Partnership.

Lisa Schaffner was born and raised in Healdsburg, California. She graduated from California State University Sacramento in 1991 with a degree in Government and Journalism.

In 1999 Lisa was elected to Healdsburg City Council. She was Vice-Mayor from December 2002 until December 2003 and again in 2007. She became Mayor of Healdsburg in December of 2003 and again in December 2007, retiring from Council at the end of 2008. In 2010, Lisa as appointed to the Council to serve out an existing vacant term.

Most importantly, Lisa is a mother of two amazing young adults McKenzie, 23 graduated in May 2018, from Johnson and Wales Miami and lives in Charlotte, NC where she has opened her first store and Malloy, 20 attends California State University, Sacramento as a junior.

John Jordan

John Jordan

Founder and Board Chair
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John is Chief Executive Officer of Jordan Vineyard & Winery and co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Labrador OmniMedia. An avid pilot, during college he continued to feed his passion for flying and received his Airline Transport Pilot License at age 23 (minimum age requirement). John is a graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles and holds a JD from Empire College School of Law. While studying law, John also attended graduate school and received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of San Francisco.

After passing the California Bar Examination in December 2002, John joined the Santa Rosa-based law firm where he'd worked as a clerk in college, then opened his own private firm in Sonoma County in 2004. John enjoys flying his Piper Cub and fishing for bass on Jordan lake. He also serves as a professor at the Empire College School of Law, and speaks German and Russian.

He shares his hillside home with Labradors he adopted from a local shelter.

Josh Hermsmeyer

Josh Hermsmeyer

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Josh is co-founder and CEO of Labrador OmniMedia and Rottweiler Hardware. With 10 years in the wine industry on the grower and supplier side, Josh's passion lies at the intersection of wine and technology. Josh has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Wine & Spirits, Wines and Vines, The Press Democrat, North Bay Biz and Fast Company Now. He has given talks on social media and marketing at UC Davis, Sonoma State University, The Wine Industry Technology Symposium, The Mendocino Winegrape Commission, and Women for Wine Sense.

Josh has also written for Vineyard & Winery Management, Wines and Vines and co-authored a chapter on direct-to-consumer marketing and Wine 2.0 for Professor Liz Thach's Wine: A Global Business, the authoritative academic text on the wine industry. He served on the Sonoma County Wine Library Associates Board of Directors from 2007-2008, and was elected President for the 2008 year. Josh was trained at UC Davis, where he studied Economics and Winemaking.

He lives at and manages Rebecca's Vineyard, a 17 acre pinot noir vineyard in the Russian River Valley

Program Focus

Youth and Education

The Foundation supports programs that promote child, youth, and family development. As we deepen our commitment to building assets for vulnerable children and families, we focus on all aspects of children’s lives and align with the collaborative work of Cradle to Career. Within this context, youth and education programs address the entire continuum from early childhood education through college and workforce development. The overall goal is to support healthy infant, child, and youth development by mobilizing, strengthening, and aligning systems that affect children’s learning. The strategies are: 1) mobilize youth, families, and communities to inform policies that affect learning and achievement for vulnerable children and youth; and 2) forge partnerships between educational institutions and our community to promote learning, academic performance, and workforce preparation among vulnerable young people.

Income Stability

The Foundation is focused on supporting programs that provide a path for upward mobility and financial security. Widely shared economic prosperity not only improves the lives of low-income families and communities, but it is also good for business and the stability and growth of the economy. To achieve economic security, families need enough income from their jobs or enterprises to provide for their families' basic needs, save for emergencies, and invest in assets such as a home, a new or expanded business, education and training and retirement savings. These assets are critical because they build long-term household stability, allowing families to weather crises and unexpected challenges that are an inevitable part of today's world. The core strategies are loan programs, career training and financial education.

The Healdsburg Unified School District

The Healdsburg Unified School District and JJF Invest in a Parent Outreach & Engagement Coordinator

The services of a Bilingual Parent Outreach & Engagement Coordinator is one that the Healdsburg Unified School District had long been eager to have, given the strong correlation between student achievement and parent engagement. Thanks to the John Jordan Foundation and their generous two-year commitment to launch this position during the 2018-19 School Year both at the Healdsburg Elementary and Fitch Mountain Campus, our schools are now building a foundation for greater communication, collaboration and support for our students and their families.

Erin Fender, HUSD Director of Curriculum and Instruction explains, “We know that engaging parents, particularly when students are young, and entering into a long-term partnership with families is crucial to our kids’ success. We are excited to collaborate more deeply and more authentically with all of our students’ families. We know it truly takes a village.” With offices at both elementary school campuses, the Coordinator’s central role is to facilitate greater communication and information sharing, and to empower HUSD families to become advocates for their student’s education.

Central to this effort is learning from parents what resources would be most helpful for them in order to show up more fully for their students, and prioritizing those needs. On the school front, this has included workshops on how to read report cards, understand the tests their students are taking, and learn how to make informed decisions about their student’s education based on that child’s individual needs. It also means encouraging more parents to volunteer in the classroom, take home books to read with their children, and learn strategies for helping their children work through difficult topics.

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Council on Aging - Meals on Wheels

Council on Aging - Meals on Wheels

Serving Sonoma County seniors and their families since 1966, Council on Aging provides 19 programs in the areas of social, financial, legal, health and nutrition assistance. This past year Council on Aging delivered 174,000 meals through their Meals on Wheels program in Sonoma County. Thanks to the John Jordan Foundation providing 3900 of those home-delivered meals for frail isolated seniors.

In addition to the meals, clients receive a daily check-in, depression screening, pet food for their pets, additional food if this is their sole source of nutrition, and assistance if they have fallen, or are ill and need medical attention. Additionally, Council on Aging remains in contact with family members who are not in the area keeping them apprised of their loved one's health. Three daily meal choices ensure everyone receives a meal that they will enjoy.

Although the meals keep seniors healthy, the daily human contact and conversation with their delivery driver is often the only social interaction they have each day. 94% of seniors receiving meals share that the program helps them to remain living independently in their homes.

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Santa Rosa Junior College English as a Second Language Scholarships

Santa Rosa Junior College English as a Second Language Scholarships

At Santa Rosa Junior College, our English as a Second Language (ESL) program helps students like Andrea develop the essential language skills that are the foundation for academic and career success. Thanks to the support of the John Jordan Foundation ESL Scholarships, these students are opening doors to higher education and building better lives for their families.

Every day, nearly 3,000 students arrive at SRJC to learn English in one of the largest ESL programs in the California Community College system. An estimated 25 percent of Sonoma County households predominately speak another language at home. The English language learners attending SRJC comprise a diverse population of resident immigrants, naturalized citizens, international students, and migrant and seasonal workers.

SRJC’s ESL program is designed to teach basic English skills to improve literacy and to advance students who wish to pursue an academic degree or certificate. Our caring faculty and staff are there to support and motivate students to achieve their dreams from day one all the way to completion. SRJC ESL students demonstrate discipline, motivation, inspiration, and most importantly, courage, as they seek more opportunities to thrive in our community.

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Other Project Investments

Overall Impact

Our goal at JJF has always been to create lasting impact. Each year we are able to create a better future. These are just some of the ways we achieved that goal in 2019 alone.
2018 Annual Report



John Jordan Foundation has participated in over 100 events, just in 2019!



Our investments have directly helped 110K+ students and their families.



Our Teacher’s Wishes program helped 107 schools, 34 districts and independent schools.



We invested with 276 schools, organizations and programs for under-resourced families and individuals.