United Way of the Wine Country has been dedicated to improving lives locally for 50 years. Everyone deserves a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, income that can support a family through retirement, and good health. To create lasting change, United Way focuses on solving the underlying causes of common problems related to education, income and health. We are committed to achieving lasting solutions - not just quick fixes - for our entire community.
Lisa Wittke Schaffner is the epitome of a community collaborator and relationship builder. If you have been fortunate enough to work with her for any length of time, this is something you have witnessed firsthand.
Lisa is the Executive Director of the John Jordan Foundation which was established in 2012 and focuses on educational, income stability programs, and health access. In this role, Lisa is instrumental in making the foundation's funding decisions. She does so by being heavily involved with local committees, boards, and community meetings and listening to the needs of our community. Lisa is Co-Chair of Health Action Sonoma County. She sits on the boards of the Sonoma County Fair, United Way of the Wine Country, Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation, Family Justice Center, Redwood Credit Union, Social Advocates for Youth, 10,000 Degrees Advisory Board and is on the Career Technical Education Foundation. She is the also an Operational Team Member for Cradle to Career, on the policy team for the Violence Prevention Partnership, and works with the County Redevelopment Oversight Committee. Lisa is a founding member and the first Chairwoman of United Way Women United, and she has been a key influencer of the group's success.
Lisa was born and raised in Healdsburg, and she graduated from California State University Sacramento with degrees in Government and Journalism. Lisa first held elected office when she joined the Healdsburg City Council in 1999. She was Vice-Mayor from December 2002 through 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 was appointed to the Council to serve out an existing vacant term. In 2012, Lisa was first elected to the Sonoma County Board of Education and re-elected in 2014 and 2018.
If you couldn't tell when you see her light up as she talks about them, Lisa is completely devoted to her family. She is the mother of two "amazing young adults". Her daughter, McKenzie, is 22 and graduated from Johnson and Wales Miami in May 2018 and currently lives in Charlotte, NC where she has opened her first store. Lisa's son, Malloy, is 19 and is currently beginning his sophomore year at California State University, Sacramento.
In March 2019, Lisa was chosen by Senator Mike McGuire as NorCal Woman of the Year to which the Senator commented, "Lisa has been leading a life changing initiative that has invested millions to increase access to healthcare for uninsured kids, expand career training in local schools, and close educational achievement gaps."
For the connections you create and the incredible commitment you show to this community, we thank you, Lisa, and we know this community is truly a better place because you are taking care of us.