The Leadership Napa Valley board of directors announced today the appointment of Holly Krassner Dawson as executive director for the organization, effective April 17, 2017. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Leadership Napa Valley (LNV) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to involve, inspire and inform leaders to strengthen the Napa community.
The executive director position is a new one. Napa Mayor Jill Techel will remain in her longtime role as program coordinator, responsible for organizing the monthly sessions where class participants learn about topics related to leadership in the Napa Valley.
In announcing the choice, Sandy Re Sims, vice president at the Bank of Napa and board president of Leadership Napa Valley, noted that “we were overwhelmed by the response to our executive director position. All the candidates were wonderful advocates for LNV, but Holly’s experience, skills and reputation in our community and her longstanding, active relationship with LNV, both as a graduate and a board member, stood out. We are confident that the addition of Holly to our team will have an immediate impact on our program and help us bring LNV to the place we all know it should be. We look forward to working with her in shaping LNV for the future.”
“I am very excited to work with the board of directors and Jill Techel at an organization that has had such a positive and influential impact on me and so many others in our community,” Dawson said. “I credit LNV for providing me with many of the tools, the connections and the confidence to launch my own marketing and communications business, Connecting the Dots, in 2009. I am excited to take on this new role in support of future leaders in the valley.”
As executive director, Dawson will work closely with the board of directors to oversee and implement efforts to increase alumni engagement, recruitment and fundraising to strategically enhance LNV’s mission and support the organization’s efforts to identify, train and motivate current and future local leaders for many years to come.
Dawson is a 2004 LNV graduate (Class 17) and a former member of the LNV board of directors (2004-2006 and 2009-2011). Her LNV practicum group spearheaded the development and implementation of the 2005 Napa County Visitor Profile Study and Economic Impact Study, which was subsequently updated by Visit Napa Valley. She has maintained her engagement with LNV, and last year worked with an LNV Class 29 practicum group to launch her website, NapaValleyKid.com, the go-to guide for families in Napa Valley.
For the last eight years, Dawson has worked as an independent contractor with a focus on marketing, communications, strategic partnerships, content development, and project management. The LNV position is a part-time contract position; she will continue to work with her current clients, which include First 5 Napa County, Oxbow Public Market, Queen of the Valley Foundation, Sustainable Napa County, and The V Foundation Wine Celebration.
Dawson first moved to Napa in 2000 as the opening marketing director for Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts. Prior to moving to Napa, she worked in marketing and communications for KQED television and radio and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and in San Francisco politics. She currently serves on the Napa County Local Food Advisory Council, the steering committee for 100 Women Who Care About Napa County and the Napa Chamber of Commerce Legislative Action Committee.
About Leadership Napa Valley
Now in its 30th year, Leadership Napa Valley (LNV) began in 1987. The program annually selects class members from a diverse cross-section of Napa Valley applicants. During the nine-month program, class members develop leadership skills and learn teamwork and experience the many different pieces, from government to nonprofits that make Napa County such a special place to live. In the practicum portion of the program, they work in teams to develop meaningful projects intended to have a lasting positive impact on the community. Today, LNV is recognized as one of the best leadership training experiences in the country. To date, more than 700 people have graduated from the program with a deeper commitment to making Napa Valley a better place to live, work and grow.