Early on, we started calling CanDo’s Board of Directors our “CORE.” The word comes from the French “heart” (coeur), and that’s just how we feel about this group of lively and creative volunteers who make important decisions and “steer” CanDo: they are our heart.
A small CORE gathers monthly. We don’t wear suits to our meetings. There’s no secret handshake. We don’t even have a “Board Room.”
Pre-Covid, we met each month in someone’s living room, where there was always food, drink and camaraderie. Of course, times have changed. Like many of you, we have been “Zooming” since the beginning of the pandemic.
But it’s still the same: we talk, listen, and see what’s keeping things cooking. Then we take action.
All are volunteers and we’re always eager to have interested people sit in on a CORE gathering, whether to simply get a feel for how things work or to join in the conversation. It’s amazing to see what we CanDo when we work together.
Camille Kaijankoski, President
I found CanDo right after I had returned from a trip to Southeast Asia. During that adventure, I saw plastic bags everywhere and wanted to make a change. I have a personal mission to bring joy to others and make the world a better place. CanDo has provided a means to that end while having fun with like-minded people.
Chris Ackley, Vice President
Born in Napa and raised in the South Bay during the 1960’s in a fairly liberal household. Lived in Ireland for a couple of years in the 90’s with my husband and 2 young children… the best. Moved back to my hometown in 2012 and keeping with family tradition I wanted to give back. I joined CanDo in 2013 working in the Food Bank Garden and have never looked back.
Karen Garcia, Corresponding Secretary
Growing up in an adventurous and open-minded family, traveling extensively, and enjoying a career in education have instilled in me the deep and indelible belief that all humans share this desire: to live peaceful and meaningful lives in a safe and thriving community. Working with the wonderful people in Napa Valley CanDo, I’ve seen my beliefs translated into meaningful work that brings tangible results.
Kelly Cliff, Information Officer
I’m a Sacramento native, and in 1998 we moved to Napa to be near my husband’s family, which has deep roots here. Although I enjoy traveling, I can’t imagine living anywhere else! I love it here. I’ve been a volunteer for many years. I was drawn to CanDo because of its work with the community and the environment, both extremely important to me.
Betsy Cipriano, Treasurer
I’m one of the fortunate bay area folks who was lucky enough to retire in Napa. And even luckier that I found CanDo as a place to hang out….the amazing volunteers I get to work with have such an incredible ability to get things done in our community. Of course, I also enjoy the wine part of Napa and my knitting – but not at the same time.
I am a wife and mother who cares deeply about my Napa community. After spending 40 years working in the grocery industry, I like making sure that people have food. I am honored to be a part of Napa Valley CanDo and helping to ease food insecurity in the Napa Valley.
Alex Heiken, Youth Core Member
I found CanDo while searching for volunteer opportunities, and in May I began working with CanDo’s Food Rescue Team. I also participate in multiple community service-related clubs, and play the bassoon and saxophone in the Vintage High School Symphony and Jazz Band.
Believing that personal growth is achieved by experiencing new and uncomfortable situations, I look forward to exploring possibilities and expanding the reach of CanDo with the rest of you.