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SENIOR FELLOW PROFILE honors three ALF participants who have gone above and beyond .
Studio Sacramento , a weekly series produced by KVIE and hosted by Scott Syphax , Class VIII Senior Fellow and founder of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program , invites Senior Fellows to discuss important issues during a roundtable interview that ’ s broadcast on public television .
And the connections don ’ t stop there . Every graduated Senior Fellow is called on to meet regularly to stay abreast of regional issues and mentor those currently going through the program . Likewise , the Encore Fellows program connects retired leaders with nonprofits to help them with capacity building and growth .
Christi Black-Davis , executive vice president of global communications and public affairs firm Edelman and recent graduate of Class XXIII , believes that ALF ’ s success comes from recognizing Sacramento ’ s nature as “ a relationship town , not a transaction town . People are connected by a couple degrees . … ALF is not just about making friends , it ’ s about building trust and connections to remove barriers and solve problems .”
ALF Mountain Valley has now graduated nearly 500 Senior Fellows and is looking forward to the future . “ Even though it feels that in these times we struggle with having respectful discourse and disagreement , I believe ALF can be a model for how organizations and institutions can go about creating a safe container for meaningful dialogue ,” says current chapter CEO Bonnie Ferreira , Class XII . “ I see a new generation of leaders taking shape and hope we can continue to connect them ( and ) inspire them to build deep relationships that can transform our communities . This network of committed leaders can do just about anything it sets its mind to .”
Saint John ’ s Program for Real Change
Leadership to Benefit Women in Need

Founded in 1985 as an emergency shelter , Saint John ’ s Program for Real Change today changes the lives of women and children forever . This residential program serves up to 270 individuals through a comprehensive program with wraparound services and employment training leading to housing . This spring , Saint John ’ s Square opened , adding interim housing to the campus . Eleven new , two-bedroom , modular homes can serve 55 individuals . The Square also offers wraparound services for mental health , addiction recovery , parenting and financial guidance and is suitable for employed women with or without children . “ Lifelong and lasting change takes time , determination , grit and self-love ,” says CEO Julie Hirota . “ I am committed to helping women and children see the power within themselves that they have always had and become skillful using it . Each and every woman who enters Saint John ’ s has gifts to offer , not only to themselves but also to all of us around them .” Hirota exhibits the traits of a committed and compassionate leader every day as she guides Saint John ’ s in its vision of breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness and unleashing the potential of women and children in crisis — one family at a time . As a Fellow of the American Leadership Forum ’ s Class XVII , she ’ s thankful for the benefits she gained and continues to gain as a Senior Fellow . “ ALF is comprised of thoughtful leaders who are lifelong mentors and friends ,” she says . “ Personally and professionally , ALF provides me knowledgeable , compassionate and trustworthy leadership from many who have guided me through difficult decisions as problem solvers and kindhearted colleagues .”

Jessica Laskey is the Special Sections Editor . More at jessicalaskey . com .
2443 Fair Oaks Blvd , # 369 Sacramento , CA 95825 ( 916 ) 453-1482 saintjohnsprogram . org
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