Reflections From 18 Years of Combined Service

“Catalyst can play a unique and unifying role in social change efforts for San Diego and Imperial Counties because it is a trusted and neutral entity that has access to capital given its membership but it does not lead with that,” Nelli said.  “It is literally in our name now to be a catalyzing force for good but that does not mean we do it all, we can set the table and nurture change efforts but also step back when needed,” she added. 

“It is the diversity of the staff, Board of Directors, and members that will affect change. Our selection of programming, our preparation of newer talent, and our commitment to the principles of inclusion make Catalyst a force for change,” Ernie shared. He followed it up with a quote he often turns to (author unknown): “Either everyone counts or no one counts,” he shared, adding, “Catalyst is equipped to make sure everyone counts.”

“Catalyst has the ability to influence and inspire funders, that hold power, to contribute to positive social change. Catalyst has the ability to bring funders together, to problem solve and respond to pressing community needs, and provide access to accurate information about what’s happening in community, due to the trust Catalyst has established with community,” Shreya reflected.

what are your hopes or dreams for the next five years of Catalyst’s journey?

While each of our esteemed board members will still be actively engaged with Catalyst as enthusiastic members, we asked for their reflections on this passing of the torch moment, and the momentum they hope to maintain.

“I hope that Catalyst continues on its equity journey with intention. I hope that Catalyst continues to grow its influence and impact policy change, to move our region forward. I hope that it continues to be a voice for grassroots communities that are often not at funder and other tables, and continues to bring these voices to the forefront,” Shreya said.

“I am excited to see the maturation of the organization driven by the values of social justice and our commitment to community. There are such exciting things happening with capital shifting and more equitable distribution of opportunities, and Catalyst can play a leading role in this region,” Nelli shared.

Ernie rounds it all out with how we started: an open mind. “My hopes and dreams are that we will move forward with open minds,” Ernie shared. “That we will be ready to continue to be lifelong learners. That we commit ourselves to our San Diego and Imperial communities so that all may flourish,” he said.

Please join us in congratulating our outgoing board members and thanking them for their extraordinary service and commitment to our region.