Message from Sandra Leader /Executive Director /President
It is with mixed feelings that I announce the closing of the Franklin Legacy Fund after these 10 years supporting the nonprofit community in Monterey County. It has been a privilege for me to have been involved with this organization since its founding by Susie Franklin in 2014 and to have served as its executive director over the past two years since her passing. Susie had an unwavering commitment to philanthropy and to the nonprofit sector. She loved our community and wanted to use her resources to help make it a better place for everyone who lives here. And she succeeded. Susie left a lasting legacy of nonprofit organizations that have been made stronger and better thanks to the support -- both financially and with expertise -- of the Franklin Legacy Fund..
I’d like to personally express my deepest gratitude to board members Marty Fleetwood, Christine Kolisch, Michael Clark, Kiran Kamath and Zach Franklin; digital consultant and filmmaker Maren Elwood, and Charly Franklin for their efforts and support of the Franklin Legacy Fund over the past two years..
Zach Franklin, eldest son of Susie and Charly Franklin, is Vice President of Development and Communications for GRID Alternatives, the country’s largest non-profit solar installer. Zach, who has over 15 years experience in fund development and non-profit management, has a degree in Economics and History from Brown University. He makes his home in Berkeley.
Kiran Kamathis an experienced educational administrator and travel industry professional. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Monterey Peninsula College. She has held senior administrative positions such a Senior Dean of Planning and Dean of Career and Technical Education, including serving as director and professor of the Travel Marketing program at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California. She has taught at Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Canada; Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada; and at Xiamen University in Xiamen, China.. She is passionate about transforming lives through education.
Michael Clark, a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, Michael is a retired optometrist who practiced with the Mt. Airy Vision Center in Mt. Airy, N.C. During his career, he received a number of awards for distinguished service and clinical excellence in his field. He was an examiner for the North Carolina Board of Optometry for 40 years, and from 2007 to 2017 he was a member and president of that board. In the ‘80s Michael conducted glaucoma clinics in Sri Lanka and India, and in 1984 helped fund and bring the first private retinal laser to Sri Lanka. He was a founding member of the Surry County Hospice in Mt. Airy in 1982. Michael, who grew up on the Monterey Peninsula and has returned to make his home in Pacific Grove, is acting president of the board of First Night Monterey and serves on the alumni board of UC Berkeley School of Optometry and the board of stewards for the Center for Spiritual Awakening in Pacific Grove.
Cristine Kolisch is a designer and importer who has been working on projects in the Himalayas for 40 years. She established and continues to provide an educational sponsorship program for Nepalese students, as well as a micro-credit program for village farmer women in Nepal on the Monterey Peninsula for 29 years. She teaches yoga and meditation. She lives in Carmel Valley with her husband, Craig Covell.
Marty Fleetwood, Marty is a California lawyer with 47 years of experience in civil rights and public service law. She has worked on issues of school desegregation, the rights of women to employment in public safety jobs, countering police violence in black communities, and conditions within prisons and mental institutions. She served at the Department of Justice in the Carter Administration, working at the U.S. Supreme Court and on appellate court cases. For the past 35-plus years, she led a public-interest law firm based in San Francisco focused on framing the nation’s response to homelessness and developing community and state level systems of care. Transitioning to “Of Counsel,” she now handles special projects for the firm that she founded. Throughout her legal career, Marty has served on numerous non-profit and foundation boards, building agencies capable of meeting the needs communities face. She makes her home in Monterey.
Information Technology Consultant & Social Justice Filmmaker
Maren Elwood, an IT professional, website designer and social media professional, ensures that the organization's website and IT are effective, up-to-date and function well. She also works with various grant recipients to ensure their website presence is updated and that social media is utilized effectively to promote and build their organizations. Maren has a Masters in Visual Anthropology, which means she studies cultures through film. She uses her skills as a filmmaker to produce website videos for online use. She currently is a Research Associate at the Center for Visual Anthropology at the University of Southern California.
Susie Franklin / Founder 1949 - 2021 Franklin Legacy Fund was founded by Susie Franklin in 2014. Her vision for the organization was driven by her desire to share her expertise in non-profit management and fundraising. Franklin Legacy Fund's mission was to provide coaching, classes & workshops, and expertise to non-profit organizations who would benefit from Susie's years of experience in the non-profit sector. The mission of the Franklin Legacy Fund was to provide promising non-profits with seed funding and other support to help them build stability and excellence into their operations and ensure their success.
Susan Rosen / Founding Staff Member Susan's service as program officer was crucial to the development and effectiveness of our mission. She played a key role in developing the foundation's unique programs of Visioning and Sustainability.