Community Needs Forum

About the Panelists:

Barbara Foster - Director, Specialized Foster Parent Training Project; Fresno State University

Ms. Foster’s 40 years of experience includes work as a social worker and social work supervisor, providing direct services to children and families in Child Welfare Services including; Emergency Response, Adolescent Family Life, Foster Parent Resources, Adoptions and Guardianship. Her experience also includes: the provision of direct services, program development and implementation, project management, and provision of services to substitute care providers within the foster care system. She has become a State and National expert and advocate for children in out-of-home care.

May Gnia Her - VP, Community Impact; United Way

Ms. Her oversees the collective impact mobilization relationship of local community partners, grant-making and grant allocation for the United Way of Fresno County. Ms. Her has secured national, state, and local funding to support community partners in Fresno County. The work Ms. Her does every day, has direct impact on many lives in Fresno County. The best part of Ms. Her job is mobilizing the caring power of communities to impact change for all residents of Fresno County.

Linda Penner - Chair, Board of State and Community Corrections

Ms. Penner was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve as Chair of the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), where she leads policymaking decisions and oversees a budget of $1 billion in public safety grants and jail construction funds across the State. Ms. Penner had served as a member of the BSCC Board since 2007 due to her success as Fresno County Chief Probation Officer and her leadership as President of the Chief Probation Officers of California. In Fresno County she led her department as it transitioned to evidence-based practices to reduce recidivism while protecting public safety. As Chair of the BSCC Ms. Penner also serves as the Governor’s public safety liaison to the counties where she helps to address issues in the implementation of Public Safety Realignment.

Larry Powell - Retired Superintendent; Fresno County Schools

Mr. Powell was elected to two terms as Superintendent of Fresno County Schools overseeing 35 school districts and over 200,000 students. He served two years as the Chair of California’s Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team. He has served as a member of the State Board of Directors for the Association of California School Administrators. He was a member of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, and has served on the board of 12 non-profit organizations. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for Fresno Pacific University.

Kendra Rogers - Director of Community Investment; Granville Homes

Ms. Rogers is currently the Director of Community Investment for Granville Homes and former Executive Director of First 5 Fresno County. She founded “The Children’s Movement of Fresno” and serves on Board of Directors for Rape Counseling Services of Fresno, National Women’s Political Caucus, and the Animal Rescue of Fresno. She is a leader in the early childhood and child advocacy fields.

Joel Saldaña - Director of Community Engagement; Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

Mr. Saldaña has worked in various capacities in government, politics, agriculture and international development. Prior to joining the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, he served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in community development and was stationed in rural Thailand. There, he connected local government, schools, health centers and occupational and agriculture groups to sustainable training, language and education programs. 

Junior League of Fresno, Inc.

516 West Shaw Avenue
Suite 200
Fresno, CA 93704
Telephone: (559) 221-2646
Fax: (559) 221-2660