County Administrator's Office
For Immediate Release

Board of Supervisors Announce 2016 Jefferson Awards Honorees for “Excellence in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement”

Awards to be presented on Tuesday, November 1

Santa Rosa, CA  –  October 28, 2016  –  Jefferson AwardOn Tuesday, November 1, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will present the prestigious Jefferson Award to three local nonprofit organizations, one board, and one individual for their “Excellence in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement.”

“Congratulations to our 2016 awardees: Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County, Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County, Petaluma Health Care District, Sonoma County Vet Connect, and Herb Williams,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Efren Carrillo. “We are inspired by the hard work and dedicated passion these organizations and individuals contribute to our community every day and are proud to honor them with these awards.”

The Jefferson Awards Program is a national recognition system designed to highlight public service in America. It was begun in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, US Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard, staff to Bobby Kennedy. Locally, the program was adopted by the County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors and was designed to highlight the value of nonprofit organizations, boards, commissions, and advisory bodies, as well as individual efforts for “Excellence in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement.”

Each year the Board of Supervisors solicits nominations from the public for this prestigious award. This year there were 19 well-qualified exceptional individuals, non-profits, and boards who were nominated because they demonstrated the characteristics and essence of the Jefferson Awards. Five nominations were selected as the 2016 award recipients, as follows:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County (Non-profit) – Serving Sonoma County youth for the last sixty years, changing their lives by providing homework help, character building experiences and positive relationships with other youth.
  • Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County(Non-profit) - Serving the local community for 50 years, with the mission of striving to eliminate poverty and empowering families through partnerships, advocacy, and high-impact programs.
  • Petaluma Health Care District(Board) - For nearly 70 years, the Petaluma Health Care District has served the changing health and wellness needs of Southern Sonoma County residents, ensuring access to quality acute care and emergency services while supporting comprehensive community-based health promotion and illness prevention programs to nurture the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health of residents.
  • Sonoma County Vet Connect, Inc.(Non-profit) - Providing outreach to all former military service members and their families, since 2008, assisting them with access to services and benefits due them for their service to our country.
  • Herb Williams (Individual) - His commitment to the youth in our community come from his belief of “paying it forward” and he has spent decades ensuring the skills he received from the Boy Scouts as a young man are passed on to future generations. He has also been instrumental in spearheading and growing impactful organizations such as the Family Justice Center of Sonoma County and the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County.

The County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors values the many strong partnerships the County has with the local community.  These relationships serve to leverage precious resources to provide the utmost in quality services to the community.  The Board is proud to sponsor the Jefferson Awards, fostering the partnerships that build more collaborative opportunities which benefit all of Sonoma County.

For Jefferson Award specific questions, please contact Sylvia Lemus at 707-565-1702,


Contact Information

Paul Gullixson
Communications Manager
County Administrator's Office
County of Sonoma
575 Administration Drive
Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.464665, -122.725235