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Cecilia Garza, Communications Manager

Cecilia brings the work of SVP Partners and Investees to life – linking our daily efforts to the positive change we strive for in our communities.

Prior to joining SVP, Cecilia worked more than five years as a journalist. Her writing extends from magazine pieces on labor rights to newspaper coverage on local politics, and she has received six awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her work in local newswriting.

Cecilia grew up in Dallas, Texas where she was raised with a strong sense of social responsibility, leading her to the work of connecting communities through the art of storytelling. She graduated from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and holds degrees in Magazine Writing and Latin American Studies.

In her free time, Cecilia enjoys sailing the Puget Sound and identifying marine wildlife by way of her small yet comfortable Coronado 25’, romping the beach with her 10-pound Italian Greyhound and cruising bike trails with local breweries as a destination.

Please feel free to contact Cecilia about the following:

Phone: 206.552.7723 |  Email: ceciliag@svpseattle.org | LinkedIn

Read More from Cecilia…

Investing in the Strength to Do More

Friends of the Children has more than doubled their revenue and number of students served since 2009. In fact, they’re on track to double their reach again. As former Executive Director Kelly Stockman McKee describes it, SVP’s greatest gift to Friends of the Children was establishing a culture of capacity building.

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Lasting Impact at Southwest Youth & Family Services

Southwest Youth & Family Services' (SWYFS) New Futures program was SVP's inaugural investee in 1998. Now, 20 years later and as a current multi-year investee, SWYFS and SVP Partners are helping lay the foundation for a county-wide movement toward better outcomes for children.

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Data-Driven Impact at Open Arms

After an introduction with one SVP Partner resulted in a $125K capacity building grant, Open Arms used the support to evaluate their programs. What they found was profound. This infographic shares how their Outreach Doula Program is transforming lives.

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From Northwest SEED to Spark Northwest

Executive Director Jennifer Grove hung up the phone and sat back. It was going to happen. With SVP Partner Lisa Wyler’s help, Northwest SEED was going to get the makeover they had been waiting for: a name and brand that reflected the forward-thinking organization they are in practice.

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Closing the Opportunity Gap Together

As a funder, SVP has continuously examined our role in collective action. The Road Map Project has played a part in our evolution since the start. Their success in cross-sector collaboration is why we began supporting them. How they are adapting and evolving to address inequity in our region, is why we continue.

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Learning the Ropes of Engaged Philanthropy

Over the five year relationship with former SVP Investee Zeno, Bill helped bring in and manage SVP Partner volunteers for 40 different projects. His experience as a lead partner launched a turning point in his philanthropy.

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How Dancing Prepared Sinae Cheh for Philanthropy

“I commonly say that my mom was the one with the talent. My dad was the one with the vision,” says SVP Partner Sinae Cheh. “My dad, he looked to the future and he said there will come a time when as Korean Americans we will have to be able to assert our identity in this diverse culture.”

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5 Reasons to Watch SVP’s Tech Community of Practice

Dave Thompson is a self-described technology guy. But believe it or not, he didn’t realize that getting involved in the community would mean helping implement sustainable tech solutions. That was, until he crossed into the nonprofit sector as a volunteer and board member and saw that technology was a sector-wide struggle.

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Finding a Place Under the Big Tent

Jane Harvey and her husband Charlie joined SVP in 2011. But it wasn’t until 2013, the first year of the Northwest Conservation Philanthropy Fellowship, that she set out on what would become a philanthropic journey to say the least. It would lead her to become an early supporter of Front and Centered and a devoted advocate for environmental justice in Washington.

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2017 Kindergarten Ready Grant Finalists

SVP’s Kindergarten Ready Grant Committee has announced five finalists for this year’s multi-year capacity building grant! These organizations, the committee found, are each uniquely dedicated to ensuring bright outcomes for all children by building equitable access to quality learning and care.

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“Speak English And —”

Peggy’s work helping families nurture their home language is just one outcropping of a growing partnership between OneAmerica and Southeast Seattle Education Coalition (SESEC). SVP has supported the two organizations through the Education Collective Action Team (EduCAT) over the last two years. And, in more than one way, the two have gone from complementary to a single force.

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A Healthy Environment Speaks All Languages

Sophorn Sim’s living room was packed. Children sprawled out on the rug and every couch cushion and chair was filled as the group faced the projector screen. It read: “How many of you recycle more since the last presentation?” Sophorn translated in Cambodian, and more than half the room raised their hands.

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There is Always Something to Give

“My parents taught us that it didn’t matter how much we didn’t have,” says SVP San Antonio Partner, Priscilla Hill-Ardoin. “That our focus should be on what we did have, and there was always something to give.” That generosity helped to carry Priscilla through the hardest time in her life and to the discovery of her “can’t not do.”

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Q&A with TCC Lead Partner Rich Gary

Ever wonder what it’s like to volunteer as a lead partner for an SVP Investee? Rich Gary has worked with Transportation Choices Coalition (TCC) for the past three years. In that time TCC helped reduce transit fare for low-income riders and expand the light rail from downtown Seattle to the University District.

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Sound Business for Sound Discipline

Looking back at Sound Discipline’s first year with SVP, somehow the road ahead is what comes into focus. Last spring, their team joined SVP Partners Bill Skilton, Joanna Stewart and Lead Partner Dave Thompson in building a five-year business plan that makes room for questions on everything from scaling to scope of services.

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SVP Welcomes New Investee East African Community Services

Not long after stepping off the bus at 32nd and Myrtle in South Beacon Hill, I can hear children playing just beyond a row of tall hedges. Turn the corner, and I’m standing “monkey in the middle” to a few boys throwing a football. It’s break time at SVP Seattle’s newest multi-year investee, East African Community Services.

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SVP Welcomes New Investee Futurewise

Over the next 10 to 15 years, Washington is expected to grow by more than a million residents, compounding existing threats – from further displacement of vulnerable populations to increased greenhouse emissions. The complexity of the issues at hand require an integrated approach, which is why SVP is honored to support Futurewise as our newest multi-year investee.

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A Conversation with SVP's New Outreach & Office Coordinator, Andy Valdez-Pape

I used to joke that my college major was papier-mâché or arts & crafts, knowing theater electrics or carpentry, sewing, draping, painting. I thought it was exciting to be part of a team creating a very comprehensive, exciting world. You kind of pick things up as you go and approach it with, “Yes, we’re going to learn this today. Great!”

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Building Capacity Builders, Part 1: The Grantmaker

Nonprofit finance is already like swimming against the current. Once more, the recession and its aftermath profoundly affected the sector. With scarcer resources, organizations were living closer to the bone and the margin for error was thinner than ever. As capacity builders, we had to ask ourselves, Where were we falling short? And how we can do better?

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Building Capacity Builders, Part 2: The Investee

When SVP approached Open Arms about going through a financial assessment, the organization was months away from a leadership transition and had lost two major funding sources in the past few years. What they were enduring was an uphill battle, the kind of hurdles most nonprofits their size face. Today, the assessment provides a roadmap to help them navigate the challenges — and opportunities.

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Building Capacity Builders, Part 3: The Philanthropist

Up until five years ago, Tanya Anderson’s definition of ‘philanthropy’ was straight forward: to give money. It might have been her career in finance that had something to do with it. After working with the Finance Community of Practice, though, developing an assessment that greatly simplifies financial management for SVP Investees, she had a change of heart.

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Project Feast: The Secret Ingredient is Purpose

In 2012, Veena Prasad had an idea: to use food heritage as a way for refugees and immigrants to begin a new chapter in their lives. She didn’t make it past the SVP Fast Pitch quarterfinals at the time, but in pitching the concept, Veena came face-to-face with a deeper need in her life. A year later, Project Feast was no longer just an idea. This time, it went all the way to the finals – and won.

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Growing From the Core: 5 Years with College Access Now

When College Access Now (CAN) first applied for an SVP grant, no one could have predicted how the organization would evolve. Now in their final year as an Investee, CAN has worked with SVP Partners on everything from strategic planning to building a portfolio of photos that captures the depth of their story and diversity of the communities they serve. The growth they’ve experienced as a result is dramatic.

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The Exodus of Empowerment

I had interrupted their normal session and each student occupied different corners of the room, their books and notes sprawled across work tables. Sitting in a lone seat at the front of the class, I was acutely aware of the uncomfortable distance between us.

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Committee announces finalists for 2016 Environment Grant

SVP's Environment Grant Committee has selected the top five candidates for our next multi-year capacity building grant. From reconnecting communities to nature to on-the-ground advocacy and shoreline clean up, these five finalists are leading the way to a healthier planet.

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Getting around just got a whole lot easier thanks to TCC

Transportation Choices Coalition has been at the forefront of the movement pushing for improved public transportation since 1993. Following the opening of two new Light Rail extensions this week, they’re ready to take public transit to entirely new heights.

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Committee announces top candidates for 2016 K-12 Education Grant

SVP’s K-12 Education Grant Committee has selected four finalists for our multi-year capacity building grant. With unique programming, each candidate is working to close the opportunity gap and create a stronger foundation for success for our community’s youth.

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Bridging creativity & entrepreneurship with SVP’s new graphic designer, Michael Castle

Michael Castle's need to bridge his creative mind with his inner problem solver pulled him onto several different career paths, from a three-year stint in Japan as an apprentice to a renowned sculptor to founding his own B2B business in Chinese Medicine. Fortunately for us, it’s these traits that brought Michael to SVP’s doorstep.

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