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Cynthia and Karen

LeaderSpring began in 1997 as Eureka Bay Area. With the support of the James Irvine Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, Levi Strauss Foundation, and the Bank of America Foundation, Eureka Communities (a national organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.) established a community of nonprofit leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area. Similar programs sponsored by Eureka Communities were also located in Detroit, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Boston. In 2003, after a major organizational transition, these four programs closed, and Eureka Bay Area emerged as the sole regional program providing the Fellowship Program.  In January 2005, Eureka Bay Area was re-launched as LeaderSpring, an independent organization and project of the Tides Center.

LeaderSpring opened its first office in early 1997 and is now located in Preservation Park in downtown Oakland. Founding executive director Henry Izumizaki headed the organization from 1997 to 1999. Since then, Cynthia Chavez has been giving leadership to the program as executive director. During its first seven years of operation, LeaderSpring selected its Fellows primarily from Oakland, with a few hailing from San Francisco.  In 2005, for the first time, LeaderSpring concentrated its recruitment in the City of San Francisco.





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