Four months ago, First 5 Yolo selected former School Board Member and Yolo County Deputy Supervisor Gina Daleiden as its interim Executive Director. Now, after conducting a four-month, nationwide search, the First 5 Yolo Children and Families Commission today named Gina Daleiden as its new Executive Director.
Yolo County Supervisor and Chair of First 5 Yolo, Jim Provenza, said, “We are so pleased Gina has accepted the Commission’s offer to lead this important organization focused on the healthy development and education of our community’s youngest children. Gina is a tested public servant and a well-established advocate for children in Yolo County. She has exceptional interpersonal and alliance-building skills, strong connections within Yolo County communities and at the highest County level as well. Her passion for children’s issues is well-documented.”
Daleiden recently served for nine years on the Davis Board of Education while concurrently serving as Deputy Supervisor to Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza, District 4. Daleiden began her service at Yolo County as the Assistant Deputy to then-Supervisor Helen Thomson, District 2. For the past four months, Daleiden led First 5 Yolo as Interim Executive Director, as a collateral assignment.
During her school district tenure, Daleiden, twice Board President, oversaw a budget exceeding $70 million, and managed extraordinary fiscal challenges brought by multi-year reductions in state funding. Daleiden successfully co-chaired multiple educational parcel tax measures, resulting in nearly $20 million dollars in support of local schools.
While at Yolo County, Daleiden has acted as second-in-command in District 4, navigating policy issues covering health, education, law and justice, and intergovernmental issues. She worked closely with organizations serving children and youth throughout Yolo County, including the Yolo Crisis Nursery and the Yolo County Children’s Alliance.
Yolo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven described Daleiden’s contributions to the Yolo County Family Justice Center (FJC). “Gina gave both sensible and strategic advice when we were working on forming the Family Justice Center. She steered us in the right direction on the best ways to fundraise in Yolo County. Her ability to bring together important members of the community for this project was critical. But what I admired most was her tenacity and passion for the children and families who we hope to serve through the FJC.”
Daleiden expressed her excitement about the appointment, stating, “I’m honored by the opportunity to work with the First 5 Yolo Commission in service to our youngest children, and eager to continue the momentum of the last four months. I will work with our community partners to maximize our impact on families, sustain notable successes, and seek new opportunities to innovate, and elevate this key organization.”
Daleiden’s acceptance of the permanent position means she will step down as Deputy Supervisor from District 4, a move Provenza admits brings mixed emotions.
“I want the best for First 5 Yolo and for Gina and am completely supportive of her decision.” Provenza said. “Over the years, Gina and I have worked on countless endeavors benefiting Yolo County, with her routinely taking a lead role. She is invaluable to me, my constituents, and the county as a whole. While it’s heartening to know she will continue to be a strong voice for Yolo County families, she will be missed in her current position. “
First 5 Yolo was created in 1998 by the passage of California Proposition 10 tax on cigarettes to support statewide and local programs for early childhood education and development. Yolo County is one of fifty-eight local commissions in California. The goals of Proposition 10 include school readiness, quality childcare, improved child health, parent support, and accessible services and integrated social systems for children prenatal to age 5 and their families.
The First 5 Yolo Commission currently receives approximately $2.5 million per year from the tobacco tax to fund effective community programs and support public awareness and advocacy for children.
Commissioner and Yolo County Superintendent of Schools Jesse Ortiz said the search for a new executive director yielded a number of viable candidates. “During my career, I’ve participated on numerous interview panels and, without question, applicants for this position included some of the finest talent I’ve seen. In the end, however, it was Gina’s depth of collaborative experiences and breadth of local and state partnerships that distinguished her as our first choice.”
Daleiden formally assumes the position on February 5.
Research shows a child’s brain develops most dramatically in the first five years and what parents and caregivers do during these years to support their child’s growth will have a meaningful impact throughout life. In November 1998, California voters passed a statewide ballot initiative to add a 50-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes. The funds collected are utilized to fund education, health and childcare programs that promote early childhood development from prenatal through age 5. For more information about First 5 Yolo, please visit www.First5Yolo.org