Nonprofit exec named Woman of Distinction
October 9, 2007
A Truckee woman widely known for her philanthropic foundation and myriad volunteer efforts, will be honored next week by Soroptimists International of Truckee Donner as its Woman of Distinction.
Lisa Dobey, a resident of Truckee for eight years, will be saluted at an awards reception on Wednesday, Oct. 17.
Nominated once before, Dobey was overlooked only because some information was inadvertently omitted from her nomination form.
Now, she joins two former Truckee mayors, Kathleen Eagan and Maia Schneider, and other distinguished women, who have been recognized for donating time, energy and money to better their community.
“When you look at other women who have won this award, it is such an honor to be included among them,” Dobey said in an interview Tuesday.
Dobey founded the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation, was its first employee, and now serves the nonprofit as its chief executive officer.
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She has turned the foundation that she started with a million-dollar grant from William Hewlett into an organization that has invested over $10 million in seed money to such organizations as Tahoe Women’s Services, KidZone Museum, Tahoe Seniors Council and the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee/Tahoe.
A person does not win Woman of Distinction by only working for a nonprofit organization, although it helps if you couple that with at least a decade of volunteer work, said Soroptimist board Director Pat Callahan.
“A person who works with a nonprofit is not going to get rich, but should be recognized,” Callahan said. “[Dobey] has a commitment to public service.”
Dobey’s volunteer involvement spans the Truckee Tahoe area. She is president of the Rotary Club of Truckee, a member of the Truckee Donner and North Lake Tahoe chambers of commerce, on the capital campaign committee for the Tahoe Maritime Museum, and just finished terms on the board of directors of the statewide League of California Community Foundations and the Tahoe Maritime Museum.
Beyond that, Dobey has been a columnist for the Sierra Sun and a judge in Truckee’s Forth of July parade.
According to Dobey, volunteerism is a social outlet.
The secret to her time management?
“Never go home,” Dobey laughed.
Her experience in nurturing a nonprofit infrastructure made her a natural pick when local attorney Jim Porter, Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation’s first board chairman, was looking to hire the foundation’s first employee.
“Lisa was the best,” Porter said. “She came highly recommended.”
Porter, who is also involved in community service, said Dobey’s boundless energy makes her a natural leader.
“Lisa has an ability to bring consensus and consider all views,” said Porter. “She wears her Truckee hat 24 hours a day.”
In a job that she calls the best in the Tahoe area, Dobey now works with over 50 nonprofit organizations and 4,500 donors who give through the foundation.
Callahan remembered the first time she met Dobey eight years ago at the Soroptimist annual Community Toy Drive.
“She came to wrap Christmas presents,” Callahan said. “I don’t think she has missed it since.”