Forward Thinkers: California’s Everyday Leaders Share

Forward Thinker [Fawr-werd Thing-ker] ? noun: A member of your community who saw a need and is working to fill it.

As the state of California grapples with increasing deficits, high unemployment, and other systemic issues, it has become unable to fill certain community needs. This is where Forward Thinkers come in ? people just like you and me who decided to step up and fill in where the state has fallen short, helping to improve their community, region, or state and inspiring others to do the same. Learn more about these outstanding Californians, and suggest one yourself.

Joyce Cooksey-James

Joyce Cooksey-James

“We all have the capability to get involved in our communities.”

- Joyce Cooksey-James

Griselda Barajas

Griselda Barajas

“It's okay not to be the smartest or richest, but it's not okay to sit back and expect change to come.”

- Griselda Barajas

Phil Tabera

Phil Tabera

"To hold our elected leaders accountable, we must be informed and engaged."

- Phil Tabera

Jim Palmer

Jim Palmer

“Energy spent on helping turn people's lives around is energy well spent.”

- Jim Palmer

Marian Bergeson

Marian Bergeson

“We‘ve got to take responsibility for what our communities look like and how we sustain it for our children and their children.”

- Marian Bergeson

Chon Noriega

Chon Noriega

“Whatever your passion, we must not sit back and do nothing. We've got to improve the situation.”

- Chon Noriega

Susan  Burden

Susan Burden

“A healthy community is a successful community.”

- Susan Burden

Fernando Jara

Fernando Jara

“Change takes courage.”

- Fernando Jara

Thomas Richards

Thomas Richards

“Integrated services would help our troops coming back home.”

- Thomas Richards

Do You Know a Forward Thinker?

We need your help to identify Forward Thinkers in your community and share their stories! Write your suggestions in the form below, and be sure to include name, profession or specialty, location, why these contributions stand out, and how we can contact them.