About Us

Creating a better future for the Central Valley

Our Mission

Our mission is to support activities and organizations that promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of the Central Valley.

What we do

The Great Valley Center (GVC) is focused on addressing critical challenges and improving the quality of life in California’s Great Central Valley.

We work in multiple ways to engage and inform citizens, train local leaders, and deliver programs that respond directly to critical gaps in the Valley’s communities. We are a champion and advocate for the Valley’s well-being, seeking out ways to build partnerships and bring citizens together to address issues and disparities, encourage innovative solutions, build consensus and ensure a successful future for the region.

Looking ahead

August 2012 marked the fifteenth year of GVC’s existence and efforts on behalf of the Central Valley. The GVC is heading into a period of transition, as we welcome Dr. Benjamin T. Duran as the new President and CEO for the organization. The GVC Board of Directors has determined that a primary focus of the Center should be on building civic capacity in the northern San Joaquin Valley.

The overall goal is to have an engaged, informed and connected citizenry that has the willingness, ability and tools to work in collaboration to solve the complex issues facing the Valley. Through the well-respected ALF – Great Valley Chapter, one of GVC’s flagship initiatives, we are actively building a network of established community leaders who come together, across social, political, economic and cultural boundaries, to serve the public good.

Additionally, several of GVC’s partnership programs respond directly to community needs and quality of life issues in our Valley.  The Green Communities program provides greenhouse gas emissions assessments for local governments, encouraging these agencies to become leaders in energy efficiency and climate action. The California Connects program provides digital literacy training specifically targeted at helping Spanish speaking and low income citizens become users of the Internet, connecting them with a world of information, as well as educational and employment opportunities.

As we look ahead, the Great Valley Center remains committed to the well-being of the Central Valley.  Through innovative programs, projects and initiatives, GVC continues to be a thoughtful and motivated organization that brings people together to work on the area’s most difficult challenges and create a better future.


The Great Valley Center was founded in 1997. Initial support for GVC was made possible through a cooperative philanthropic effort by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Today the Great Valley Center continues to be supported by foundations, individuals and corporations who have an interest in improving the Central Valley’s quality of life.

GVC’s Board of Directors has adopted a policy of non-advocacy. Therefore, the Great Valley Center does not endorse candidates or ballot initiatives.

David Hosley
President Emeritus

Carol Whiteside
President Emeritus