Meet the Board of Directors

Each member of our Board volunteers her time without receipt of compensation, financial or otherwise. This ensures that our Board members have the motivation to serve that we value, as well as that no portion of financial contributions is spent on staff overhead. Because of the volunteer nature of our Board, our operating costs are limited to marketing, insurance and fundraising overhead.


Click a name below to learn more about and read a message from each board member.

 

Kimberly Fesler, President & Co-Founder

I am blessed and humbled to be a Co-Founder and President of the North Valley Sparrow Foundation.

My husband Brian and I, reside in Gridley, California where I have lived most of my life. I attended Chico State University, earning my Bachelor of Arts Degree and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. The 2021-2022 school year will be my 21st year teaching in the Gridley Unified School District. 


February 15, 2013 will be a day that changed my family forever. My nephew, Spencer Whalin, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a non-operable form of brain cancer that took his life just 17 short months after diagnosis. It is through his journey that I became even more aware of money being raised through various organizations, not staying local, nor was it going directly to families enduring the grueling cancer nightmare. 


Just seven short months before Spencer’s diagnosis, my mom passed away suddenly. I had watched her live with Multiple Sclerosis for over 20 years. This is where I first realized the lack of local organizations available to provide either financial and/or emotional support for my mom or my entire family living through the horror together in our small rural community. Then on March 28, 2014, just 2 ½ short months before cancer took Spencer, my family suffered the loss of my father. 


Within that short year and a half, I learned a great deal about the people of Gridley and the surrounding communities. Also, learning the true meaning of graciousness, selflessness, gratitude, and perseverance. Still to this day, I reflect back on the number of individuals that came in and picked up the pieces for our family through such a horrific time.


It is those individuals, the village, that inspired me to do whatever possible to step up and create a local organization to provide financial and emotional support for patients and their families going through their own battle with cancer. Therefore, the North Valley Sparrow Foundation was born. Without the other four amazing women you have already met, none of this would be possible. Thank you, ladies, I am forever grateful!


With your generosity, we can be that village for families in the 23 surrounding rural communities. 


I look forward to this PASSION WITH PURPOSE!

Vice President

This position is currently vacant.

Jennah Terry, Marketing

I was raised in rural Northern California in the small town of Gridley. After graduating high school I left for the bay area for college to study interior design at San Jose State University. After a few years in the city I realized how much I missed the open spaces and moved back home to finish my college degree at Chico State, graduating in 2012 with a bachelor of fine arts. I became co-owner of a local retail store and design business serving clients in Butte, Yuba, Sutter and Tehama counties in a variety of design and home decor projects. I reside in Gridley with my husband Steve and two Labradors Dude and Rusty. I love the outdoors and can most often be found camping, hiking or hunting around the north state area.


Cancer first entered my life in 2007 when my maternal Grandfather was diagnosed with brain tumors and again in 2013 when my paternal Grandmother was diagnosed with stage IV Ovarian cancer. Within a year my Mother was also diagnosed with Ovarian cancer at the age of 53. I watched what my Mother had to endure while undergoing chemo treatments and surgery after surgery and it's something nobody should have to go through. Cancer is scary and anyone going through a battle with it needs support, compassion and care.


Shortly after my Mother's diagnosis it was revealed that her diagnosis was likey from a BRCA gene mutation. Genetic testing has revealed that I had inherited the same gene mutation that caused my Mother's ovarian cancer. This significantly increases my chances of getting  breast or ovarian cancer. I made the choice to undergo a preventative bilateral mastectomy and salpingo oophorectomy in early 2020 to reduce this inherited risk. Through this journey I have formed a strong belief that genetic testing for at risk women should be a standard procedure. I have participated in clinical research studies to help doctors find a way to detect ovarinan cancer earlier in the hopes that a certain blood marker can indicate an early sign of the disease.


 I'm honored  to join the North Valley Sparrow Foundation in its mission to provide much needed support to other families dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

Cheryl Argetsinger, Treasurer

I am proud to be serving as the treasurer of the North Valley Sparrow Foundation. When I received the call to join, my answer was an immediate yes! I am very honored to be a part of this great organization.  


Unfortunately, my journey with cancer began many years ago when my seven year old daughter, Lisa, was diagnosed with a very rare tumor in her brain stem. During her 10 month battle, my husband and I received an amazing amount of support from family and friends. They say that it takes a village to raise a child. I believe that it takes a village to to support a family when in this type of crisis. I was very lucky that I had this village, others may not be so lucky.  


The California Cancer Registry has predicted that there could be about 7,000 new cases of cancer in the 18 rural counties that this foundation will service. These 7000 families are going to need a village. This is my way of giving back to other victims of this horrible disease. 

Michelle Solis, Secretary

I am honored and privileged to be a part of the North Valley Sparrow Foundation. I serve as secretary for the Foundation.

I have lived in Gridley most of my life except when I was attending college in Chico. Gridley is where my husband, Javier J. Solis, and I have chosen to raise our sons and where I choose to continue my career as a teacher at Sycamore School.

My family and I have experienced the devastation and fear that occurs when family and friends are diagnosed with the dreaded disease, cancer. Unfortunately, we have lost too many loved ones along the way.


My brother passed away from cancer in May, 1998, and I decided to join Team in Training to prepare for the Leukemia & Lymphoma marathon in his honor. I raised over a thousand dollars for their fund and I ran in the San Francisco half marathon and the Sacramento CIM marathon. A very close friend passed away in June in that same year, also from cancer. My father was diagnosed with cancer in 1999. He passed away on September 6, 2014. We also lost a very special and dear uncle to brain cancer. It is in their honor and remembrance that I have participated in Relay for Life in Gridley for 4 years. I have several friends who are cancer survivors and we celebrate their courageous battle and victory.


I have had the pleasure of serving as Sycamore School's Student Body Advisor and the CJSF Co-Advisor with Liz Ayon. We coordinate Pennies for Patients which is a service project that raises funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Greater Sacramento. We are so proud to say that we raised $8,598.32 for our Pennies for Patients fundraiser this last school year.

Our school has sponsored it's own cancer relay called R.A.C.E. which is our Race Against Cancer Event. Funds have gone to the Cancer Center in Marysville, Okizu, the Gridley Hospital new mammogram machine, and the house that parents stay in at Sutter Memorial Hospital, similar to a Ronald McDonald House. Misty Criddle Ludwig, former teacher at Sycamore, was the original organizer of R.A.C.E. Our students and their families are generous and empathetic towards individuals stricken with this dreaded disease and they strive to support and help in any manner they possibly can.


It is for my family, friends and so many others who have experienced and endured the pain and frightening horror of a cancer diagnosis that I have participated in the Gridley Relay for Life, the Leukemia & Lymphoma marathon and half marathon, our Sycamore School cancer fundraisers, and now our very special and prestigious new Foundation, the North Valley Sparrow Foundation. We hope and pray that cancer is cured before more families have to suffer its devastating effects. Our goal is to bring a ray of sunshine, hope and help to those who find themselves held captive in cancer's ugly, evil grasp.

Meet Our Board of Advisors

DR. MICHAEL AMYLON

Emeritus (Active) Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplantation), Standford University, School of Medicine

SUSAN PATANE

Owner, SLP Communications

SUZIE RANDALL

Executive Director of Operations, Okizu Foundation

BRIANNA TESAURO

Catch Some Air, Owner & Rocket Girl

JENNIFER TRAYNHAM

Owner, Me and Mine Magazine

GRACE GONZALEZ

Cancer Survivor

Ways to Give

There are many ways you can help!