Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program Receives First $10,000 Contribution from “Transplanted” Leaders

Posted by Kassy Perry

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE) The Nehemiah Community Foundation today announced it has received its first five-figure charitable contribution from individual donors in support of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program (NELP). The gift came from Sacramento civic leaders Kimberly C. (“Kim”) Oxholm and Carl (“Tobey”) Oxholm III.

NELP offers leadership training customized to the specific challenges faced by culturally diverse leaders. Fellows will graduate ready to put their talents to work in the public and private sectors, acting as catalysts for positive change in the Sacramento community.

“Kim and Tobey are relatively new to Sacramento. They moved here from Philadelphia in 2009 and have quickly taken leadership roles throughout the region,” said Scott C. Syphax, CEO of the Nehemiah Community Foundation and the founder of NELP. “A gift of this size may be common among Philadelphia’s civic leaders, but it is still fairly rare here. It’s just another way that they, by their deeds not words, have helped paved the path to our region’s future as a world-class city.”

The Oxholms moved to mid-town Sacramento in January 2009 when Tobey was named the inaugural Dean of Drexel University’s Center for Graduate Studies. Quickly becoming engaged in the region, Kim was appointed to the board of the Sacramento Zoo, where she is a member of its executive committee. She is also an active member of the boards of St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children and of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte Advocates, and a member of the Women Donor Network.

“Sacramento takes great pride in its being one of this country’s most diverse cities, but its leadership is remarkably not diverse,” said Kim Oxholm. “I am glad to fund a program that brings excellent resources to train up-and-coming diverse leaders, especially women of color.”

In addition to being the inaugural Dean of Drexel University’s Center for Graduate Studies, Tobey is also a member of the executive committee of the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, the boards of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and of LEED-Linking Education and Economic Development, and a leader of the Powerhouse Science Center steering committee. They also contribute (in service as well as financially) to a wide variety of local charities.

“Drexel has sponsored NELP from the start, so I have seen first-hand the quality of its programming,” said Tobey Oxholm. “If the region’s businesses want to dominate in this new economy, they will be quick to grab NELP alumni and put them on fast paths to corporate leadership.”

The Oxholms met each other at Harvard University in 1976 as they were studying for their Master’s degrees in public policy. After moving to Philadelphia after graduation, Kim pursued a career in local government service before devoting herself to raising their two sons. An energetic volunteer, she quickly rose to leader positions in the social services community. While in Philadelphia, she received the highest award that Women’s Way gives to a local honoree for exemplary public service. Tobey’s career was in law, and his volunteer service was focused on providing free legal services to the poor. He received many awards for his contributions, including the American Bar Association’s highest award for pro bono legal service.

Started in 2009 by the Nehemiah Community Foundation with the support of American Leadership Forum Mountain Valley Chapter, Coro, and Drexel University, NELP is a selective 10-month professional development program designed to prepare its Fellows for effective and ethical leadership in their companies and communities.

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