Local Philanthropy Experts

Our professional staff members are ready to help you match your giving interests with community needs and opportunities. We can work with your professional advisor to ensure your gift meets your charitableóas well as personal and financialógoals.

Jeffrey R. Pickering

President and CEO

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Jeffrey R. Pickering is President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation, and President of Kern Real Estate Foundation. Mr. Pickering has 18 years of experience in leadership roles as a fundraiser, nonprofit administrator and grantmaker, including four years as Vice President of Philanthropic Services at the Community Foundation of Central Florida.

Mr. Pickering holds a bachelorís degree in political science from the University of South Florida, a masterís degree in leadership studies from the University of San Diegoís School of Leadership and Education Sciences, a certificate in management from the Crummer Graduate School of Management at Rollins College and is currently a student in Stanford Universityís d. school.

Mr. Pickering is an alumnus of the Vincentian Service Corps, where he served for one year following graduation from college as a lay missioner working among homeless men and women in New York City. Mr. Pickering serves as Treasurer of the League of California Community Foundations, a statewide partnership of 29 community foundations with assets of more than $9 billion. Mr. Pickering is also Secretary of the Bakersfield Downtown Rotary, and is an Adjunct Professor at California State University Bakersfieldís School of Business and Public Administration.

Mr. Pickering is married to Stephanie Brooks Pickering, and has three children, Colin, Olivia and Grant.

Alejandra S. Contreras

Director of Business Development

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Alejandra Contreras is the Director of Business Development for Kern Community Foundation. Alejandra plays a key role in assisting in the Foundationís growth by managing new business development opportunities, and overseeing all sponsorship activities related to key products and events.

Mrs. Contreras has ten years of experience in the financial services industry structuring, underwriting and managing commercial loan transactions. Prior to joining Kern Community Foundation in 2013, Mrs. Contreras worked for GE Capital, most notably as Vice President of International Risk Underwriting.

Born and raised in Bolivia, Mrs. Contreras moved to the United States to pursue her university studies. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University in 1996, followed by a Master in Business Administration degree also from Louisiana State University in 1998. Mrs. Contreras has been active in various domestic and international charitable organizations.

Mrs. Contreras is married to Carlos Contreras, a graduate of the United States Military Academy. They are the proud parents of two boys.

Megan R. Boynton

Manager of the Nonprofit Search

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Megan Boynton is Manager the Nonprofit Search online for Kern Community Foundation, assisting in the Foundationís efforts to support the overall capacity and sustainability of Kern County nonprofit organizations.

She is a 14 year veteran of the insurance industry, handling and supervising property, liability and catastrophe claims during her career. A California native she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Santa Clara University, where her second major was Spanish. She also has an Associate in Claims certification from the Insurance Institute of America and a Masters of Public Administration from Seton Hall University.

Megan moved to Bakersfield in 2006 and volunteered locally in a grants writing capacity before joining the Foundation in 2012. She is the married mother of one 7 year old busy-body and two exasperated cats.

Danette M. Rinehart

Manager of Finance and Administration

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Danette Rinehart is Manager of Finance and Administration of Kern Community Foundation. She joined the Foundation in August 2007.

Previously, she was a small business owner of Network and Database Solutions and was a production database consultant for Midway Sunset Cogeneration, a subsidiary of Southern California Edison.

Danette is a graduate of California State University, Bakersfield with a degree in Business Administration. She is a certified Microsoft Systems Engineer and Database Administrator.

Rachel M. Evey

Coordinator of Development and Donor Services

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Rachel Evey joined Kern Community Foundation as Foundation Assistant in October 2012 then became Coordinator of Development and Donor Services in January 2014. Rachel plays a key role in Kern Community Foundationís growth by coordinating development and donor services activities relating to the Foundation's donors and other key audiences.

A Bakersfield native, Rachel returned to her hometown after graduating from the University of California, Davis with her Bachelorís in International Relations and Italian with a minor in Religious Studies. Happily married to Matthew Evey, they are the pet parents to Henry the guinea pig.

Jessica Newton-Smith

Foundation Assistant

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Jessica Newton-Smith joined Kern Community Foundation as Foundation Assistant in March 2014. As Foundation Assistant, Jessica plays a key role in Kern Community Foundationís growth by providing administrative and clerical support to Foundation staff and delivering high-quality services to the Foundationís donors, grantees and other key audiences.

Jessica started her education at Bakersfield College and graduated from California State University, Bakersfield with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management.