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Nelson Fialho Named Interim Chief Executive Officer

(Tri-Valley, California) Seasoned city government manager and well-respected community leader Nelson Fialho has been named Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Three Valleys Community Foundation (3VCF).  Fialho joins 3VCF following his November 2021 retirement as Pleasanton’s longtime city manager – a position he held for 17 years.  His appointment is effective immediately. 

“We are incredibly lucky to have Nelson leading our organization,” noted John Sensiba, chair of the board of directors. “His strong business acumen, leadership and financial management, combined with his knowledge of the local community and commitment to the residents of the Tri-Valley, make him an ideal choice to lead our Foundation and to develop both collaborative and innovative opportunities that can assist our nonprofits.”

As the new Interim CEO, Fialho will lead and manage a thorough strategic planning process, setting the state for the Foundation’s short-term growth and long-term vision.  He will also work closely with the 3VCF board of directors, advisors and local partners to develop processes and procedures that promote trust and financial growth for donor funds and endowments as well as align with the organization’s core values of integrity and transparency; equity and inclusiveness; and collaboration and innovation.  

“Our nonprofit community is extraordinarily vibrant,” said Fialho. “After my career in city government, it was important to me to find a way to give back and to support the nonprofits in our region and the impact they are having.  We rely on our region’s nonprofits to address various community needs, including food insecurity, emergency shelter, mental health services, animal care, and even augmenting COVID response and recovery – to name a few.  The financial support system for these non-profit organizations was fragile prior to the pandemic, but now, more than ever, the demand and need for these services is on the rise.  Three Valleys Community Foundation can serve as a geographic anchor for individuals, corporations and local government to help those who need it most. I’m honored to join this organization and excited to help our community realize this vision.” 

Three Valleys launched in November 2021, after more than a year of development and planning.  Co-founder Steve McCoy-Thompson, executive director of Pleasanton Partners in Education  (PPIE), stepped forward to lead the organization during the critical launch phase, agreeing to serve as the 3VCF Interim Executive Director.   With Fialho’s appointment, McCoy-Thompson will now be able to transition to a board member role.

“Steve has played an integral role in the development of Three Valleys,” said Sensiba. “His creative ideas and energy, dedication to the mission and true desire to help our community thrive set the stage for all that we’ve accomplished over the last year. The board is incredibly grateful and we welcome him in his new role as board member and co-founder of the organization.”  

As a place-based organization connecting local donors with local needs, Three Valleys will offer a local alternative to traditional, nationally-based donor advised funds (DAFS) and endowment fund services – with a special focus on local grantmaking and helping donors find worthy causes to support.  

Alameda County Supervisors David Haubert and Nate Miley pledged their early strong support – with contributions of $50,000 each.   The city of Dublin also recently pledged $50,000 to help launch the organization.  These one-time funds will help Three Valleys develop the critical infrastructure necessary for long-term success. 

Other corporate founding champions to date include Bishop Ranch, Wente Vineyards, Sensiba San Filippo, Dimen Real Estate Group and The Independent. Many local residents have also stepped forward to support the development of the organization. In Fall 2021, 3VCF partnered with The Pleasanton Weekly on their annual Holiday Campaign for local nonprofits –managing the annual grantmaking cause completely free of charge. Three Valleys is also partnering with Las Positas College and the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance to present The Philanthropy Institute, which provides free monthly training to local nonprofit leaders. 

As part of his strategic and operational objectives for the Foundation, Fialho will also work closely with the board to eventually hire a permanent Chief Executive Officer. He will work part-time, adding key staff to Three Valleys as appropriate.  

Following his retirement from city management, Fialho joined Renne Public Management Group,    a division of the Renne Public Law Group based in San Francisco. The firm’s attorneys, public policy experts, and management consultants provide services and solutions for most of the pressing needs and challenges facing local governments, special districts, and nonprofits.  Fialho leads the firm’s Financial Management, Human Resource, Executive Search and Complex Project Management practice areas, and will serve as the division’s Executive Director, effective February 1.

Fialho earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Finance from California State University, East Bay.  He is also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School – Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.  He has been the recipient of numerous community and leadership awards from the League of California Cities, Go Green Initiative and Sunflower Hill.  

In addition to Sensiba and McCoy-Thompson, the founding board of directors of Three Valleys Community Foundation includes Susan Houghton, founder of Sunflower Hill, Kenneth Cooper of Las Positas College, Margaret Liang of APAPA, Tim Sbranti of Innovation Tri-Valley and Christine Wente of Wente Family Estates. Key Advisory Council members include Catharine Baker, Hoge Fenton; Chris Carter, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center; James Paxson, Hacienda Business Park; John Freeman, California Water Service; Scott Roberts, Mass Mutual; Wendy Fukamaki, Ross Stores; Joe Cristiano, Bank of San Francisco and Reena Gupta, Mom Relaunch. 

For more information, visit the Three Valleys Community Foundation website at or email 

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The Three Valleys Community Foundation seeks to strengthen our vibrant region through inclusive leadership, thoughtful funding, informed giving, and collaborative action.