Leo McFarland Retires, Christie Holderegger Elected as new CEO

Sacramento, California – Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada Board of Directors today announced its Chief Executive Officer Leo McFarland would be retiring in January. After an extensive national search, VOA’s Board of Directors has selected Christie Holderegger for the role of President and CEO.

McFarland has been with VOA since 1978, ending with 44 years of service. He started helping those struggling with alcoholism which sparked his passion to change the lives of men and women across our community. In 1985 he became president and CEO of VOA’s local affiliate. Through McFarland’s leadership, VOA not only focused on sheltering the homeless, but providing the tools for individuals to build a foundation that would transition them into independence. Today, this work continues with dedicated services for families, veterans, seniors, youth and individuals who are working hard to rebuild their lives. “He brought this organization to great places and leaves a legacy in the lives that have been forever changed by his work. We will continue to build on his legacy!” said current board chair Nick Himphill.

After over 44 years McFarland looks forward to investing time into his family. He will serve as CEO until the end of the year before entrusting the organization with the current Regional Vice President Christie Holderegger. “As I plan to walk out the door and turn over the reigns of this organization to someone new, I hope I’ll be able to tell them about this great opportunity to every single day, help change the life of somebody in need.”

31 years ago, Christie Holderegger began her life’s work in developing the foundation that would give the community the opportunity to also change lives. She quickly became an organizational leader serving as the affiliate’s Chief Development and Communications Officer. By use of leveraging creative storytelling, strategic partnerships, and brand recognition she was able to focus the organization on the value of the people we serve.

As Holderegger steps into this leadership position she remarks, “It is important to bring the community into this work and share the joy of service. Our 350+ employees live and breathe this mission of reaching and uplifting those who are isolated, alone and frightened. What a gift it is to give our community that same opportunity. To be able to go home every day and know that someone is in a better place than yesterday and on a path to independence is truly priceless. This is what kept me going over the years. I am humbled to take over the reigns and support this critical mission.”

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