Major California Grant Maker TCWF Taps Judy Belk As New CEO

Philanthropy veteran Judy Belk will become The California Wellness Foundation’s next CEO on April 7, the Woodland Hills-based grant maker announced on its website.

Belk will succeed Diana Bontá, who stepped down in June after just 18 months on the job. Cole Wilbur has served as the foundation’s interim leader since then.


She will preside over a sea change at TCWF. The grant maker has sunsetted its “responsive grantmaking” strategy, in which it permitted unsolicited letters of interest from prospective grantees within the scope of the foundation’s priorities. The next phase of funding will be announced soon.

“Judy has stellar operational and strategic leadership expertise in philanthropy and a strong sense of valuing the voices of grantees,” said Board Chair Barbara C. Staggers, in a statement. “This coupled with her track record in myriad philanthropic efforts that support underserved communities makes her a strong match for The California Wellness Foundation.”

Belk opened the Midwest and West Coast offices of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a nonprofit advisory group that consults on more than $300 million in philanthropic spending. Before that, she served as vice president of global public affairs at Levi Strauss & Co.

TCWF is a private independent foundation created in 1992 with a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention. Since its founding, TCWF has awarded 7,338 grants totaling more than $890 million.

John Kelly is the editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change.

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John Kelly, Editor in Chief, The Chronicle of Social Change
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John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change. Reach him at