Amy Anderson & George Somero: Living & Giving in Harmony
George Somero, from Minnesota, and Amy Anderson, a California native, connected over their shared love of biology on a research vessel to the Galapagos Islands to study the creatures found in the nearby deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Both Ph.D.’s in Biology, she from U.C. Santa Barbara, he from Stanford, they served as faculty for Oregon State University before moving to the Monterey area in 1995. George taught at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, where he is currently the David and Lucile Packard Professor Emeritus of Marine Science. He has published several books on biochemical adaptation, and frequently travels to China for scientific research.
Amy, an accomplished cellist from the age of nine, needed more music in her life, and quickly became involved with Chamber Music Monterey Bay (CMMB). Amy served as President for many years and as Artistic Director for over 20 years. She stepped away from full time duties in 2017, but remains connected as a board member and Artistic Director Emeritus. Both love music, and they have supported the commission of several new chamber works at CMMB.
Partnering with the CFMC
They learned of the Community Foundation for Monterey County through CMMB, where Amy participated in numerous workshops presented by the CFMC’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence. After CMMB established a stewardship fund to take advantage of the foundation’s investment expertise, Amy and George created their own donor advised fund to facilitate their giving in 2010. With no children to provide for, they give freely to the causes they care about.
“We’re lucky to have the ability to give. We both feel strongly about focusing on our local community. With national organizations, your donation can be a drop in the bucket. By giving to organizations in our area, we can have a greater impact.” – George Somero, Amy Anderson and George Somero Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County
They appreciate the CFMC’s grant opportunities.
“Arts, environment and land use are passions of both of ours. The foundation brings different ideas to our attention – new things. It lets us know about organizations we wouldn’t otherwise hear about. It’s nice to have a trusted source for that information,” says George. “We also enjoy Monterey County Gives! and make that part of our annual giving.”
Giving Now and in the Future
“We want to give now during our lifetimes to help strengthen our communities today. It’s liberating to make a list of what concerns us and have a conversation about it. It’s wonderful to be able to give together,” says Amy.
“Choosing the Community Foundation as a vehicle for our legacy giving reflects our confidence in the organization. We appreciate the fact that the Community Foundation will honor our intent in case the organizations we care about cease to exist.” – Amy Anderson, Amy Anderson and George Somero Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County
Here for Good
“The CFMC makes giving so easy. It’s an infrastructure for philanthropy that you can tap into at any level,” George notes. Adds Amy, “It’s a wonderful way to connect to your local community. You learn so much about what’s going on. There are very supportive people involved. I feel so lucky that it’s here!” George sums it up this way, “Your tagline is real – you’re ‘Here for Good!’”
Amy and George are here for good too. Their home reflects their travels and love of art, music and color. They brighten the lives of others now and their legacy of giving will continue to reflect their passions in the future.
Read more about the CFMC’s work and those like the Amy Anderson and George Somero who have partnered with us to craft their philanthropic vision in our 2017 annual report. To learn about how you can partner with the CFMC in your philanthropy, Contact Christine Dawson, VP of Philanthropic Services or call (831) 375-9712