La Jolla Concours d'Elegance

Profiles | A Legendary Pair

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by Marie Tahan Daniels

Yolanda Walther-Meade & Yolanda S. Walther Meade

Dream teams exist in every industry and we usually associate them with devoted, no fear partners with a common goal to succeed through innovation and a healthy dose of gumption. San Diego / Tijuana region has a bevy of examples to choose from. In the competitive environment of this big “small town” city, we have bred a unique culture that combines a laid back atmosphere with incredible drive and achievement. Over the last decade, the mother-daughter team sometimes referred to as the Yolanda’s, have exemplified this very quality with grace and seeming ease. They have been a dedicated force behind several organization such as Boys & Girls Club of Mexico, University of San Diego, International Community Foundation, San Diego Latino Film Festival and San Diego Natural History Museum.

“The SDNHM is thrilled to recognize Yolanda Walther-Meade and her daughter Yolanda S. Walther-Meade as the 2011 Dos Aguilas/Two Eagles Honorees. These two dedicated women have selflessly given of their time, talent and treasure for many local binational organizations. In particular, “The Yolandas” have co-chaired the Museum’s signature gala for eight years. It’s time now, to honor them, as we cross the $1M threshold in dollars raised through this wonderful binational event.” ~ Michael W. Hager, Ph.D. (President & CEO of SD Natural History Museum)

This year the legendary pair have been chosen as honorees for the very San Diego Natural History Museum celebration they have chaired together since 2000, Dos Aguilas (Two Eagles). They are joined by previous esteemed honorees as Richard Kiy, Alejandra and Gastón Luken, Deborah Szekely, Christy Walton, Jose and Socorro Fimbres and Joan and Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow.

You don’t see many successful mother-daughter philanthropic dream teams so we decided to take a few minutes of their busy schedules for some questions…

Yolanda Walther-Meade:

Giving Scene: What impact have you seen as the most important during your service?

The San Diego Natural History Museum is truly binational.  They have have been a leading partner in the baja region of important discoveries and conservation efforts and botanical areas which are still in dire need of care and monitoring so that we may share their beauty and wonder with future generations.

Giving Scene: Why did you choose to devote your efforts to the SDNHM?

Their mission goes all the way to the point of the Baja California peninsula.  They help with  the ecology of the region and more. They have no boundaries.  They teach the international communities the importance of how to take care of our land and to love it.  I enjoyed introducing my children to the Museum and now my grandchildren. My involvement with the SDNHM goes back many years.

Yolanda S. Walther-Meade

Pic of Yolanda S. Walther-MeadeGiving Scene: What experience first endeared you to philanthropy?

Philanthropy has been a lifestyle value for the Walther-Meade family forever. My father Jorge, and mother, Yolanda Sr. instilled the concept that everyone is able to give time, treasure or talent, and should! And so now, my chidlren Andie and Carlos, continue the family tradition of civic engagement and stewardship!

Giving Scene: What is the most important aspect of the SDNHM that you feel the general public should understand?

The sustainability of our natural environment is critical to our regional longevity. The San Diego Natural History Museum is a focal component of allowing us to understand, and achieve this.

Giving Scene: Why did you choose to devote your efforts to the SDNHM?

I chose to direct my efforts to the San Diego Natural History Museum for a variety of reasons – its mission statement is binational, reaching from Southern California, to Baja California Sur; its outreach efforts, scientific collection and research through the Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias benefit our region tremendously; its exhibits are cutting-edge with multi-generational appeal, spanning from the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibits, Body Worlds, the film Ocean Oasis, and more!

Giving Scene: What impact have you seen as the most important during your service?

During the 9 years I have co-chaired Dos Aguilas, I have seen the international scope of its exhibits and outreach grow tremendously. On a regional note, PROBEA has been extraordinarily effective in incorporating environmental concepts into Baja California’s educational curricula, assisting thousands of educators in reaching even more numbers of students, contributing to sustainable development in our region.

Giving Scene: Why did you choose to devote your efforts to the SDNHM?

I chose to direct my efforts to the San Diego Natural History Museum for a variety of reasons – its mission statement is binational, reaching from Southern California, to Baja California Sur; its outreach efforts, scientific collection and research through the Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias benefit our region tremendously; its exhibits are cutting-edge with multi-generational appeal, spanning from the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibits, Body Worlds, the film Ocean Oasis, and more!

For additional information about attending the Dos Aguilas celebration, visit the website.

Visit uber-fabulous live auction HERE.

Gala & Program Ticket Prices start at $200 per person (Includes reserved seat; Hosted bar and tasting stations; VIP pass; Tax deductible contribution) or come as an After Soiree Guest for $50 (Includes admission for one at 10PM (no reserved seating); Two cocktails and dessert stations; One Museum guest pass. Tax deductible contribution)

1 Comment

  1. Marie Tahan Daniels

    January 14, 2011 at 8:06 am

    FELICIDADES!!! It is a pleasure to have worked so closely with you both throughout the years on such an important mission that affects not only our immediate area but the entire region as a whole. You have been beacons of inspiration for showing the impact that we can have on our environment and communities. You set the bar high for the rest of us, pushing us upward toward great achievement.

    Thank you for the dedication you have had for not only the SDNHM but throughout the region in your many causes on both sides of the border. It is an honor to Chair this event, honoring your legacy.

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