Three Generations of Women Changemakers

Families can share a lot more than holiday memories and great genetics; they can also share their interests, passions, and lifelong goals.  Developing meaningful shared activities connects family members across generations and distances.  In the North Tahoe community, we are delighted to see families engage through volunteering and philanthropy.  The Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund offers this opportunity to female relatives, and it was not long after the fund began that members began sponsoring and engaging their daughters, granddaughters, and nieces.

Philanthropy had long been a central aspect of Carol Geiger’s life when she decided to join the Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund at its inception nearly ten years ago. The powerful forward momentum of the campaign immediately impressed and inspired her, and it was not long before she was sharing her enthusiasm with the younger generations of her family.

A native Floridian still residing in the sunshine state, Carol worked for Cultural Alliance in Brevard County, Florida, before retiring from a career in graphic design. She and her husband Ed, whom she met at the University of Miami, have contributed both time and money to causes that stir their generous hearts. Carol has served many nonprofit organizations and was Board President of the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science for five years.

Carol and Ed started skiing in the Sierra in 1964.  Still enthralled by their time in the mountains nearly thirty years later, they bought their vacation home in Northstar in 1992.  Some of their favorite local organizations are Truckee Trails Foundation, The Truckee Donner Railroad Society, and the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe. They also support “TEMPO” at Truckee High School.

“We work hard to set a good example of community support for our child and grandchildren,” Carol shares.  Carol and Ed’s only daughter, Emily Geiger Salmon, is also passing the torch.  Emily, a full-time Truckee resident, caught on to Carol’s enthusiasm for the Queen of Hearts and joined soon afterward. Emily went to school at Florida State University, where she met her husband, Mike.  Their love for the mountains drew them to settle in Truckee twenty-one years ago. Emily and Mike have two accomplished children, Luke, fifteen, and Isabelle, thirteen.

Emily’s successful career in innovative marketing, sales, and public relations has enveloped her in tourism, hospitality, and nonprofit work.  Previously at Excellence in Education and Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, Emily is now the Associate Director of the Squaw Valley Institute and is helping connect the community through inspirational programming celebrating the arts, wellness, education and adventure.  Mike, the Chief Financial Officer for the Tahoe Donner Association, is also committed to his community. He is an Assistant Boy Scout Troop Master, was the President of the Truckee Trails Foundation, and sits on the Finance Committee for the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

They continue to make philanthropy a priority and support causes in the school district, local nonprofit organizations, and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.  Emily says, “I love being a Queen as Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation and the Queen of Hearts dramatically improves and enhances this community and the way of life for so many people.”

Emily and Carol enjoy discussing grant cycles, even when Carol is busy traveling, and invited twelve-year-old Isabelle to join the Women’s Fund as well. Isabelle became one of the founding members of Girls Giving Back (GGB).  Amongst sports, art, and cooking, Isabelle loves to read and is enrolled in all honors courses.  She is excited to be there as GGB launches into their second year. GGB plans to duplicate the success of their first grant cycle, which wrapped up with a $2,500 grant to Bigs in Blue, a program of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Carol says “Many things inspire me but being a Queen really inspires me because I love the reality that women can band together and make a powerful difference for their community.”  TTCF couldn’t agree with you more.

If you are interested in joining the Queen of Hearts Women’s Fund, or know a young Queen who may be interested in Girls Giving Back, find out more here.

This article first appeared in the 10/14/2015 Sierra Sun Give Back Tahoe page.