loader image

Lisa Burke

Chief Operations Officer

She • Her • Hers


Rest in Heavenly Peace
October, 1965- April, 2024

Anchor: prevent a craft from drifting due to wind or current.

There are few people in organizations who define this word. Lisa Burke was an anchor to JBMF for many reasons: historical and institutional knowledge that always came at clutch moments, as well as a cantilever to hold the organization to its core operational framework, yet also flexible as some of the most durable metals to allow JBMF to sunrise in creative ways. She was a dedicated JBMF employee for 13 years and our Chief Operating Officer.

But to us as her work colleagues and friends, Lisa was a beloved human being, kind and caring, yet sassy with sharp humor and the highest intuitive and emotional intelligence you could always count on. She thrived outside in nature and her long weekend hikes with her husband were legendary. Her pride and love for her two daughters were always balanced with satirical stories often told by mothers of young adults sowing their way in the world. She was mother, too, to two labs- Roxy (RIP) a heartbreak when it was her time, and Olive a delight with enormous puppy power.

The last 30 days have been hard, to say the least. We remember with sorrow and grace in who she was and long for her company. We shrink in admiration at her courage in these last few months. We only hope we can mirror her values, her tenacity, her affable calm, and make her proud.

Lisa, we love and miss you. Our gratitude’s for you are endless.

A lifelong resident of Sacramento, Lisa loves seeing the growth of her hometown turning into a destination throughout her years.

She currently serves California’s Central Valley as the Chief Operations Officer at James B. McClatchy Foundation.

Her professional background encompasses 25+ years in government affairs and community relations where she worked to support local government, telecommunications, and land-use planning firms.

Her expertise in human resources, information technology, accounting and auditing management, project and grant management, contracts, vendors, insurance, and facilities management allows the JBMF team to operate day-to-day with ease and efficiency.

Lisa holds a B.A. in Urban Economics from CSU Sacramento, an M.A. in Training and Organizational Development, and a certificate in nonprofit leadership from Golden Gate University.

It’s an honor to help worthy organizations to increase their capacity for great work being done in the community.

A hope to ease burdens

I’ve worked on many boards throughout my career and have worked closely with various nonprofits through grantwriting and fundraising. The common theme, in my experience, has been the challenges in funding all these nonprofits struggled with.

Many organizations have big dreams of creating change and impacting communities, yet their work and hope for a better future for all is often compromised by financial constraints.

Seeing this need made me want to do more, specifically on the grantmaking side of the equation. I find it both professionally and personally rewarding knowing my work at JBMF makes a difference for those in need.

On a personal note

When not at work, you can find me hiking and camping with my husband and our dog, Olive.

I feel a special affinity for National Parks, but my all-time favorite is the Redwood National Park found along Northern California’s coast. There is something cathartic about being surrounded by thousand-year-old giant sequoias encapsulated by the ethereal mist of the Pacific ocean. You can say I feel most at home surrounded by nature. I am fortunate since Sacramento is in close proximity to the Sierras, the Bay Area and Napa.

Besides being outdoors, I enjoy the company of my close friends especially when it involves farm-to-fork, organic and locally- sourced foods.

I endeavor to practice sustainability and minimalism by using less plastic, recycling, upcycling, responsible shopping oftentimes through thrifting, and do-it-yourself crafts.

Hobbies that I enjoy are meditation and learning about history. My current favorite podcast being the Revisionist History where something from the past is re-examined and re-learned from a modern perspective.