March 15, 2014 | by Lisa Mattson

United Way of wine country honored John Jordan as the 2014 Philanthropist of the Year at its annual Tocqueville Society luncheon, hosted at Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant on March 7. John Jordan, CEO of John Jordan Vineyard & Winery, was recognized for his extraordinary generosity and the impact of his work for our community.

“In honoring John Jordan and the foundation he created in 2012, we recognize a philanthropist whose vision and mission aligns with United Way; whose commitment to our community is outstanding, and whose efforts truly improve lives locally,” said Mike Kallhoff, CEO of United Way.

John Jordan’s support helped to expand United Way’s Schools of Hope early grade literacy initiative to three new schools and is enabling United Way to expand the reach of the Earn It! Keep It! $ave It! initiative, which is allowing low-to-moderate income individuals and families, particularly migrant farmworkers, to receive free tax preparation and financial education.

During an eloquent speech in which he referenced Alexis De Tocqueville’s philosophy of advancing the common good and creating opportunities for a better life for all, John said, “As members of the community we have an obligation to play an active role in improving the lives of our most vulnerable fellow citizens. In my view, this is what America is all about. People voluntarily coming together to make our communities better places.”

Each year, United Way recognizes a philanthropist for their exemplary support of United Way and community. Along with his support of the education, income and health focuses of the local United Way, John has also provided extraordinary support for several causes, including: The Career Technical Education Fund supporting workforce training programs in Sonoma County schools; Healdsburg Education Foundation helping more than 300 children attend the English Language Learners Summer Academy; Teachers Wishes Grants funding items and programs such as field trips and microscopes and exposing children to colleges and career programs; support for a new pediatric dental wing for Santa Rosa Health Centers; and 10,000 Degrees Sonoma providing early college exposure, readiness workshops, mentoring and financial aid to students with high financial need and high motivation to attend post-secondary school.

A unique award was presented, reflecting the opening language and look of Star Wars to signify the positive legacy John is creating–and give a nod to his favorite movie of all-time. United Way’s Tocqueville Society involves and cultivates influential leadership, encouraging and cultivating major gifts with which to strengthen our community.

To learn more about the John Jordan Foundation, visit