Vi Calvo, MA, works at the American Council on Exercise (ACE). As the Partnership and Funding Manager of ACE’s Community Investment and Engagement initiative, she seeks to increase physical activity opportunities in communities across the nation. She brings over ten years of experience working in the nonprofit sector specializing in cross-sector collaborations, resident engagement, resource development, and research to support community health and well-being. She currently sits on the San Diego Hunger Coalition Board of Directors as Secretary. Vi earned a B.A. in Communication from UCSB and a M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from USD.
When did you know that you wanted to work in this career field?
I’ve dabbled in various nonprofit sectors ranging from academic to health to philanthropy, but realized that community health programmatic work really makes my heart sing. It’s the combination of the right and importance of one’s health in a strong quality of life and the opportunity to support resident-led solutions that excites me.
How did you become involved in the COI?
Dan Fesperman and Nina Ghatan graciously invited me and fellow ACE coworkers to attend domain meetings in early 2017.
Why do you stay involved with the COI?
The COI Domain meetings are prime examples of the collaborative work I want to see more of in San Diego—multiple sectors gathering on a regular basis to address a common goal. Plus, it’s a great setting to meet potential partners, support others in their work, and promote physical activity in our region.
What do you love about of your job?
The people—my coworkers are always up for a walking meeting and ready to lend a hand in our collective efforts to get people moving, ACE’s mission.
What are three words that describe you?
Achiever, Developer, Learner (from StrengthFinders)
What is your favorite place in San Diego?
San Diego Zoo, especially the orangutan exhibit and the aviaries, which are very peaceful.
What do you do for fun?
I have an 18-month old and I am pregnant—for fun, I like to take naps. But I also love walks, gardening, checking off my to-do list, and oil painting.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My son, Ricky, likes broccoli. Not sure if this is my accomplishment, but one more step towards 5210!
What are your three greatest passions?
My family, volunteerism, art
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
After Hurricane Katrina, I led a group of 50 fellow college students to help with the relief effort in the New Orleans. We partnered with other relief groups to gut and bleach houses and clear debris. As my first experience leading work in a vulnerable and underserved community, I learned a lot about institutionalized injustices, group dynamics, how systems work together (and sometimes don’t work), and myself. In summary, this experience influenced how I approach my work in communities today.