Make It Happen Hires First Executive Director

Davis resident Cathi Schmidt has been named the first executive director of nonprofit Make It Happen for Yolo County, which provides local foster youth and other transition age youth ages 18-24 with furnishings, household goods and resources needed to move into their first apartments. Schmidt is the nonprofit’s first paid staff member and takes the reins as the group prepares to enter its 10th anniversary year.

“We are elated to have found such a capable and heartfelt person to lead Make It Happen for Yolo County after nearly a decade as a volunteer-run nonprofit,” said Jan Judson, board president, Make It Happen for Yolo County. “Cathi has an extensive background in business development, organizational behavioral management and significant experience working with nonprofits. We are excited to work together to ensure more transition age youth have the foundation they need to become successful young adults, starting with safe housing and continuing with academic work and career.”

Schmidt will work closely with volunteers to expand partnerships, raise awareness with potential new partners, increase fundraising activities and provide additional organizational support to increase the number of transition age youth the nonprofit serves. Prior to joining Make It Happen for Yolo County, Schmidt was vice president of a global supply chain services company.

“It has been my goal and desire to work for a nonprofit that provides much needed services to the underserved youth of our community,” Schmidt said. “These young adults deserve better, and I believe in partnership with other Yolo County organizations, we can offer more. I have found Make It Happen for Yolo County to be an organization that addresses needs in a way that is truly impactful, and one in which I believe I can make a positive contribution.”

Make It Happen for Yolo County receives furniture donations from the community and purchases new appliances and household items to help youth involved with the Yolo County child welfare, mental health and probation divisions, as well as the UC Davis Guardian Scholars program for students who have experienced foster care. The nonprofit works with clients to complete a wish list of desired household items and then select items at the group’s storage units. Since its founding in 2014, the nonprofit has served more than 200 youth. To volunteer or make a financial or furniture donation, visit