Linda Gleason

Linda Gleason
Managing Director at The Children’s Movement, Fresno

Linda Gleason, Principal of Think Gleason, develops and manages client projects using teams of professionals specifically chosen to meet the unique needs of each client. She leverages 31 years of experience in marketing, public relations, program management, sales, operations and capacity building.

For a current client, The Children’s Movement of Fresno, Linda is responsible for creating the vision and driving the strategy around children’s issues within Fresno County. This includes building a non-partisan, cross sector, grass roots movement of civic engagement to shift the culture throughout Fresno County toward prioritizing children in all decisions.  Committed to policy and systems change, success will be realized with deeper collaboration and focus of all child-serving efforts in Fresno County for collective impact. Outcomes will be measured and widely reported. Today the movement has nearly 4,500 members and recently held a successful Children’s Summit, a cross sector community conversation that forged agreement to make grade level reading the initial indicator for collective focus.

Linda spent nearly 10 years in the advertising industry as a Media Buyer, Production Manager, Account Executive and finally Chief Operating Officer overseeing a $5 million budget and 13 full time staff including outsourced professionals. Another 10 years were spent as the CEO of her State Farm Insurance Agency that ultimately insured nearly 2,500 families. Linda sold her agency to pursue her passion for working with organizations that address poverty.

While at One by One Leadership in Fresno, Linda designed and managed the organization’s branding, communications and fund development. One by One Leadership is a member organization of the Leadership Foundation of America offering both a local and national perspective on the best community-building work throughout the nation’s inner cities. Soon after One by One, Linda co-founded Fresno Street Saints, a faith-based, grass roots organization that strengthens families in Southwest Fresno.

As part of her commitment to the inner city, Linda moved with her family to the Tower District in Fresno.  Her three children currently attend college, coincidentally all in Colorado.  She serves on the board of directors for Hands On Central California and loves spending time on the central coast.

I care deeply about poverty, particularly its impact on children. Since entering the social sector over a decade ago, I have been involved in helping build organizations that cross sectors to address issues related to poverty – One to One Leadership, VASA Charter School, Fresno Street Saints, and The Children’s Movement of Fresno. Community change is hard because of the challenge and pervasiveness of hopelessness. Diversity is uncomfortable and managing it is difficult. There is a lack of alignment among stakeholders on shared objectives. Community leaders must maintain focus and share encouragement in the midst of divisive politics and polarizing belief systems. It is a long-term project that demands humble leadership, a commitment to the common good, and endurance. There is really no room for ego or pride, which is challenging for all of us.”