California Masonic Foundation Staff

Douglas D. Ismail

President, California Masonic Foundation
Chief Philanthropy Officer, Masons of California
(415) 292-9142 |

Bro. Doug leads the California Masonic Foundation in engaging individuals and lodges in all aspects of charitable giving. He holds a bachelor’s degree in classical studies from Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio and a master’s degree in higher educational administration from Ohio State University. Doug has worked in fundraising for more than 30 years, leading organizations and offering independent consulting. His nonprofit-sector career has focused on the arts, health care philanthropy, social services, and education. Bro. Doug is a member of California Lodge No. 1, where he currently serves as trustee. He believes that charitable giving is a powerful example of Freemasonry at its best. He works to celebrate, recognize, and promote philanthropy as a tool to make the fraternity recognized and relevant, while providing opportunities for brethren to experience the joy of selfless giving.

Candler M. Gibson

Director of Masonic Philanthropy, Northern California
(415) 292-9181 |

Bro. Candler works with members and lodges in Northern California to promote charitable giving opportunities within the fraternity. In the “Let’s Write the Future” Campaign, he staffs the Northern California Campaign Committee. Bro. Candler holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and brings several years of diverse fundraising experience to the Foundation. He is a member and trustee of Phoenix No. 144 in San Francisco. He is particularly passionate about the Foundation’s child literacy programs because he believes that access to quality public education is critical for our country’s future.


Gregory B. Cherry

Director of Masonic Philanthropy, Southern California
(415) 292-9197 |

Bro. Greg helps brothers and lodges in Southern California achieve their philanthropic goals and further the mission of the California Masonic Foundation. He was previously a director of Alumni Relations at the University of Southern California, and a major gifts officer for the American Red Cross. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications. Bro. Greg is a past master of Santa Monica-Palisades Lodge No. 307 and currently serves on the Membership Development Committee. He is passionate about serving the community through his lodge and the California Masonic Foundation.

Denise A. Avila

Senior Manager of Development Operations
(415) 292-9117 |

Denise oversees many of the Foundation’s operational functions, including: fundraising analysis, reporting and reconciliation, managing the Annual Fund campaign and 100% Officer Giving program, special events planning, donor stewardship, and gift processing. Denise has worked in fundraising for more than 15 years in the U.S. and London, England. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design, a post-graduate diploma from the City University, London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics. She is passionate about improving the quality of life for the elderly, in particular those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Joshua D. Castro

Manager of Foundation Programs
(415) 292-9139 |

Joshua manages the California Masonic Foundation’s scholarship and grant programs, as well as the Masons4Mitts program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and psychology from the University of Iowa. He has worked for more than 15 years in the nonprofit sector, specializing in fund development and volunteer cultivation.

Richard A. Kellogg

Gift Officer
(415) 292-9172 |

Bro. Rich works closely with brothers who wish to make gifts to the fraternity using assets other than cash – such as charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and other appreciated assets. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and is a certified specialist in planned giving. Bro. Rich is the president of Future Focus Gift Planning and has more than 20 years’ experience in nonprofit consulting. He is a member of Acalanes Fellowship Lodge No. 480, and holds officer positions in two New Jersey lodges. He believes that Masons have the opportunity to improve the world by providing educational opportunities to disadvantaged children and young adults.