Lynne Ashbeck (1976, ’77), Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology
By ESRA HASHEM
A career built on service and community defines the professional life of Lynne Ashbeck.
“If not us, who?” is one of her favorite expressions — one she uses often when reflecting upon her work in children’s and community health.
Lynne is the senior vice president of community engagement and population wellness for Valley Children’s Healthcare. A respected civic leader, she is also serving her fifth term on the Clovis City Council, including two terms as mayor.
The daughter of a career naval officer, Lynne moved every two years growing up. After attending high school in San Diego, she settled in Fresno, where she vowed to stay no more than four years. That was 45 years ago.
Lynne graduated from Fresno State with a bachelor’s degree (1976) and master’s degree (1977) in home economics/nutrition. She has utilized her nutrition education skills in leadership roles in a variety of agriculture, education and health settings. In her current role, Lynne is focused on expanding the impact of Valley Children’s, improving the health outcomes of children and families in neighborhoods, schools and the broader community.
“It’s about serving the common good,” Lynne says simply, “working for something besides and beyond yourself.”
Lynne completed a master’s degree in peacemaking and conflict resolution from Fresno Pacific University in 2012, where she is an adjunct professor. She is involved in many community and regional organizations, including her role as chair and co-founder of the Fresno Community Health Improvement Partnership and leading Community Conversations, a collaborative focused on improving our mental health system.
Last year, she was appointed by Governor Brown to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, where she brings the Central Valley voice to statewide work on mental health issues.
Lynne is also a tireless champion for the City of Clovis.
“Our job is to leave the community better than when we found it,” Lynne says — but don’t call her a ‘politician.’ “It is about service, not politics. Elected officials are not the most important part of how a city operates.”
Lynne is married to Jeff Hensley and their family includes five children and six granddaughters.
“I am fully committed to this community,” Lynne says. A bumper sticker she saw in the Fresno State parking lot while working at the University years ago sums it up. “We all do better when we all do better.”