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HAF’s future success will be built on the strong foundation that was set during Patrick Cleary's tenure, and we are glad he will continue his work at the Foundation in a new role as Director of Community Prosperity and Investment.
July 16, 2019
I am honored to write this letter to you as I enter my twelfth and final year on the Board of Directors of Humboldt Area Foundation. This is an exciting time at HAF. As we look forward to this new chapter, we are fully engaged in the upcoming transitions. On August 1, 2019, we welcome Bryna Lipper as our new Chief Executive Officer. Her previous work in philanthropy includes co-founding the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities. Bryna has an impressive range of skills, experience and expertise to guide HAF to the next level. We enthusiastically welcome her into her new role at HAF.
As we moving forward, I am also reflecting on the many milestones HAF has achieved in the past six years under the leadership of Patrick Cleary as Executive Director and with the help of our community partners. We have compiled a list of some of those accomplishments which you can find below. HAF’s future success will be built on the strong foundation that was set during his tenure, and we are glad he will continue his work at the Foundation in a new role as Director of Community Prosperity and Investment.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I full-heartedly thank Patrick for his years of dedication, his deep commitment to the mission of the Foundation and for the many significant accomplishments as Executive Director.
Our future is looking very bright!
Kathryn Lobato, Board Chair, Humboldt Area Foundation Board of Directors
Here are some of our major accomplishments since 2013:
HAF+WRCF announces the addition of three new board of directors: Alex Ozaki-McNeill, Alan Nidiffer and Dr. Keith Flamer.
The three new board directors join current directors Raquel Ortega, secretary, Charlie Jordan, board chair, David Finigan, vice chairman, Judge Abby Abinanti, Christina Huff, Mary Keehn, Dina Moore, Marylyn Paik-Nicely and Dennis Rael.
“Bringing voices to the board from all of the communities we serve is essential for true representation,” said Board Chair Charlie Jordan. “Additionally, adding members with experience and skills that enhance the foundation’s ability to serve makes us a stronger organization.”
Alex Ozaki-McNeill, raised in Arcata and educated at Cal Poly Humboldt, is the current Director of the North Country Fair and works as a compliance manager and HR for the cannabis-related business Flower Co. in Arcata. Prior to that she led Brio Baking Inc.'s direct public offering in order to finance improvements through community investments. Past and present non-profit and community group involvement includes Equity Arcata, Cooperation Humboldt, Humboldt Asian and Pacific Islanders (HAPI), and Eureka Chinatown Project.
“Growing up in the Humboldt area fueled my love of nature, arts, and community involvement. I am a new mom and am eager to raise my daughter in the same community that helped shape me into who I am,” Ozaki-McNeill said.
Alan Nidiffer, a long-time resident of Brookings, Oregon, graduate of Oregon State University, is a New York Life Insurance Company agent who served on the advisory board of Wild Rivers Community Foundation for two years before joining the Humboldt Area Board of Directors. Previously, Alan served as executive vice president/chief information officer for C&K Markets Inc. and Ray’s Food Place. He also worked as a senior programmer for Weyerhaeuser and Willamette Industries.
“I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the Foundation’s board because it is known to have a tremendous impact in our region,” Nidiffer said. “And I am excited to help contribute to its mission of supporting youth and families, healthy ecosystems, racial equity, and regional economic development, especially in Curry County.”
Keith Flamer, president and superintendent of College of the Redwoods arrived in Humboldt County in 2006 from Chicago, Illinois. He is a senior-level executive with a PhD degree in Educational Leadership and more than 25 years of leadership experience in higher education, including navigating the operational and political aspects of college funding, and experience with securing government and institutional funding. His community endeavors include being a member of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, board director for the Boys and Girls of Humboldt County, member of the League of Women Voters of Humboldt County, and the Rotary Club of Eureka.
“The opportunity to join the Foundation’s board provides me a way to give back to my community and serve with colleagues whose values and commitments reflect my own,” Flamer said.
Foundation CEO Bryna Lipper welcomed the new board directors, saying, “Since I arrived in this region, Dr. Flamer, Alan, and Alex have provided me personally with strategic counsel, guided about underserved and marginalized communities, and demonstrated brave leadership in their respective fields. I am confident that their appointment to the foundation’s board will amplify these values and our commitments to a just, thriving, healthy and equitable region.”
In 2021 The Foundation’s board announced a new region-wide strategy focused on building a “Just Economy, Healthy Ecosystems and Environments, Thriving Youth and Families, and Racial Equity.” The Board also affirmed the Foundation’s commitment to serving Trinity, Del Norte, and Humboldt counties in California, and Curry County, Oregon, as well as the 26 Tribal Nations and Indigenous Territories across this region. The Foundation’s board oversees affiliates such as the Humboldt Health Foundation, the Native Cultures Fund, the Redwood Region CORE Hub and other major initiatives.
BAYSIDE, CA —Chief Judge Abby Abinanti of the Yurok Tribe, a longtime advocate for the creation of tribal value-based tribal justice systems, is the newest board member for Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF).
"We are beyond thrilled to have Judge Abby join the Humboldt Area Foundation's board," says Mary Keehn, chairperson of the HAF board. "Her experience with state and tribal justice systems and her unique approach to community building are going to be tremendous assets as we move forward with the board's strategic vision. This will be a great benefit for our communities and a big step toward uniting the broad region Humboldt Area Foundation serves."
Abby Abinanti, Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribal Court and a Judge for Joint Family Wellness Courts, is the newest member of the Humboldt Area Foundation. Photo Courtesy Matt Mais / Yurok Tribe.
Abinanti built the Yurok Tribal Court and its many programs from the ground up. Rooted in traditional cultural values, the cutting-edge court seeks to provide justice and life-changing services to people often failed by the conventional criminal justice system. A retired San Francisco Superior Court Commissioner and lifelong supporter of Native American rights, Abinanti is currently the Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribal Court and a Judge for Joint Family Wellness Courts in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. In these roles, she has positively influenced the lives of many local community members.
“First, I want to thank everyone on the Humboldt Area Foundation’s board for their kind welcome. I am looking forward to working with the board to imagine new ways to support all members of our community. I am excited to begin taking actions that benefit our shared communities for the long term,” says Abinanti.
Del Norte County resident and HAF board member David Finigan said Abinanti’s background is ideal for the board’s strategic objectives.
"Her experience in the Del Norte County region and Tribal Lands are sure to bolster the Foundation's mission of leadership and inclusion,” said Finigan, who is also a board member for Wild Rivers Community Foundation, an affiliate of HAF. “I look forward to working with her to address vital community issues."
Abby Abinanti, Yurok Chief Judge, is an enrolled Yurok Tribal member. She holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of New Mexico School of Law and was the first California tribal woman to be admitted to the State Bar of California. She was a State Judicial Officer (Commissioner) for the San Francisco Superior Court for over 17 years, assigned to the Unified Family Court (Family/Dependency/Delinquency).
Abinanti retired from the Superior Court in September 2011 and, on July 31, 2014, was reappointed as a part-time Commissioner for San Francisco assigned to Dependency, and Duty Judge for that Court, where she served until 2015. She has been a Yurok Tribal Court Judge since 1997 and was appointed Chief Tribal Court Judge in 2007, a position she held in conjunction with her Superior Court assignment until 2015.
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $80 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry, and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation, please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
BAYSIDE, CA (APRIL 3, 2020) – The first grants from the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, totaling $195,920, are going to eighteen organizations in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Curry counties to help our communities deal with the effects of the coronavirus.
The COVID-19 Fund was launched on March 20, by Humboldt Area Foundation and its affiliate the Wild Rivers Community Foundation in Del Norte County. With additional support from The California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation, the fund started with $150,000. During the first two weeks, over 55 individual contributions and donor pledges have grown the fund to more than $285,000.
“Every one of our board members has given to the fund,” said CEO Bryna Lipper. “We live in a generous community and think $1 million is within our reach. It will help thousands of people,” Lipper said.
To encourage giving to the fund, HAF is taking no administrative fees, with 100% of every gift going to grants.
HAF’s areas of focus in awarding grants from the fund includes seniors, people with compromised immune systems, homeless, first-responders and Native communities.
In making the grants, HAF is using a streamlined review process that does not burden area nonprofits during this difficult time with a lengthy application process.
Sara Dronkers, Director of Grantmaking and Nonprofit Resources said, “Our team is reaching out daily to area nonprofits, public agencies, businesses, civic leaders and Native communities from Garberville to Weaverville to Hoopa, Crescent City and Brookings, Oregon to help us target our grants to charitable organizations on the front lines of service.”
Grants from the COVID-19 Fund are just one tool HAF is utilizing to meet the current crisis. Other resources being mobilized include loans to nonprofits, grants from other funds, fundraising from partner foundations and community leadership activities to bring partners together for action.
The first grants made from the fund (as of April 2) are:
· United Indian Health Services, $18,200, to get food and meals to 1,300 elders in local Native communities during the coronavirus and during a gap in federal funding.
· The Wiyot Tribe, $1,000, for extra hygiene, cleaning and pet supplies for elders.
· The Yurok Tribe, $20,000, to provide additional hygiene packages, food delivery and firewood to tribal members, including 900 elders and 500 at-risk youth.
· 211 Humboldt, $2,000, to the Mother Women Rising Support Group for extra help for clients as a result of the coronavirus.
· Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, $5,000, for additional general operating support for homeless services resulting from the coronavirus.
· Arcata House Partnership, $4,000, for facility improvements to maintain health, safety and physical distancing during the coronavirus.
· Cooperation Humboldt, $5,000, for their COVID-19 Response Coalition and $2,000 for the Humboldt Parent Hive Childcare Co-op.
· Del Norte Mission Possible, $10,000, for increased program and management support needed to address the coronavirus.
· Eureka Rescue Mission, $10,000, to help meet an increased demand for services resulting from the coronavirus.
· Family Resource Center of the Redwoods, $10,000, for its food pantry facing increased demands during the coronavirus.
· Food for People, $18,000, to respond to increased COVID-19 related demands on the organization.
· Gold Beach Senior Center, $10,000, to help with increased food distribution needs in Gold Beach and Port Orford, Oregon due to the coronavirus.
· Healy Senior Center, Redway, $15,000, to maintain and expand program operations and staffing for senior services during the coronavirus.
· Humboldt Bay Firefighters Local 652, $15,300, to purchase reusable medical Personal Protection Equipment jackets for first responders needed to protect them and the public during the coronavirus.
· Humboldt Family Services Center, $6,000, for virtual counseling for struggling families sheltering in place during the coronavirus.
· Southern Humboldt Housing Opportunities, $12,420, for two weeks of motel rooms for homeless people made vulnerable during the coronavirus and additional meals for other homeless individuals.
· Transitional Residential Treatment Facilities, $20,000, to support the shelter in place operations for 25 mentally ill individuals.
· Trinity Community Food Outreach, $10,000, for an additional food storage unit for the county’s food bank in Weaverville, along with funds for seven pantries to purchase perishables not available through government programs.
Contributions, small or large, can be made to the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund online at hafoundation.org/Giving/COVID19 or by mailing checks to HAF at 363 Indianola Rd, Bayside, CA 95524. For more info call (707) 442-2993.
As COVID-19 cases soar in Del Norte County, the overworked staff at Crescent City’s Sutter Coast Hospital is receiving much-needed meals provided by local restaurants, donations and a $30,000 COVID-19 grant from Wild Rivers Community Foundation and Humboldt Area Foundation.
“When we heard that hospital employees are working 16-hour shifts, the hospital cafeteria is closed, and they have little to no time for breaks and meals, we asked what can we do?” said Gina Zottola, vice president of Advancement & Philanthropic Innovation for WRCF and HAF. “This grant will provide our heroic health care workers with 175 meals and healthy snacks per day for four weeks.”
Zottola said the grant was spurred by last weekend’s efforts by Del Norte County Supervisor Valerie Starkey and resident Kelly Schellong, who organized with friends and local businesses to provide hospital employees with snacks and water. Over the weekend, the hospital received donated salads, sandwiches, snacks and drinks from Frank’s Heating and Refrigeration and Hiouchi Hamlet. Other businesses have since joined in the effort, Starkey said.
“We just wanted to do something to keep the staff fed,” Starkey said. “They don’t have a cafeteria and they can’t simply run down and get a banana. This is something the community can do to show we care.”
The $30,000 grant will help Starkey and others work with local restaurants, food trucks and caterers to provide prepackaged meals from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day. Hospital employees are encouraged to take some of the food home to family members after their shift.
Starkey also encouraged residents to make posters with encouraging words that can be displayed at the hospital. “Anybody can make a poster and it is a great way to show the hospital staff how important they are and that the community supports them.”
People who want to donate and businesses that would like to provide meals can contact Starkey at 707-490-9177 or Kelly Schellong at 707-218-5060.
Since pandemic lockdowns began in March, 2020, Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation have distributed $3.3 million via 246 grants from its COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, most of which has been shared with nonprofits in Del Norte, Curry, Humboldt and Trinity counties. The grants range from $1,000 to $50,000 and support critical needs including food insecurity, technology access, health care access, racial equity and housing needs. Learn more about supporting the fund at hafoundation.org/Giving/COVID19.
Humboldt Area Foundation board chair Kathryn Lobato announced today that the board has chosen Bryna Lipper as its new chief executive officer. The decision came after a six month hiring process which saw more than 90 candidates apply from across the country. Lipper was one of six candidates invited to visit and interview with staff in Bayside and at the Wild Rivers Community Foundation in Crescent City.
“Lipper was the candidate most qualified to take Humboldt Area Foundation to the next level,” said Lobato. “Her presentation to the board included very deep and strategic thinking about the Foundation and how we work. Her energy, enthusiasm and experience in managing complexity will be great assets to the Foundation.”
Lipper holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her previous experience in philanthropy includes co-founding the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative and serving as the initiative’s senior vice president from 2013 to 2018. Prior to that Lipper served as acting director for the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Lipper has stated that she is looking for her “forever home” where she can make a long-term commitment and positive impact.
Humboldt Area Foundation’s board of directors worked closely with staff, community members and local consultants throughout the hiring process, eventually reaching a unanimous decision to hire Lipper. Lipper will be moving from the Boston area to Arcata next month and start at the Foundation August 1.
Patrick Cleary, who served as Executive Director of the Foundation for the past six and a half years, will stay on part-time as Director of Community Prosperity and Investments. This new role will involve overseeing investment portfolios and advising and managing complex gifts.
About Humboldt Area Foundation:
Vera Vietor established the Humboldt Area Foundation in 1972. Since then, more than $80 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded in Humboldt, Del Norte, Curry and Trinity Counties. Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities.
For more information on services provided by the Foundation please visit the Humboldt Area Foundation website at hafoundation.org or call (707) 442-2993.
Image: Headshot of Bryna Lipper.
The Humboldt Area Foundation and the Wild Rivers Community Foundation have announced new meeting protocols that will ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and board members while enabling the Foundation to continue serving the public.
At this time, the Foundation continues to require visitors to make an appointment and discourages drop-in visits. You can reach the Bayside office by dialing 707-442-2993 and the Crescent City office at (707) 465-1238.
“We’re concerned for the health and safety of our communities, and we have many young children in our organization who can’t be vaccinated. Thus we’re still taking a high level of precaution,” says Bryna Lipper, CEO of HAF+WRCF.
In accordance with Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild River’s Community Foundation’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards, the Foundation is adopting new protocols to safeguard the health of employees and their families; Board members, customers, and visitors; and the community at large. These protocols are the first step in a multistep process as the Foundation plans what a “new normal” will look like in a hybrid work environment.
Notable changes to the Foundation’s policies include requiring all guests and visitors to be fully vaccinated before coming to the HAF campus or entering the WRCF building. In addition, outdoor meeting spaces will be made available at both locations, with a maximum meeting occupancy of 20. In most cases, however, meetings will continue to occur remotely unless circumstances require an in-person meeting.
Only fully vaccinated personnel may come into HAF+WRCF premises. In addition, only fully vaccinated personnel may meet in person with other fully vaccinated parties.
HAF+WRCF Staff and Board members will not meet in person, in any manner, to conduct business on behalf of HAF+WRCF with non-vaccinated parties due to public health concerns.
As per HAF+WRCF’s current vaccination policy, all employees/board must be vaccinated unless a reasonable accommodation has been requested and approved. A reasonable accommodation does not exempt a party from these protocols.
Staff/Board is welcome to continue wearing a face covering as desired, but it is not required. Any individual may request masking during meetings and in a shared space. No reason is needed for the request. All other staff and board are to comply with a request to mask.
Still No Public Meetings and Meeting Spaces at this Time
Out of concern for public safety, HAF+WRCF continues to restrict the use of its meeting facilities. Updates will be made on this news blog and elsewhere when the Foundation resumes scheduling public meetings. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
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Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.