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Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation announce 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.
Click here to learn more about supporting the Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Crisis Action Fund
Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation are standing with Tribal communities in the Pacific Redwoods region to mark Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s (MMIP) Awareness Day.
Homicide is the third leading cause of death for Indigenous women and girls. In some Tribal communities, indigenous women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average.
These rates are disproportionately high in the Pacific Redwoods region, which accounts for two-thirds of California’s MMIP cases. California is home to the nation’s fifth-highest number of MMIP incidents.
MMIP Awareness Day, which takes place on May 5, is a national effort to draw attention and resources to address this devastating pattern of violence and injustice.
The Foundations, which are supporting Native leaders’ efforts to end this tragedy, today announced that they are launching The Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Crisis Action Fund with seed funding from individual donors and the Foundations’ discretionary fund.
The fund will support regional research, policy advocacy, crisis response and recovery, and will aim to close technical assistance gaps. It will also allow for the Foundations’ continued partnership with Tribal leaders and Indigenous experts to facilitate community support and address the root causes of this public safety threat.
“The national tragedy of MMIP has been all but ignored by philanthropy,” said Bryna Lipper, CEO of the Humboldt Area and Wild Rivers Community Foundation. “These are our girls, our friends, our community. Their absence is devastating to us all. Today, and every day until it is no more, we are called to face the crisis that is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons. We can do something to end this now.”
California’s most populous Tribe, the Yurok Nation, has developed internationally recognized MMIP justice efforts, working with the region’s Inter-Tribal Court to advocate for public and philanthropic resources, elevate research, and help bridge barriers to services. Some of those barriers are a result of legal and jurisdictional issues arising from a 1950’s era Congressional Act known as Public Law 280 (or PL 280), which applies to California and five other states. Tribes were neither consulted nor consented to the sweeping change.
This law has been used as justification to deny law enforcement funding to Tribes and has “dramatically altered criminal justice in Indian Country,” according to the Department of Justice’s Institute for Justice.
"We, all of those who are left behind, are failing. Our people are going missing. They are being trafficked and murdered," said Judge Abby Abinanti, Yurok Tribal Court Chief Justice. “We will not stop fighting for a fair and reasonable share of resources for our region, for our people, and our justice partners. Failures are mounting and we must unite and ensure justice as the right of all.”
You can help by getting involved in Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s Awareness Day on Thursday, May 5. Community members are invited to:
“The Foundations will continue to support and partner with Tribal and community leaders to advocate for awareness and healing. We will also champion efforts to advocate with our elected leaders and educate the public about the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous victims,” said Paula (Pimm) Tripp-Allen, Senior Advisor to the Humboldt Area Foundation. “With sustained efforts of philanthropic support and public action, we can begin to work together to forge a path of healing and prevention of this national and local crisis.”
For more information on how to support Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Awareness Day and the Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Crisis Action Fund, please visit the HAF+WRCF Giving Page.
About Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) Crisis Action Fund
The epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people (MMIP) is a national humanitarian crisis, with California ranking fifth in the nation for incidents of MMIP, and the far north of the state accounting for most cases. The Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People’s Crisis Action Fund supports prevention and response to violence against Indigenous people in our region. Your investment in the Pacific Redwoods Missing & Murdered Indigenous People’s Crisis Action Fund supports regional research, policy advocacy, crisis response, recovery, and more. Funds allow for our continued partnership with Tribal leaders and Indigenous experts to facilitate community support and address the root cause of this public safety threat.
About Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation
The Foundations serve the residents of Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte Counties in California and Curry County in Oregon, along with 26 Tribal Nations and Indigenous territories by promoting and encouraging generosity, leadership and inclusion to strengthen our communities. We envision a thriving, equitable, healthy, and just region for the generations ahead.
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.
The Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation have announced a new strategic vision to guide the organization through the next ten years and beyond.
Download the new Strategic Vision 2021-2031 (PDF)
Download the Strategic Vision FAQ (PDF)
The new vision imagines the four-county region of Curry, Del Norte, Trinity, and Humboldt counties as a "Thriving, Just, and Equitable Region" supported by four goals, which include:
· Racial Equity
· Thriving Youth and Families
· Healthy Ecosystems and Environment
· A Just Economy and Economic Development
Together, these four goals will inform the programmatic and strategic work of the organization. As the Foundation embarks on this strategic direction, both HAF and WRCF have been reorganized to enable this vision. The Foundation now comprises four main teams, each with a specific mission and portfolio of work. The teams include:
· Strategy, Program & Community Solutions Team
· Advancement & Philanthropic Innovation Team
· Executive, Culture & Public Policy Team
· Finance & Administration Team
The new organizational structure will empower staff to utilize their many skills in direct service across Trinity, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties in California and Curry County in Oregon.
Founded in 1972, the Humboldt Area Foundation is nearing its 50th anniversary. During that time, the Foundation has been recognized at the state and national level for innovative work to support our region. From incubating grassroots organizations to leadership development and training programs to local loan and impact investment portfolios, the Humboldt Area Foundation and its regional affiliate, the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, has long-supported capacity building, social and financial infrastructure, and philanthropic advice essential to the wellbeing and progress of our region.
The Wild Rivers Community Foundation was established in 2004 as a regional affiliate of the Humboldt Area Foundation, serving all of Del Norte and Curry counties.
Humboldt Botanical Garden, a nonprofit organization, has established a new fund at Humboldt Area Foundation. The Humboldt Botanical Garden Foundation Fund is another way for people and businesses to contribute through HAF in supporting this local outdoor jewel, with its variety of local plant species, as well as educational and family programs.
The Garden began with a small group of volunteers in 1991, who built and manage the 44.5 acre site south of Eureka, near Humboldt Bay and adjacent to the College of the Redwoods. It currently features 10 different gardens, a Butterfly House and an earth sculpture designed and constructed by Eureka artist Peter Santino that features two non-intersecting quarter mile meditative walking circles.
The Garden is supported by more than 1,100 individual, family and business members, over 100 active volunteers, three paid staff and curators and a ten-member volunteer board of directors.
“Our board felt a fund invested with a trusted local partner like Humboldt Area Foundation would help us attract annual and planned gifts as we look to the future,” said Board President Evelyn Giddings.
The nonprofit started its fund with $10,000 that it will work to grow through contributions. The fund will be invested for long-term growth. HAF will administer the fund and manage all donor and IRS reporting. HAF staff is also available to advise and help the volunteer-led organization with estate and planned gifts.
Tax-deductible contributions to the fund can be made online at www.hafoundation.org/HBGF or by calling (707) 442-2993. Learn more about Humboldt Botanical Garden at https://www.hbgf.org/.
The program supports a broad spectrum of wellness efforts, from culture and family support to food and housing security, mental health, and more.
“These grants are especially meaningful during a pandemic, where community members more vividly experience challenges and barriers to health,” says Amy Jester, Program Director for Health & Nonprofit Resources for the Humboldt Area Foundation, which oversees the operations of the Humboldt Health Foundation.
The Humboldt Health Foundation seeks to fund projects that help reduce or eliminate structural barriers to wellness. This year, the majority of funding will be designated to programs that support the health and wellbeing of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other People of Color. “We recognize that BIPOC individuals are disproportionately affected by the pandemic and that racism is a critical public health issue impacting our region,” says Jester.
"The grant program is there to support organizations and groups that are creating opportunities for people to live healthier lives. There are so many awesome ways communities are supporting wellbeing. We're interested in partnering with organizations to make that happen" says Amy Jester, Program Director of the Humboldt Health Foundation.
In March, the Humboldt Area Foundation announced its new 10-year strategic vision, which explores how a community foundation can help grow a thriving, just, healthy, and equitable region. The Foundation has also laid out four goals to support that vision, with resources and programs being developed to address these areas over a 10-year period. The goals are racial equity; healthy ecosystems; thriving youth and families; and a just economy and economic development.
Community health grants from the Humboldt Health Foundation represent a 24-year legacy of supporting our community through investment and grantmaking and underscore the Foundation’s commitment to our region’s health and wellbeing.
To learn more about the criteria and download an application, please visit the HHF website at humhealth.org.
Humboldt Health Foundation was founded in 1997 and is an affiliate of the Humboldt Area Foundation. Since its founding, Humboldt Health Foundation has distributed nearly $4.7 million in grants. Over the past year, the Foundation has given grants for program and general operating support for organizations like HC Black Music and Arts Association, English Express, COVID-19 direct relief for Spanish-speaking and undocumented individuals from the McKinleyville Family Resource Center, as well as the Native Women’s Collective.
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.
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Humboldt Area Foundation promotes and encourages generosity, leadership, and inclusion to strengthen our communities.