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A Message from Board Chair Kathryn Lobato

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

Dear friends,

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:

  • Grew HAF’s assets from $78 million to $133 million.  More importantly, increased our grants and scholarships from $2.5 million to a forecasted $5 million for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
  • Pioneered a Local Investment program to invest nearly $5 million into local projects, and served as a model to many other community foundations while earning solid returns.
  • Facilitated the Building Healthy Communities initiative in Del Norte and Tribal Lands, which under the leadership of the Wild Rivers Community Foundation has contributed to remarkable improvements in health outcomes.
  • Tripled the assets of WRCF as well as purchased and refurbished the Wild Rivers Community Foundation building in Crescent City.
  • Created the Equity Alliance of the North Coast which has provided space for necessary community conversations around race, equity and inclusion, and which have been widely embraced by institutions and agencies around the county at a volatile time.             
  • Launched, incubated, and completed the spin off of the True North Organizing Network, the first community organizing effort on the North Coast, and the first PICO affiliate ever to be Native-led.
  • Supported the construction of Open Door Fortuna, the renovation of Arcata Fire buildings and the Carson Block building.
  • Received the donation of the 240-acre Leavey Ranch in Blue Lake and coordinated research opportunities with Humboldt State. 
  • Grew the assets of the Native Cultures Fund and supported its listening campaign to strengthen Native communities throughout California.
  • Successfully renovated the Emmerson House as home to our Finance staff according to best environmental practice standards.
  • Nurtured an incredibly talented and more diverse staff, while having introduced an internal Racial Equity Action Plan which is transforming the way in which HAF staff interacts with communities we serve and with each other.
  • Improved internal policies and procedures, developed an Affiliate Policy, rewrote standard fund agreements, and generally strengthened HAF’s controls and procedures.
  • Launched a Socially Responsible Investment Fund which now has more than $5 million in assets. 
  • Expanded local access for college scholarships through the Scholarship Finder and by taking our scholarship applications online. 
  • Revived HAF’s role in the Leave a Legacy and planned giving focus.
  • Served as a transitional home for Humboldt Made, which is now thriving.
  • Launched a new website and expanded HAF’s social media presence.



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