Minutes: March 17, 2023


Board Members:
Emina Darakjy, Emily Spillett-Brownlie, Sarah Gaskin, Mona Fleming, Gordon Mann, Nick Bob Blum, Meha Senthil, Nancy Sappington, Laura Burnett. Anne Fenkner and Asha joined in the afternoon.

Nancy Hughes, Dorothy Abetya, Deb Etheredge


10.05 AM President Emina Darakjy called the meeting to order

  • Review and Approval of Agenda and Consent Calendar with minor modifications to the order of topics on the agenda
  • Conflict of Interest Statements signed by Board members

10.20 AM Discussion of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Statement (EDI)

  • Committee: Mona & Emily read statement
  • Modify to include “education” in statement
  • Add “action items” to bullet points
  • Create mechanisms for opportunities for engagement
  • Work on Strategic Plan before adding actions to the EDI
  • Include California land acknowledgment Request input from indigenous groups

10.45 AM CalFire grant update (Nancy, Dorothy)

  • No invoices have been paid for 2022, but Q1 2022 was submitted & approved by Walter Passmore
  • 2022 Q2 & Q3 were submitted in late February. Q4 is still being processed by WCA.
  • Meeting set with CalFire (Passmore & Melvin) for Monday afternoon, March 27th to discuss Cool Parks and Cit Forest Renewal (CFR) grants’ possible approvals and potential for payment.
  • John Melvin provided Nancy with encouragement for closure in a 45-minute phone call.
  • Discussion of ongoing CalFire staffing shortages and funding issues

11.10 PM New Funding from the Forest Service (Nancy)

  • Nancy is looking forward to working with Miranda Hutten on the potential use of IRA funds. Miranda will be providing guidance in a webinar sponsored by CaUFC next month.

11:20 PM Regional Council Workshops (Deb)

  • Fresno is scheduled for April 27th with a Workshop (in-person & Zoom) on Urban Trees After the Storm.
  • Sacramento Council is working with the UC Master Gardeners. April 21st is the target date.
  • Street Tree Seminars is targeting Air Quality with a workshop scheduled in August.

12:00 PM Legislative Updates from Tasha Newman of Pacific Policy Group

12:30 PM Strategic Plan Review

  • The priority needs to focus on strengthening the existing programs
  • Look for other funding sources, e.g. other non-UF organizations
  • Grant Station is available for our use (subscription obtained)
  • Network for Good will be our new platform. In the process of moving over
  • Strategic Planning Committee – Emily, Meha, Sarah, Mona, & Nancy
  • Tom Story taught a fundraising workshop to Board in 2011, maybe revisit?
  • Form a coalition with CalReleaf?
  • Reinstate the membership fee: provide incentives to join?

2:00 PM Statement on loss, resilience, & the ongoing need for growing trees after the storm

  • Statement should be published. Reach out to the media
  • Establish “Talking Points” so the media can not take our words out of context
  • Letters to the Editor
  • The statement needs editing before publishing.
  • Who is the target audience
  • Share it with elected local officials
  • Nancy is willing to talk to City Councils
  • Check with Trepepi-Smith for the cost to refine the statement “Trees are essential – After the Storm”

2:18 PM Budget/Finances

  • The next two Board meetings will be about finances which should be clearer after CalFire makes decisions on grant approvals
  • Cool Parks – CaUFC is owed approximately $16K
  • CFR 1.0 – CaUFC is owed approximately $30K
  • AMPlifying the Urban Forest – CaUFC is owed approximately $200K

2:18 PM Transition to a new ED

  • A committee and Chairperson were selected: Gordon (Chair), Emina, Emily, Nancy S.
  • An existing Succession Plan can be found in the CaUFC Governance Framework. It is about ten years old but still is solid
  • The Succession Committee needs to be flexible regarding the location of the individual. Someone or an office in/around Sacramento would help with CaUFC’s advocacy and education mission
  • What are the characteristics to look for in a good ED for CaUFC: skills in diplomacy are essential

3:15 PM Open Discussion
4:00 PM Meeting Adjourned

Deb’s Conference Notes from the Board Meeting

  • Conference Partner is A-Plus Tree for an event August 3, 4, 5 at Mare Island, Vallejo
  • Event is called TreeTopia. It is an outdoor event for industry professionals and families
  • CaUFC attended last year
  • Hundreds are expected to attend
  • CaUFC will have its own tent for educational events/workshops
  • CaUFC cannot charge a fee
  • A committee needs to be established to help organize and manage CaUFC activities at TreeTopia
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