Minutes: December 13, 2022


Board Members:
Emina Darakjy, Bob Blum, Nick Harvey, Emily Spillett-Brownlie (joined late), Nancy Sappington, Laura Burnett, Mona Cummings

Nancy Hughes, Deb Etheredge

Sarah Gaskin, Anne Fenker, Beth Valdez, Magen Shaw, Daniel Kump, Gordan Mann

Action Items

  • Review, Approve Agenda, Consent Calendar
  • In-person meeting
  • Board applications


12.03 PM Call to order – Emina

12.04 PM Approved agenda – all in favor
12.05 PM Consent Calendar – approved – all in favor

Old Business

12.06 PM Conference financials

  • Nancy sent out financials from the conference.
  • P&L shows $1,362 net income once the final sponsorship check comes in.
  • Next year we might join forces with A-Plus Tree and their Treetopia event in August 2023.
  • We typically make a few thousand on the conference, but we don’t treat it as a major fundraising event.
  • Should we be looking at what we can do for the $10k amount for our FS funding and getting out into the regions and doing workshops, as we did before Covid-19.
  • Silent auction made over $3k.

12.22 PM Board EDI statement subcommittee – Emily & Mona – draft to present at the meeting in SF in January – added to the agenda.

12.24 PM CALFIRE update – seems positive. There is movement. Walter reviewed the invoices for AMPlify last week and there is some back and forth on those. CALFIRE has hired some internal financial review/audit people and we may get a check (finally) next year.

Not resolved yet, but looks like it might be resolved shortly. Best case/worst case scenarios. AMPlify – will be OK. Monitoring is going well, and we are working with the cities to fix any issues with things like vandalism, etc. to replace trees. Other two grants, CFR and Cool Parks.

WCA may have to refund some funds to CALFIRE as some work was done in non-DAC areas.

CFR1 we are working with cities to make sure they have planted 2 trees, in the right spots.
Cool Parks and loss of tree issues – cities that stopped water due to drought, vandalism, etc. This has to happen by the end of March.

Emily – you learn extra about the issues that have impacted the health of trees, eg. issues around drought, vandalism, covid, etc.

Implied from CALFIRE that we may not be funded on tree planting grants in the future.

We have been education and outreach focus, throughout our history and that is one of our strengths. Nancy has been in discussion with Tasha from our lobbying group to look at what areas/topics need more work in the education and outreach.

March 2023, there will be money coming to the Forest Service that is not tied to CALFIRE. Broadbased education and marketing, that is not linked to tree planting. Webinar coming in March.

In the foreseeable future we will need to look at diversifying our funding sources.

12.39 PM Two new board applicants; Meha Senthil and Asha Jordon – looking for how to follow up with them. Emina looked at their applications and agrees both are very qualified. Emily – the executive committee follows up with them with interviews in early January and then a vote at the next meeting. Executive Committee to do virtual meetings with the board candidates. Jan 12/13 lunch hour as possibilities. Jan 12 out for Nancy S. Jan 6 or 13. Nancy will copy everyone on the email to the candidates. Nick can meet Bay Area applicants in person if need be.

12.52 PM Fundraising – currently at $1,006. Next blast will be in our email newsletter on Dec 15. We will have another email blast before the end of the year. Link in the chat for how to set up your page.

12.58 PM Santa Rosa FountainGrove II OSMA

12.59 PM Wells Fargo to call Nancy Sappington about the officers and signers update.

1.00 PM Policy and Advocacy work postponed to January 2023. Advocacy work to get funding for CALFIRE is less of a priority and the intention is to put energy into working with the office of policy.

1.02 PM Meeting adjourned.

  • CAL FIRE update – Andy Trotter at WCA has stepped in for management & oversight on the grants that are in question, sent teams out to geo-tag trees, take photos of them, and implemented tree care and watering teams in those cities that are not, or unable to take care of the trees that were planted.
  • Conversations with each city, and what the situation is with each tree and plant replacement trees for those that are drought stressed or have disappeared (we had a small amount of theft). Great stories coming back on the impact of those programs with the cities involved and getting CAL FIRE to look at the work done and see the benefits.
  • We do not have someone from CAL FIRE working with us directly.
  • Emina had questions – how many trees? when the work took place? why are the cities not stepping up and planting new trees or watering? What is the process we went through with follow-up and maintenance? CFR program – the city would plant two trees for every tree removed.
  • WCA was doing follow-up visits and making reports which were not immediately acted upon by WCA.
  • What is Walter’s issue? question from Nancy S.
    • a number of points
    • NDCA issues
    • trees captured on the list were not on the approved list, for example, crape myrtle – which led to a review of what species of trees were planted
    • the definition of the NDCA %
  • submitting a new tree species list – cities are requesting different trees that were not approved
  • WCA was not fully paying attention to the specifics of the grant on occasions
  • Nancy H – one of the reasons it took a while for the taxes as Nancy needed to go back & remove prior WCA invoices that would not be paid – with the corresponding invoices in the system
  • Beth needed to leave at 12:30 pm due to dropping the internet.

12:38 PM – Board Recruitment

  • Sarah G has two people
  • we had another application online.
  • update our brochure with our current programs

12:40 PM Follow-up brainstorming session SD – no update

12:41 PM Fundraising campaign

  • Deb outlined our peer-to-peer campaign that will be coming Friday.

12:47 PM – regional workshops that are local and in-person and could include lunch
– Miranda will talk about funding from the Inflation Reduction Act in a March webinar
– can we also live-stream?

12:49 PM – Santa Rosa/FountainGrove II Arbor Day event to plant 200 trees went well

12:50 PM – Wells Fargo requirements for signers on the CaUFC accounts

12:53 PM – vote on Nancy S. for Vice-President
– need to call a vote as our VP – all in favor – all on call
– vote on adding Nancy S. to the Wells Fargo letter & remove Emina – Gordon made a motion to add the new officers to the accounts

12:57 PM – comments from Gordon

  • CAL FIRE issue is about changing admin midstream
  • CAL FIRE has a bad history of delaying payments to the grantees & try and work with them to do that
  • Rotate annual conference with annual meetings from the regions
  • Fundraiser – ‘we need trees & trees need us’ – Gordon whats to change ‘we’ to ‘humans’ or ‘people’ – change to ‘people need trees & trees need us’ – doesn’t want ‘we.’ 

1:01 PM Next in-person meeting

  • Nancy can do a poll for the next in-person meeting
  • January 18th?
  • Meeting in SF at Nixon Peabody
  • Usually 10 AM to 4 PM

1:04 PM – Nancy H. is going to the Partners Conference in Seattle next week

1:05 PM – Adjourned

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