Current Position: Currently I’m the Director of Digital Production at DGWB Advertising in Santa Ana California. I basically manage the strategy, design and development of websites, facebook apps, mobile apps and email campaigns for clients like Mimi’s Café, Toshiba, Hilton Garden Inn, Yogurtland and Dole.
What is/was your relationship to ReLeaf (in the form of a timeline)?
California ReLeaf Grant Coordinator from 1994 – 1997. I managed the tree planting and urban forestry grant programs funded by CDF, USFS and TPL. This included on-site inspection and participation in various events across the states, reviewing proposals for grants, communicating and coordinating grant awards and managing disbursements. Also produced the summary reports for CDF and the Forest Service showing how the funds were used.
What did/does California ReLeaf mean to you, personally?
California ReLeaf helped me understand the importance of community building. I was fortunate to visit so many projects where local residents came out to take ownership in their neighborhoods. They were proud to be doing something good for the environment while cleaning up their schools, streets and alleys. It helped me become a board member of my city’s own tree planting group (ReLeaf Costa Mesa) working over three years to plant 2,000 trees in our city’s parks, schools and parkways. Too often, we are bombarded by stories showing what divides us. ReLeaf showed me that there is still more that unites us.
What is your best memory or event of California ReLeaf?
The conferences. Genni Cross, Stephanie Alting-Mees, Victoria Wade and I would work so hard to put the conferences on, each turning out way better than expected given the budgets we had to work with. The attendees never knew how late we stayed up preparing things by hand. But I loved it. Stephanie, Genni and Victoria were three of the funniest people I’ve ever worked with and those late nights were filled with laughter as we all tried to crack each other up! The Point Loma Conference was probably my favorite: beautiful location and a great group of people from all the Network members.
Why is it important that California ReLeaf continue its Mission?
California Residents need to understand the power they have in their own hands. ReLeaf helps you understand and cultivate that power into community action. If residents can get involved and work in partnership with their civic leaders to plant trees, clean up neighborhoods and beautify streets, they can take ownership of their city and become a voice for better communities. More neighborhood ownership leads to lower crime rates, less graffiti, less trash and an overall healthier place to live. Tree plantings are an ideal, (relatively) non-controversial way to foster this involvement. That is ReLeaf’s contribution to California communities, and it’s one that’s worth ten times the money it costs to fund ReLeaf’s program.