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Meet RFFI's New Volunteer Coordinator

Johanna Cummings

Mark Welther, Redwood Forest Foundation (RFFI) President and CEO, is pleased to announce that we have selected Johanna Cummings as our first-ever Volunteer Coordinator.

Johanna Cummings, Volunteer Coordinator Since our founding, RFFI's accomplishments have largely been achieved through volunteer contributions from our board members, community advisors and individuals. We are proud that our mission and programs have inspired our many highly skilled and experienced supporters to give their time and energy over the years to help us achieve our goals. Now, Johanna will help build and organize this powerhouse force into the future.

While RFFI's work has benefited from -- in fact, relied upon -- this impressive volunteer effort, we have been limited in our capacity to engage and recognize many others who would like to help. Fortunately, in 2015, the Giles W. and Elise G. Mead Foundation awarded RFFI a two-year grant (2016-2017) to establish a formal volunteer program that includes hiring a part-time Volunteer Coordinator. One of the objectives of the project is to secure donations, grants and income to fund the position permanently.

Many local residents know Johanna as Johanna "Wildoak" from her Mendocino County Public Broadcasting radio program, and are also aware of her active and varied contributions to local organizations and boards. Johanna's impressive local, Bay Area and international experience promises to strengthen, expand and enrich RFFI's volunteer program.

Since she arrived in Mendocino County in 1998, Johanna has worked as a freelance media producer and as a volunteer and board member with Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (KZYX), Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op, Tree of Life Montessori School, Mendocino Organic Network, Ukiah Haiku Festival and others. She has helped these organizations with recruiting and organizing volunteers, visioning, planning, business development and communication. Her previous experience includes working in Silicon Valley and Germany with international technology companies to develop, launch and market new products and ideas.

Johanna applied because, "RFFI's work is such a perfect match for my personal values and commitment to sustainability. I grew up rurally in the Bavarian Alps and have enjoyed roaming through forests and getting to know the fauna and flora since childhood. I remember gathering wild blueberries in the forest with my grandmother when I was barely old enough to walk and carry a little bucket (which never got full, because I kept eating most of the blueberries I picked)."

In 2015, she served as the editor for RFFI's 2015 Forest Management Plan and interviewed Mark Welther on her KZYX radio program 'Wildoak Living.' "RFFI's commitment to forest ecology, sustainable practices and outreach to the communities that have a stake in the future of the Usal Forest profoundly impressed me. I feel a strong responsibility to help protect this vital treasure and unique ecology for our children and grandchildren."

Johanna tells us, "When I first walked into a redwood forest in the late '80s, I felt like I'd arrived in a community of kindred beings, and that feeling has stayed with me." Johanna enjoys -- besides spending time outside with her three border collies -- connecting with people from all walks of life, communicating ideas and helping organizations assess their needs and reach their goals. "I'm honored that RFFI chose me as their new volunteer coordinator. I very much look forward to helping RFFI build and sustain a diverse community of volunteers in support of its vision to establish community-based forests that provide both critical habitat for increased biodiversity and improved regional economic vitality."

Johanna will be expanding RFFI's volunteer program. Visit this site often to see the program unfold and learn how you can get involved. In the meantime, please feel free to reach Johanna at Johanna@rffi.org.
 

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