President/Superintendent's Blog

Summary of the February 19, 2020 College of the Redwoods Foundation Board Meeting

Published on 2/20/2020.

President of the CR Foundation Board Jim Maher welcomed Jim Ritter to the Foundation Board. Jim is the Community Outreach Director for the Humboldt County Office of Education and is a founding member of the Humboldt LIVE Leadership and Career Exploration Class.

Sheila Hall provided an update on our scholarship program. It is clear that her traveling around the District educating students on the various scholarships we have available is paying off.

The Foundation accepted the gifts from the Arcata Fire Protection District of eighteen SCBA Masks, eighty 30-minute air bottles, and twenty-seven Scott Air Packs with regulators. The equipment is valued at $110,500. 

The Board approved their new officers for next year. Monica Sperling will serve as the new President and Dan Collen as the new Vice President.

The Foundation Board members had a very honest and robust discussion of a new strategic plan. I am happy to announce that they ultimately approved a new plan. Below is an outline of the plan.

PURPOSE: To generate resources to promote student enrollment, student success, economic development, community health, and equitable opportunities.

MISSION: The mission of the Foundation is to support the Redwoods Community College District by establishing partnerships and collaborations that benefit our students, local businesses, and the community.


  1. Establish the Foundation’s brand identity and relevancy in the community.
  • Expand board membership.
  • Develop Foundation marketing materials.
  • Redesign Foundation website.
  • Utilize social media campaigns to promote the Foundation.
  • Collaborate with local media to promote the Foundation.
  • Utilize community events to generate awareness of the Foundation and affinity for the College.

2. Promote funding of scholarships, internships, and special projects.

  • Establish a matching gift program to grow endowed funds by utilizing freed-up Challenge Grant funds.
  • Expand employee support by establishing a grant program for faculty/staff/student innovation.
  • Create an education campaign for church leaders, local financial analysts, CPAs, lawyers, funeral directors etc. so they understand planned giving options through College of the Redwoods.
  • Identify & meet with major donors.
  • Utilize micro project campaigns similar to the Redwoods Room and Board Scholarship Fund.
  • Utilize $60,000 Marian Perry donation to Biology, as seed funds for a community campaign to turn CR’s property into a learning lab and to provide greater community access to our property.
  • Hold event(s) for potential new Athletics supporters to establish new relationships and support of the Auction and promotion of CR Athletics in the high schools
  • Utilize District’s Naming Policy for the new Creative Arts properties – buildings, rooms, benches, etc. and the new Physical Education facility and Fieldhouse.

3. Facilitate partnerships, programs, and initiatives that focus on student enrollment and success, workforce and economic development, community health, and equity opportunities.

  • Disaster Preparation Community Summit (classes/summit/annual exercises)
  • Increasing enrollment - increase number of high school students visiting CR campuses, CR Alumni speakers in Elementary & Middle schools.
  • Research working with third party entities to resource projects.
  • Expand partnerships with Native American tribes.

Marty provided a great report on the work he has accomplished since the last Foundation Board meeting. Below is his written report.


  • The Executive Director met with George Schmidbauer and Kay Johnson of C&K Johnson Industries to discuss repurposing the Schmidbauer's Challenge Grant fund (currently valued at $145,000). Mr.
  • Schmidbauer and Ms. Johnson were supportive of this idea, and the Executive Director is working out options for the Schmidbauers to review.
  • The Foundation Board held a special meeting to approve Jim Ritter as a new board member. Mr. Ritter is the Education at Work Community Outreach Coordinator for the Humboldt County Office of Education and focuses on bringing high school students out to visit classes at CR and HSU. Over the last year, the Foundation Board has added three new members.
  • The Foundation produced a 2019 year-end report for promotional purposes.
  • The Executive Director met with Professor Shannon Sullivan to discuss Foundation support for a College of the Redwoods Alumni Art Exhibition at the Morris Graves Museum.
  • The Executive Director assisted Dr. Kintay Johnson with a presentation on “How a Small Rural Community College Supports Students Experiencing Homelessness” for SchoolHouse Connection. SchoolHouse Connection is a national non-profit organization working to overcome homelessness through education.
  • The Executive Director worked with a local community group to promote a fundraising event for the Redwoods Room & Board Scholarship Fund.
  • CR’s Wiyot signs are now in production. Rory Johnson, Director of the Del Norte Campus, and the Executive Director are working on gaining Tolowa Dee-ni’ approval for their recognition sign on the Crescent City campus.
  • The Foundation’s Strategic Planning Committee will finalize a draft of the Foundation’s Strategic Plan on February 6, and present it to the full board on February 19.


  • President Flamer and Executive Director Coelho met with Bryna Lipper, CEO of the Humboldt Area Foundation, and discussed potential areas of shared interest and collaboration.
  • Executive Director Coelho met with Patrick Cleary and John Corbett to discuss repurposing $830,000 of Challenge Grant & HAF Endowed Funds.
  • Executive Director Coelho and College of the Redwoods Interim Chief of Police Fred Flores are collaborating on a potential community summit related to County Emergency Preparation.
  • Foundation President Jim Maher and the Executive Director met with a potential new board member. This individual will be voted on at the Foundation special meeting in January.
  • Executive Director Coelho produced a holiday giving 30 second radio PSA for the Foundation. The PSA ran from December 20, 2019 to January 1, 2020 on all local radio stations.


  • The Foundation submitted two grants - one to St. Joseph Health for the Care for the Poor Grant and one to the Rotary Club of Eureka for the Glyndon “Sign” and Ruth Smith Endowment Fund. Both grants requested funds to support the District's Growth Resource Outreach Valued and Empowerment Program (GROVE) Emergency Support Funds. These funds would be used to provide emergency housing up to 14 days in a motel, meals in the cafeteria for up to 14 days, and up to 5 counseling sessions.
  • Executive Director Coelho met with Foundation Board Member John Corbett, and then with Patrick Cleary of the Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) to discuss the history of CR’s challenge grants. HAF was CR’s partner in two of these grants, now valued at over $700,000. Discussions are underway on if and how to repurpose these funds.
  • The Foundation Board reviewed and provided comment on the District’s draft Administrative Procedure 6620.
  • The Executive Director participated in meetings with the Prosperity Group, which focuses on economic development in Humboldt County, and with the North Coast Grantmaking Partnership, a collaboration of local Foundations.
  • The Executive Director and the Scholarship Coordinator are having weekly meetings with the Business Office to work on consolidating Foundation accounts to improve operational efficiency, by closing inactive accounts and by activating inactive funds.
  • The Foundation acquired two more CDs for the Cal Trans Mitigation Fund to provide stable returns on the farm equipment fund and the interest earnings. $37,000 is still available for any immediate program needs.
  • President Flamer and the Executive Director are working with the Wiyot Tribe on signs for the southern and northern ends of the Eureka campus, recognizing the campus is located on Wiyot Lands. The signs would say “College of the Redwoods Welcomes You to Wiyot Land” and would be translated into the Wiyot language. The Foundation will also be contributing an annual gift to the Wiyot Tribe in recognition of that the Eureka campus located on traditional tribal lands. This gift will be utilized by the Wiyot tribe to support child and elder care programs. Discussions are also underway on how to honor the Wiyot Tribe on the northern end of the Eureka campus when the buildings are removed.
  • President Flamer, Executive Director Coelho, and Del Norte Campus Director Rory Johnson are in discussions with the Chairperson of the Tolowa Dee-ni' Tribe to erect a sign at the entrance of the Del Norte Campus honoring the fact that the campus rests on traditional Tolowa Dee-ni' land. The sign will read “College of the Redwoods Welcomes You to Tolowa Dee-ni' land" and would be translated into the
  • Tolowa language. The Foundation will also contribute an annual gift to the Tolowa Dee-ni' Tribe in recognition of the Del Norte Campus is located on tribal lands.
  • The Foundation provided 750+ CR branded reflector lights to children attending Science Night. Parents were appreciative of the practical item that could be used for Halloween. The Foundation also provided CR branded drawstring bags, pens, pencils, and car/window decals for the District’s various outreach teams.
  • The Executive Director met with Foundation Vice President Monica Sperling, Foundation Board Member Don Olson, Trustee Carol Mathews, and Rory Johnson Director Del Norte Education Center/Pelican Bay Scholars to discuss the Redwoods Room and Board Scholarship Fund, fundraising in Crescent City, repurposing of Del Norte’s Challenge Grant Fund ($29,353), and meeting with the Del Norte High School Foundation.
  • The Foundation Board will be reviewing a final draft of the 2020 strategic plan, developed by the ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee, at the February 2020 board meeting.

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