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Leadership Mendocino Grads Give Back

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thirty three members of Class XXII graduated from Leadership Mendocino last month. They were honored by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors for completing the ten-month program and for giving back through community projects.  Here are a few examples.

            Five class members joined boards of directors. Krista Robinson, co-proprietor of Husch Vineyards joined the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. She explains, “I have never served on a board, aside from a small local swimming pool board.  Serving on this board feels like a big step.  It’s a small organization, but the Community Foundation is fiscally responsible and has been able to grow its assets over the last 10 years.  I am excited to assist in channeling some of those assets to worthwhile community projects.”

            Alice Langton Sloan was approved by the Board of Supervisors to fill a vacancy on the Laytonville Municipal Advisory Commission. “This is an exciting and yet daunting time in the Laytonville area with the upcoming bypass nearing completion, the water shortage upon us,  the lack of employment and housing opportunities, and the possibility of marijuana legalization in the near future,” says Langton Sloan. “It is my hope to address all these issues together as a true and engaged community while honoring the vast array of differences so our voices may be heard.”

Cathy Harpe was nominated and approved to be on the Mendocino County Mental Health Advisory Board. As a county employee of nearly 25 years Harpe says, “I am intimately aware of the trials people with mental illness face in this county.  In particular the homeless have numerous challenges due to reduced services and rumored future cuts. I will try to make sure that the needs of the mentally ill population are well served. “

“By joining the Greater Ukiah Chamber of Commerce Board,” says Gracia Brown, of Visit Mendocino County, “I will be able to learn more about local businesses and help contribute to a successful economy in the town that I reside.”

Anastasia Simpson-Logg from Mendocino College has joined the Plowshares Board.

            Other class members are doing individual and group projects.  Emily Ellickson-Brown from Covelo is working with the Round Valley High School to create a Radio Club. The goal is to produce a monthly radio show to be broadcast on KYBU, the three-year old Round Valley community radio station.  “There are not many youth activities in Round Valley that encourage public speaking and leadership,” says Ellickson-Brown.  “Having a place for young people to share their music and ideas with the community is very empowering.”

            “School fundraisers are a part of the everyday school experience and vital in raising extra money to buy books and supplies,” says Nadine DeLapo of North Coast Opportunities (NCO).  Noting that there are limited fundraising options for PTOs and teachers, she, along with David Weis, from Ukiah Valley Medical Center; Megan Watson,  NCO Farm to School Coordinator; Traci Boyl, NCO Community Wellness coordinator; Joseph Brinkley and Carina LaDelle, Fetzer Vineyards; and  Chris Watt, LACO & Associates. “We as a group believe that by offering fundraising ideas using local products, schools would be able still raise money and all the revenue will stay local.” 

Paloma Patterson works at the Mendocino County Museum in Willits. Her project is to develop a comprehensive, county-wide arts education resource page on the Arts Council of Mendocino County website.  “Student involvement in the arts is linked to higher academic performance, greater involvement in community service and lower dropout rates,” says Patterson. “Having a one-stop source for art curriculum makes art education easy for local educators to access.”  

Jini Reynolds from Redwood Valley worked with a group from the Saturday Afternoon Club and was able to coordinate with the Redwood Valley Grange on the potential of a new community center.

Jen Dalton, NCO Partners in Community Health coordinator, and Bridget Harrington, co-owner of Patrona restaurant, joined the team at Ukiah Main Street to help redirect the focus of Ukiah’s popular Taste of Downtown in June. “We wanted to highlight local food as well as downtown businesses to promote local shopping and local wine,” says Dalton.  This year restaurants teamed up with businesses to share tastes of locally made “signature” dishes.

            Albion resident Chris Skyhawk coordinated an event on recognizing and dealing with children’s mental health issues. He assembled school counselors and administrators to focus on better integrating services at schools and coordinating practices among professional service providers. “As a community we need to build a resource base to assist children and their families when incidents occur,” says Skyhawk.  “Intervention at a young age makes a huge difference.”

             Lisa Bolton, from Trout Unlimited, Jamie Peters, from the Mendocino Coast Hospital Foundation, Dee Lynn Carpenter, from the Little River Inn and Jenny Heckeroth, director of the Mendocino Area Parks Association are volunteering to help with the third annual “Salmon Run” in November.