Northern California Environmental Grassroots Funding Board

ABOUT THE FUND

Funding Board Members

Organizations listed for identification purposes only.

Martha Davis, Co-Chair
Inland Empire Utilities Agency
Sierra Nevada
Ms. Martha Davis is the former Assistant General Manager/Executive Manager for Policy Development at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA), a municipal water district serving 830,000 people in the western portion of San Bernardino County. IEUA provides regional sewage treatment services, distributes imported water and recycled water supplies, and provides other utility services for the Chino Basin. Between 2000 and 2018, when she retired, Ms. Davis led many of the Agency’s award-winning conservation; planning and green programs including initiatives promoting water conservation, renewable energy, storm water capture, and recycled water. Ms. Davis currently serves on multiple boards including the Mono Lake Committee, the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, the Community Water Center, and the recently established Water Efficiency Trust. Ms. Davis graduated from Stanford University cum laude with a degree in human biology and received her master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is the recipient of an honorary PhD in Public Policy from the Kennedy College in Oakland, California.
Marybelle Nzegwu Tobias, Co-Chair
Environmental Justice Solutions, San Francisco Bay Area
After graduating from U.C. Hastings College of the Law, Marybelle began her legal career at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, co-leading the organization’s civil rights work alongside her mentor, founder Luke W. Cole. She successfully represented community groups in California and across the country using environmental and civil rights litigation and administrative complaints. Following Cole’s tragic death, Marybelle traveled to Italy to join the faculty of the International University College of Torino where she taught environmental justice to international students. Marybelle joined Public Advocates in 2013. There she co-led the Bay Area 6 Wins Coalition and served on the Steering Committee of the California Climate Equity Coalition (formerly the SB 535 Coalition). In 2017, Marybelle founded a consulting firm, Environmental Justice Solutions, where she is the principal consultant. She also joined U.C. Berkeley Law’s faculty as an adjunct professor of environmental justice.
Gustavo Aguirre
Director of Organizing, Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, Central Valley
Gustavo Aguirre has over 37 years of labor and community organizing experience. He began organizing with the United Farm Workers as a union member and volunteered for many organizing efforts, boycotts, and political campaigns. In June 2006, Aguirre joined the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment leading a joint campaign with Californians for Pesticide Reform. He was instrumental in this campaign by persuading Tulare, Kern, Stanislaus and Madera counties to approve new pesticide buffer zones around schools. Aguirre was also key in CRPE’s efforts to develop community leaders and base groups in Tulare and Kern Counties; as well as securing millions of dollars in infrastructure investments for roads, sidewalks, lighting, sewer systems, and park improvements in low-income communities in south Kern County. Aguirre is an integral leader in the Building Healthy Communities initiative in South Kern, and was on the Board of Directors of Lideres Compesinas from 2009 to 2012. He is currently supporting Central California Environmental Justice Network (CCEJN) by providing technical and capacity building assistance so they can better participate in local issues in their communities, as well as further CRPE’s mission.
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Pam Allen
Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund, San Francisco Bay Area
Pam Allen is a senior program officer with the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, a San Francisco-based foundation that supports projects related to democracy and civil liberties, education, the environment, health and recreation, the Jewish community, and reproductive health and rights. Pam is responsible for exploring funding opportunities in the areas of democracy and civil liberties and the environment. She migrated to her current position in 2012 after working for the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund for 15 years. Her nonprofit career began with CalPIRG as director of the consumer rights program in San Diego and includes work with arts organizations in San Francisco. Pam has served and held leadership positions on several nonprofit boards and is currently a member of the funding board of the Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund and is the treasurer of the Wahine Outrigger Canoe Club. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughter, and cat.

Beverly Cherner Beverly Cherner
Point Blue Conservation Science, San Francisco Bay Area
Beverly Cherner is the director of institutional relations at Point Blue Conservation Science, a nonprofit that advances nature-based solutions to environmental challenges to benefit wildlife and people. She has dedicated her entire career to the environmental field, from advocacy to education. She previously was a fundraiser at the California Academy of Sciences and NatureBridge. Beverly worked for 16 years as an outdoor educator for nonprofit and public agencies including the National Park Service. In locations ranging from the Santa Cruz Mountains to Alaska, she helped 14,000 people experience nature. She started her career with Communities for a Better Environment and also worked with Earthjustice. Growing up in Detroit, Beverly is passionate about equitably connecting people of all backgrounds with nature whether in urban or wild environments. She received her master degree in Environmental Education from Lesley College, and is trained as a conflict resolution facilitator. She enjoys photographing birds and wildflowers, and learning about traditional uses of native plants.
 

Dan Ehresman
Northcoast Regional Land Trust, North Coast Region
Dan Ehresman is the Executive Director of the Northcoast Regional Land Trust, a Humboldt County-based organization with a focus of protecting farms, forests and watersheds across nearly five million acres on California’s North Coast. He also serves in an advisory capacity for Greywater Action and the McKay Community Forest Advisory Group. Dan has over 15 years of experience working in the non-profit sector with numerous conservation-based organizations. He is committed to taking action towards rewilding and realizing sustainable communities, protecting and celebrating the ecological systems that sustain our living planet, and supporting one another to create a more resilient future for all – human and wild. Dan lives on the shore of Humboldt Bay in Eureka, California.

Abby H. Wilder
Mary A. Crocker Trust, San Francisco Bay Area
Since 2012, Abby has been the Executive Director of the Mary A. Crocker Trust, a small foundation based in San Francisco, focusing on K-12 Education, Environmental programs and Environmental Education. Abby also serves as a trustee. Prior to her work with the Mary A. Crocker Trust, Abby served as the Director of Admission at Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, California, and as the Director of Alumni Career Services at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Abby received a BA in Fine Arts from Harvard University, and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Abby loves hiking, travel, baking, gardening, walking her two badly behaved Labradors (Oscar and Charlie), doing anything with her three kids, reading, needlepoint and staring at the ocean. She also ran the Marine Corps Marathon and the Boston Marathon in her sixties!
Tracy-Zhu Tracy Zhu
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco Bay Area
Ms. Zhu is a stakeholder and community engagement coordinator at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Previously, she was a Multicultural Fellow at The San Francisco Foundation, supporting the Environment Program’s $1.1M portfolio dedicated to building climate equity and community resilience by investing in the communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. At the Foundation, she managed the Healthy Food for All initiative, a partnership with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and funded by the Convergence Partnership to activate public land for urban agriculture. Prior to the fellowship, Ms. Zhu was the coordinator for the Bay Area Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative, which advocated for more equitable regional policies and planning around land use and transportation in low-income communities of color to reduce exposure to toxic air pollution. Her previous experiences also include youth development, environmental education, and program development at the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park, San Francisco’s first off-the-grid building. She is currently a board member for Kayaks Unlimited, a kayak co-op in Bayview Hunters Point. She received her BA in Environmental Studies at Mount Holyoke College.
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