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State of the Redwood Coast Region

State of the Redwood Coast Region Our Elemental Economy

Join Us for the 3rd Annual Redwood Coast Region Economic Development Summit—IN PERSON!

September 21-22, 2023

State of the Redwood Coast Region: Our Elemental Economy Event Cover

The State of the Redwood Coast Region: Our Elemental Economy is a two-day economic summit designed to foster innovative thinking throughout our region of Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino Counties, as well as adjacent tribal lands. Our goal is to identify shared economic opportunities and strengthen collaboration amongst our businesses, economic development professionals, and leaders. This year’s theme, Our Elemental Economy, evaluates the unique yet fundamental ways our environment shapes our region’s economy. 

Thursday, September 21st will center on the foundational components unique to our Redwood Coast Region. From solidarity economics to investment and community development, keynote speakers will share ideas about how we can build a more resilient and equitable economy. Focused breakout sessions provide ample opportunity to collaborate and connect. 

Friday, September 22nd will touch on the economic development opportunities and challenges faced by our region. and how they’re connected to and impacted by the four elements: earth, wind, water, and fire. Engage in interactive discussions, breakout sessions, and industry-focused presentations from inspiring Redwood Coast leaders. 

The summit offers a unique opportunity to gather, network, and connect under one roof to help co-create a thriving economic future for our region. Join us at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center in Ukiah this September for this rare opportunity to connect and network with your fellow community leaders making an impact in our Redwood Coast Region. Follow this event on Facebook HERE!



General Admission: $150 | Sales End September 21st! 

Hotel Accommodations

Looking to Stay in Ukiah? Spend your weekend at the Fairfield Inn!

Stay at the Fairfield Inn from September 20-22 at a discounted rate!

Phone: (707) 463-3600 | Address: 1140 Airport Park Blvd, Ukiah, CA 95482
Call to book your room and mention you need the "Summit Rate".

Schedule Overview

Thursday, September 21st: The Elements of an Equitable Economy

10:00 AM | Economic Development Policy & Trends
Welcome & CERF Update, with Susan Seaman & Amanda Hickey. Get insight into how the California Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) is working through the cross-sector, cross-region Redwood Region RISE (Resilient Inclusive Sustainable Economy) collaborative. Redwood Region RISE is bringing community leaders together across Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino Counties and Tribal Lands. CERF is a state-wide initiative designed to promote a sustainable and equitable recovery from the economic distress of COVID-19 by creating thriving-wage opportunities for workers, while pursuing sustainable economic growth that aligns with California’s goals for a carbon neutral future.
10:30 AM | Economic Development Policy & Trends
State Highlights and Regional Impacts, with Senator Mike McGuire. Hear from California's Senate Majority Leader, our District 2 Senator Mike McGuire, about the critical economic and workforce development opportunities, challenges, and legislation he's tracking and advancing on behalf of our region.
11:00 AM | Economic Development and Leadership Vision & Strategy
Looking Forward: How to Weave Inclusion, Prosperity and Community. How can Solidarity Economics principles of mutuality and movements can be applied to help promote inclusive economic development? A keynote for anyone who wants to help build an economy that can generate prosperity, provide for all, and preserve the planet.
12:00 PM | Lunch
1:15 PM | Economic Development and Leadership Vision & Strategy
The Power and Attraction of Mendocino County. A seasoned investor reflects on her experiences building community with leaders and residents of Mendocino as an integral part of her investment strategy.
2:15 PM | Panel: Climate & Disaster Resilience
Climate Resilience and Disaster Resilience Intertwine. Learn from a weave of climate and disaster resilience strategies working across the region. The power of a rural community with a county-level Climate Resiliency Officer. The critical importance of volunteers and community organizations for disaster preparedness and response. Learn how disaster resilience strategies can bring economic opportunity through the example of wildfire fuels reduction in our forests.
3:15 PM | Panel: Tribal Economic Development
Tribal Economic Power Building. Learn what local Native American Tribes are doing to create economic opportunity on and off sovereign land. Explore strategies and structures that support healthy Tribal and non-Native economic development partnerships. Benefit from stories, solutions, ideas, and advice from our panelists, who are seasoned Tribal economic development leaders.
4:30 PM | Breakout Sessions: Broadband & Housing
Broadband infrastructure from every angle. Explore solutions for rural communities: middle mile, local and regional fiber installation, affordability, reaching very remote areas.
Creative Strategies for a Housing Crisis. From developing a trades workforce, to addressing housing for our most vulnerable populations, establishing housing trust funds, eliciting community engagement and ultimately to earning a Pro Housing designation from the State, we'll be talking with people who are making headway on the housing challenges in our region. Featuring: Jennifer Dart, Deputy Community Development Director from Arcata; Craig Schlatter, Community Development Director in Ukiah and Derek Fielder-Riddle from BUILD, a program through North Coast Opportunities and facilitated by Susan Seaman, AEDC. 
5:30 PM | Reception
A networking event sponsored by Vineyard Offshore and RWE, featuring local businesses and artists.

Friday, September 22nd: Earth, Air, Fire, Water: Elements Of Our Redwood Coast Economy

8:00 AM | Community Leadership
Leading through Disaster with Nick Bown-Crawford, Executive Director of Humboldt Made. 
9:15 AM | Economic Development Data & Trends
Thinking Blue vs Singing the Blues: The Economy and California's North Coast to 2030
11:00 AM | Community Development Capacity
Transform your community's vision into project pipelines. Learn how you can use the Center for Community Investment's Capital Absorption Framework to articulate shared priorities, create an investable pipeline of multiple projects, and improve the enabling environment. 
12:00 PM | Lunch
1:00 PM | Panel: Renewable Energy
emPowering the Region through Renewable Energy. Learn about the region-wide impacts of Offshore Wind through the lens of energy generation and economic opportunity. Understand the ways Tribes, labor, and environmental, economic development, higher education, and other community institutions are working to actively influence and shape how this enormous new offshore wind industry develops in our region. Explore the power, and challenges, of bringing integrated distributed generation across rural and remote microgrids. 
2:10 PM | Breakout Sessions: Workforce & Cannabis
Labor force strategies during a recruitment crisis. Forming workforce development partnerships to align initiatives to address talent pipeline and training needs in Redwood Region communities.
Building a craft category in the emerging cannabis economic sector. This theme will cover a very interesting perspective to help illustrate the the historical significance of cannabis in California and how it is woven into our culture. Areas of the panel discussion will include the importance of legacy growing regions throughout the redwood coast, an emerging craft cannabis market segment, the economic impact in these rural regions, the new cannabis tourism industry, California’s Cannabis Appellation program, as well as open a dialog about what an amazing asset our state has to bring to the table as national legalization is on the horizon.



Welcome & CERF Update

Amanda Hickey, Director of Research and Policy
California Center for Rural Policy
Amanda Peçanha Hickey is the Director of Research and Policy at the California Center for Rural Policy. Prior to joining CCRP she worked for a decade as a research coordinator and project manager on initiatives related to food, sustainability, family farming, and land tenure; at home and across the Global South. Most recently Amanda worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations researching policies to support Small and Medium Enterprises in Sub Saharan Africa, and in Washington DC for an Indigenous People's coalition advocating land and forest rights. Amanda holds a BA in International Relations from SUNY New Paltz and a MRP from Cornell University. Hailing from a rural community in Upstate New York, she is delighted to be exploring the North Coast's hiking trails and beaches, and getting to know the vibrant communities that call it home.
[email protected]
Susan Seaman, Program Director
Arcata Economic Development Corporation
[email protected]

State Highlights and Regional Impacts

Mike McGuire, Majority Leader, and Senate President pro Tempore Designee
California Senate
Senator Mike McGuire was elected to the California State Senate in 2014, re-elected in 2018, and was named Senate Majority Leader in 2022. Mike is a third-generation Northern Californian whose family farmed prunes and grapes in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County for nearly a half-century. Mike served on his local school board, city council, and board of supervisors before being elected to the State Senate. He represents the Second Senate District stretching from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border and includes Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Marin counties. Mike attended Santa Rosa Junior College and graduated from Sonoma State University. Mike, his wife Erika, an elementary school principal, along with their son Connor, call Sonoma County home with their lazy pug, Gertrude.
[email protected]

Looking Forward: How to Weave Inclusion, Prosperity and Community

Dr. Manuel Pastor, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity
University of Southern California Equity Research Institute
Dr. Manuel Pastor is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC) where he directs the USC Equity Research Institute. He holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. Pastor is a member of the California Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors. 
[email protected]
Dr. Chris Benner, Director
Institute for Social Transformation, University of California Santa Cruz
Dr. Chris Benner is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, and a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He currently directs the Everett Program for Technology and Social Change and the Institute for Social Transformation. His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and the structure of economic opportunity, focusing on regional labor markets and the transformation of work and employment.
[email protected]

The Attraction & Potential of Mendocino County

Minal Shankar, Entrepreneur
Minal Shankar moved to Ukiah from San Francisco in September 2020. Minal is a veteran finance executive. She started her career as an economic consultant at the Brattle Group. She has worked across many different asset classes during her time as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan, a venture capitalist at Northgate Capital and Chief Product Officer at Brevet Capital. While at Brevet, Minal also built and served as the CEO of Easly, an online lending platform that specializes in tax credit financing for domestic and international clients. Currently, Minal advises companies on their financing strategies. Minal has a bachelor of science in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Since moving to Ukiah, Minal has engaged the local community to see the potential and find opportunities to invest in the area.
[email protected]

Climate Resilience and Disaster Resilience Intertwine

Dr. Eric Riggs, Dean, College of Natural Resources & Sciences
CalPoly Humboldt
Dr. Eric M. Riggs, previously a Geoscience Professor at Texas A&M, became the Dean of Humboldt's College of Natural Resources and Sciences. He led research in geoscience education and spearheaded initiatives to promote diversity and counter harassment in the field. As the Associate Dean at Texas A&M, he innovated in graduate affairs and online programs. Nationally, he headed the American Geosciences Institute and tackled issues in geosciences at various institutions. He is recognized by several professional bodies, including the Geological Society of America.
[email protected]
Terre Logsdon, Chief Climate Resiliency Officer/Tribal Liaison
Lake County
Always an advocate for the environment and community, Terre currently serves as the Chief Climate Resiliency Officer and Tribal Liaison for the County of Lake after previously serving as the Tribal Environmental Director for the Scotts Valley Band of Indians and the Chief Operations Officer of The Clean Carbon Corporation, a Tribally-owned business that is part of the Scotts Valley Energy Company based in Lakeport, CA. With a MA in Managerial Leadership, a BA in Liberal Arts with a specialization in Science and Values, and an Agroecology Design Certificate, in the past she also served as the Farm to School Coordinator for Lake County, and was co-founder of a local Wireless Internet Service Provider. An avid kayaking, hiking, and nature photography enthusiast, she is proud to live along the shores of Clear Lake and call Lake County home.
[email protected]
Mike Cottone, Deputy Director
Trinity County Health and Human Services and Office of Emergency Services
Over 32 years in government service - U.S. Navy (8 years) and county government (24 years). Currently Deputy Director for Trinity County Health and Human Services / Office of Emergency Services. Previously, Program Manager for Adult Services (Adult Protective Services, In-Home Supportive Services, Public Guardian/Public Conservator) at Trinity County Health and Human Services / Office of Emergency Services.Master's degree in Human Services (Social Work and Community Services). Teach undergraduate Human Services courses. Specialties: Human Services - Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP); California Association of Public Administrators, Public Guardians, and Public Conservators (CAPAPGPC); Planning and Service Area 2 (PSA2) Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Advisory Council.
[email protected]
Clarke Stevenson, Forest Biomass and Fire Resilience Specialist
Watershed Research & Training Center
As the Forest Biomass and Fire Resilience Specialist, Clarke works across a variety of the Watershed Center’s local, regional, and statewide programs, where much of his work focuses on increasing forest biomass utilization in the North Coast Region and across CA.  He is the point of contact for the North Coast Resource Partnership's (NCRP) Woody Feedstock Aggregation Pilot Project funded by the Office of Planning and Research, and is excited to be working with cross-sectors hubs on providing economic opportunities from fuel reduction efforts.  Before WRTC, Clarke worked for an air district and bioenergy attorney, supporting state policy and program development to overcome barriers to wood utilization, developing new biomass pathways, and promoting rural economies. He holds a MS in Energy Technology and Policy from Cal Poly Humboldt and is based out of Arcata.
[email protected]
Nick Bown-Crawford, Executive Director
Humboldt Made, and Coordinator of Humboldt Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)
Nick Bown-Crawford, a Humboldt County native, is the Executive Director of Humboldt Made, a nonprofit focusing on regional economic development. Initially working in the restaurant and hospitality sector, Nick pivoted during the pandemic to launch a food production and delivery service, providing over 3.2 million meals in its first year. After the Rio Dell/Ferndale Earthquake and a bomb-cyclone, he contributed 41,000 meals and injected $150,000 into the local economy. He's now involved with the COAD and LTRG, assisting in disaster recovery and preparedness.
[email protected]
Rev. Shannon Kimbell-Auth, Coordinator, Lake County, Community Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Cycle Services
American Red Cross National Headquarters
Rev. Shannon Kimbell-Auth is part of the new Community Adaptation Program with the American Red Cross transforming how communities cope with disaster. Previously she served as the Manager of Community Integration for Adventist Health and led Project Restoration (PR), a residential program for patients with complex medical issues exacerbated by their experience of housing displacement.  This collaborative work influenced the development of Hope Center, a transitional living facility which she managed for Hope Rising. She has served as pastor for 30 years. She helped open the first Warming Center in Lake County by uniting churches, nonprofits and volunteers. This work proved to be a good foundation for multi-sector collaborations including serving as the Lake County Disaster Coordinator with the United Methodist Committee On Relief and the formation of Team Lake County, a Long Term Recovery Group, after Lake County’s series of devastating wild fires.
Purpose: to work in a community which serves the vulnerable, providing whole person care, and improving the systems which deliver that care.
Vision: a healthier community, resilient and strong, where the hungry are fed, the homeless are housed, the vulnerable are empowered, and when while responding to the urgent we continue to create a community of possibility for all.
[email protected]

Tribal Economic Power Building *Cancelled Due to Unexpected Circumstances*

Michael Derry, Consultant
Guidiville Rancheria of California
Michael Derry is a Tribal and Private Economic Development Consultant, and board member of Mendocino Economic Development and Financing Corporation (EDFC).
[email protected]
Raymond Bacon, Executive Director
Yurok Economic Development Corporation (YEDC)
[email protected]

Broadband Infrastructure from Every Angle

Sean McLaughlin, Executive Director
Access Humboldt
Sean Taketa McLaughlin, a digital ecologist, leads Access Humboldt, championing policies for open media access. With a background from Dartmouth College, he taught at the University of Hawai'i - Manoa and held significant roles at the UH-Manoa Broadcast Communications Authority. A long-term member of Media Council Hawaii, Sean became the inaugural director of telecommunications for the Honolulu City Council and the first CEO of Akaku: Maui Community Television, expanding its reach across several islands. With fellowships in Honolulu, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, he's an international contributor to media discourse. In 2016, Sean was elected Chair of the CTF-AC, a program under the CPUC.
[email protected] 
Gregg Foster, Executive Director
Redwood Region Economic Development Commission (RREDC)
[email protected] 
Jeff Tyrrell, Manager
North Bay/North Coast Broadband Consortium
Jeff Tyrrell manages the North Bay North / North Coast Broadband Consortium, encompassing Mendocino, Sonoma, Marin, and Napa Counties.  He also consults Mendocino County on broadband infrastructure and digital equity grants. Jeff formerly staffed for the California Senate, primarily in Lake and Mendocino Counties.
[email protected]
Joe Casteel, Co-founder
Lake County Broadband Solutions
After a 16 year career in the food service industry, Joe saw an opportunity in the fast growing electronic payment field. In 1998 North Bay Merchant Services came to be and for 25 years, up until his retirement in January of 2023, NBMS was a trusted name to merchants throughout Northern California. Joe’s involvement in Lake County Broadband Solutions began in 2017 as an investor and member of the initial Board of Directors for LCBS. Joe has been active in the Lake County community, including 7 years on the Board of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce, including 3 successive terms as President. He has seen the challenges faced by the Lake County community due to the lack of reliable and affordable high-speed internet in the county. The goal for LCBS will continue to be providing, what is now an absolute necessity in the world today, reliable and affordable broadband service.
[email protected], [email protected]

Creative Strategies for a Housing Crisis

Derek Fiedler-Riddle, Project Coordinator
Derek Fiedler is the Project Coordinator for NCO's workforce development program BUILD. Derek lives in Lower Lake, not far from where he grew up, and is proud to develop programs that bring more opportunity to Lake County. 
[email protected]
Jennifer Dart, Deputy Director of Community Development
City of Arcata
Jen is the Deputy Director of Community Development for the City of Arcata. Her background is in affordable housing, including housing construction and rehabilitation as well as rental assistance and homeownership programs. Jen is local to Humboldt County and is committed to helping create a vibrant economy with a variety of housing options for her children’s generation and future generations to grow and thrive in. Most recently her team has been focused on long-range planning with the creation of the Strategic Infill Redevelopment Program, which includes the updated General Plan: 2045,  the Gateway Area Plan as a new General Plan Element, and associated form-based development code. These updates are intended to encourage investment and cultivate a healthy City well-poised to serve Arcata’s future needs.
[email protected] 
Craig Schlatter, Director of Community Development
City of Ukiah
Craig Schlatter is the Director of Community Development at the City of Ukiah, a position he has held since 2017, and the new Chair of the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) Rural Exchange. Under Craig’s leadership, the City’s Community Development Department has expanded its services from that of a traditional planning and building services department to add the divisions of housing, grants management, fire prevention, code enforcement, and business licensing. Craig holds a Master’s Degree in Economics, Community and Economic Development Sequence, from Illinois State University, where he served as a Fellow with the Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development focusing in brownfields redevelopment for rural communities and research in community development and housing policy.
[email protected]

Leading Through Disaster

Nick Bown-Crawford, Executive Director
Humboldt Made, and Coordinator of Humboldt Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)
Nick Bown-Crawford, a Humboldt County native, is the Executive Director of Humboldt Made, a nonprofit focusing on regional economic development. Initially working in the restaurant and hospitality sector, Nick pivoted during the pandemic to launch a food production and delivery service, providing over 3.2 million meals in its first year. After the Rio Dell/Ferndale Earthquake and a bomb-cyclone, he contributed 41,000 meals and injected $150,000 into the local economy. He's now involved with the COAD and LTRG, assisting in disaster recovery and preparedness.
[email protected]

Thinking Blue vs. Singing the Blues: The Economy and California's North Coast to 2030

Robert Eyler, PhD, Professor of Economics at Sonoma State University & Principal
Economic Forensics and Analytics, Inc.
Dr. Robert Eyler is President of Economic Forensics and Analytics, specializing in public policy analysis for firms and governments.  He is also Professor of Economics at Sonoma State University.  He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis and a B.A. in Economics at CSU, Chico. He is often called up by the media for his expertise, provides economic impact analyses for both private firms and public entities to help guide public policy, and acts as an expert witness and forensic economist mainly for wine industry clients. Robert has been a visiting scholar at both the University of Bologna and Stanford University. Robert is a Sonoma County native, and his family have been sheep and cattle ranchers in Marin and Sonoma counties since 1910.
[email protected]

Transform Your Community's Vision Into Project Pipelines

Omar Carrillo Tinajero, Director of Partnership & Initiatives
Center for Community Investment
Omar Carrillo Tinajero is the Department Director of Partnerships and Initiatives at the Center for Community Investment. In this role, he helps develop and lead initiatives that support local stakeholders in advancing their communities’ priorities. He previously managed the Center’s Connect Capital initiative, which supported six multi-sector partnerships to attract and deploy capital to shift systems that create social change. Omar previously worked in housing, health, and community development policy in Oregon. He has a Master's in Urban Planning from Harvard and a Bachelor’s from Princeton.
[email protected]

emPowering the Region through Renewable Energy

Dr. Eric Riggs, Dean, College of Natural Resources & Sciences
CalPoly Humboldt
Dr. Eric M. Riggs, previously a Geoscience Professor at Texas A&M, became the Dean of Humboldt's College of Natural Resources and Sciences. He led research in geoscience education and spearheaded initiatives to promote diversity and counter harassment in the field. As the Associate Dean at Texas A&M, he innovated in graduate affairs and online programs. Nationally, he headed the American Geosciences Institute and tackled issues in geosciences at various institutions. He is recognized by several professional bodies, including the Geological Society of America.
[email protected]
Katerina Oskarsson, Executive In Residence
CORE Hub (Humboldt Area Foundation)
Katerina, originally from the Czech Republic, has extensive experience in climate change resilience, recently working in vulnerable U.S. regions. She co-led and strategized for RISE, a hub focused on turning climate vulnerabilities into innovative opportunities for communities. Earlier, as Norfolk's deputy chief resilience officer, she pioneered the city's resilience strategy and established a dedicated department. Before this, she bridged civilian and military efforts on global crises at the NATO Civil-Military Fusion Center. With a doctorate in International Studies from Old Dominion University, she researched energy security and served as an adjunct assistant professor.
[email protected]
Dave Carter, Principal Engineer
Schatz Energy Research Center
David is one of Schatz Energy Research Center's principal engineers, who has played a lead role in our microgrid work. He managed the technical integration of the Redwood Coast Airport and Blue Lake Rancheria microgrids and participated in the design, construction and commissioning of the Blue Lake Rancheria Solar+ Microgrid. As a professional engineer with a background in public works construction, he enjoys collaborating to implement complex R&D projects that advance clean energy technologies. David is an alum of Humboldt State University’s Environmental Resources Engineering program and first joined the Schatz Center in 2004 as a student. Ten years later he returned, bringing with him a unique skill set from the private sector. David is also a member of our leadership committee.
[email protected]
Matthew Marshall, CEO
Redwood Coast Energy Authority
A graduate of Humboldt State University, Matthew has been Executive Director of the Redwood Coast Energy Authority since 2010, focusing on increasing Humboldt County residents’ awareness of and access to energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities. Prior to this work, Matthew was the City and County of Denver’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program Administrator, managing and leading greenhouse gas reduction projects and community partnerships in support of Denver’s Climate Action Plan. Matthew is a Board member and past president of the California Community Choice Association, also serves on the board of directors of California Community Power, the Trinidad Coastal Land Trust, Redwood Parks Conservancy, and the Greater Eureka Chamber of Commerce. He plays the bagpipes, enjoys making art, and is Assistant Chief of the Westhaven Volunteer Fire Department.
[email protected]

Workforce Development 

Bruce Wilson, Executive Director
Workforce Alliance of the North Bay
[email protected]
Christy Hernandez, Program Supervisor
SMART Workforce Center
Christy Hernandez, Program Supervisor for SMART Workforce Center, oversees staff for America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC) in Del Norte and Siskiyou counties. SMART Workforce Center is the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provider for Shasta, Trinity, Del Norte and Siskiyou counties. Christy has close to 16 years experience working in workforce services. She believes that developing relationships within the community is key, as strong relationships often lead to great partnerships.
[email protected]
Jim Ritter, Director of Employer Partnership
College of the Redwoods
Jim Ritter was a river rafting outfitter on rivers throughout the western United States (California, Idaho, Oregon, & New Mexico) for 27 years, selling his business interests in 2013 and starting a second career in education supporting Humboldt County middle and high school students with career and college exploration and counseling. He currently works with the North/Far North Regional Consortium at Shasta College as the Director of Employer Partnerships (DEP) for College of the Redwoods. In his role as the CR DEP, Jim focuses on projects that support College of the Redwoods students and faculty with increased work based learning opportunities, student job and career readiness, and industry partnership and collaboration. Jim also serves on the Arcata Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Jim is a 1984 graduate of Humboldt State University with a degree in English Literature. His wife teaches Kindergarten at Jacoby Creek School. They raised two children in Humboldt County, both of whom are now adults living outside of the area. In addition to his work with local teenagers and CR students, Jim is a certified financial coach offering free financial literacy training and counseling to Humboldt County educators, public service employees, river guides, and people working in the nonprofit sector.
[email protected]


Genine Coleman, Executive Director
Origins Council, and founding board member of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance
Genine is the Founder of Origins Council and the Co-Founder of the Mendocino Appellations Project, which is now a regionally sponsored project of Origins Council. Genine serves on the Board of Directors for the 420 Archive, which is devoted to collecting, preserving and sharing the history of cannabis culture and prohibition in the United States. She is one of the founding board member of the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, formed in 2019. From 2017 – 2019, Genine served on the Board of Directors of the California Growers Association and Chaired the organization’s Appellations Committee. Genine lives in Mendocino County. She cultivated cannabis for over 20 years – in a wide variety of contexts and places, using various practices.
[email protected]
Jim Roberts, Owner
The Madrones and The Bohemian Chemist
Jim is currently an owner/operator of The Madrones and The Brambles, two travel destinations in Mendocino county. He is also a second generation cannabis cultivator and operates his family property Sugar Hill Farm and is the founder of The Bohemian Chemist, a micro-business showcasing sun-grown flower from Mendocino’s Anderson Valley. A lifelong entrepreneur and legacy farmer he is vested in the economic development of Mendocino County’s emerging cannabis marketplace with a focus on building the regions tourism marketshare while being vested in bettering the quality of life for local residents and supporting fellow stakeholders. Jim is a board member of West Business Development Center, past board member of Mendocino Cannabis Alliance and part of CalOSBA’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Mobility Task Force.
[email protected] 
Brian Applegarth, Principal, Consultant
Founder of the Cannabis Travel Association International and Principal of Applegarth Consultative Services
Since 2013, Brian Applegarth has led the advancement of cannabis tourism and travel. He is the Founder of the Cannabis Travel Association International and Principal of Applegarth Consultative Services. An award-winning consultant and advisor, Brian specializes in data-driven visitor economy strategies related to destination development and destination marketing. In 2019, Brian was the sole advisor on the first ever cannabis travel audience research in the United States, a ground-breaking study. He leads the Cannabis and Hemp Task Force for Destinations International and the Cannabis & Hemp Council for the California Travel Association. In addition to his work with destinations and municipalities, Brian is the founder and creator of The Cannabis Cultural Trail and co-produced the first ever California State Fair Cannabis Awards and Exhibition. 
[email protected]

Did you participate in last year's Emerging Leaders event during the summit? If so, check out what's happening with Leadership Redwood Coast!

Email [email protected] with any questions. 

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