I attended Nevada Union High School. Scholastically, it was not difficult for me. Socially, it was the first time I had ever spent around people my own age, and I found it overwhelming. I had very little in common with any of my classmates. I saw my family for only a few hours each week apart from holidays. We were only about 6 miles apart, but with no phones and limited transportation it was difficult. My last three siblings were born after I moved out. In a way it is a little like we were two separate generations within my family. I am the second oldest of ten.
After high school, I went away to CSU Chico to pursue a BS in Business Administration with options in Finance and Human Resource Management. I started off living there, but in my second year my youngest sister was diagnosed with leukemia, my Dad had triple heart bypass surgery, and my Mom was completely overwhelmed. I moved back to the Ranch and commuted a couple of days a week to school, worked a couple of days a week, and took my Mom and my baby sister to all of her medical appointments. A year and a half before I graduated, my family sold our cabin and property to the State Park and moved to West Virginia. My sister, while still under medical care, was in remission. I chose to stay here in Nevada County, renting a small apartment, working all types of miscellaneous jobs to support myself and commuting part time until I completed my degree.
I was a little burned out on commuting once I had my degree. I decided that I would work somewhere local. Nevada County was hiring, so I started work for the Department of Social Services handling internal human resources tasks. After two years, I changed positions to be an Employment and Training Worker helping clients become self-sufficient and gain employment. Two years after that, I decided that my best skill-set was more administrative, and so I took the Analyst position responsible for grant writing for the Department and the Health & Human Services Agency. Coincidentally, I was in this position for two years when I was approached by the CEO’s office for Nevada County and went to work for them as an Analyst for the next 4 years. During this period I decided I wanted my Master’s Degree, and I started the UC Davis Graduate School of Management Working Professionals Program and took classes 2-4 nights a week in Davis and Sacramento. I received my MBA with a focus in Finance in 2006. I also changed jobs with Nevada County, becoming the Chief Fiscal Administrative Officer for the Health & Human Services Agency. This is my current position.
4. Is there a history of community service in your family background? Briefly, how would you describe it?
When I think back to my days on the river, again I think of my Mom & Dad and their values. We did not have much in the way of material possessions and we definitely had a very modest lifestyle, but we always had sufficient food to eat and to share with others less fortunate than we were. The river was a place where many homeless or transient people gathered, as well as a place where many people came just to get away for a while. My parent’s felt strongly that if someone needed a meal, they were always welcome to join us for dinner and share what we had. In all my years on the river, I honestly cannot remember more than a handful of times where we did not have one or more guests dining with us, including holidays.
My surrogate family also had a strong tradition of hospitality. Besides being deeply involved with their church, their ranch has a history of being a way-station for travelers heading further up into the mountains. People would stop and visit, and many time be invited to stay the night or share a meal. For the community surrounding the ranch, potable water has long been an issue. The family’s own and maintain their own water system. They have over a mile of pipeline coming from an abandoned flooded mine that they own. They have for over 60 years maintained accessibility to a high flow water line at their front gate, for anyone who needs it or wants it. During the summer, you will still see a line of trucks with water storage containers at the gate, waiting for their turn to get water. The family has also a strong history of involvement with the Nevada City Fire Department. From serving as volunteer fire chief, to responding as a volunteer to medical response and fire calls, to fundraising to purchase needed equipment, the family has served a myriad of needs. I myself spent several years as President of the Nevada City Fire Auxiliary.Download Article 1K Club