HAF+WRCF announces the addition of three new board of directors: Alex Ozaki-McNeill, Alan Nidiffer and Dr. Keith Flamer.
The three new board directors join current directors Raquel Ortega, secretary, Charlie Jordan, board chair, David Finigan, vice chairman, Judge Abby Abinanti, Christina Huff, Mary Keehn, Dina Moore, Marylyn Paik-Nicely and Dennis Rael.
“Bringing voices to the board from all of the communities we serve is essential for true representation,” said Board Chair Charlie Jordan. “Additionally, adding members with experience and skills that enhance the foundation’s ability to serve makes us a stronger organization.”
Alex Ozaki-McNeill, raised in Arcata and educated at Cal Poly Humboldt, is the current Director of the North Country Fair and works as a compliance manager and HR for the cannabis-related business Flower Co. in Arcata. Prior to that she led Brio Baking Inc.’s direct public offering in order to finance improvements through community investments. Past and present non-profit and community group involvement includes Equity Arcata, Cooperation Humboldt, Humboldt Asian and Pacific Islanders (HAPI), and Eureka Chinatown Project.
“Growing up in the Humboldt area fueled my love of nature, arts, and community involvement. I am a new mom and am eager to raise my daughter in the same community that helped shape me into who I am,” Ozaki-McNeill said.
Alan Nidiffer, a long-time resident of Brookings, Oregon, graduate of Oregon State University, is a New York Life Insurance Company agent who served on the advisory board of Wild Rivers Community Foundation for two years before joining the Humboldt Area Board of Directors. Previously, Alan served as executive vice president/chief information officer for C&K Markets Inc. and Ray’s Food Place. He also worked as a senior programmer for Weyerhaeuser and Willamette Industries.
“I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join the Foundation’s board because it is known to have a tremendous impact in our region,” Nidiffer said. “And I am excited to help contribute to its mission of supporting youth and families, healthy ecosystems, racial equity, and regional economic development, especially in Curry County.”
Keith Flamer, president and superintendent of College of the Redwoods arrived in Humboldt County in 2006 from Chicago, Illinois. He is a senior-level executive with a PhD degree in Educational Leadership and more than 25 years of leadership experience in higher education, including navigating the operational and political aspects of college funding, and experience with securing government and institutional funding. His community endeavors include being a member of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, board director for the Boys and Girls of Humboldt County, member of the League of Women Voters of Humboldt County, and the Rotary Club of Eureka.
“The opportunity to join the Foundation’s board provides me a way to give back to my community and serve with colleagues whose values and commitments reflect my own,” Flamer said.
Foundation CEO Bryna Lipper welcomed the new board directors, saying, “Since I arrived in this region, Dr. Flamer, Alan, and Alex have provided me personally with strategic counsel, guided about underserved and marginalized communities, and demonstrated brave leadership in their respective fields. I am confident that their appointment to the foundation’s board will amplify these values and our commitments to a just, thriving, healthy and equitable region.”
In 2021 The Foundation’s board announced a new region-wide strategy focused on building a “Just Economy, Healthy Ecosystems and Environments, Thriving Youth and Families, and Racial Equity.” The Board also affirmed the Foundation’s commitment to serving Trinity, Del Norte, and Humboldt counties in California, and Curry County, Oregon, as well as the 26 Tribal Nations and Indigenous Territories across this region. The Foundation’s board oversees affiliates such as the Humboldt Health Foundation, the Native Cultures Fund, the Redwood Region CORE Hub and other major initiatives.
“This important work and geographic commitment resulted in the board’s expansion to ensure diverse representation across a number of factors including age, race, experience and socio-economic backgrounds,” Lipper said.