- Author: Deanne Meyer
Last week was an exciting week in ANR. We welcomed David Gonzalves as our new Area Director for Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. David has worked for Tuolumne and Merced Counties as well as UC Merced. He brings his agricultural roots and administrative expertise to UC ANR. We're excited to have him. Lynn Scmitt-McQuitty and I spent time with the Monterey County UCCE team Tuesday afternoon followed by the “first day at the office” for David on Wednesday. Between the first and second wave of paperwork we enjoyed a chance to reconnect with the tri-County UCCE team. As David immerses into his new role we thank Maria de la Fuenta, Mark Bolda and Devii Rao for their leadership as County Directors and are thrilled to have them back 100% time as Advisors. Thank you all for taking time out of your day to welcome David into your counties.
Simultaneous to David's on-boarding,the REC Leadership (Directors, Superintendents and Business Officers) met in Davis. The venue was the UC Davis Foundation Plant Services. Thank you Katherine Webb-Martinez and Darren Haver, Associate Director of our REC system for assembling a compelling agenda. Group and iterative break-out sessions provided time for ideation to imagine the future of the REC system and associated infrastructure, staffing and budget needs. These were some heavy discussions. Although I missed much of the meeting (see above paragraph) it was nice to see so many familiar faces and all the dedication to conduct compelling research for California's future. Thank you all for your dedication to the infrastructure that provides the foundation for fantastic research!
I'm sharing parts of the agenda here so others may appreciate the brainpower required to think through resource use and allocation. Thank you to VP Humiston for kicking the meeting off, and to AVP Tu Tran for his contributions in finance and diligence. Jennifer Bunge (Executive Director, Resource Planning & Management) discussed Revenue Sources and Fund Deployment and Maru Fernandez (Associate Director, Statewide Programs and REC Operations) and Joni Rippee (Director, Statewide Programs and REC Operations) discussed the REC System Budget. Bethanie Brown (Interim Director Human Resources), Ian Smith (Employee and Labor Relations Manager)and Luzanne Martin (Facilities, Planning and Management) delivered highlights from each of their areas. Truly the pro-bowl team who knows how to get projects done AND paid for! Brian Oatman (Director, EH & S) shared updates on pesticide storage and use, firearm authorizations and the FEPP/EH & S position. Greg Gibbs (Executive Director, Development Services) and Kelly Scott (Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations) also provided great information. Of course, we punctuated the meeting with an overview of the April state wide conference. Make your hotel reservations and register NOW. It'll be a super opportunity to reconnect with old friends and meet a whole bunch of new friends!
We get a weekend break before the last game of the 2022 football season. Just enough time to pick up some California avocados, tomatoes, onions, peppers and cilantro in preparation for next week's game. Enjoy the “big game” regardless of if you're in it for the friendship, commercials (I miss the Clydesdales and frogs from decades ago) or the actual game!