UC President Michael Drake recently approved six new members for the UC President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“These new members will help represent some missing geography and interest groups' perspectives,” said Vice President Glenda Humiston.
The new commissioners are:
Manpreet Bains, Manseena Orchards partner, and her sister took over their parents' prune farm and started Manseena Orchards, growing prunes and walnuts. Bains serves on the Agricultural Council of California's board of directors and as an alumni liaison to the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation Education Team. She earned a bachelor's degree in international studies with an emphasis in political science from Pepperdine University and a master's degree in international relations from the University of Chicago.
Jaron Brandon, Tuolumne County supervisor for District 5, is a Tuolumne County native who grew up in his family's music store where he experienced the challenges that face small businesses. While earning his bachelor's degree in government and political science at UC Merced, he was elected president of the Associated Students – overseeing a $1.3 million budget. He later served internships in the California State Assembly, State Senate and U.S. Congress. Brandon worked for a Bay Area tech startup doing news editorial work and became the service's editor-in-chief for the U.S. before returning to Tuolumne County to join the family business. He was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2020.
Matt Dias, president and chief executive officer of the California Forestry Association, graduated from Humboldt State University in 1999, then worked with the former Pacific Lumber Company through 2005. He then moved to Davenport, where he worked for Big Creek Lumber Company for over seven years. In 2012, Dias was appointed licensing officer for the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection. In 2015, he was appointed executive officer for the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, a position he held until his appointment as president and CEO of Calforests in 2021. He is Registered Professional Forester #2773.
Luna Latimer, director of the Mid Klamath Watershed Council, has worked at Mid Klamath Watershed since 2003 and did graduate research with the Orleans/Somes Bar Fire Safe Council. She received a master's degree in applied anthropology from Oregon State University, focusing on forest restoration projects on private land in the middle Klamath region. She is a fifth-generation forest worker and currently works with private landowners, agencies, contractors and nonprofit organizations to restore both upslope and in-stream ecosystems. Latimer is passionate about non-timber forest products and serves as a board adviser for the Northwest Forest Worker Center.
Juliet Maestas, executive director of the California Tribal College, is dedicated to ensuring access and academic success for all students and meeting tribal needs by incorporating culture and language as it builds professional skills in Native students. Maestas is a member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe. Her previous experience includes serving as the Higher Education manager for the Hoopa Valley Tribe and as the Klamath-Trinity Site Manager for College of the Redwoods. She holds a master's degree in higher education leadership from California State University, Sacramento and is a first-year doctoral student in educational leadership at Sacramento State.
Jacqueline “Jackie” Tinetti, policy analyst for the Council of State Governments West, leads the natural resources portfolio, covering the dynamic issue areas of water, agriculture, environment, energy and climate. She brings enthusiasm to supporting important policy work of the CSG West Agriculture & Water Committee, Energy & Environment Committee, Legislative Council on River Governance and the Colorado River Forum. Tinetti is the staff liaison for members in the Alaska and Idaho legislatures. Prior to joining CSG West, she held a variety of staff and management positions in California state and Sacramento-area governments. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento.