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Fred Keeley Elected Sempervirens Fund President
Jacqueline Wender named Vice President
Howard Chao added to Board of Directors
Los Altos, California — Sempervirens Fund, California’s oldest land trust devoted to preserving the Santa Cruz Mountains’ redwood forests, announced the election of Fred Keeley, Santa Cruz County’s elected Treasurer and former California State Assemblyman, who authored two of the largest voter approved park and environmental protection bonds in our nation’s history, as its new Board President. Mr. Keeley is also a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in Washington D.C., the California Ocean Science Trust, and Working Partnerships U.S.A. Keeley is a longtime resident of Santa Cruz and was elected to a two-year term of office as Sempervirens Fund’s President beginning July 1, 2014.
The Sempervirens Fund Board of Directors also elected Jacqueline Wender as the Board’s Vice President. Ms. Wender is Senior Assistant Dean of Administration at the Santa Clara University School of Law. She formerly served as Assistant Dean at Santa Clara University School of Engineering, Executive Director of Stanford University’s Overseas Studies Program, and Assistant to President Gerhard Casper at Stanford University and Associate Provost for Program Development and Facilities Planning. Ms. Wender and her husband Paul live in Menlo Park.
“We are thrilled to welcome Fred Keeley and Jacqueline Wender as Sempervirens Fund’s new leadership team,” said outgoing Sempervirens Fund President Diane Talbert, in announcing these elections. “Both Fred and Jacqueline are deeply dedicated to protecting the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains and to the completion of the Great Park. They each bring a wealth of organizational, political, and fundraising experience to these positions, and will provide important links to the Santa Cruz and the Silicon Valley communities.”
“I am honored to serve the Sempervirens Fund as its next Board President, said Fred Keeley. “We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to complete the work started over 114 years ago by people like you and me. They dreamed of establishing a self-sustaining, living, breathing redwood forest ecosystem of tall trees and running streams. This is our dream too. We have a responsibility to complete what they started so these magnificent trees will be here for future generations to admire and enjoy.”
“I cannot imagine anything more important to the long-term future of the Bay Area region than the protection of the redwood lands of the Santa Cruz Mountains,” said Wender. “These mountains define our landscape, protect our environment, and preserve our quality of life. The vision of the Great Park, preserving lands from Skyline to the Monterey Bay, inspires me to support Sempervirens Fund and to help it grow. I am honored to be elected Board Vice President.”
The Sempervirens Fund also appointed Howard Chao of Menlo Park and Santa Cruz to the Board of Directors. Mr. Chao is an investor and a Senior Asia Advisor with the law firm O’Melveny & Meyers in Menlo Park. Mr. Chao is also a member of the Board of the Pacific Pension Institute.
Founded originally as the Sempervirens Club, the Sempervirens Fund has preserved over 34,000 acres of redwood forests since 1900, when it purchased 3,800 acres of spectacular old growth redwoods that established Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California's first state park.
Today, Sempervirens Fund is working to create a Great Park--the size of Redwood or Zion National Parks--in the Santa Cruz Mountains by connecting existing public lands and working forests to each other. The Great Park planning area comprises 198,000 acres, of which 99,000 have already been protected. Sempervirens has targeted another 39,000 acres as its priority for conservation.
Sempervirens Fund is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to protect and permanently preserve redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest, wildlife habitat, watersheds, and other important natural and scenic features of California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, and to encourage public appreciation and enjoyment of this environment.
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