California Fire Safe Council Announces 2019 Officers and Board

February 5, 2019

The California Fire Safe Council on Tuesday announced a list of new officers of the board of directors.

Jerry Davies has been elected to a fifth term as chairman of the CFSC board. Davies is a founding member of CFSC and a retired insurance industry executive. He was formerly an assistant vice president with Farmers Insurance.

Tracy Katelman has been appointed executive director. She replaces retiring Executive Director Stephen Gort. Katelman is owner of ForEverGreen Foresty, and had experience in wildfire preparedness and community organizing.

Ruben Grijalva was elected vice-chairman. He was director of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) from 2006-2009, and State Fire Marshal from 2004-2007. He was most recently executive director of the California Fire and Training Authority.

Other Members of the board are:

  • David A. Horne, treasurer, a professor emeritus in marketing at theh College of Business Administration California State University Long Beach.
  • Troy Whitman, secretary, a senior fire management officer for Southern California Edison Co.
  • J Lopez, immediate past vice-chair, and L.A. County Fire assistant chief.
  • Kate Dargan, a former California State Fire Marshal, former Napa County Fire Marshal and firefighter with CAL FIRE.
  • Pat Kidder, a former CFSC board chair and retired BLM state fire and aviation officer.
  • Dave Bischel, a former president and CEO of the California Forest Landowners Association.
  • Niel Fisher, an attorney and supervising vegetation manager at PG&E.
  • Dave Shew, a former CAL FIRE staff chief and fire consultant.
  • Robert E. Raymer, a senior engineer/technical director of the California Building Industry Association (CBIA).
  • Laura S. Blaul, with the Orange County Fire Authority.
  • Robert Roper, formerly fire chief of the Ventura County Fire Department.
  • George Mertens, a Lieutenant volunteer firefighter with the Higgins Fire Department in Grass Valley and a founding member of the Nevada County Fire Safe Council.
  • Pat Frost, a district manager for the Trinity County Resource Conservation District.
  • Frank Stewart, who represents the CFSC in the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the Sustainable Forest Action Coalition.

CFSC is a statewide non-profit organization administering federal grants from agencies like the U.S. Forest Service and others in an effort to create fire-safe communities throughout California.

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