Sonoma Land Trust appoints new members to board, hopes to continue spreading climate change awareness

The Trust is forming its five-year strategic plan and adding climate change and wildfire threats to area of concern.|

The Sonoma Land Trust appointed three new members to its board in October.

Gymmel Trembly, Liz Fisher and Frank Dean have begun taking an active role in their positions.

Sonoma Land Trust is a nonprofit organization that’s part of the California Council of Land Trusts that works to protect and restore privately owned land throughout the county with member donations.

It has protected nearly 58,000 acres of privately owned land, working with land owners, government agencies and community members since 1976.

Marie Andel, chair of the trust, said the appointments provide a diversity of demographic coverage.

“The three represent a really wonderful, committed, passionate team who care about our world and climate change from very different perspectives,” Andel said. “The complement of that trio really brings great energy to an already strong board.”

The Press Democrat talked to the new members for their perspective on the land trust. Here are highlights:

Gymmel Trembly

Trembly was appointed in January and has served on the board since early February. She was approached by current members of the board, and after several meetings discussing the organization’s goals in conservation work and diversity efforts, Trembly wanted to be a part of those efforts.

“As a Latina raised in Sonoma County with an immigrant background, i think being at the table and having a voice about what the future of this community is going to look like down the road is super important,” she said.

“The mission of the organization is that the land is the heart of the community and when they say community, I want it to be an inclusive community.”

Trembly is an employment defense attorney for the California law firm Hanson Bridgett and focuses on representing companies with their employment issues, such as discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

“Having this professional background certainly helps in navigating how to react,” she said. “There are other attorneys on the board that have shared their experience and knowledge, and I anticipate having that opportunity as well.

Frank Dean

Dean became a donor for Sonoma Land Trust after learning about the group’s mission. In a statement, he said he admired the trust’s record of preserving open space land and the quality of board and staff.

“I’ve been impressed with how engaged the board is with the staff and the actual priorities of Sonoma Land Trust,” he said in a statement. “It is a real team effort.”

Dean is the current president and CEO of Yosemite Conservancy with experience in connecting marginalized communities with such outdoor resources as parks.

“Conserving open space for the public good has been my calling, and I look forward to learning and working with the impressive team and partners of the Sonoma Land Trust to improve the quality of life in our region,” he said.

Dean said the Sonoma Land Trust is drafting its next five-year strategic plan, which aims to continue work on conserving key lands in the county while also broadening its approach to climate change and wildfire threats.

“We also want to build a more inclusive community so that all of Sonoma County’s diverse populations benefit from and support and programs, he said.

Liz Fisher

Fisher and her husband started hiking in Glen Oaks when the pandemic shut down the country. She was introduced to the trust through Impact100 Sonoma, a women’s organization that pools funds to support sustainable nonprofits.

She was first asked to be on the Sonoma Valley Advisory Council before she was asked to be on the Sonoma Land Trust board.

“I’m excited to increase my knowledge (of the board),” Fisher said. “I’m most excited about just getting to meet the other board members in person and developing a sense of confidence about how I can best contribute where they need help.”

Fisher comes from a financial services background, working as an organizational consultant and executive coach for large investment companies or banks like Fidelity Investments, JPMorgan Chase and, most recently, Spencer Stuart.

“We helped hire executives for big financial services, firms, banks, etc.,” Fisher said. “My goal is to contribute whatever experience I have gained in my corporate life and help (the Land Trust) further their goals.”

Sara Edwards is the small business and consumer reporter for The Press Democrat. You can reach her at 707-521-5487 or Follow her on Twitter @sedwards380.

Sara Edwards

Business reporter

Small businesses are the bread and butter of Sonoma County. I cover a diverse group: Chambers of commerce and business groups, clothing shops, jewelry boutiques, hobby stores and more. Economic uncertainty is a high concern among Sonoma County consumers, and it’s my job to make sure shoppers know what’s happening in the local economy and how those trends and issues impact them.

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