President's Report: Summer 2015 Newsletter

As I stand here making a lamb stew (yes, you heard me--county fair lamb), I’m trying to think what to tell you that is inspirational and pertinent to our wonderful land base. I can tell you that our calves are full of vigor and excitement about this beautiful spring. Although their mamas have a fair distance to travel for water this year, their bellies are full and they have had green grass since May which they, like you, know is unusual here.

I learned a valuable lesson recently that I think is worth sharing. I was serving on a board that had the unpleasant experience of having a “leader” that had never heard the word “collaboration”. He was intent in pushing through a serious plan which made sense only to him. Oblivious to the by-laws, he formed a small committee to discuss the issue. Finding that only one member agreed with his plan, he ordered the CEO to implement the plan. Fortunately, the CEO refused saying he didn’t have consensus or a majority. I was adamant that input from the balance of the board was extremely important. That intuition came from Diablo Trust experiences. Needless to say I was a thorn in the chairman’s side. His grand finale was resigning to protest the fact that the other committee member and I did not acquiesce to his request. It was the first time I had ever seen this board have to face conflict such as that, and I have been on it for a long time. I then realized that we had been fairly dysfunctional since he had taken office a number of years before. We, the board, had not had much input and most things were decided before we ever got together. Apathy had set in and board members were no longer engaged. This was, however, nothing that a bit of collaboration didn’t solve!

Although I learned this valuable lesson from my years with Diablo Trust, it put me on ALERT, hoping we are walking the talk and being inclusive in all that we do. I am reminded that collaboration is sometimes a longer process, but one that usually generates a better product in the end.

The Diablo Trust Board will be holding a retreat in September to visit our plan of work, and provide some historical information for new board members and our new Program Manager. It will be an opportunity for us to evaluate programs and insure that we are on the appropriate track with the activities and programs that we plan. This will be in lieu of our regular open September meeting, but it is necessary and we know that you will understand how important it is to do this occasionally. We would, however, like to hear from any of you that have suggestions about things you think we should be or could be doing. We will throw those ideas into the soup, and see what surfaces.

In this issue, we will cover the Annual Meeting, Sportsman’s Day, and Vendor’s Day, all of which occurred since January. You will be introduced to one of our newest board members, Diana Kessler.

Please see the column from our past Program Manager, Carrie Eberly, who is now the proud mom of two lovely girls. You will also be introduced to Jeremy Krones, Carrie’s successor. Jeremy is doing a great job and we urge you to give him a call or drop in to our office at NAU. Among other things you will hear about the wonderful financial gift we received from Derrick Widmark, owner of Diablo Burger, Flagstaff, and Diablo Burger, Tucson.

Best wishes to each of you for a beautiful summer and productive rains!


            Judy Prosser, President