Written by Kolmi Majumdar
Greetings this Autumn! I’m excited to introduce you to Quail Springs’ new Co-Executive Directors, Sarah and Daniel, along with our new Development & Operations Director Steven! They will be joining the long-term staff and the Board of Directors in stewarding Quail Springs through this pivotal time, as we work to make a greater impact than ever before in legalizing earthen building, implementing sustainable groundwater endeavors in Cuyama’s critically over-drafted groundwater basin, and offering the deeply valuable nature-based, regenerative, permaculture studies programs for youth and adults that we are known for.
Sarah, Daniel, and Steven bring to our team decades of experience in financial management, visioning, strategy, social justice, permaculture, and community building. Lexi, our Board Vice-Chair, will be working closely with the team onsite at Quail Springs during the transition.
I'm already seeing great things come from these new Quail Springers, and I can't wait to see what happens over the coming year.
Sarah Brooks: Co-Executive Director
Sarah brings to Quail Springs her experience in financial analysis, business management, and strategy consulting. She has a passion for communicating numbers through stories and was the creative drive behind our 2018 Annual Report and Capital Campaign Case Statement.
Daniel Aaron Francis: Co-Executive Director
Daniel brings expertise in permaculture, living systems and design, and entrepreneurship. Daniel has demonstrated his leadership, dependability, adaptability, and devotion to clear communication over many years of service to Quail Springs.
Steven Johnston: Development & Operations Director
Steven hails from Boulder Colorado and brings to the team his experience in grant writing, permaculture design, and sustainable community development. He has a passion for natural building and a drive to help us push the envelope in the legalization of cob building.
Lexi Spaulding: Board Vice-Chair
Lexi will be with us onsite for the next four months to provide cohesion between the Board, the new leadership team, and the community during the transition. Lexi brings exceptional communication, organizational, and facilitation skills to the team.
We'll miss you, Janice and Andrew!
Welcoming the new team has been bittersweet, as it also means saying goodbye to Janice Setser, our Executive Director of many years, and Andrew Clinard, our Director of Development and long-time resident of Quail Springs.
In 2013 when Quail Springs founders and lead staff dreamed of what we wanted to call in for our new executive leadership position, the qualities I remember wishing for were intelligence, compassion, vision, dedication, and a sense of humor. I was thrilled when our founding director Warren Brush mentioned that Janice Setser, whom he'd met at a Permaculture Design Course in Melbourne, was considering the position.
Janice has gone above and beyond in her support of our staff and our organization. With her leadership we grew the board of directors, deepened community support, purchased the Quail Springs land, expanded from a staff of 4 to a staff of 12, and were able to evolve our course offerings and bring consistent youth programming to the Cuyama Valley. Thank you, Janice. You are an amazing leader and a steadfast friend. We love you and look forward to cheering you on as you begin your studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute!
Since coming to Quail Springs in 2012, Andrew has co-managed the farm, written successful grants for capital and program support, and started several bands including The New Quail Springs, Cuyama Mama & The Hot Flashes, and his current project The REAL John Gary. Andrew served as interim Executive Director in the spring of 2018, and he has worked tirelessly to strengthen and expand our network of community support as our Director of Development. As Andrew moves forward with a focus on music and his new life in Tucson, we continue to be a loyal fan base here in the Cuyama Valley. We love you, Drew, and look forward to our paths weaving together again in the future!
Fond farewells and deep gratitude to both Janice and Andrew as they take on new adventures. I'm proud to have worked closely with these two wonderful people.
Founding Member and Board of Directors Co-Chair, Quail Springs