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Upcoming Events


Come out to Upper Bidwell Park and help us water oak seedlings!



Summer BEC Ed-venture for Kids (ages 7-12) is a fun filled day learning survival skills and local ecology


Save the Date!

Our 30th Annual Bidwell Park and Creeks Cleanup is just around the corner! 

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit!

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Board of Directors

The BEC Board of Directors determines policies, procedures and regulations for the conduct of the organization, helps in raising funds to finance BEC and its programs, promotes BEC in the community, and monitors its organizational performance. Terms are three years running with the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) with a maximum of three consecutive terms (9 years).   

BEC Board

Job duties include attendance of at least half of the yearly board meetings, participation in at least one (1) committee, and volunteering at BEC special events.  Board members will have opportunities to understand and make a difference on local and regional issues that impact our air, water, land and people.  Only BEC members are eligible to serve on the Board or on Committees.


Every June at BEC we have our annual Board of Directors election. Members have the opportunity to vote for the individuals that will help lead BEC in the future. Members also have the opportunity to serve on the BEC Board!


If you are interested in being part of the BEC leadership team please submitBoard Member Application and your bio for the ballot. Our Executive Director will be in touch with you once we have received your application. Voting will take place over two weeks, from Wednesday June, 1 to Wednesday June, 14. Most BEC members will receive a digital ballot via email, while our "analog" members will receive a paper ballot in the mail.


Any current BEC members interested in serving BEC are encouraged to apply.  For any questions about serving on the board call Natalie at 891-6424.


If you are interested in serving on the BEC Board of Directors, please download and complete this Board Member Application form and submit by email to the BEC Executive Director.  If you have questions or would like to learn more about serving on the BEC board, please call and we'll be happy to discuss.

Meet our Current Board of Directors

Mark Stemen, President
Mark is a professor of Geography and Planning at CSU, Chico, where he teaches environmental courses in sustainability and civic engagement. Known to his students as ‘Dr. Mark,’ he is recognized on the campus for his inspiring work with students and the community on issues of sustainability. Mark has served on the Board since 2010, and has been board president since 2011.  He led the effort to hire the new executive director, and he is currently working on the Humboldt Community Garden project.  Mark is also Chair of the City of Chico's Sustainability Task Force.

Julianne Riddle, Vice President
Julianne has been part of the Chico community since 2003. She completed her undergraduate studies at CSU, Chico with a degree in News-Editorial Journalism and Environmental Studies. She worked closely with fellow board member Mark Stemen on a number of projects. She was also the assistant director at E-ARC, where she planned events like the Tofurky Feed, assisted in planning This Way to Sustainability conference and hosted outreach events around campus. In addition she interned with BEC for a brief period.
She now works at the ChicoBag Company working closely with other environmental non-profits that use ChicoBag as a membership thank you gift, helping to reduce the blight of single-use plastic bags. Since she started there 8 years ago, she has taken a deeper interest in the issue of single-use waste and trying to foster a culture around her of promoting reusable products to help keep disposables out of the landfill.

Danielle Cresswell, BEC BoardDanielle Cresswell, Secretary
I moved to Chico from Arcata in 2000 with my future husband and everything I owned packed in a white Subaru station wagon.  In the subsequent 14 years, I've lived as a caretaker with my husband at the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve, completed a Master's Degree in Environmental Science at Chico State, helped to build sustainability strategy and practice for a local family business that has gone global, and been deeply engaged in raising two beautiful children. I have nearly 10 years experience working closely with counterparts from nonprofits and state and local agencies on cultural, ecological, economical, and political issues related to salmonids and river systems of northern California. In addition, I worked 4 years as a project scientist on groundwater and soil monitoring and remediation projects primarily in Butte, Tehama, and Glenn Counties. BEC provides invaluable service to our community, present and future, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to support this organization.

Michael McGinnisMichael McGinnis, Treasurer
I have over 40 years of experience either working for a non-profit agency or serving on the Boards of Directors of Non-Profit agencies. I was one of the co-founders of BEC in 1975, both serving on the original Board of Directors, as well as serving as its first General Manager.  Between the time period of 1976 and 1989 I served many different times on the BEC Board of Directors, leaving the Board during my first year as a City of Chico Council Member.

Heidi Blanchard 

Heidi Blanchard is an involved community citizen who loves volunteering her time to help make Chico a more healthy, vibrant and sustainable place to live.  She is a dedicated mom to two wonderful children and leads a "Farm School" where she engages young children in gardening, raising chickens, cooking, crafts and playing in the mud.  She is a credentialed teacher who has taught preschoolers through 6th graders and most recently taught Botany as a guest teacher for a year at Sherwood Montessori.  Heidi enjoys collaborating as a team and is excited to be part of an organization which has been making a positive impact in Chico for 40 years.

Seth Derish 

Seth Derish has been involved in environmental issues since 1976, when he was asked by anti-nuclear groups to stop PG&E from spying on them.  He has been a plaintiff oriented private investigator for 37 years and also formed a non profit to assist poor coffee farmers in Costa Rica.  He was an original member of BEC, driving a forklift and picking up newspapers, starting around 1974 and later editor of the BEC newspaper "Homegrown".  He has always supported BEC and is paritcularly interested in BEC's community outreach and education efforts.

Paige Gimbal
Paige moved to Chico in 1973. She is wife to Kim, mother to Danielle and companion to her funny border collie, Linus. She completed her undergraduate studies at CSU, Chico with a degree in Agriculture & Irrigation Science in 1978 and has worked in the irrigation industry for 38 years, specializing in pump systems, reclaim water use, water use efficiency, rainwater harvesting and water conservation. She advocates for non-irrigation in the built environment and believes we need to use art instead of water to create community spaces.  Paige is grateful to have worked with Chico Community Gardens Project (1974-1976) and to be a founding member of BEC (1975-1976). Paige is passionate about building community and bringing people together.

Kevin Killion BEC Board memberKevin Killion

Kevin is a Chico native who is actively dedicating his life and energies to promote and create a genuinely sustainable local region and globe. Having certification in Sustainability Studies from Butte College he now attends Chico State. Kevin has worked with the statewide and local chapters of California Student Sustainability Coalition for 2 years now in various positions including Convergence Coordinator and currently the Operating Team Co-Chair. His emphasis is on joining diverse movements in common cause, and working with the Chico area movers and shakers to build and protect the natural and human community.

Sarah McConnell
I’m a Butte County native, mother of four, volunteer, and activist.  Growing up in Butte County I spent my childhood swimming in the Feather River, playing in my mom’s garden, and hiking the canyon’s edges.  I was a fortunate child to grow up in this area of Northern California and I developed a love and respect for the natural elements here.  I have spent the past fourteen years as a Waldorf based home educator for my four children.  Two lessons that go hand in hand were always nurtured in our home school --  the responsibility to be good stewards of our earth and to always give back to our community.  I am now taking all that I have learned through educating my children and developing a new independent phase of my life.  I have spent the past two years volunteering my time and efforts as the Butte County leader of  We work on a state and local level with the goal of GMO labeling legislation in California and educating the public on all aspects of the GMO issue.  I also have had the opportunity to work with the Citizens Action Network here in Butte County.  I appreciate this opportunity to become even more involved with helping to protect our precious natural resources here in Butte County.  The BEC is a gift to our community and I am honored to be a part of it.

John ScottJohn Scott
I joined the Butte Environmental Council shortly after retiring and moving to Butte Valley in 2005. I was first appointed to the Board of Directors in July of 2009.  I enjoy organic gardening, winemaking and staying on the pulse of county government. I see hydraulic fracking as a moral issue and it must be banned. There are alternatives for energy, but there are No alternatives for water. In 2010 I started the Butte Valley Coalition to protect the fragile, shallow groundwater of Butte Valley.  I represent groundwater users on the Butte County Water Commission, as well as being the Cherokee Watershed representative on the Water Commission Water Advisory Committee. I also serve on the Board of Directors of Handi-Riders, Snow Goose Festival organizing committee, a member of the Sacramento River Preservation Trust and the Sierra Club/ Yahi Group in Chico. I’m honored to be part of the BEC organization; advocating for: our Air, Water and Land for all future generations.  My hobbies are organic gardening on our 5 acres.  I am a BEC Angel and am honored to have served on the board since 2009.

Sharon WallaceSharon Wallace BEC Board
I have been very active in north valley environmental and civic organizations since graduating from CSU Chico in 1983.  An early interest in land-use planning led to a 4-yr appointment to Chico's Architectural Review Board, followed by long-term service on the Boards of River Partners, the Northern California Regional Land Trust, and the League of Women Voters. Most recently I served on the Board of Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliance which subsequently merged with BEC to form a countywide watershed education and advocacy program.  (Sharon was appointed to the BEC board in November 2013 and was elected in June 2014.

Interested in serving on the BEC Board?

Board elections take place every June and any current BEC member is eligible to stand for office.  Vacancies may sometimes be available between elections, in which case an interested applicant could be appointed to the BEC Board.  Download and complete this Board Member Application form and submit by email to the BEC Executive Director.  Please call the BEC office for inquiries.
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