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Upcoming Events


What will you do for Earth Day this year?  Join BEC at the Big Room for the local premier of a new film "Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch".  Any donation gets you in the door and proceeds benefit three local nonprofit organizations.


This years theme, The Webs of Life, focuses on the importance of connections within and dependence on nature and one another.  Learn more about the exiting new changes this year and mark your calendars.


If you shop at the Grocery Outlet, you know that their voluminous wine selection can be pretty daunting. Here's your chance to unlock the Wine Mysteries of the Grocery Outlet and help support BEC at the same time!


Dig-in for this hands-on Lawn Conversion workshop to conserve water, and create bird habitat.  In Chico, water use goes up 60% in the summertime when we start watering our landscaping, so being mindful of what we plant can add up to huge water savings.


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Board of Directors

The Role of the Board:

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).   

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.

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 is completing his first two-year term on the Board, and his first year as Chair.  He led the effort to hire the new executive director, and he is currently working on the Humboldt Community Garden project.

John Howlett, Vice President of Board; Vice Chair of Advocacy Committee
John Howlett is a resident of Chico and is an alumni of Chico State.  He received his degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Land Use Planning in 1989.  John has been a teacher since 1992 and has taught High School Social Science and upper Elementary grades.  Currently John teaches grades 6,7 and 8 at Sherwood Montessori and is one of the founding members of this school.  In terms of volunteer experience and activism, John has been a member of Chico State's Progressive Student Union, Baker County Planning Commission in Oregon and many other public service positions.  John and his family returned to Chico in 2006 and is very excited about working with Butte Environmental Council to protect and preserve the natural environment here in Butte County. 

Michael McGinnisMichael McGinnis, Treasurer
I have over 38 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, 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.

Steve HandySteve Handy
Born in Baltimore, MD  “but raised by a pack of wild wolves”  in Anchorage, AK, Steve worked on the Alaska Oil Pipeline in Valdez as a Union Carpenter.  He moved to Corvallis, OR in 1976 and worked for the OR Department of Fish & Wildlife remodeling fish hatcheries.  He became a member of the Board of Directors for 1st Alternative Food Co-Op, organizing fundraising events for expansion and completion of a new store.  He was Campaign Coordinator for Benton County, OR on a successful state ballot initiative to prevent new construction of nuclear power plants until a permanent nuclear waste facility could be built. Steve has a degree from Oregon State University in Secondary Education with a minor in Technology Education.  In 1989 he moved to Boulder, CO and then back to Alaska where he tutored reading and math.  A 33-day road trip down the Alaskan highway brought him to Chico in August 2012 which he now considers his home.  He is active with BEC's Humboldt Community Garden.  Steve also plays viola and has performed with the Anchorage Symphony and in many musicals, weddings, gallery openings, and other events.  Steve was appointed to the BEC Board in November 2012 and will stand for election in summer 2013.

Mark HerreraMark Hererra
My interest in serving on the BEC Board lies in my commitment to protect the land, air and water so that future generations — both human and non-human — are able to live in a healthy, vibrant community.  
Mark was appointed to the BEC Board in March 2012 and was elected in July 2012.

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.

Melody Leppard BEC BoardMelody Leppard
I was born and raised in Chico and care deeply about the community and environment here.  In the fall of 2011, I was a facilitator at Power Shift in Washington, D.C., the largest grassroots organizational training in the world. I was trained in how to run campaigns, organizations, and how to be an effective activist before the event, and my duty at the event was to train others in these skills. I have been actively involved in the California Student Sustainability Coalition for the past two years and have fulfilled a variety of leadership roles.  I am currently working as an office/program assistant at the Butte College Sustainability Resource Center.  Last fall I earned my Sustainability Studies Certificate at Butte College.  I am interested in serving on the board because I love what BEC stands for and what BEC does. I believe in all the amazing work that BEC has done and continues to do to protect the land, water, and air of Butte County as well as the education on local issues that BEC provides to the community. I am a passionate activist and feel a great sense of urgency to take action to protect the environment. I am also interested in getting more youth involved in the work and advocacy that BEC does.

Skye LiSkye Li 
Skye has been sitting on the BOD of BEC since March of 2012. She is a long time environmental and social justice advocate. Skye worked for Chico State's AS Recycling Program, providing outreach and education on recycling issues for two years. She is heavily committed to community building and has volunteered her time to numerous non-profits in and out of the area. Skye has a strong background in organizing, event planning, and non-profit development.  

Luann Manss BEC BoardLuann Manss
Luann has been a resident of Chico since 2001. She has been involved with BEC as a volunteer and member since 2012. She completed her undergraduate studies at CSU, Chico and is now pursuing a Masters Degree in Political Science. As an undergrad she was active in campus life including serving as the Associated Students Commissioner of Environmental Affairs, being the assistant for the CSU, Chico Campus Conservation Committee, a member of Sustainable Consultation of Office Practices (SCOOP), intern with Associated Students Sustainability, member of Sustainable Engineering and Environmental Health for Development (SEEHD), and a member of the This Way to Sustainability Conference Planning Committee. During her time with BEC she has coordinated the BEC Birthday Gala (2012) and the Environmental Coalition Community Gathering (2013) and assisted with numerous other events and activities. Having experience in environmental outreach and education, and fundraising, she wants to use her passion and knowledge to continue aiding in the growth of the Butte Environmental Council. 

Grace MarvinGrace Marvin, Advocacy Chair
While I had been a longtime member of BEC and the Sierra Club, my interest in the local environment accelerated after I retired from CSU-Chico, in 2000. I became Chair and, now, am Conservation Chair of the Sierra Club's Yahi Group. I learned much about how local politics, activist efforts, and organizational constraints interact with the environment, e.g., Bidwell Park, mining, air quality, zoning/ development pressures, and forestry. Recent special interests of mine in sustainability and water issues brought BEC's needs and special attributes into sharper focus. I hope to continue furthering BEC's outspoken and intelligent advocacy for our environment.  (Grace was appointed to the BEC Board in fall 2011 and was elected in summer 2012.)  

John ScottJohn Scott
I have an AA Degree in Humanities and a BS degree in Business Administration.  I was a computer operator at Lockheed Aircraft, then Financial Analyst for the VP of Budget and Forecasting, and for 10 years worked as a facilities engineer, retiring in 1995.  I also worked for 9 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District as an Operations supervisor.  In 2005, my wife Sue and I retired to Butte Valley to be near our daughter and her family.  I am an environmentalist who understands that humans contribute to global warming. I am a water activist who believes the Tuscan Aquifer is too important to Northern California to ever be taken for granted.  I started the ‘Butte Valley Coalition’ to protect the environment of Butte Valley.  I was appointed to the Butte County Water Commission in April 2013 and try to attend all Butte County Board of Supervisor meetings.  My hobbies are organic gardening on our 5 acres.  I am also a member of Altacal Audubon Society in Chico and my wife and I have been active in the Snow Goose Festival and the Altacal Christmas bird counts since 2006.  I am a BEC Angel and am honored to have served on the board since 2009.

Sharon Wallace

Sharon has been actively involved in local civic organizations since graduating from CSU Chico in 1983. Her early market research for north valley real estate developers led to her strong interest in architecture and solid understanding of land-use issues, environmental planning and resource conservation. As such, Sharon's first foray into public service was a 4-yr appointment to Chico's Architectural Review Board, followed by long-term service on the Boards of (Sacramento) River Partners, the Northern California Regional Land Trust, and the League of Women Voters. Most recently Sharon served as Secretary on the Board of Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliance, which has subsequently merged with BEC in order to form our countywide Watershed Education program.

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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