President, Evelyn Giddings (Eureka, CA). Evelyn Giddings was born and raised in Crescent City, California; she holds a BS degree in Business from Humboldt State and an MBA in International Business from San Francisco State. Ms. Giddings is very active in her community and currently serves as the Board President for the Humboldt Botanical Gardens Foundation and is also a member of Humboldt County’s Work Investment Board. She lives in rural Humboldt County with her husband, David Lemm. Together they have three grown children and nine grandchildren. She is a Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking Manager, with Umpqua Bank for the Humboldt-Del-Norte Region and prior to that was with Six Rivers Bank/North Valley Bank for six years. Prior to banking she was in Sales, Marketing and Management. Ms. Giddings joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2003.
Vice President, Zuretti (“Zuey”) Goosby (Eureka, CA). Mr. Goosby has had the pleasure of living and working in Humboldt County for more than 43 years. He is an avid long term gardener and was a graduate of the first Master Gardener class held in Humboldt County in the 1980’s. He has worked in Humboldt as a public administrator and has served as the Humboldt-based Senior Field Representative for our State Senators for the last 16 years. He has served on numerous boards, currently serving on the Humboldt Area Foundation Board. He is married to Brenda Goosby. He has two grown daughters and six grandchildren. Through his work and personal involvement, Zuey has a long history of involvement with the HBG. Mr. Goosby joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2015.
Treasurer, James T. Sessa (McKinleyville, CA). For over thirty years, Mr. Sessa has assisted in the management of Coast Central Credit Union, from yesterday’s $37 million in assets to today’s $1 billion plus in managed assets. As the Senior Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer, he oversees all functions of the credit union, including investments, which serves nearly 60,000 members and businesses on the North Coast. He holds a BS in Management from Humboldt State University and is a graduate of the Western CUNA Management School at Pomona College in Claremont. He is a charter member and active committee member of the Credit Union National Association of Chief Financial Officers, a professional community of 1,300+ finance and accounting leaders from across the country. He is past President of Mad River Rotary and is active in a number of community organizations with an emphasis in community enrichment and youth related projects. He is married to Julie Sessa and together they have two grown children. Mr. Sessa serves on the HBG Finance Committee and joined HBG Board of Directors in 2001.
Secretary, Martha Spencer relocated to Humboldt County to attend Humboldt State University in 1976. While there she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Social Work and a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Planning. She started working for the Humboldt County Planning Department in 1986 but then followed her wayward biologist husband around the states of California, Washington and Oregon where she continued her work as a planning specialist. She is married to Eric Nelson. They have two grown daughters. Ms. Spencer returned to Humboldt County in 2002 to work for the County Planning Department where she was the lead planner for the General Plan Update until her retirement in 2013. She has been an active 4H leader, school board member and currently serves on the Food for People and North Coast Land Trust boards. She is a weekend gardener and truly appreciates the bounty of garden opportunities the area has to offer. Ms. Spencer joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2014.
Board of Directors
Barbara Groom (Loleta, CA). A thirty-five year resident of Loleta/Table Bluff, Ms. Groom started the Lost Coast Brewery in 1989 following a career in pharmacy. Under her guidance Lost Coast Brewery moved from being a small brew pub to becoming a national and international award winning brewery. A member of many community organizations and boards of directors, she brings a keen awareness of the community, business sense and her love of botanical gardens to the HBG Board. Ms. Groom serves on the HBG Fundraising Steering Committee and joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2005.
Cathy Randall (Garberville, CA) Cathy Randall Studebaker, owner of Randall Sand & Gravel since 1991. Cathy remembers when the HBG first started. She thought it was a wonderful idea and even then she wanted to be a part of it. She was born & raised in Humboldt county and over the years she has belonged to many organizations, both professional and philanthropic. She supports local community parks and the local schools. The business was her parents retirement, her daughter’s college education, her son’s future and now her retirement. She has visited many beautiful gardens in her travels and loves to garden. She thinks the garden is an important part of our Humboldt community and she would love to be part of making this legacy happen. She joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2016.
Larry Eitzen (Eureka, CA) Larry was born in Cleveland to Oliver and Rosemary Eitzen. Oliver had grown up on a farm in Kansas and was an ardent gardener. On one acre he planted over 90 trees many of which are still growing in a western suburb of Cleveland. On vacation he loved to visit arboretums bringing with him Rosemary and the kids. His passion was passed on. When Larry is not in the office he can be found with his wife, Kitch, working on their one acre parcel. She cares for the landscaping and he maintain the weeds and vegetables. Larry says, “The Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to take a break from the otherwise hectic pace, a place to enjoy the beauty of nature and the passage of the season and years. Volunteers and staff do an amazing job.”
Misha Schwarz (Bayside, CA). Mr. Schwarz has been a Humboldt resident since 1979 and holds a BS degree in Natural Resources Planning from Humboldt State University. Misha has served on various boards including the Adult Humboldt Soccer League and Vector Rehabilitation and has also been active in Rotary. Mr. Schwarz is a Senior Scientist/Project Manager with GHD, an international environmental/engineering consulting company. Misha recently joined the HBG’s Board in August of 2016.