Ojai Valley Green Coalition chooses new executive director

The Ojai Valley Green Coalition has chosen a new executive director, Tim Nafziger, following the resignation of Russell Sydney, who served in the post for a year and a half. Nafziger plans to serve for six to nine months in an interim role to help the organization find a long term executive director.

“We appreciate Russell’s service over the last 18 months to the work of the Coalition,” said Ched Myers, a long-time member of the Board of Directors. “He has worked hard during a challenging transition period, and helped open up a new chapter for our mission. As our Interim E.D., Tim Nafziger brings to our circle activist energy, organizational skills and management experience, and the passion and perspective of the next generation. The Board sincerely thanks Russell, and looks forward to partnering with Tim to deepen and broaden the work of the OVGC.”

Tim Nafziger has been a reservist and organizer for years for the Christian Peacemaker Teams that work in small teams to reduce harm in conflict zones around the world, including Iraq. He spent 6 years on staff with the organization as outreach coordinator and then as assistant director. He identifies as a Mennonite, and has been active as an organizer in the Carnival de Resistance, a traveling arts carnival and ceremonial theater dramatizing themes of ecological justice and radical theology. He also is a leader with Showing Up for Racial Justice Ventura County, or SURJ VC, a local chapter of a national group that does education and advocacy for racial justice He runs a web design company called Congruity Works that helps nonprofits with their web strategy.

“I look forward to working with the Board of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition,” said Nafziger. “We are fortunate in the Ojai Valley to live in an extremely charismatic watershed, and I am eager to bring new voices into the ecological conversation in this valley.”

For over ten years the Green Coalition has spearheaded recycling, green living, water conservation, electric vehicles, and other forms of conservation in the Ojai Valley, most recently helping sponsor a showing of “The Cat That Changed America,” about the effort to build the world’s largest wildlife crossing to save the mountain lions of Ventura County.

“It has been one of my goals to build the Board’s capacity to take on the task of running the Coalition,” said outgoing director Sydney. “This is the perfect time for me to step back from a very public role that was thrust upon me. I am delighted that this transition is happening.”

Tim Nafziger can be reached at tim@ojaivalleygreencoalition.org