Farewells and Welcomes from AFE's Leadership Team:
I'm writing to share with you a transition in our AFE leadership team: Catia Juliana, whom many of you have worked with and communicated with over the years, is moving on to a new position with a local environmental group in her community in Oregon. It is hard to imagine AFE without Catia. Catia came into her role as Administrative Director when AFE was in its initial growth period. She worked diligently over the years, in close collaboration with AFE members and volunteers, the Board of Directors, and the AFE President, to enhance AFE's impact on the world of wildland fire.
During her tenure, AFE developed and administered the first independent Professional Certification Program for Wildland Fire Professionals, the JFSP-sponsored Graduate Research Innovation award, the growth of our Fire Ecology journal, the TREE grants for students, and the world's largest international fire conferences. Catia has provided support and leadership in these, and other, AFE endeavors for over seven years now. Her impact on improving AFE's effectiveness, as reflected by our financial standing, speaks for itself. When Catia joined us, we had limited funds to allocate to enhancing our membership services and influence. We are now in the position to make the investments needed to better serve our mission, our members, and the students who are the future of wildland fire management as applied fire ecology. Much of this has been the result of Catia's thoughtful and committed approach to all the duties she performed for AFE, including nurturing strong collaborations with our partner organizations. We are grateful for her hard work and dedication to AFE, and know that she will be a great asset in her new career. Please join me in communicating our thanks for everything Catia has done. We know you won't be far from the AFE family, but we will miss you all the same.
And now for the welcome! We are extremely fortunate to be welcoming our new Administrative Director, Annie Oxarart, to our AFE family. Annie is a graduate from the University of Florida's School of Forest Resources and Conservation MS program, where she focused on Environmental Education and Communication. She has spent the last decade as a Program Coordinator and Outreach Specialist for the University of Florida, working with the Southern Fire Exchange (one of JFSP's Fire Science Exchange Network members), the NIFA PINEMAP project, the League of Environmental Educators in Florida, Project Learning Tree, and other organizations. I had the pleasure of working with Annie while we both were at the University of Florida, and know that AFE will benefit greatly from her knowledge, skills, and experience, as well as the inspiring, positive approach she takes to everything she does. Annie has specialized in natural resource program development and evaluation, and we look forward to her impact on improving AFE's ability to serve our mission, our members, and the greater fire community. Please join me in welcoming Annie to our team!
See you all at FireVision 20/20, the 7th International Fire Ecology Congress in Orlando this November!
Leda Kobziar, AFE President