Board of Directors
Don Banducci is a Humboldt Made man. Thirty years ago, he and his cohorts made Yakima a household name, and it all happened from Humboldt County. This wildly successful enterprise taught Don about long-term competitiveness on local, national, and global levels. Safe to say, Don knows business. More specifically, Don knows how businesses can operate within and outside of Humboldt County. Now serving as Chair and Marketing Consultant for Humboldt Made, Don uses his experience, pragmatic insight, and natural éclat for public relations to help guide and develop the diverse industry clusters in Humboldt County. He continues to notice a pattern of success with Humboldt Made businesses that strive to offer top-quality, best-in- class products—their value and authenticity shine through.
Clint and his brand of organic, grass-fed beef can be found in stores and restaurants from Alaska to Southern California under the label, Eel River Organic Beef – its name a testament to its crucial geographical location of Clint’s home region, Humboldt County. Clint asserts that it is the very environment of Humboldt County which has allowed him to raise his cattle on high- quality green grass from start to finish. He not only appreciates the beauty and value in the land he uses, but works hard to protect it. Clint has brought together independent ranchers, implemented successful land rehabilitation projects, and educated kids and adults alike about the importance of knowing where their food comes from. His skills as a community organizer as well as his passion to nourish the land and community of Humboldt County has made him a vital asset of the Humboldt Made Board of Directors.
Meredith is the proud co-owner, brew house coordinator, and trailblazing beer distributor of Humboldt County’s Six Rivers Brewery. She and her hardworking family of brew masters, kitchen staff, and production crew have been serving up original, high-quality brews, great food, and local entertainment to the people of Humboldt County and beyond. Meredith’s insight and extensive experience with out-of- county marketing has made her a great addition to the Humboldt Made Board of Directors. She cites the Humboldt Made brand as a socially-conscious source of professional inspiration, connection, and incubation, and loves the “community first” approach of its member businesses. Her passion for Humboldt Made comes as no surprise as she has a long track record of involvement Humboldt Community. When she’s not making Six Rivers Brewery a household name, you can find her organizing countless fundraisers for the Sequoia Humane Society, NorCal Pet Rescue, and working as the NorCal Chapter Leader of Pink Boots Society.
Cedar Ruben claims he “fell into” his recurrent role of small business development in Humboldt County, but it seems he has a natural knack for finding diamonds in the rough. As a longtime Humboldt County resident and HSU graduate, Cedar has been focused on meaningful local economic development for over two decades, serving as a board member with the Headwaters Fund, Workforce Development Board, and most recently, Humboldt Made. Cedar’s passion for Humboldt County is palpable, and his enthusiasm for Humboldt Made is equally evident: he is an active, forward-looking board member, confident that Humboldt Made has the potential to not only continue its upward course but go even further with other industry clusters. “Most Humboldt Made businesses are on the upper end of the niche they occupy,” he says matter-of- factly, “You cannot do what we do without Humboldt. Place matters.”
Denise made her home in Humboldt County over 35 years ago. She graduated from Humboldt State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and worked for two decades in the non-profit sector as a fundraiser, leader, and cornerstone. She has served on a myriad of boards and committees, and currently holds the position of HSU’s Director of Project Development for Professional Studies, where she uses her expertise in grant writing, donor stewardship, and logistical sagacity to connect students with businesses in the community.Fellow educationalist, Chris Gaines, was well-familiar with Denise’s ability to streamline organizational procedures and discover long-lasting, meaningful solutions, so a few months ago he asked her to join the Humboldt Made Board of Directors. Denise says it was easy to say yes to an organization that is clearly doing good things for the community. Denise brings her wealth of directorial skills and wisdom to the team, and hopes to continue developing Humboldt Made as it grows in the county and beyond.
Tera has been involved with the Mad River Brewing Company for about a decade, and has done just about everything in that time. She’s worked sales, accounting, managed the tasting room, worked on the bottling line, and, in the last four years, has been using her talents as Marketing Director. Her time with Humboldt Made has almost mirrored her progression with the tightly knit brewery—she has been involved with Humboldt Made since its beginning, and joined the board a little over three years ago. Tera’s love and dedication to Humboldt County is obvious, and she particularly loves the community support that springs from Humboldt Made. To her, the success of local business is a result of passion, creativity, and collaboration—each member business shares a love for their craft, and Humboldt Made is the vehicle which allows them to not only grow their business within the county, but to take that craft beyond its borders.
Ara Pachmayer has a PhD in community resources and development and is an assistant professor of tourism management at Humboldt State University (HSU). In her classes, Ara prepares HSU students to enter the tourism and hospitality industry by offering a variety of local hands on projects. Her research interests include understanding how visitors experience tourism and the impacts of tourism development on communities. Ara has collaborated on a number of projects regarding placemaking and tourism development in rural areas. As well, she has experience working in the tourism industry in a variety of capacities. She is happy to be a part of Humboldt Made and contribute to the mission.
Jessica Montague, Psychologist
Having lived exclusively in large cities until moving to Humboldt four years ago, Jessica Montague was inspired by the innovative, quality-driven entrepreneurs in the area producing top-tier goods that rivaled much of what she found in New York and San Francisco. Jessica has taught and supervised at HSU in the psychology undergraduate and graduate programs. Currently, she is a therapist in private practice in Arcata with a focus on couples and families. Jessica understands the importance of supporting local business as a means of strengthening the local economy and building economic resilience in the area. Economic vitality directly impacts the overall livelihood, health and mental health of Humboldt County residents. She is part of the North Coast Grant Making Partnership where she represents the Footprint Foundation as a trustee. She sits on the Evaluation Committee for First 5 Humboldt and has aligned work with the 0-8 Children’s Mental Health Collaborative. A general do-gooder, people person, and systems thinker, she brings to the board a passion for supporting people, good business, good ideas and community building in Humboldt.
Alanna Powell comes from a long line of creative entrepreneurs which has made her a natural fit for Humboldt Made. Her innovative background instilled within her a passion for small business development and a heart for community collaboration and connection. Years ago, this enthusiasm joined forces with the vision of former HM director, Angeline Schwab, and Alanna’s relationship with Humboldt Made began—first serving as a volunteer, then as a board member, and now as Executive Director. Alanna draws inspiration from Humboldt County and her critical understanding of the link between a place and its people has prepared her to support the unique challenges that come with the resource-rich, rural Humboldt County. Her advocacy of local business, support of the community, and team-centered collaboration with board members is unwavering and those who work with her comment on her passion, dedication, and follow-through. Alanna and her team are dedicated stewards of Humboldt County and its industry clusters; together, with the community, they guide, nurture, and share the Humboldt Made brand within and beyond our borders.
Jade brings a fresh outlook to our work. She joined the Humboldt Made team through an internship her junior year for a class on sustainable rural economic development. This is where her love for community-driven economic development blossomed. Since then she has come alongside on every project, including the launch of the Eureka Visitor Center and Friday Night Market, bringing her strong organizational and analytical skills to the table. As Director of Member Services, Jade has wrestled to the ground the sometimes unwieldy needs and wants of 96 different Humboldt Made businesses. Jade is a project and goal oriented person who brings drive and passion to everything she does. She possesses razor sharp prioritization skills, is a champ when it comes to streamlining processes, and possesses an authentic enthusiasm to learn more in any given situation. Jade is one of those unique individuals who has the ability to make decisions quickly on her feet, she’s determined to get the job done yet flexible when the situation requires it. As Development Director, this strong, compassionate leader, will continue as the Director of Member Services for Humboldt Made, bringing the story of our makers and entrepreneurs to the forefront. She will also spearhead community projects centered on the development of Eureka as a tourist destination and a beautiful place to live.