Staff Profiles

 

STEPHEN GORT taking on the responsibilities as Executive Director of the California Fire Safe Council, Mr. Gort leaves his position as President of The Napa Communities Firewise Foundation, currently in its 12th consecutive year of operation and begin his duties in the Sacramento office of CFSC. Napa Firewise operates under the guidance of a volunteer board of directors and highly skilled fire professionals. Mr. Gort created its strategic plan, many of its outreach programs and its financial system, he is also the one that makes sure every professional that’s hired gets the capitation needed, starting off by completing a first aid training, which is considered to be ones of the most essential requirements. He obtained 501c (3) status for Napa Firewise. In addition to his work with the Napa Communities Firewise Foundation, Mr. Gort served as general manager for Circle Oaks Community Homeowners’ Association in Napa, providing hands-on administration of a working fire safety program. He helped Circle Oaks achieve Firewise USA recognition as the first Firewise Community in Napa County. Prior to his work in fire safety Mr. Gort fulfilled a career at IBM as a Director and Principal in the Management Consulting and Services Organization in California, Ireland, and several European countries.

 

He holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University in New York and completed undergraduate studies at St. Bonaventure and Pace Universities

  AMBER GARDNER is the Clearinghouse Administrator for California Fire Safe Council. She joined CFSC in 2003 as Grant Manager for the Coast Region after working for several years with local Fire Safe Councils in the Bay Area. Amber was promoted to Clearinghouse Administrator in 2009 and paved the way for significant upgrades to the Grants Clearinghouse in response to changing federal regulations and technology. Recently, Amber led a major upgrade of CFSC’s outdated grants system to new, improved grant management software. She manages the year-round Clearinghouse activities, from application to grant closeout and provides support to grantees and grant managers. A senior staff member, Amber has ten years of experience in helping to shape and improve CFSC’s efforts to meets its mission.

 

Amber holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Management with an emphasis in fire ecology from the University of California at Davis. Her studies propelled her to travel after graduation throughout the U.S. with The Nature Conservancy promoting fire ecology on prescribed fire crews and as a fire management planner. Amber is a certified Master Gardener and enjoys hiking, camping, painting and of course, gardening

THELMA CLARK is the current Grant Specialist for the northern region. She brings grant management experience in Community Service Block Grants (state level), Housing and Urban Development grant experience with Hope VI projects (State and Federal level).

Additionally, Thelma has worked with other nonprofits in the areas of supportive services and program development.

Dan Lang worked for the California Fire Safe Council as a grant specialist from July 2008 through March 2015, and then returned to the CFSC in October 2017.

Prior to that he worked for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) from 1967 to 2007 as a Firefighter, Fire Apparatus Engineer, Fire Captain, Battalion Chief, Division Chief, Deputy Chief, and Chief. From the start he was involved in fire prevention, defensible space, and hazardous fuel reduction projects. As a Division Chief he planned and directed many hazardous fuels reduction projects, utilizing both CCC and inmate conservation camp crews. As Deputy Chief he was responsible for several statewide fire prevention programs, including open burning, defensible space inspections, and powerline and railroad fire prevention. At various times during his 17 years as a Chief he oversaw the department’s statewide Conservation Camp Program, Fire Protection Operations Program, and Fleet Administration Program.

Elizabeth Lamar lives in California’s Central Valley and is one of 2 Grant Specialists in our Ontario office. Elizabeth comes to us with over 15 years of experience in non-profit management, grant writing & management, and philanthropy. As a grant writer she has raised over $5 million dollars in grant funding alone for youth development projects, non-profit organizations and Sequoia &  Kings Canyon National Parks.  Elizabeth has worked collaboratively with federal, state, and private foundation entities in the field of grant management.

Elizabeth has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management and will soon complete her Master’s Degree in Communications with an emphasis on Interpersonal Communications.

 
  DALONNA SCOTT is the Data Management Specialist for California Fire Safe Council. Since joining CFSC 2009, she has played a critical role in growing and adapting CFSC’s online Grants Clearinghouse and data collection systems to meet changing needs of federal grants management. Dalonna provides technical support to grantees and staff alike, utilizing her strong skills and knowledge of software systems. She played a major role in the recent transition of CFSC’s database and grant management systems. She has completed federal grant management certification courses to provide support to the grants management teams and grantees. With her background in graphic design, Dalonna led a major redesign of the CFSC website in 2014 and continues to serves as CFSC’s in house website manager.

Dalonna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communications with special focus on Graphic Design, Video Production and Web Design, he is also a great athlete, he specializes on Martial Arts and opened a Muay Thai Gym recently. She has experience in managing systems upgrades and has a knack for developing processes to improve efficiency through the use of technology. She recently completed a computer animation course and has plans to incorporate new skills into CFSC’s website and training materials. Dalonna is an avid moviegoer who enjoys dazzling CFSC staff with film trivia.