News From the Center - New Administrative/Development Director Bella Waters

October, 2016



 We have big news at the NEC this month. We’ve taken what I predict is a big step forward and have hired an Administrative/Development Director. We’re very excited about the candidate we selected—Bella Waters!
I have asked Bella to introduce herself to you. Please come by the NEC to welcome Bella to our team!

~Larry Glass, Board President and Executive Director


 The Northcoast Environmental Center epitomizes my thoughts of regionally-focused environmental action with an eye on issues that affect us all. I’m thrilled to be a part of the NEC. My return to the NEC helps complete a circle that I’ve been working toward.

I grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and while at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, pursuing a degree in Communications with a minor in Environmental Studies, I was the president of Ecology Now! (our youthful version of EarthFirst!), and worked at the Environmental Resource Center. I also spent time working as the Education Assistant for the National Arbor Day Foundation, which is based in Nebraska. My experience at both organizations helped me realize that passionate activism requires solid office support to be truly successful.

Around that time I met my future husband and together we moved to Humboldt County.
I sought out an internship with the NEC, enrolled at HSU and packed my car for a winter move. My weekends were then spent exploring our vast beaches, discovering hiking trails and how to waterproof everything. Fast forward fifteen years, throw in a wedding at Moonstone Beach, a house purchase, two boys and my weekends are still filled with outdoor activities.

I’ve spent the majority of my professional life providing support to food cooperatives. I was hired as an Administrative Assistant to Karen Zimbelman, who was the Executive Director for four regional cooperative grocer associations. Those merged into the National Cooperative Grocers Association, where I became the Operations Manager of the Grocers’ support website, the Cooperative Information Network.

Desiring to support my own cooperative, I was next hired to be the Membership Coordinator and Board Assistant at the North Coast Co-op. For the past five years I’ve worked to streamline the board’s work, create materials regarding the Co-op’s membership system and support the Co-op’s growth.

When people think of environmental organizations, the events held by the organizations, lobbying, activism and passionate individuals come to mind. But to truly help an organization accomplish those goals and do great work requires an efficient office and admin staff. These can be considered the less ‘glamorous’ jobs in the environmental world, but, in reality, it’s these jobs that help bring together the passionate with the accomplished.

I strongly believe in cooperatives as a business model and will continue to support the amazing work that they do, but I jumped at the opportunity to work for the NEC. I feel blessed to be here working to strengthen and streamline the office support at the NEC so we can continue providing the necessary education and awareness that will protect our
north coast and forests.

I look forward to meeting you and encourage you to stop by the office to introduce yourself!

~Bella Waters

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