Jennifer Gray Thompson, CEO and Judy Coffey RN, Board President of After the Fire USA, the leading nonprofit wildfire recovery organization in the western United States announced today the board appointment of two new members.
Molly Mowery, AICP is Executive Director for the nonprofit organization Community Wildfire Planning Center and Founder of Wildfire Planning International. For more than 15 years, Mowery has been a pioneer in integrating wildfire hazard mitigation with land use planning practices. She developed the first wildland-urban interface planning course for FEMA, served as the lead author of the American Planning Association (APA) publication Planning the Wildland-Urban Interface, and drafted land use planning guidance for the National Research Council of Canada’s National Guide for Wildland-Urban interface Fires. Mowery frequently presents on wildfire planning topics and provided the Norman Williams Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Planning and Law hosted by the Vermont Law School in 2021. She is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners and chair-elect of the APA Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Division. Mowery earned a Bachelor of Arts from Naropa University (Boulder, CO) and Master’s in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA). Mowery is based in Colorado and works across the American West.
Casey Taylor is the founder and Executive Director of Achieve Charter Schools of Paradise. In 2005, she worked with parents, community leaders and educators to develop and open a kindergarten through fifth grade charter school in Paradise, California. In 2008, Taylor led Achieve as they expanded their program to middle school. In 2018 she worked with community leaders, local business owners, teachers and families to open Achieve Charter High School, a high school focused on college and career opportunities for all through entrepreneurship and computer science pathways.
After the 2018 Paradise Camp Fire, Taylor led her team in reopening schools in temporary facilities in Chico, while building a permanent school facility there. In the 2021-22 school year, opened Achieve Charter School of Chico at the new facility and reopened Achieve Charter School of Paradise at the original campus in Paradise. She and her team are now working to reopen Achieve Charter High School in Paradise in the coming years.
Taylor is a Paradise native and is committed to providing high quality educational options to the community, especially during the rebuilding process. She sits on the Rebuild Paradise Foundation Board, is a Paradise Rotary Club member and serves on the Paradise Citizen’s Alliance. Taylor is also an advocate for public charter schools and serves on the California Charter Schools Association’s Board of Directors and as the chair of the California Charter School Association’s Member Council. She works closely with local charter leaders in Butte County and is the chair of the Butte County Charter Leaders Network. Under her leadership, Achieve Charter School has been recognized as a California Distinguished School in 2014 and again in 2020. Taylor was also named the California Charter Schools Association’s Charter Leader of the Year in 2017. She currently supports other school leaders across the state on rebuilding schools after disasters and is asked to share Achieve’s story to inspire others and advocate for state and federal support.
Mowery and Taylor are joining an impressive Board of Directors, led by President Judy Coffey RN, a Tubbs Fire Survivor, Pamela Williams, Director of Resilience & Mitigation, IEM; Chisato Fukuda Calvert, PhD, Interim Director of OpenAQ; Michael Mondavi, Founder & Coach, Folio Family Wines; Henry Hansel, President, Hansel Auto Group; Larry Florin, CEO of Burbank Housing; Jack Buckhorn, Executive Director, North Bay Labor Council; Reno Franklin, Tribal Chair, Kashia Band of Pomo Indians; Jake Kloberdanz, President & Founder, ONEHOPE Wines and Foundation; Lisa Micheli, PhD, CEO of Pepperwood Preserve, and Marko Bey, Executive Director and Founder of Lomakatsi Forest Project.
"The bare truth is we are in the Era of Megafires. We will continue to experience devastation across the American West as we work towards building resiliency in our built environment, protect naturally occurring affordable housing in rural areas, and empower urban, suburban and rural communities with tools and expertise to not only recover from disaster, but also become more resistant to megafires. We can live alongside wildfire, but we must work collaboratively. The addition of Molly Mowery and Casey Taylor add to our amazing board of directors’ diverse expertise." Jennifer Gray Thompson, CEO.
“As President of the Board of Directors, I am proud to welcome Molly Mowery and Casey Taylor to our board. We are committed to a geographically diverse board that reflects our service areas and inspires collaboration across sectors and silos. Molly brings her incredible breadth of experience and tremendous leadership in wildfire spanning decades. Casey brings her commitment to high quality education and her lived experience as a leader in education during the most destructive and deadly wildfire to date. We appreciate their willingness to serve on our board.” Judy Coffey, ATF3R Board President.