Board of Directors
- President, Evelyn Giddings (Eureka, CA). Evelyn Giddings was born and raised in Crescent City, California; she holds a BS degree in Business from Humboldt State and an MBA in International Business from San Francisco State. Ms. Giddings is very active in her community and currently serves as the Board President for the Humboldt Botanical Gardens Foundation and is also a member of Humboldt County’s Work Investment Board. She lives in rural Humboldt County with her husband, David Lemm. Together they have three grown children and nine grandchildren. She is a Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking Manager, with Umpqua Bank for the Humboldt-Del-Norte Region and prior to that was with Six Rivers Bank/North Valley Bank for six years. Prior to banking she was in Sales, Marketing and Management. Ms. Giddings joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2003.
- Vice President, Larney Ford (Arcata, CA) is a Commercial Lines and Life Insurance Agent at George Petersen Insurance Agency in Eureka, and has over twenty years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Ford is a Humboldt County native and a graduate of Humboldt State University. He is married to Lynn Ford and has two teenage children. A member and supporter of many community organizations over the years, Mr. Ford joined HBG Board of Directors in 2007.
- Treasurer, James T. Sessa (McKinleyville, CA). For over thirty years, Mr. Sessa has assisted in the management of Coast Central Credit Union, from yesterday’s $37 million in assets to today’s $1 billion plus in managed assets. As the Senior Vice President of Administration and Chief Financial Officer, he oversees all functions of the credit union, including investments, which serves nearly 60,000 members and businesses on the North Coast. He holds a BS in Management from Humboldt State University and is a graduate of the Western CUNA Management School at Pomona College in Claremont. He is a charter member and active committee member of the Credit Union National Association of Chief Financial Officers, a professional community of 1,300+ finance and accounting leaders from across the country. He is past President of Mad River Rotary and is active in a number of community organizations with an emphasis in community enrichment and youth related projects. He is married to Julie Sessa and together they have two grown children. Mr. Sessa serves on the HBG Finance Committee and joined HBG Board of Directors in 2001.
- Secretary, Leslie Lollich (Eureka, CA). Ms. Lollich spent more than 30 years in the news and media business in the Humboldt County region. She has been co-owner of Paul’s Auto Repair in Arcata since 1984. Ms. Lollich serves on the board of the Humboldt Library Foundation and has been a member of Soroptimist International of Humboldt Bay since 1989. She spends as much time as possible at the family property in Orleans with her husband, Paul Allen. They have two adult sons. Ms. Lollich graduated from Humboldt State University in 1981 with a bachelor of arts in Journalism and a minor in business. She has visited gardens in the U.S. and throughout the world. She understands how gardens attract visitors to communities and that is part of the reason she has supported HBG for more than 20 years. Ms. Lollich joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2001.
Board of Directors
- Trina Alger (Eureka, CA). Ms. Alger is the Advertising Director at the Eureka Times-Standard. She brings 19 years of fully engaged multimedia sales, training and leadership experience to our board. She is married to Linn Alger and has six fur babies, 3 Labs-Bella, Bama, Giada and 3 Persians-Guido, Luigi, and Bruno. She and Linn love to travel the world experiencing multiple cultures. Continuing education is of great importance to her and has been a constant throughout her career. She loves the outdoors, living near the ocean, gardening, camping, cooking, and family traditions. She values quality of life and giving back to the community. Ms. Alger joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2015.
- Debbie Bussman (Bayside, CA). Ms. Bussman has been responsible for internal operations as the Personal and Commercial Lines Manager at George Petersen Insurance since 1982. She is also the owner and president of DBA: Financial Premium Finance Company. She is married to Charlie Bussman and together they have four grown children. She joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2007.
- Becky Giacomini (Rio Dell, CA). Ms. Giacomini has resided in Humboldt County for 44 years and is the Assistant Superintendent of Business at the Fortuna Elementary School District. She has worked for the school district since 1985. She has served on numerous non-profit boards and organizations currently serving as Past President, Redwood Memorial Hospital Foundation Board and on the St. Joseph Health Board of Trustees. She is an active member of Humboldt Sponsors and is married to Walt Giacomini. They have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. She and her husband have been in the family’s beef ranching business for over 35 years. She joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2015.
- Zuretti (“Zuey”) Goosby (Eureka, CA). Mr. Goosby has had the pleasure of living and working in Humboldt County for more than 43 years. He is an avid long term gardener and was a graduate of the first Master Gardener class held in Humboldt County in the 1980’s. He has worked in Humboldt as a public administrator and has served as the Humboldt-based Senior Field Representative for our State Senators for the last 16 years. He has served on numerous boards, currently serving on the Humboldt Area Foundation Board. He is married to Brenda Goosby. He has two grown daughters and six grandchildren. Through his work and personal involvement, Zuey has a long history of involvement with the HBG. Mr. Goosby joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2015.
- Barbara Groom (Loleta, CA). A thirty-five year resident of Loleta/Table Bluff, Ms. Groom started the Lost Coast Brewery in 1989 following a career in pharmacy. Under her guidance Lost Coast Brewery moved from being a small brew pub to becoming a national and international award winning brewery. A member of many community organizations and boards of directors, she brings a keen awareness of the community, business sense and her love of botanical gardens to the HBG Board. Ms. Groom serves on the HBG Fundraising Steering Committee and joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2005.
- David Kenworthy (Eureka, CA). Mr. Kenworthy now works for Lost Coast Brewery after a 27 year career with MetLife. He is the Garden’s official aerial photographer, documenting the changes to the garden that are sometimes hard to see from the ground. Mr. Kenworthy serves on the HBG Building Committee. He is married to Kelly Mathson. He has two grown children and joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2007.
- Martha Spencer relocated to Humboldt County to attend Humboldt State University in 1976. While there she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Social Work and a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Planning. She started working for the Humboldt County Planning Department in 1986 but then followed her wayward biologist husband around the states of California, Washington and Oregon where she continued her work as a planning specialist. She is married to Eric Nelson. They have two grown daughters. Ms. Spencer returned to Humboldt County in 2002 to work for the County Planning Department where she was the lead planner for the General Plan Update until her retirement in 2013. She has been an active 4H leader, school board member and currently serves on the Food for People and North Coast Land Trust boards. She is a weekend gardener and truly appreciates the bounty of garden opportunities the area has to offer. Ms. Spencer joined the HBG Board of Directors in 2014.