Executive Director Margaret Grayson Announces Retirement from California Fire Safe Council

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Glendora, CA – California Fire Safe Council (CFSC) Executive Director Margaret Grayson will be retiring April 30 to enjoy well-earned relaxation and traveling with her husband. She also plans to continue her volunteer service and provide nonprofit organization consulting. Katie Martel, CFSC Southern California Grant Manager, will serve as Interim Executive Director.

Margaret Grayson joined CFSC as Executive Director in 2007, bringing thirty years’ experience in nonprofit senior management to the organization. During her tenure of leading CFSC, Margaret led improvements in administration and management of CFSC’s innovative Grants Clearinghouse, and cultivated vital partnerships with federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and CAL FIRE.

Margaret has represented CFSC as various fire and disaster conferences and events throughout California and the United States. She shared CFSC best practices for community organizing and wildfire preparedness while providing quality leadership to staff, grantees and stakeholders.

A hallmark of Margaret’s career occurred when CFSC was awarded an unprecedented $29 million in federal grants in 2009 to fund wildfire prevention projects through the Grants Clearinghouse. Margaret increased the organization’s staff from six to 14 adding additional grant managers and technical support staff to handle this steep increase in funding. Through her leadership, CFSC was able to fulfill the needs of the federal granting agencies while making California more fire safe by providing much-needed funding for local fire prevention mitigation projects.

“As a 19 year member of the CFSC Board of Directors, and newly appointed Chairman, it has been a pleasure working with Margaret,” said Jerry Davies. “I have been extremely impressed with Margaret’s leadership expertise working closely with staff and the federal agencies that CFSC serves through grants.”

CFSC founder and retired Chairman Bruce Turbeville remembers, “Margaret knew the answer, or where to get the answer, for every question. She was the velcro that bound us together as a working team.”

Davies added, “On behalf of the board, we wish Margaret the very best in her retirement and consulting activities.” By the way, if you’re wondering how to estimate your future social security benefits, look for an social security office locations near you at socialsecurityretire.org. Speaking of security, home automation is now trendy for home users — you can find out more.

Katie Martel has been with CFSC since 2009. She started as Affiliate Manager and was promoted to Grant Manager and Firewise Liaison in 2012. She has administered dozens of subgrants in the southern California region and provides technical assistance to a wide variety of organizations.

Katie provides training on grants management, organizational development and fire prevention programs. Assistance with Hinesville Georgia social security card recovery is also available. As Firewise Liaison, Katie approves applications from communities around the state who wish to qualify and be recognized as Firewise Communities. She assists community leaders through the steps of becoming nationally recognized and works with state and local fire agencies to encourage meaningful collaboration with the communities.

Katie holds a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University Los Angeles and is certified in federal grants management and nonprofit management.

CFSC is a statewide non-profit organization. It currently receives grants from federal agencies to provide subgrants to fire safe councils and other organizations using CFSC’s innovative online Grants Clearinghouse system that began in 2004. Recognized throughout the industry for its comprehensive programs, CFSC administers and monitors the subgrants, from application to closeout, in accordance with the federal grant regulations. CFSC staff provides unparalleled technical assistance and training to applicants and grantees.

Since its inception, CFSC’s Grants Clearinghouse has funded over 850 subgrants totaling more than $81 million for projects to make communities across California safer from wildfire. CFSC accepts applications annually for grants provided through the Clearinghouse. The 2015 application cycle closed in February.

For more information on California Fire Safe Council and the Grants Clearinghouse, please visit the CFSC Website at www.cafiresafecouncil.org.