Have you ever met someone who inspires with awe because they have accomplished so much and yet are so humble?
That question was posed to judges who were considering who should win the 2019 California Regional Steward of the Year Award.
The question was asked about Kathy Moxon, who will receive the steward honor this week at the California Economic Summit in Fresno.
Moxon is the director for the Redwood Coast Rural Action, a four-county community leadership network. She has earned praise locally and across the state not only for her work in community and economic development but for being a clear and consistent voice for her region, which includes Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity and Mendocino counties.
“We learned a long time ago that if we don’t work together in the regions, no one else in California will hear us,” she said.
She has served as chairperson for the California Stewardship Network and her fellow CSN leaders heaped high praise on her.
“Kathy is a true steward leader, she cares about her region. She is passionate about the triple bottom line and works hard every day to make change happen! She truly deserves title of Regional Steward of the Year,” said Paul Granillo, who run the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.
“It’s difficult to find someone in California more versed in its history, politics, or community development policy than Kathy Moxon, nor more engaged in the triple bottom line revolution than she. Kathy kept pushing us to see the world as it is – connected and whole. We will get better, more lasting solutions as a result. We are in her debt,” added Bill Mueller, CEO of Valley Vision in Sacramento.
While her fellow regional leaders spoke about her stewardship and cross-sector inter-regional collaboration, local leaders also celebrate Moxon’s tenacity and her leadership.
Julie Fulkerson is a business owner and former Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Chair.
“When I first worked with Kathy, she was redefining ‘prosperity’ to fit our region and culture. It was not just about having financial wealth; it included personal well-being, good work, resilient business and strong communities,” Fulkerson remembers.
Moxon started her career in community banking and so, she says, developed a feel for local economies. After that community bank was bought out, she took her private sector knowledge into local and regional economic development.
“A big priority was to mobilize the private sector which simply hadn’t been at the table in previous discussions,” she said.
Moxon’s leadership has resulted in what Fulkerson called, “countless visible results.”
“Foodworks Culinary Center, Redwood Technology Consortium and Humboldt Made are hands-on centers of learning, collaboration and production. You can literally buy and eat products made here, a rural enclave, in New York City!” said Fulkerson.
“I think it’s true here and everywhere that if we don’t take care of our region, the future will just happen to it,” said Moxon. “Working in each region and across regions will create a better California.”
Moxon is not only about action today, she is thinking about the future and is actively promoting the identification and development of future regional leaders not only in the Redwood Coast but across California.
“Kathy has put mentorship of emerging leaders at the center of her stewardship activities,” said California Forward COO Susan Lovenberg who has worked with Moxon on the California Economic Summit for the past eight years.
“In addition to being the voice of the Redwood Coast, Kathy has been one of the intellectual heavyweights driving regionalism in California in her work with the California Stewardship Network and in many other roles,” added Micah Weinberg, California Forward CEO.
Congratulations to Kathy Moxon—California Regional Steward of the Year!