Fire Adapted Colorado recently hired Nicole Reese as our new Network Coordinator. She will be helping to form FACO’s collective voice, as well as building the partnerships and connections needed to support a diverse and thriving network. She is excited to increase the capacity of wildfire-centric organizations in Colorado through the sharing of best practices and peer-learning opportunities. Pam Wilson, our current Chair of the Board, asked a few questions of Nicole to provide an introduction.
Pam: Could you describe an accomplishment you’re proud of?
Nicole: This past year I partnered with the Fort Collins Public Library to form a nonprofit networking group for Northern Colorado. Our pilot project has been a huge success with over 120 members connected through our social media and email listserv, and we regularly have 10-15 participants at every meeting ranging from volunteers and part time staff to board members and executive directors. This project is continuing to provide opportunities for an inclusive group of members who support nonprofit organizations to learn from their peers, share knowledge and resources, as well as lessons learned from their own projects. It’s always energizing to listen to a brainstorming sessions that forms creative solutions, and I walk away from every meeting learning something new about nonprofit management. I’m excited to watch that project grow over the next year, and I’m looking forward to applying what I’ve learned from building that network to support FACO.
Pam: Why are you excited to work for FACO?
Nicole: My passion is for collaboration in conservation and I’m excited to support efforts that promote cross-boundary collaboration for resilient communities. I believe a community is resilient when the forests are healthy, the community is thriving, and fire is safely brought back into its natural rhythm. I’m constantly looking for ways to build bridges and brainstorming how to connect those in my network with the support they need to grow.
As a long time resident and biologist, I understand the importance of fire resiliency, and I’m ready reach out across Colorado to further our vision of a state adapted to fire within our landscape.
Pam: What skills to do you bring that you think will help move FACO forward?
Nicole: I have 10 years of research experience as a biologist and social scientist under my belt, and have worked with diverse stakeholders discussing sometimes controversial issues such as endangered species conflicting with livelihoods. To better support collaboration and networks, I completed facilitator training with the International Association for Public Participation.
I also bring skills as an entrepreneur, as I founded a nonprofit in 2015 to provide community engagement services and gained experience facilitating partner meetings, developing training workshops, and guiding strategic planning processes. I have worked for federal, state, and local government agencies, business as well as nonprofit organizations, and have built a strong understanding of the unique challenges for each. I hope that with my experience working with such a variety of groups, I am able to build a strong network for Fire Adapted Colorado.
Pam: How do you picture FACO helping to move fire adaptation efforts forward within the state?
Nicole: I envision FACO becoming a community hub to share knowledge and skills for best practices of wildfire adaptation within our state. I’m looking forward to developing networks and connecting those interested in fire resilience, as well as educating those who may not yet know the importance in their communities. I am also excited to develop workshops, programs, and videos that communicate the importance of mitigation and create effective action items for our communities to build resilience against wildfires.
Pam: What do you enjoy most about living in Colorado?
Nicole: I love being outdoors! Whether it’s hiking, mountain biking, skiing, or stand-up paddle boarding, I love spending time in nature, exploring natural areas, and taking photos.
Categories: Fire Adapted Colorado