I came to Trinity County with my wife and two small children in 1974 for employment as a forester after graduating with a degree in Forest Engineering from Oregon State University. We quickly learned what a special place Trinity is.
We owned and operated a contract logging business in Trinity County for 20 years, and continue to manage several timber parcels for wildlife habitat and timber production. I am a Registered Professional Forester and served a four-year term on the California State Board of Forestry. I am involved in efforts to manage Trinity's USFS and BLM forests for benefit of the local economy and environment, with emphasis on fire safety for our communities.
In 2006 I joined with others working to create a special district to own and operate Trinity Hospital and served on the Board of Mountain Communities Healthcare District for eight years.
Trinity PUD is all about providing reliable, affordable, renewable electric power, and I am privileged to be part of the team.
I am a 5th generation resident of Trinity County. After graduating from Trinity High I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business from San Jose State. My wife, Sandy, and I have six children and thirteen grandchildren. We owned Morris Hardware, which served Trinity County citizens for many years. Sandy and I converted our historic buildings into Court House Square after closing the store, though we continue to distribute newspapers to much of our county
I chaired the committee that formed Trinity P.U.D. in 1981 and am pleased to have continued on the District Board which serves most of the electric customers in Trinity County. I have held positions with many local organizations, as well as having served as President of the California Retail Hardware Association. Currently, I assist in furthering the arts as Vice-President of the Snyder-Highland Foundation Board. Recently I was honored to be elected to the Executive Committee of the Northwest Public Power Association Board of Trustees which advocates for community owned electric systems in seven Western states, Canada, and Alaska. This provides a voice for Trinity County in regional and national energy issues that impact us as customers of the Federal hydro system.
It has been a joy to serve our customers and County, as Trinity P.U.D. has become one of the best small electric utilities in the country.
In 1904 my Grandparents came to Trinity County where my father was born on the family's Homestead/Timber Claim in 1908. In 1959 my wife, Joanne, and I established our residency, with our son and daughter upon my graduation from Chico State College.
I served Weaverville Elementary School as a fulltime classroom educator for thirty-three years. While teaching full time, my wife and I owned and operated Van Matre's Store in downtown Weaverville. I served as Trustee of Shasta College (32 years) and as a Director of North Valley Bank (13 years). I have also been a member of the Weaverville Lions Club since 1971 and continue to serve the needs of others.
My family's regard and affection for the citizens of Trinity County has made this a very special place to live and raise a family.
I moved to Trinity County in 2004 because of its quality of life and potential. I have 23 years of experience in the software industry, including 15 years in upper management. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Managerial Economics from UC Davis and continued education credits in water law, land use compatibility, and CEQA compliance. I also continue to run my own company that provides professional writing and marketing services.
I am involved in many organizations that benefit Trinity County citizens, these include: President of the Trinity Lake Revitalization Alliance, Trinity County Collaborative Group, Trinity River Adaptive Management Working Group, and Board Member for the Trinity County Chamber of Commerce.
I have a desire to maintain Trinity County's quality and uniqueness that drew me to move here.
I was raised on the family ranch in Hayfork. After graduating from High School, I attended Shasta College and Chico State University where I earned my Agriculture Teaching Credential. In 1984 I was employed by Trinity High School as the agriculture teacher which provided me the opportunity to move back to Hayfork and the family ranch where my wife and I were blessed with four wonderful children.
Along with my wife, Margaret, our children, and grandchildren we operate the 900 acre, 150+ year old Rourke Ranch. The Rourke Ranch consists of irrigated hay, range land, cattle, timber production, fee based hunting, and training ground for a second generation of grandchildren. In my teaching career I have taught plant science, animal science, forestry and natural resources, agricultural mechanics, and welding. Over the last 20 years I have served as a Board Member of the Trinity County Resource Conservation District. These experiences have provided me many opportunities to interact with people, businesses, communities, and government agencies.
I envision a very "bright" future for Trinity P.U.D. There are and will continue to be many challenges to maintaining those services and the integrity that the current and past Board Members, Managers, and Employees have provided. I plan to be an integral part of both maintaining the current great service and working towards a new and expanded role of Trinity P.U.D.'s future.