Regenerating Paradise is a nonprofit organization formed in the wake of the Camp Fire with a mission “to weave the social fabric that regenerates us.” We define ‘regenerating’ as a process of rebuilding and recovery that, as in regenerative agriculture, replenishes rather than depletes. We look to the residents of The Ridge, our community, for our resources, with the intention “to co-create and cultivate communities that make use of our abundant gifts and that work for all life.”
WHAT WE DO
Strategic Planning Assistance: Support rebuild projects by offering knowledge, ideas, and shared resources.
Facilitating quarterly day-long gatherings of Ridge community actors and activists to facilitate the rebuilding in a coordinated way.
Grant-writing, fundraising assistance, public relations, networking, and communication.
Highlight rebuilding efforts to draw in participation and resources.
Our core group is comprised of Paradise locals and disaster-experienced supporters who are impassioned to listen to and work for our community. Our talents and interests are diverse, but we hold core values of hope, stewardship and resilience. We support and are supported by a ring of collaborators who share their experience in post-disaster environments, community organizing, and regenerative systems. This group is committed to nourishing our interconnections and to keeping vibrant the spirit of resilience and camaraderie.
KIXE PBS is proud to support Regenerating Paradise and the Paradise community. KIXE PBS is licensed to the ten-county community of Northern California.
The Butte Strong Fund, a partnership of the North Valley Community Foundation, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and the Aaron Rodgers NorCal Fire Recovery Fund, aims to provide long-term recovery to communities impacted by the Camp Fire. RP has received grant funding through the Butte Strong Fund.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
David Leon Zink
David Leon Zink has an ear for music, business and community. He works from home as a consultant in the areas of management, marketing and federal grant writing for firms serving both nonprofits and for profits – work that supports his calling as a performing songwriter and recording artist. David serves on the boards of several local orgs active in arts and culture, organic gardening and regenerative practices, and connecting communities with trails. A Butte County native, David and his soulmate of 38 years live in Magalia, California.
Allen Myers was born and raised in Paradise, California as a third generation member of the ridge community. He left Paradise and gained a global perspective. He traveled the world for a number of years, living and working with communities as he documented those stories and lessons in an art project called, Nomadsight. He is a storyteller and founder and director of The Earth Day Film Festival. He cares deeply for his community. Allen is a founding member of Regenerating Paradise and served as Executive Director from 2019 through the end 2022.
Susan Dobra, PhD, is a writer, editor, and educator who has taught at the university level for over 40 years; served as editorial director of the magazine Magical Blend; and worked as a grant writer and nonprofit consultant. A published writer, she currently teaches in the Philosophy Department at California State University, Chico. Until the Camp Fire, she lived with her partner of 20 years in Paradise, California, where they sang together, grew organic vegetables, hosted a weekly open mic, and participated in a range of community service organizations.
Majdi Abou Najm
Majdi seeks integrative solutions and aspires to understand the interconnectivities between resources, communities, economies and the environment. His passion is in supporting wholistic and regenerative sustainable development efforts that incorporate sustainability’s three pillars (environment, community, economy). As an academician, he developed optimization models and solutions at the nexus between water, energy, and food.
Carrie Fritsch is an internationally recognized product and graphic designer, local business owner, wife, mom and CSU Chico graduate with deep Paradise roots. Born and raised in Paradise and being 1 of 5 family homes that were lost in the Camp Fire, she has an immense love for the Town and is very invested in its recovery and success. In addition to being a board member at Regenerating Paradise, she also volunteers for the Rebuild Paradise Foundation and serves as a zone captain for the Camp Fire Zone Project.
Bob Stilger, PhD, is an activist-scholar who focuses on fostering connection, strengthening leadership and regenerating community. Over the last two decades, Bob’s attention has been drawn to questions of how we create the lives and communities we actually want in times of disaster, crises and collapse. Bob and his nonprofit organization, NewStories joined us in Paradise in early 2019 to help us discover new ways of working in community which could help to regenerate paradise. Bob’s 2017 Book, “AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future Where Do We Begin,” provides a roadmap for work in communities after disaster.
Annie answers to the Earth. Her actions are built on a belief that a global shift must first begin as an inner shift and ripple outwards. Annie has innate and cultivated skills of organization, scheduling, writing, and content creation which she is honored to offer in service to the mission of RP. Her favorite part about working with Regenerating Paradise is forming relationships with the inspired, capable, and highly integrous Board of Directors. She is a dancer, farmer, bodyworker, and creator who feels most at home in the forest.
REGENERATIVE COMMUNITY ADVISOR
Like much of our society, I focused on making things for most of my life. In my case, I have been a practicing architect for 54 years, 36 of those years leading The Ratcliff Architects. While there is great satisfaction in design, I have become more focused in this century on the living systems which are supported by what we make. All of life is renewing itself, adapting to change…and so I became a student of regenerative development. These unfolding processes of “becoming” are found in ourselves, loved ones, our communities and nature. We can regenerate our communities by infusing skillful intention into our change processes, to raise our consciousness of ourselves and each other, and then manifest potentials for meaningful living beyond everyone’s expectations. My role will be to participate and assist in guiding these kinds of engagements.
FOUNDING BOARD MEMBER & ADVISOR
Julian’s goal is to support increased capacity for wellbeing of people and planet. As a community-building facilitator, Julian is helping communities to design ways in which they can capitalize on their potential and develop their future. Among many things, Julian is a master planner and designer and a active student and practitioner of Vipassana meditation.
FORMER BOARD MEMBER
Mary Bellefeuille moved to Paradise in 1978. Earning a Business Management degree came in very handy, as she has managed her husband’s construction business since 1980. Raising three children in Paradise, Mary became very involved in the schools, youth sports, church and the community. Over the years, Mary has been involved with Paradise Ridge Youth Soccer, Paradise Little League, and Paradise Piranhas Swim Team, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Youth for Change, California Vocations, Paradise Boys and Girls Club, Rotary Club of Paradise. Mary serves on the Paradise Recreation and Parks District Board of Directors and works at Enloe Medical Center as an Employee Events Planner and Recognition Specialist. Her passion is helping this community become the best that it can be for all the people residing here.