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January 23, 2020

Dear BAWT Community,

For the past six months, Liza Dadiomov, Director of Programs and Sierra Lawe, Director of Development have served as interim co-leaders of Bay Area Wilderness Training. During this period, the BAWT Board of Advisors created a Transition Committee to engage BAWT board, staff, and community stakeholders and understand what organizational structure would best fit our current and future needs. 

As a result, we’re pleased to announce the future leadership at Bay Area Wilderness Training. Effective February 1, 2020, Liza Dadiomov and Sierra Lawe will guide BAWT’s success as Co-Executive Directors. Although they will share responsibility for the organization, Liza will continue to be your contact for needs related to programs and Sierra will be your contact for development. In addition to updating our leadership structure, we have created new roles and adjusted current roles within the organization to become more specialized and increase our ability to better engage with our community. 

This organizational design was directed by valuable lessons taken from the Transition Committee’s research and interactions. Some of the most important takeaways are:

  • As a social and environmental justice organization, embedding collaboration into the core of BAWT’s culture will foster a more empowered staff and a more empowered community.  A more collaborative leadership structure allows BAWT to better serve its community and aligns with the goal of improving BAWT’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Environmental Justice (DEIEJ) efforts.
  • With robust gear libraries in Oakland, San Francisco, and Milpitas, we no longer needed to focus on gear library growth and expansion and we have reorganized the BAWT team to reflect this evolution. This reorganization required the difficult decision to eliminate the Gear Library and Operations Manager (GLOM) position, a role that has been instrumental in the expansion of our gear libraries. Our gear libraries are a strong foundation for new and exciting programmatic growth and we are thankful to all GLOMs and other staff who have served BAWT in establishing them and ensuring their smooth operation. 
  • Staff turnover for small-nonprofits in the Bay Area is not uncommon given the high cost of living and the history of low-wages within the sector. By increasing the specialization of our positions throughout the organization, promoting professional development, and increasing wages, BAWT can better invest in our team and create a seamless experience for our users.

We are proud to have served more than 10,500 youth in 2019, making it the strongest year in BAWT’s history. We believe that our new co-leadership structure will position us to increase engagement and serve even more educators, youth workers, and youth in 2020 and beyond.

In community,

The BAWT Advisory Board Transition Committee
(Adrienne Johnson, Bryant Cannon, Javier Melendez, Sharon Gillars)