From Dan’s Desk
Good news for San Francisco’s urban forest: after an extensive search, Friends of the Urban Forest has hired Brian Wiedenmeier as our next executive director. He’ll start on June 8, which is when I’ll begin my long-awaited retirement.
Members of the FUF community may already be familiar with Brian, because he’s currently the executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, where he has strengthened the organization’s fundraising, integrated antiracist practices, and advanced transportation equity. Previously, Brian had a long career in fundraising for the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, Performing Arts Workshop, ODC/Dance, and the Bike Coalition.
Our Board of Directors is particularly impressed with Brian’s commitment to making San Francisco a city that works for all residents, his passion for addressing climate change, and his strong and deep relationships with a diversity of local leaders.
I would echo that, and add that I find Brian to be friendly, focused, and energetic. As bittersweet as it is for me to step back from an organization I love, it’s much easier knowing that FUF will have a new leader with such qualifications. Brian’s a great choice. I know he’s looking forward to getting acquainted with you (if you don’t already know him).
FUF and the Bike Coalition have a natural alliance, as both organizations are working to make San Francisco more sustainable. We have worked together on Bike Tree Love, an annual bicycle-powered tree planting event (temporarily suspended due to the pandemic), and FUF volunteers and interns have benefited from the Bike Coalition’s Bike It Forward program. With Brian joining FUF, that partnership is strengthened.
Brian is joining FUF at an exciting time in FUF’s trajectory, as this year is the organization’s 40th anniversary. He’s also starting with several big opportunities and challenges, the first being how to lead FUF’s transition back to community-based plantings with volunteers, neighborhood residents, and staff working side by side.
In the face of a climate crisis, the need to increase San Francisco’s meager tree canopy has never been more urgent. I invite you to join me in welcoming and supporting Brian when he comes on board in June.
In the meantime I’m hard at work making sure that FUF is in the best possible condition when this transition happens. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you, as always, for being a friend of San Francisco’s urban forest.
— Dan Flanagan, Executive Director