Meet the Board: Ken Flannell
April 3, 2022
The Mendocino Land Trust has a long history of being guided by a well-organized board of trustees composed of talented and passionate individuals who volunteer their time and skills. In the last year, Terry Gross and Barbara Weiss have retired after years of service. In the last few months, Tina Batt, Ken Flannell, Tony Sorace, and Terry Surles have joined our board. Today we are profiling new board member Ken Flannell.
Ken Flannell first came to the Mendocino Coast in 1992 in a borrowed VW van. He and his wife, Denise, were on an extended road trip all the way up the coast from their home in San Diego. While they camped at many beautiful places on the trip, Mendocino was one that seemed like they might want to live.
In 1994, Ken founded an investment advisory, managing stock and bond portfolios for clients. In 2005, their careers reached a point where they were able to relocate to Mendocino. Ken says “It’s not just the beauty of the area, but also the community. I always wanted to live in a hippie town.”
Ken retired in 2020 and it wasn’t long before Chet Anderson (MLT’s senior board member) began to “bend his ear” about joining MLT’s board of trustees. “I was only peripherally familiar with the Land Trust before Chet approached me,” Ken admits. “When I looked into it, I was really impressed with the organization and how many successes it has had both with land preservation and with public access. When I saw these important issues were the focus of the Land Trust’s work, I knew I wanted to be involved.”
When asked about his ideas for what the land trust should prioritize in coming years Ken replied, “First of all, the Land Trust should definitely continue doing what its been doing – opening land for public access and facilitating conservation easements.” He continues, “I am particularly interested in finding ways to preserve local water resources so the community can keep going in a sustainable way. I’m not sure how that will dovetail with current Land Trust work, but this is definitely an important issue affecting Mendocino and other coastal communities.” Ken adds, “And of course forest management is a big concern especially with the increase in wildfires. I know the Land Trust is already doing this work on properties they own and sharing knowledge with property owners that have conservation easements.”
“The first and most important thing people should know about MLT is that it has been instrumental in ensuring public access to the coast,” Ken says. “MLT’s conservation mission and protection of the environment is of course incredibly important, but to many people that can feel a little abstract. Public access benefits everybody in a very direct and tangible way.”