Since losing his home to the 2017 Tubbs Wildfire, Jeff Okrepkie has been the model for community organizing and disaster recovery. In his effort to help his neighborhood, Coffey Park, navigate the extremely complex rebuilding process, Jeff founded the non-profit Coffey Strong with a mission of helping the neighborhood reconstruct as quickly as possible, while minimizing problems in the process. Coffey Strong has helped to evaluate construction firms, contractors, insurance, and served as a liaison for political, government, media, and other organizations engaging with the neighborhood – all of which has provided information and space for his neighbors to successfully rebuild their homes and lives. His work, and that of Coffey Strong, has been recognized by community leaders throughout the State as a model for community building and recovery. In addition to serving locally, Jeff has reached out to other communities in Northern California dealing with similar wildfires.
Geoff worked as a technologist/engineer/marketer for Silicon Valley companies for 45 years (1969-2015). Geoff and his wife Jill bought a vacant lot on Coffey Lane in 2013, retired in 2015, sold their house in Silicon Valley and moved to Santa Rosa in 2016, and started planning their new house in Coffey Park in 2017. Then the Tubbs fire happened. Now, a year later, they are continuing with their new house project. Groundbreaking is scheduled for 9/26/18. Since the fire, Geoff has been applying his technical and business skills to Coffey Strong. His primary interests are data analysis, insurance and all aspects of the building process.
Sue has lived in Coffey Park for 28 years, raising two kids here. She is looking forward to rebuilding and getting to know all her neighbors. She worked in banking for years and is now the treasurer of Coffey Strong.
Annie has lived in Coffey Park for 30+ years where she raised her son. Her background working with the public has afforded her a knack for understanding individual needs. People’s needs are not necessarily one size fits all, and Anne understands that, which benefits the whole of Coffey Parks recovery.
Mikko Michael Bojarksy
A high school math and science teacher, Mikko is a long-time Northern California resident. Mikko and his wife are rebuilding their home on Dogwood Drive in Coffey Park.
Sasha has been living part time with her fiance in Coffey Park since 2011. With her 19+ years of experience working for an architect she quickly got to work with him on redesigning his home and helping with all of the pieces involved in rebuilding after the fires. Her understanding that this process affected every single family in Coffey Park and the impact it had made her want to provide guidance for all of their neighbors. She hopes that her resourcefulness and understanding that rebuilding is more than just the reconstruction of a home will benefit the whole of Coffey Park.
Damian is a local business owner, born and raised in Sonoma County. After loosing his home in the Tubbs fire he helped organize neighbors to assist each other navigating the aftermath of the fire. He is committed to the Coffey Strong organization and its mission to assist residents in rebuilding the Coffey Park neighborhood.
Sarah’s husband grew up in Coffey Park in the house his parent’s lost in the Tubbs fire. With her background in technology, marketing, and web design, Sarah felt compelled to help the community rebuild. After realizing that many people in Coffey Park needed to find and share documents (like original floorplans), she volunteered to help organize the files in a way that made them easy to share online. This need grew as Coffey Strong was born, and she helps manage all online activities for Coffey Strong.
Lani has lived in Coffey Park for 20+ years with her husband, raising two children. Her background is working in the Human Services Department helping children. After the fire, her heart compelled her to get involved in any way to help all of her neighbors. Her family was fortunate enough not lose their home so Lani came up with the idea of Standing Home Meetings. She gives her time to help anyone affected by the fire. She has a strong attention to detail and gets things done.
Kara resided in her Coffey Park home on Hopper since December 2013, when she and her husband found the perfect house to raise a family in. After the Tubbs Fire, Kara volunteered in Coffey Strong to help her neighbors keep abreast of the many informational meetings available and being a resource if they had any questions. Now on the board of Coffey Strong, Kara hopes to continue helping neighbors by being a resource, assist with efforts in welcoming neighbors, and participate in efforts to bring the park back.
Michele has lived in Coffey Park since 2011 with her husband Steve and 3 children. After the Tubbs Fire took her home, she was so moved by how the community came together to help one other, she wanted to give back to her community. Now she volunteers for Coffey Strong, Rebuild Northbay Foundation and Santa Rosa Parks Foundation. She loves Coffey Park and is passionate about rebuilding a community that is connected, beautiful and safe for generations to come.
Steve has lived in Coffey Park off and on since 1999. Both his wife, Michele and he have volunteered in various capacities in the community. Steve joined Coffey Strong in its inception. He is active in the community and strives to keep Coffey Park in the focus of local government and our community. He is currently the Project Manager for the replacement of the Hopper Wall. He is passionate about the park, fundraising, and the overall strength of Coffey Strong and supporting our neighbors.
Pamela Van Halsema
Pamela has lived in Coffey Park with her husband since 2001, and raised three children in the neighborhood. Pamela is an educator and librarian who also values getting involved with community work, including advocacy for children and families, and issues around equity, human rights and the environment. Pamela serves on the Community Services Advisory Board, is a participant in the Leadership Institute for Just and Resilient Communities, is on the Housing for All project for Santa Rosa Together and serves on the Sonoma County Resilience Collaborative steering committee. For Coffey Strong she is helping people navigate the landscape planning and permitting process in the rebuild.
Tricia is a life long resident of Santa Rosa and has taught in the Mark West School District for 25 years; currently teaching 7th grade at Mark West Charter School. She bought her home is Coffey Park in 2015, so that she could raise her three kids in a safe, friendly, neighborhood. After losing her home to the Tubbs Fire, she volunteers to be a block captain for Coffey Strong. Tricia is passionate about building community and helping educate homeowners. “I can’t wait till we are all neighbors again.”