The Ojai Valley Defense Fund

What is the Mission Statement?

The Ojai Valley Defense Fund provides financial support to groups undertaking legal action to protect and sustain the environmental quality of the Ojai Valley for the public benefit. See bylaws for more information.

Does the OVDF duplicate the role of any other organization?

No, our mission is unique and very long-term. We are a stand-alone organization.

What area does the OVDF cover?

The greater Ojai Valley, including Upper Ojai, the City of Ojai, and Meiners Oaks, Oak View, Mira Monte, Casitas Springs, and the other unincorporated areas.

How is the OVDF set up?

As a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Contributions are deductible.

Who is on the Board of Directors?

Chris Borgeson
Vicki Breen
Lisa Casoni
Jack Dyer
Greg Grinnell
Misty (Volaski) Hall
Jim Jackson
Chris Land (President)
Jean Kilmurray MacCalla
Bill Norris
Carolyn Vondriska
John Broesamle (Founder & board member emeritus)

Who is on the Legal Advisory Committee?

Dave Neville (Chair)
Chris Borgeson
Chris Cohen
Leif Dautch
Tony Glassman
Rich Holly
Stuart Meiklejohn
Bill Norris
Kevin Ruf
Brian Segee
Sabrina Venskus
Carolyn Vondriska

How can planned giving be structured?

Please click here for information on planned giving.

How is the fund being managed?

Professionally and very conservatively. At least 60 percent of the Fund's assets are invested in fixed-income securities with active management of maturities. These are mainly FDIC-insured deposits. Up to 40 percent of the portfolio may be invested in equities, primarily through value-oriented mutual funds. Preservation of capital will consistently hold priority over capital appreciation. The OVDF banks locally.

How much Overhead is there?

Overhead is quite minimal because this is primarily — to date, exclusively — a volunteer organization.

How does the OVDF decide which causes to support?

Any proposal by a group confronting a major environmental threat will be submitted in writing to the OVDF board of directors, which will require assurance that every nonjudicial avenue has been exhausted. A supermajority of the board of directors is required for approval. For details, criteria, and our bylaws, please look elsewhere here on our website.

Will I be notified of these decisions?

Yes, through email, our website, and media coverage.

Has the OVDF had any success to date?

Indeed it has. In 2010 its presence played a key role in persuading three big Cuyama Valley mine operators to desist from turning Highways 33 and 150 into gravel-trucking corridors. Very importantly, it was the Defense Fund's mere existence that had this effect; we didn't have to spend a dime.

What if I've made a multi-year pledge and my financial circumstances changed?

At any time during the pledge period you have the option to rescind, change the period, or increase your commitment.