The Glen Ellen Forum is working on
- Building a stronger community for the benefit of us all.
- Working together from a positive frame of mind on common goals.
- Valuing all our experiences, with a shared sense of civic discourse and respect of participants.
- Carrying out all of our work with elements of tolerance, co-operation, compromise, diversity, preservation and inclusiveness.
There is always more that brings us together than what divides us. We are all volunteers.
The Glen Ellen Forum is a safe place for all people to participate and contribute. Every sex, age, race, ethnicity, and national origin, range of abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, financial means, education, and political perspective is welcome.
From the beginning, Glen Ellen has always been a community of scrappy, generous people, intent upon taking care of one another while caring for others. From the 19th Century— when trains brought thousands of tourists each week to enjoy our resorts, restaurants and wineries, along with those who came to care for the children at Eldridge down the road and the writers and artists who came to share the world of Jack London— right down to today, we’ve been shaped by the most amazing people, who worked to make sure things went as well as possible.
The Glen Ellen Improvement Club was founded in 1904; it became the Glen Ellen Women’s Club until 1986, when the Glen Ellen Association was established. The Glen Ellen Town Plan was produced In 1988, which was adopted by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors as the “Glen Ellen Development and Design Guidelines” in 1990.
Soon after that, the Glen Ellen Historical Society was formed when it was discovered that cherished pieces of our history were threatened— the downtown cannon had been sold to a weapons collector Back East, and the Chauvet Hotel was slated for demolition. Protests and demonstrations over the decade won the day, and Glen Ellen kept its cannon, its hotel, its legacy, and its intention as a community intact.
In 2002, as was reported at the time, “over 200 concerned Glen Ellenites braved an unusual spring downpour to come together at Dunbar School for an extraordinary meeting. The Glen Ellen Town Forum was designed to be a catalyst for building community, to air concerns, express dreams and develop a collective vision for our town’s future.” A 14-page report was drafted from that meeting, which is still available.
More than 10 years later, when Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin asked Leslie Vaughn to talk with her about what Glen Ellen wanted, Leslie asked Jim Shere to join in the conversation. He suggested that we gather as many voices within the community to learn what the various needs could be, with an eye for as much diversity as we could find. This resulted in a town hall meeting that Leslie and Jim facilitated at Mayflower Hall Monday evening, October 21st, 2016. This meeting was the first of what became a monthly community event.
The second meeting was held at Dunbar on November 7, 2016. The third meeting was to determine leadership and the Steering Committee was formed on December 1, 2016 at Horatius.
Over time a steering committee was formed to bring structure to what came to be called the Glen Ellen Forum; Michael Furlong offered to chair, Tracy Salcedo contributed her writing skills as secretary, Margie Foster resumed the role as treasurer that she had originally held in the Glen Ellen Association, while Leslie and Jim remained on board as advisors. Bylaws were drawn up the next year to qualify for nonprofit status, and a Board of Directors was seated in the summer of 2018.
Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairs
Nick Brown, Chair, Steering
Oz Robledo, Vice-Chair, Steering
Shannon Lee, Chair, Communications
Laurie Pile, Chair, Projects
Laura Schermeister, Chair, Commerce & Tourism
Ellie Insley, Chair, Landscape & Environment
Board of Directors:
Debbie Lammers, President
Amanda Shone, Vice President
Mary Guerrazzi, Treasurer
Katie Everidge, Secretary
Bean Andersen, Director
Pat Carlin, Director
Melissa Dowling, Director
Alice Horowitz, Director
Nancy Padian, Director
Rob Schermeister, Director
Past Board Members
Jim Shere, Co-founder
Leslie Vaughn, Co-founder
Angela Morgan, Board Member Emeritus
Margie Foster, Board Member Emeritus
Tracy Salcedo, Board Member Emeritus
Bettina Sichel, Board Member Emeritus
Dave Shefferman, Board Member Emeritus