We are delighted to announce that Cheryl Goddard is officially on board as our Executive Director. Her first day was May 25. She replaces Trish Boaz.
Earlier in May, Goddard bid farewell to the Development Services Department at the City of Chula Vista, where she has worked since 2016, most recently in the position of Senior Planner.
Years earlier, in 2000 and with a just-earned degree in urban studies and planning from UC San Diego, Goddard began 16 years of service as an environmental planner and later as a manager in the County of San Diego’s departments of Planning and Land Use and Parks and Recreation.
In those roles, she planned parks and trails, implemented land conservation programs, secured grants for habitat restoration, and oversaw colleagues specializing in environmental, cultural and biological resource management. She became an expert in land-use permitting and the environmental laws that go along with it.
“Cheryl checked every box, and then some,” said conservancy board President Jim Smith. “Beyond her impressive, technical expertise is a genuine passion for the environment and the mission of SDRVC.”
During her tenure at the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, she served as the staff liaison to the San Dieguito River Park Joint Powers Authority. At that time, in 2015, she oversaw an update to the agreement among the JPA’s member agencies.
“Cheryl is a pleasure to work with and I look forward to our partnership with her at the helm of the Conservancy,” said Shawna Anderson, the JPA’s Executive Director, who worked with Goddard on planning trails when Goddard worked at the County and Anderson was Principal Planner for the JPA.
“She brings excellent qualities that will further our shared goal of promoting and enhancing the San Dieguito River Park for all its users,” Anderson said.
Earlier, as a planner in the County’s parks department, Goddard worked directly for Boaz, who at the time was a manager in that department.
In her new role, Goddard said she looks forward to moving away from the regulatory aspects of government work.
Goddard said she is excited to meet the Conservancy’s board members, donors and other stakeholders. Her to-do list also includes planning for the 2022 River Valley Fest on Nov. 6 and hiking or biking the entire trail system within the river park.
“It’s awesome to work with a nonprofit that aligns with my values of conserving open space and improving access to recreation and environmental education,” Goddard said.
In addition to her bachelor’s degree in urban studies and planning, Goddard earned a second bachelor’s degree, in ethnic studies, from UC San Diego and a master’s degree in public administration from San Diego State University. She is a member of the San Diego chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals.
Goddard lives in Chula Vista with her husband, four children, lots of fish and two dogs, Shakira and Beyonce.
Welcome aboard, Cheryl!