Jan Cokely, Council Coordinator, Executive Coordinator and Development Director

Jan Cokely

New SCFSC Council Coordinator
Jan Cokely brings experience and enthusiasm
Published in August 2004 SCFSC Newsletter
By Judy Thompson, Editor, New Neighborhood Voice, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Non-profit veteran extraordinaire Jan (Jeanette) Cokely has accepted the Council Coordinator position with the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council. Her first-hand knowledge and understanding of the importance of forest/fuel management and defensible space around homes in wildland urban interface (WUI) areas gives Jan unique qualifications to be the coordinator.

Jan brings extensive experience working with volunteers, seeking grants, organizing events and generating outreach materials to the council. She has been the Development Director for City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley, an AmeriCorp program which gives young people ages 17 to 24 an opportunity to serve the community in a "domestic Peace Corps" setting.

Jan also has extensive fundraising, coordination and outreach experience gleaned from her many years working with O'Connor and Saint Louise Regional Hospitals as well as at a transitional care center. She also coordinated volunteers for Catholic Charities of Santa Clara Valley.

An enthusiastic "Mom" of a blended family of four children, two cats and a dog, Jan and husband Tony and family, live in the Willow Glen section of San Jose. They like to hike and garden in their "free" time. Jan is a graduate of San Jose State University (Bachelor of Arts, School of Social Work) and has completed grant writing courses and other training programs.

Please join us in welcoming Jan to the SCFSC! Jan will be the editor of this newsletter starting with the next edition.

SCFSC Executive Coordinator Serves With the American Red Cross
Off to Miami for Hurricane Wilma
Published in April 2006 SCFSC Newsletter

Last year's siege of hurricane activity through the Gulf Coast prompted many across the country to volunteer with the American Red Cross and other relief organizations. SCFSC coordinator Jan Cokely and her husband Tony were inspired to do the same.

After taking the mandatory Red Cross coursework, which included "Mass Care and Feeding" and "Shelter Operations" plus an optional Client Casework course, Jan was contacted to report for service. On October 24th, Hurricane Wilma battered Miami and Key West with wind gusts in excess of 100 mph and a six-foot storm surge. Thousands of South Floridians were displaced, power and water were knocked out, and the Red Cross had been called in to assist.

Jan's education and background in Social Work came in handy in her role as Client Services worker. She was assigned to a Shelter Team, interviewing clients about their needs, visiting their homes to assess reported damage and providing emergency aid to help families return home and rebuild their lives.

"There was so much visible need, it was hard to know where to begin," said Jan. "Some of our sheltered clients had moved to Miami following Hurricane Katrina and were dealt a "double whammy" when they had to leave their homes following Wilma. While Miami did not suffer the terrible flooding of New Orleans, the savage winds tore into roofs and mobile homes parks. People in economically depressed areas seemed to be the hardest hit."

When asked if she would serve again, Jan replied, "In a heartbeat! The Red Cross experience is exhausting and exhilarating – you work long hours in frequently unpleasant conditions. But for the most part, you know that you are doing something really big to help those in need. Plus, you meet so many great people along the way. As it turned out, one of the guys on my team was a seasonal firefighter with the CDF! I felt a little less homesick when I spotted his CDF tee shirt!"

Next: SCFSC People  |  SCFSC History Table of Contents


Is this an official history of the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council?

No, this is how Judy and I remember it plus the contributions of many past and present SCFSC participants.

Can I contribute?

Yes, your comments are welcome and appreciated. Please use the Comment form at the bottom of each history page or use the Contact form.

Are we done yet?

No, there will be many more pages, photos and contributions.  Hopefully, the history of SCFSC will never be finished.

Is there a Table of Contents?

Table of Contents,
SCFSC People


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