Executive Staff

Joe Tyler

Joe Tyler

  • Director

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Director Tyler is a 31-year veteran of CAL FIRE most recently served as the Deputy Director of Fire Protection overseeing statewide fire protection operations and cooperative fire protection. He began his career with CAL FIRE in 1991, in the Shasta Trinity Unit, and since working in several counties and programs throughout California including Riverside, Amador, El Dorado, and Sacramento. Director Tyler has an extensive executive level operational and programmatic background.

    Prior to his appointment as Deputy Director, Director Tyler served as the Assistant Deputy Director of Fire Protection with oversight of law enforcement/civil cost recovery, fire protection operations, aviation management, tactical air operations, and mobile equipment.  He has also held managerial responsibility for training, safety, emergency medical services (EMS), local/state/federal programs, and hand crew programs.

    Director Tyler serves as the Department representative on the California Wildland Coordinating Group, National Association of State Forester’s Wildland Fire Committee, Western States Fire Managers, served on several Statewide committees and cadres and was instrumental in the acquisition of a new fleet of helicopters and C-130 air tankers.  He is a qualified Agency Administrator and Incident Commander – Type 1. He was a member of CAL FIRE Incident Management Teams from 2005 through 2014, last holding the position of Deputy Incident Commander on CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 3.

    Tyler High Resolution Photo


Chief Anthony

Chris Anthony

  • Chief Deputy Director

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Chief Anthony has been Assistant Deputy Director at CAL FIRE since 2020, where he held multiple positions from 1993 to 2020, including Staff Chief of Wildlife Resilience, Assistant Chief of Operations, Assistant Chief of the Governor’s Tree Mortality Task Force, Assistant Chief of Administration, Battalion Chief, Forester I, Forestry Assistant II and Forestry Aide. Chief Anthony is a Registered Professional Forester and a member of the California Fire Chiefs Association.

    Anthony High Resolution Photo


Chief Daniel Berlant

Daniel Berlant

  • Acting State Fire Marshal / Deputy Director of Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Chief Berlant began his career with CAL FIRE in 2001 as a volunteer and was hired in 2002 in the Fire Prevention Bureau of the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit. In 2005, he began working in the CAL FIRE Communications Office as a Fire Prevention Specialist in Sacramento.

    After several fire sieges and extensive work in the public information function, he was promoted in 2008 to Department Information Officer and was tasked with serving as CAL FIRE's main spokesperson. In 2014, he was promoted to the Chief of Public Information overseeing the Sacramento and Region staff of the Communications Office. In 2016, Chief Berlant was promoted to Assistant Deputy Director at the Office of the State Fire Marshal over the Wildfire Planning & Engineering, and Fire Engineering & Investigations Divisions.

    In 2022, Chief Berlant was promoted to Deputy Director of Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation, which was new to the Department after being established through the passage of Assembly Bill 9 (2021), which created the Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation Division within the Office State Fire Marshal.

    In January 2023, Chief Berlant was designated Acting State Fire Marshal, in addition, continuing to function as the Deputy Director over Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation.

    Chief Berlant holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis.

    Berlant High Resolution Photo 


Chief Wendy Collins

Wendy Collins

  • Assistant State Fire Marshal

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Wendy is a 4th generation firefighter with over 30 years of service beginning in November 1986, as a firefighter/EMT with the former Fairhaven Fire Department.  Wendy rose through the ranks to Battalion Chief, leaving the Department in 2002 due to relocation.  After a short hiatus, Wendy was approached by the Chief of the Blue Lake Fire Department and asked to participate with their training program, once back in turn-outs Wendy volunteered another 10 years serving as Captain, EMT, Medical Training Officer and Equipment Officer as well as serving as a Commissioner to the Blue Lake Fire District.  Additionally, she served as an active participant in the Humboldt County Fire Prevention Officer’s and the Humboldt County Fire/Arson Investigation Unit.  During her time in Humboldt, Wendy supported the Fire P.A.L.S. program with costume design and construction, bringing life to the likes of Ima Lona, Shamrock, and Hoser the clowns and Aqua Duck, as well as costuming for Life and Fire Safety puppets Quack and Wabbit.

    In July 2008, Wendy was sworn in as the Deputy State Fire Marshal, responsible for Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, and Siskiyou Counties where she performed plan reviews, annual and construction inspections of State Owned and Leased Buildings.  In January 2014, Wendy was promoted to the position of Supervising Deputy State Fire Marshal for Field Operations in the Sacramento/Central California areas.  In March 2017, Wendy accepted the position of Assistant Deputy Director for the State Fire Training, Code Development & Analysis, and Fire & Life Safety Divisions where she has focused on vacancy rates, divisional funding, statewide code packages, technology platforms to replace aging data base systems, and electronic plan review.

    In addition to her State Fire Marshal and National Fire Academy training, Wendy has had training in explosive demolition, and has worked as a Pyrotechnic Assistant on more than 25 fireworks shows, ranging from small hand-fired shows to large electric shows and NASCAR races.

    Collins High Resolution Photo



Chief Nick Schuler

Nick Schuler

  • Acting Deputy Director, Communications

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Chief Schuler began his career with CAL FIRE in 1999 as a Firefighter and promoted through the ranks of Fire Apparatus Engineer, Fire Captain, Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief and Deputy Chief. He worked in various programs including Schedule A and B fire stations, camps program, aviation, and the public information and education bureau. Prior to his selection as the Acting Deputy Director of Communications Chief Schuler served as the Deputy Chief of Operations with oversight of the San Diego Unit Fire Protection Operation-South and West Divisions, Monte Vista Interagency Emergency Command Center, Emergency Medical Service Bureau, Dozer Program, and Public Information and Education Program.

    Chief Schuler served on the Incident Management 3 Teaching Cadre for 6 years and has been a member of CAL FIRE Incident Management Teams for 15 years, currently serving as the Deputy Incident Commander for IMT2. He is a qualified Type 1 Incident Commander, Operations Section Chief and Public Information Officer. He is a member of the California Fire Chiefs Association and the California Public Information Officers Association.

    Chief Schuler has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and an associate’s degree in Emergency Management and Fire Science. He is a graduate of the Los Angeles Fire Department Leadership Academy and has been designated a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) by the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

    Schuler High Resolution Photo 


Tony Andersen

Tony Andersen

  • Strategic Communications, Education and Outreach Advisor

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection 

    Tony Andersen has led strategic communication work in a variety of forestry and wildfire natural resource leadership roles during his more than 15-year career in public service and abroad. Prior to being appointed to Cal Fire as a deputy director and strategic communications advisor, Tony served as Strategic Communications Director for the State of Oregon where he oversaw external relations for Oregon’s unprecedented wildfire recovery effort following its devastating September 2020 wildfires—now recorded as the worst natural disaster in Oregon history.

    Before this emergency response assignment, Andersen served as Strategic Communications Director for the Portland Water Bureau from 2018 to 2020 after returning from living abroad in Medellin, Colombia where he led marketing and public relations for a real estate startup company during the booming pre-pandemic tourism years in South America.

    Andersen has also led environmental public health issues at the Oregon Health Authority, served as a public information officer and Public Affairs Director for the Oregon Department of Forestry where he led public affairs for Oregon’s second most severe fire season on record, and prior to this, served in the Oregon Governor’s Office during the 2013 legislative session. Other roles have included leading public opinion research and communication strategy for natural resource issues and policy work on natural areas and land-use at Metro, Portland’s regional government.

    Andersen earned a Master of Science degree in Writing and Strategic Communications from Portland State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Policy and Management with concentrations in environmental policy and writing from the University of Oregon.

    Andersen High Resolution Photo 


Chief Curtis Brown

Curtis Brown

  • Deputy Director, Fire Protection

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Chief Brown began his fire service career in 1995 at the joint CAL FIRE/California Conservation Corp (CCC) Fire Center in the San Diego Unit (MVU) as a CCC Corpsmember. In June 1996, Curtis was hired with CAL FIRE as a Fire Fighter I in the San Diego Unit (MVU), where he worked for several years. In July 2001, he accepted a permanent Fire Fighter II position in the Riverside Unit (RRU), working in the Menifee Battalion. In 2003, Chief Brown promoted to Fire Apparatus Engineer in MVU, assigned to the Ramona Fire Protection District. In 2006, while in MVU, he was promoted to Fire Captain at the Rainbow Conservation Camp and later transferred into the San Diego County Fire Authority program as a Training Captain. In 2012, Chief Brown promoted in the Sonoma Lake Napa Unit (LNU) as the Relief/Safety Battalion Chief.  Chief Brown promoted to an Assistant Chief in 2014 in the RRU, where he was the Fire Chief for the City of Temecula. In 2016, Chief Brown was promoted to Staff Chief at Sacramento Headquarters overseeing CAL FIRE’s Safety, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Research & Development (R&D) Programs. In 2019, Chief Brown was promoted to Assistant Region Chief having the managerial responsibility of five Southern CAL FIRE Units, CSR Law Enforcement, Civil Cost Recovery, Management Services, and Safety/Training. In 2021, the Governor appointed Chief Brown to serve on the Commission on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for the State of California, where he currently represents CAL FIRE.

    Chief Brown was a CAL FIRE Incident Management Team member in a command staff position for 11 years. There he held the positions of Safety Officer and Type 1 Incident Commander Trainee; recently, he became qualified as a Type 1 Incident Commander. Chief Brown has been a member of Serious Accident Review Teams since 2008, serving as a Team Lead, Safety, Training, and Labor representative.  Chief Brown was also a cadre member of both S420 – Command and General Staff and Advanced All-Hazard Incident Management (AAIM). Chief Brown is CAL FIRE’s principal member of the National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) 1977 – Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting. He also participates in several statewide working groups and committees.

    Chief Brown holds an Associate degree from San Diego City College with honors. He is a registered Fire Instructor with the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) in several fire service disciplines and is a certified OSFM Chief Officer.

    Brown High Resolution Photo 


Chief Brett Gouvea

Bret Gouvea

  • Deputy Director of Cooperative Fire Protection

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Chief Gouvea began his career with CAL FIRE in 1990, as a Firefighter I in the Shasta Trinity Unit (SHU). In January 1998, Bret accepted a permanent FAE position in SHU at Redding Headquarters, and promoted to Fire Captain, working in Training and at Fire Stations before promoting to a field Battalion Chief in 2006.  In 2010, Bret accepted an Assistant Chief position at Ishi Conservation Camp in the Tehama-Glenn Unit.  In 2012, he transferred back to SHU as Assistant Chief, East Division/Sugar Pine Conservation Camp before accepting the Deputy Chief Operations position in SHU December 2013. In December 2018, Chief Gouvea accepted the position of CAL FIRE SHU Unit Chief and Shasta County Fire Department Chief and County Fire Warden. In March 2022, Bret was appointed to the Assistant Deputy Director position overseeing Cooperative Fire Protection, Training, Safety and EMS.

    Chief Gouvea has been involved in many training cadres, including senior instructor for Fire Control 3 and the course coordinator for Intermediate Firing Methods (C-234).  He was a member of the Firing Methods series curriculum development working group for nine years and a member of the L-950 Incident Commander Cadre.  Bret served for 12 years on four different Incident Management Teams as an Operations Branch Director, Operations Section Chief, and in 2015, he was named the Incident Commander on CAL FIRE IMT 1.  Bret was a member of the statewide Budget Re-design Committee and the Chairman of SHIELD, a regional training consortium comprised of public safety organizations from Shasta, Trinity and Tehama counties, as well as Shasta Community College, in which he assisted in the development of in 2015. Chief Gouvea holds an Associate of Arts Degree in Fire Science from Shasta Community College, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Chico.



Chief Dave Fulcher

Dave Fulcher

  • Southern Region Chief

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Chief Fulcher began his fire service career in 1987 as a Volunteer Firefighter for the Riverside County Fire Department/Riverside Unit (RRU).  Chief Fulcher started his CAL FIRE career in 1989 as a Seasonal Firefighter in RRU.  In 1991, he was hired as a Firefighter II by CAL FIRE in Temecula/RRU.  In 1993, David promoted to a Fire Apparatus Engineer at the Higgins Corner Station in the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit (NEU).  In 1996, David then promoted to Limited Term Fire Captain in the San Jacinto Battalion in RRU.  In 1999, he promoted to a permanent Captain at Bautista Conservation Camp in RRU.  In 2001, David transferred to the Perris Emergency Command Center in RRU as Fire Captain.  In November 2001, David transferred to the Riverside County Fire Department/RRU Hazardous Materials Response Team where he served as the team’s Training Coordinator.  In 2005, David went back to a fire station assignment and remained there until he promoted in 2007 as the Temecula Battalion Chief.  David also served as the San Jacinto Battalion Chief from 2009-2012. In 2012, David promoted to Assistant Chief at the Bautista Conservation Camp in RRU.  In 2014, he promoted to Deputy Chief as the CAL FIRE Southern Region Conservation Camps Coordinator at the Southern Region Office in Riverside.  While in the Camps Coordinator assignment, David assisted with the implementation of the Ventura Training Center program and helped to develop the CAL FIRE/CCC Los Pinos BCP.  David promoted to Unit Chief in the San Benito-Monterey Unit (BEU) in September 2018.

    David was the Office of Emergency Services Monterey and San Benito County Operational Area Coordinator. Since 2010, David has served on several CAL FIRE Incident Management Teams and ended his tenure in September 2018 as the Deputy Incident Commander on CAL FIRE’s IMT 5.  While serving as the Bautista Division Chief, he was the Riverside County Hazardous Materials Team Manager, served as the City of San Jacinto Fire Chief, and managed the Hemet-Ryan Air-Attack Base.  David is a Law Enforcement Officer for CAL FIRE and Serious Accident Review Team Lead.  He holds California State Fire Marshal Certifications as a Chief Officer and Hazardous Materials Specialist and has an Associate Degree in Fire Science.

    High Resolution Photo Coming Soon 


Chief George Morris III

George Morris III

  • Northern Region Chief

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Chief Morris began his career in the fire service in 1996 as a Firefighter I in the Butte Unit.  In 1997 he joined the United States Army Reserve, Military Police Corps, serving concurrently in both organizations until 2005. Morris worked as a FFI in the Butte Unit in both wildland and municipal fire protection assignments, promoting to Fire Apparatus Engineer in 2000.  In 2001, Morris was deployed to the former Yugoslavia in support of Operation Joint Forge. Morris returned home to the Butte Unit, as a Fire Apparatus Engineer working in both Schedule A and Schedule B assignments. 
    In 2003, Morris was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  In 2004 Morris returned home to the Butte Unit, working until promoting to Fire Captain in the Mendocino Unit in 2005.

    In 2005, Morris transferred to Valley View Camp, in the Tehama Glenn Unit, as a Fire Captain B, later returning to the Butte Unit as a Fire Captain A.  In 2007 he became a Fire Captain Specialist working in fire prevention.  He transferred to the Sonoma Lake Napa Unit in 2008 working as a Fire Captain Specialist.  In 2009 Morris promoted to Battalion Chief, supervising the Sonoma Lake Napa Fire Prevention Bureau and in 2011, transferred to the Office of the State Fire Marshal working in the Law Enforcement Program.  In 2012 Morris promoted to Assistant Chief – Director of Law Enforcement Training at the CAL FIRE Training Center and in 2013, he promoted to Deputy Chief at the Training Center.

    In 2014, Chief Morris was appointed as the Unit Chief for the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit serving as the Placer County Fire Chief, Placer County Fire Warden, Nevada County Fire Marshal, Loma Rica-Browns Valley Fire Chief, City of Marysville Fire Chief and City of Colfax Fire Chief.  In 2018, he was appointed as Assistant Region Chief in the Northern Region supervising six Units and Management Services within the Region.  On November 29th, 2021, Morris was appointed as the Northern Region Chief.

    Chief Morris holds an Associate Degree in Social and Behavioral Science and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.  


Deputy Director Matthew Reischman

Matthew Reischman

  • Deputy Director, Resource Management

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Chief Reischman has over 25 years of diverse environmental regulation and resource management experience. He began his career in 1994 working as a Wildlife Biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. In 1996, he accepted a Wildlife Biologist position with a private timber company on the North Coast of California. He started his state service in 2000 as an Environmental Scientist with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, where his work involved surface and ground water regulation.

    Chief Reischman began his CAL FIRE career in 2004, as a Forest Practice Inspector in the Amador-El Dorado Unit. In 2005, he transferred to the Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit (NEU) as the Vegetation Management Coordinator, later promoting to the NEU Unit Forester, with supervisory responsibilities for Resource Management, Pre-Fire, Vegetation Management and the Fire Prevention Bureau. In July 2014, he promoted to the Forest Practice Staff Chief position at Sacramento Headquarters responsible for the Timber Harvest Administration, Forest Practice Enforcement and Forest Practice Watershed Protection Programs.

    In 2016, Chief Reischman promoted to the CAL FIRE Assistant Deputy Director of Resource Protection and Improvement where his program responsibilities included: Urban Forestry, Vegetation Management/Prescribed Fire, Pest Management, Environmental Protection, Archeology, State Nurseries, Landowner Assistance, the California Forester Improvement Program, Forest Legacy and the Demonstration State Forest Programs. Chief Reischman has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University. He is a Registered Professional Forester, Wildlife Biologist and a P.O.S.T certified peace officer.

    Reischman High Resolution Photo 


Monika Giebtiz Deputy Director Legislation

Monika Giebitz

  • Deputy Director, Legislation

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Monika began her career with CAL FIRE in August 2004 as an Office Assistant for the Financial Assistance Support Team (FAST) Unit. In September 2005 she accepted a Staff Services Analyst position in the Office of Legislation, where she was responsible for all legislation pertaining to Resource Management. She continued in that position until May 2008, at which time she went to work for the Office of Emergency Services. There she worked in the Office’s Safety Assessment Program, which trains and certifies architects, building inspectors, and engineers to assess buildings after a disaster. She returned to CAL FIRE’s Office of Legislation in February 2009 as an Associate Governmental Program Analyst and was responsible for all legislation pertaining to Fire Protection. Monika served as the Acting Chief of Legislation from June 2010 to November 2011, and she officially promoted to the position in April 2013. She has served as a member of CAL FIRE’s Leadership Level I Training Cadre since January 2020.

    Prior to working for CAL FIRE, Monika was a Student Assistant for the Department of Rehabilitation for four years in their Statistical Analysis Unit. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), in May 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Minor in Business Administration, and earned a Master of Arts in English from CSUS in December 2007.

    Giebitz High Resolution Photo 


Kerry Garcia

Kerry Garcia

  • Deputy Director of Management Services

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Kerry Garcia was appointed Deputy Director of Fiscal Services, effective March 30, 2020. The Deputy Director of Fiscal Services is a new position to maintain oversight and policy responsibility for all fiscal operations of CAL FIRE including accounting, budgeting, business services, contracting, and procurement.

    Kerry began her career with CAL FIRE in 2008, working in the Labor and Human Resources Office, Classification & Pay Unit as a Staff Services Analyst, and Associate Personnel Analyst.  In 2010, Kerry became a part of the Headquarters Administrative Office, providing administrative support to the CAL FIRE Executive Programs, Management Services, Resource Management, Fire Protection, and Office of the State Fire Marshal, during which time she was an Associate Governmental Program Analyst, Staff Services Manager I, and Staff Services Manager II.  In 2016, Kerry transferred to the Business Services Office, as Acquisitions Manager, overseeing Procurement and Contracting for the Department.  Later that year, Kerry was promoted to Chief, Business Services Office where she served until 2018 when she accepted her assignment as Assistant Deputy Director, Fiscal Services.  Kerry is currently the Procurement Officer for the Department and throughout her career with CAL FIRE has served on several committees and task force groups.  Her strong administrative background as well as her ability to develop relationships with internal and external stakeholders will continue to serve her well in this position.

    Prior to joining CAL FIRE, Kerry worked for two years in various arenas at the Secretary of State's Office including the States Elections Division. Before State service, Kerry worked for a large national brokerage firm as a Licensed Life and Health Insurance Agent dealing with employee benefits.

    High Resolution Photo  


Chief Counsel Welchans

Kelly Welchans

  • Chief Legal Counsel

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Kelly Welchans is an experienced litigator with a background in high-profile litigation in state and federal courts.  Before joining CAL FIRE as Chief Counsel, Kelly spent over five years as a Deputy Attorney General in the Natural Resources Law Section at the Office of the California Attorney General, where she represented CAL FIRE and other state agencies and departments in litigation throughout the state.  Prior to her time at the Office of the California Attorney General, Kelly was an associate at Arnold and Porter LLP in Los Angeles and San Francisco from 2007 through 2017.  At Arnold & Porter, she focused on complex state and federal court civil litigation and spent six months in 2012-2013 assigned to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted criminal misdemeanor cases. 

    Kelly graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and worked for a biotechnology company for two years before attending law school at the University of California, Davis, where she earned a Juris Doctor degree.

    Welchans High Resolution Photo 


Deputy Director Monte Manson

Monte Manson

  • Deputy Director, Professional Standards Program

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Monte Manson was appointed as the Chief of Professional Standards on September 16, 2016. CAL FIRE’s Professional Standards is a new program that will provide consistent and standardized guidance to all CAL FIRE employees in the areas of hiring, on-boarding, employee behavior, leadership, investigations, and progressive discipline.

    Throughout his more than 20-year career with CAL FIRE, Monte has gained invaluable experience related to various State policies and processes, and he brings to this position a strong and extensive administrative background. His ability to develop and cultivate relationships with internal and external stakeholders, and his skills in training and policy development will serve him well as he develops this new program.

    Monte began his career with CAL FIRE in the Communications Office, where he wrote for the Communiqué and assisted with media events, among other duties. Monte also worked in the Budget Office, Occupational Safety and Health Programs (OSHPros), and what is now known as the Administration and Incident Support Unit. In 2006, Monte became the Administrative Officer for CAL FIRE’s Management Services Division, and in 2008, he was promoted to the Business Services Office, where he served as the Departmental Procurement Officer. In 2012, Monte used his policy and program development skills to assist in the implementation of the State’s Fire Prevention Fee Program.

    Between 2013 and 2016, Monte was the Chief of the Business Services Office, providing oversight of a wide range of complex acquisitions, facilities, and property operations. He has also served on various internal and external committees, task forces, and working groups dedicated to State policy overhaul and alignment.

    Manson High Resolution Photo


Windy Bouldin

Windy C. Bouldin

  • Deputy Director, Office of Program Accountability

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Windy C. Bouldin was appointed as the Chief, Office of Program Accountability in July 2012.  The Office of Program Accountability is an independent, objective, appraisal entity established to conduct internal audits and audit-related services designed to add value and improve operations.

    Windy brings over 23 years of State of California experience with 20 years of it at CAL FIRE.  Throughout her tenure she has served in a variety of leadership capacities and possesses an extensive background in personnel management and organizational development.  She has additional expertise in project management, web/graphic design, strategic planning, policy formulation and implementation, and program administration.

    Windy is also the Returning Veterans:  Enlisting Their Skills for CAL FIRE Service (R.V.E.T.S.) Coordinator.  R.V.E.T.S. is the Department’s grassroots effort to assist veterans, service members, and their families with integration and transition into service with the Department.  Additionally, she serves as a member of the Department’s Executive Team, as an instructor and cadre member for various leadership trainings, as a participant on an array of committees, workgroups, and forums, and is the publisher and managing editor of Connections, CAL FIRE’s monthly Management Services newsletter.

    Prior to CAL FIRE, Windy worked for the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board Sacramento Office of Appeals and is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership.  Windy is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the Institute of Internal Auditors, and the California Association of State Auditors.

    Bouldin High Resolution Photo


Deputy Director Serena Ortega

Serena Ortega

  • Deputy Director, Equal Employment Opportunity Program

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection 

    Serena Ortega was appointed as the Chief, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) on May 15, 2017, and was promoted to Deputy Director, Office of EEO in December 2020.

    Serena brings over 13 years of State of California experience and has served in various capacities that have contributed to her overall success within the Department. Serena’s Statewide advocacy roles include, election as Chairperson for the Statewide Disability Advisory Council (SDAC), where she was influential in assisting and providing guidance to departments, boards and agencies on successfully maintaining their respective Disability Advisory Committees.

    Serena was also elected as a Chairperson for the Statewide Performance Management /Progressive Discipline Forum (PMPD), where various interpretations of Human Resource Management challenges, to include complex modifications to the law, and administering performance management was facilitated throughout the State.

    Serena also fulfilled several critical roles on the Statewide ‘Joint Project’ to increase the number of persons with disabilities and to enhance the reasonable accommodation process, to include serving as a Joint-Project Core Team member, as well as member of various sub-groups. As a result, overall findings were identified, and recommendations that critical changes were brought forth to ensure the overall success of employing individuals with disabilities and eliminating artificial barriers. These efforts and recommendations continue to positively shape the State’s pursuit, to achieve equality for all.

    Beyond her day-to-day duties, Serena also serves as a Returning Veterans: Enlisting Their Skills for CAL FIRE Service (R.V.E.T.S.) Core Member. R.V.E.T.S. is the Department’s grassroots effort to assist veterans, service members, and their families with integration and transition into service with the Department. Additionally, Serena serves as a member of the Department’s Executive Team, an instructor and cadre member for Executive Leadership (Supervision 5), and as a participant on an array of committees, workgroups, and forums.

    Ortega High Resolution Photo


Deputy Director Scott Gregory

Scott Gregory

  • Deputy Director of Technology

    California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

    Scott Gregory was appointed as the Deputy Director of Technology, effective July 13, 2020. The Deputy Director of Technology is a new position that will participate in key technology decisions for the Department and ensure statewide critical technological systems are deployed and utilized evenly and effectively.  The Deputy Director of Technology will supervise the Information Technology Services, Telecommunications, and Research and Development programs.

    Scott is a seasoned IT professional with over 20 years of experience in developing and managing complex IT implementations across local, state, and federal government, as well as the private sector and academia.  Scott has served in a variety of senior management and executive roles where he has provided strategic visioning and delivery of technology statewide. In Scott’s previous role as the State’s Chief Technology Innovation Officer at the California Department of Technology, he was instrumental in the development and delivery of critical innovative and data-centric technology solutions for the state as well as the residents of California. Scott developed many firsts in the technology landscape of California.  He created the first statewide open data platform for better information sharing, the state’s first innovation lab where government can develop and build technology prototypes to prove out complex concepts, and created the first innovation academy where new innovative approaches are applied to challenges we face in government today. Scott’s focus on technology and innovation leadership has provided the state with a strong foundation for ways to better serve our constituents through technology.

    Prior to his appointment as the State’s Chief Technology Innovation Officer by the Brown Administration in 2016, Scott served as the State’s Geographic Information Officer.  In this role, Scott was able to deliver the first statewide GIS infrastructure that focused on reducing technology costs and extended the benefits of GIS to a wide variety of state and local users. He was also instrumental in broadening statewide geographic data access by launching the California Geoportal in 2013, which provided access to data resources for government and residents alike.

    Before his tenure as the State Geographic Information Officer, Scott was the manager of the west coast public safety/homeland security market for Esri Inc.  At Esri, Scott was able to forge many key relationships with public safety executives across the western US.  Scott was a private sector representative with the federal Dept. of Homeland Security in the training of public safety professionals to assess critical infrastructure and key assets across California, using GIS technology.  Scott was instrumental in working closely with Regional Threat Intelligence Centers to help them better assess threats by leveraging GIS technology.  In his role with Esri, Scott deployed and implemented a multitude of technology offerings that increased the safety of our public as well as protected our key and critical resources.

    During Scott’s service at the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), he demonstrated how technology can support command staff in better, more data-focused decision making.  While at the US Army Corps of Engineers, Scott served as the GIS Manager and Geospatial Data Coordinator for the South Pacific Division.  In this role, Scott was instrumental in the deployment and management of technology to support both military and civil engineering applications across the western United States.

    Scott’s depth of technology experience is supported by his educational background.  Scott holds a BA in Geography from Sacramento State University and a Master of Business Administration from Regis University.

    Gregory High Resolution Photo