Board Members


Dennis Scott, President

Dennis was one of the original board members of the Mel and Grace McLean Foundation. He grew up in the Bay Area and came to Humboldt County in 1977, to work for Eel River Sawmills,  the company founded by Mel and Grace McLean. He started as the controller, and, after Mel's stroke, became Vice-President and then President of the Company. He worked at Eel River Sawmills for more than 30 years, winding up the Company affairs when it was sold. 
Dennis worked closely with both Mel and Grace and developed an understanding and appreciation of the McLeans' philosophy and caring nature.  Over the many years, decisions were made to insure that their employees had jobs that paid fair wages and provided security.  Mel and Grace deeply cared for their employees and the communities in which they lived.  The McLean Foundation carries on their legacy.
Dennis is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of Fortuna Sunrise Rotary.

Erin Dunn, Board Chair

Erin is the CEO of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce, a position she has held since 2007.  During her tenure at the Chamber, Erin instituted the annual State of the City Breakfast and Leadership Fortuna, among other programs.

Erin grew up in a small town on the Oregon Coast much like Fortuna and graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Communications.

Originally moving to Fortuna in 2003 to work in the Public Relations department of Pacific Lumber Company, Erin lived and worked on the East Coast for 20 years as a theatrical press agent.

Erin is a member of Fortuna Sunrise Rotary and a Past District Governor for District 5130.  In addition to the McLean Foundation, she serves on the board of Ferndale Repertory Theatre. 


Jon Sapper, Board Member

It was an honor to have been appointed to the Mel and Grace McLean Foundation Board in 2006. 

I was born and raised in Fortuna, spending most of my youth enjoying our wonderful outdoors fishing and hunting.  My mother’s family came to the Eel River Valley in the 1860’s.  I gained an appreciation for the hard work and sacrifices made by my family and others in building our Southern Humboldt communities. Following college with degrees in business administration, psychology and education, I worked for 12 years in Oregon, returning to Humboldt County in 1989.  I am currently retired from the Humboldt County Office of Education. 

In addition to the Mclean Foundation, I have served as a board member for the Humboldt Area Foundation, the North Coast Small Business Development Center, Humboldt County’s Workforce Investment Board, Humboldt County’s Headwaters Fund Board and am currently Chair of the Board for SHN Consulting Engineers and Geologists.  I am also currently a member of Fortuna Sunrise Rotary and Past President and board member.

My wife, Sheryl, and I live in Fortuna and are committed to working for the betterment of citizens in the Eel River Valley, Southern Humboldt and throughout the County.  Sheryl and I have four adult children; one living in Humboldt County and the other three living in Kentucky, Idaho and Arizona.  

Tiara Brown, Board Member

Tiara Brown, was appointed to the McLean Foundation in 2013. She was born and raised in Fortuna, a 4th generation Humboldt County resident. Tiara is married to Bradley Brown, they have a son Zayden and a daughter Ainsley.
She spent 7 years working as the office manager at her family's business, Rocha’s Automotive, managing the accounting and public relations. Currently she is the Business Manager at Redwood Preparatory Charter School in Fortuna. She is very committed to education and the youth of the Eel River Valley. 
Tiara is majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit organizations and is a student at both College of the Redwoods and Sonoma State -where she studies with an extended education program. Currently she is completing her certification as a Chief Business Officer through the state of California and Sonoma State.
Tiara feels very passionate about being involved in this amazing community. She has completed the Leadership Fortuna course, is a member of the Fortuna Sunrise Rotary and serves on the Fortuna City Council. She enjoys planning, organizing, spending time with friends and family, and traveling.


Walt Gaicomini, Board Member

Walt recently joined the Mel and Grace McLean Board in late 2015. Walt, a semi-retired rancher, was born in Eureka, raised at Elk River.  He and his wife Becky have lived in the Eel River Valley for the past 35 years.  They have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Walt has served as President of the Humboldt-Del Norte Cattlemen’s Association, on the California Cattlemen’s Association Board of Directors, and as Chairman of the California Beef Council. He also served as a member of the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District Board.
He served as member and President of the Fortuna Union High School Board of Trustees, and on the College of the Redwoods Agricultural Department Advisory Committee.  He currently serves on the Fortuna High Agriculture Department Advisory Committee and on the Career Technical Education Advisory Committee. He has coached youth basketball and baseball.Prior to returning to Humboldt County in 1980, Walt founded, and taught in, the Adult Farm Management Program at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton , Oregon.  While there he also served as a rodeo team coach.
He enjoys working on the ranch (as long as he is horseback), and spending time with his family.