Staff

Charlotte Mitchell, Executive Director

As Executive Director, Charlotte serves the organization to ensure that agricultural lands are preserved in California’s Central Valley for future generations.

Prior to joining CVFT, she was the Executive Director for the Sacramento County Farm Bureau for 11 years, representing farmers and ranchers by advocating on their behalf at the local, state and national levels on issues impacting their operations.  In this position, she and her board of directors were recognized by both state and national organizations for their vast and relevant program of work. Prior to joining the Sacramento County Farm Bureau, she was a program coordinator for the California Farm Bureau Federation and spent 25 years as a volunteer for Farm Bureau on local, state and national committees.

Charlotte was born and raised on a third-generation cattle and sheep operation along the Sonoma County coast.  She now resides with her husband, a fifth generation farmer, and their two sons in Elk Grove on a contract turkey operation where they raise turkeys year round for Foster Farms, in addition to walnuts, sheep, and hay.  She is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with an agribusiness degree.  Charlotte has a deep commitment to serving California agriculture.

Melanee Cottrill, Associate Director

Melanee Cottrill is excited to be joining the CVFT team as our new Associate Director.  A backyard gardener who grew up in Yolo County’s farm country, Melanee is happy to be going back to her country roots by joining CVFT.  With over a decade of experience working in the legal field and advising and managing nonprofit corporations, she brings a deep expertise in nonprofit operations, partnerships, and structure to the team.  Melanee earned a Bachelor of Arts in History cum laude from California State University, Sacramento, where she was inducted into three honor societies.  An avid learner, she is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration.  She is also a Distinguished Toastmaster and has served several leadership roles in that global nonprofit.  Melanee looks forward to helping protect the farms that feed her family.

Darcel Trapani, Administrative Assistant

Darcel joined CVFT after working nine years for Cal West Seeds in Galt, CA as the Plant Secretary. At Cal West Seeds her duties were to maintain the plant office, handle all shipping and receiving of seed crops, keep inventory and report records to Cal West main office and assist the Plant Manager with a variety of projects. As CVFT’s Administrative Assistant, Darcel maintains our filing system, updates our DonorPerfect donor management system, prepares checks, assists the executive director with easement project recordkeeping and assists the associate director with event coordination and planning.  CVFT is very pleased to have Darcel as a part of our team.