Christina Jaromay Strengthens Parks through Lasting Partnerships

Christina Jaromay in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
Christina Jaromay in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
As the Chief of the California State Parks Partnership Office, Christina Jaromay’s primary challenge is figuring out connections: how to make new ones and strengthen old ones. The long-standing partnership between Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks is one such relationship Jaromay oversees.

“We’re all about building collaborations with partners that support the state parks mission of preserving California’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting our irreplaceable natural and cultural resources, and providing high-quality outdoor recreational opportunities,” Jaromay says. “Ultimately, we envision a thriving and mutually supportive network of partnerships that includes conservation and recreational organizations, nonprofits, other government agencies, universities, tribal groups, and concessionaires.”

Though the Partnership’s Office has only been in existence for about a year, Jaromay has plenty of projects up and running, including some critical collaborations with Save the Redwoods League.

“We’ve been working with the League on an old-growth restoration project on the North Coast,” Jaromay says, “and we’ve also launched a tremendously successful ‘Green Friday’ alternative to Black Friday. Last year, in conjunction with the League and the California State Parks Foundation, we offered free passes to 116 state parks on the day after Thanksgiving, and 90 of those parks reached capacity. Perhaps the best thing was that many of those people had never been to a state park before. I really feel like we’re helping build a new constituency for the parks.”

Jaromay took her degree in Philosophy and Applied Ethics in Law with a minor in Business Management at Sacramento State University. She enjoyed an exciting corporate career prior to coming to State Parks, working as a consultant for Hewlett-Packard in North America and Asia.

“I also worked for a marketing firm, and I found that I had a real feel for brand management,” Jaromay says. “I knew some people at State Parks, and when a position came up, I jumped at it. I’ve always loved camping, and some of my best memories of the outdoors were made at California’s State Parks. Combining my professional expertise with a personal passion has been a wonderful experience.”

Jaromay says her experience in marketing helped her when she became Chief of the partnerships program.

“California’s State Parks encompass some of the most stunning landscapes in North America and protect some of the world’s most imperiled ecosystems,” she says. “But we’re like anybody else with an important story to tell — we have to get the word out to the public. We have to build our brand, and I think the Partnerships Office is an extremely effective way to do that. Our power to communicate and build successful programs is leveraged dramatically when we collaborate with smart and dedicated people in organizations like Save the Redwoods League.”

Learn more about the League’s long history of partnership with California State Parks.

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About the author

Glen Martin was an environmental reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle for many years, and has contributed to more than 50 magazines, including Discover, Audubon, Men’s Journal, Forbes, Sierra, Outside, Recode and Wired. Before his journalism career, Martin worked as a wildfire fighter for the U.S. Forest Service in the Shasta/Trinity and Mount Baker National Forests. His book, Game Changer: Animal Rights and the Fate of Africa’s Wildlife, was published in 2012 by the University of California Press.

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