Volunteer Spotlight: Paul Kryloff – November 2020
CNPS members love native plants and natural spaces, but dedicated, inspiring people are the glue that keeps us together. Paul Kryloff is one of those folks. For nearly 50 years he has been instrumental in mailing the CNPS Marin Chapter newsletter to members each month. Conversely, he was inspired by and values his relationships with the members he served and with whom he volunteered.
You could say that Paul inherited his CNPS membership from his mother Irene Biagi. She joined in the weekly field trips in Marin and beyond organized by Bob Allen, Wilma Follete, and others. Wilma was the inspiration for these trips which inventoried and explored parts of Marin. Her husband Bill, a photographer, documented their efforts and enjoyment. Several times a year they ventured afar. Paul remembers trips to Catalina Island, the Eastern Sierras, Death Valley, and the Olympic Peninsula. He regrets that work commitments caused him to miss many of those weekly excursions around the county and state, as well as a trip to Hawaii. Paul recalls a CNPS trip through Titus Canyon in Death Valley, when doctors in the CNPS Marin group were able to assist a fallen climber.
For decades, Paul was intimately involved in the CNPS Marin newsletter production and mailing. Each month he received the latest membership list from the state office, then formatted and printed mailing labels. At monthly mailing parties, a dedicated set of volunteers met at his house to fold newsletters, stick on the labels, and sort them by zip code. Paul would then deliver the hundreds of sorted newsletters to the Post Office. Paul remembers there was always time pressure as the whole process took close to two weeks before newsletters were delivered. Fortunately, the process became more automated and quicker as technology progressed.
Paul was a constant, with changing newsletter editors, printers, and USPS rules. Paul even served as the newsletter editor for about 5 years around the millennium, after retiring from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, where he worked the tech help desk – troubleshooting hardware and software issues. He remembers fondly the social hours following newsletter folding parties. It was a time to connect and share stories while nibbling on cookies and sipping a favorite of Paul’s mother Irene, Coffee Royale (with a nip of rum).
Paul emphasizes, “I enjoy seeing new places and wonder at each new discovery, even in our back yard.” Due to COVID-19, he cancelled his November trip to the Eastern Sierras and Death Valley where he goes annually to experience summer all over again. He now contents himself with caring for his garden and sharing meals with a lady friend until it is safer to travel.
During Paul’s long connection to CNPS Marin, he has met wonderful people and marvels at their inspiration and dedication to the CNPS mission. Some of these were the regular newsletter folders: Bob Allen, Ann and Vincent Yoder, Betty Trumbly and her friend Bob, Howard Trumbly, Audrey Miller, Gerd Jakob, Kristin Jacob, Carol Weiske, Telma Arlom, Sue Hosfield, Barbara Prince, Ken Howard, Sandy Dye, Sylvester Biagi, and Irene Biagi. Thank you to all these volunteers (current and passed) and Paul Kryloff for helping to keep us informed and “in the loop.”