It’s the People: Past, Present, and Future

By Ron Erskine, Board President

My first year serving as board president at Committee for Green Foothills is nearly done. During that time, each encounter I have had with board members and staff has left me impressed.

When I think of the stature and legacy of the people who have preceded me in this role, it gives me pause. From the founding president, Wallace Stegner, and such luminaries as Lois Crozier Hogle and Mary Davey, so many of our past board members belong on the Mount Rushmore of open space champions. I never forget this, and I strive to fulfill the role in a way that honors their legacy.

Serving as president has brought me closer to the daily nuts and bolts activities at Committee for Green Foothills. I spend much more time across the desk from our executive director and working with our staff. Every encounter leaves me dazzled. Julie, Lennie, and Alice—our three advocates—have absolute command of current issues threatening our open space. They deal with each one with a pitch-perfect combination of determination and professionalism. Amanda, Ava and Justyne handle a daunting load of event-planning and communication responsibilities with dedication, attention to detail, and always a smile. In three years as Executive Director Megan Medeiros has widened and deepened our engagement with supporters and partners in so many ways, while always treating staff and board members with warmth and appreciation.

I wish each of you could spend a moment as a fly on a Committee for Green Foothills office wall. It would only take an instant to confirm the trust you have placed in this organization to defend our local open space.

CGF Welcomes Three New Board Members

Throughout the years, Committee for Green Foothills has also enjoyed a legacy of distinguished and talented board members. Continuing that tradition, we welcome three new members to our team, each with impressive credentials.

  • Allen Olivo, a renowned consumer technology marketing executive marketing executive having served in leadership roles at Apple, Amazon, Yahoo, PayPal and Brocade. He lives in El Granada and is a staunch warrior for preserving coast-side agricultural lands.
  • Violet Saena holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Duke University and is a graduate from our Community Advocates Leadership Academy (CALA). Violet worked for the government of her home country of Samoa, helping it and other island nations with climate-change policies and a host of other issues under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • Jo-Ann Bryne Sockolov is another CALA graduate with a range of civic leadership under her belt. She is the principal of Transform Collaborative, which advises local nonprofit organizations on a wide array of issues. She currently serves as Planning Commissioner for the Town of Atherton and a board member of the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center.

Hard work by dedicated and talented people has made Committee for Green Foothills the “Local, Vocal, and Effective” defender of open space it has been for over half a century. But it takes more than a proud tradition to carry the work forward. Today’s staff and board are every bit as dedicated and talented as their predecessors to meet the challenges ahead.

Our to-do list is long and growing. Pressures to develop the San Mateo County coastline, Coyote Valley, and Cargill salt ponds—to name a few—are driven by powerful interests. Proposals in these and other regions will be carefully watched and tirelessly defended by smart, bright, and extremely dedicated people at Committee for Green Foothills. The tradition continues.

If you are interested in getting more involved with Committee for Green Foothills, email us at: [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


You are leaving the Green Foothills website to go to our Protect Coyote Valley website.

Continue on to PCV Petition