Meet Our Team
Megan joined the Committee for Green Foothills as Executive Director in November 2013 and has since doubled the size of the organization, with a focus on impact, ethics, and collaboration. She is a community organizer at heart and fiercely believes in the power of people and grassroots action. She was honored to receive the Greenbelt Alliance Champion Award in 2017 and accepted awards from the Golden State Warriors and the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters for Committee for Green Foothills’ work on Yes on B/No on C in 2018.
She lives in San Jose and enjoys running, hiking, reading, camping, and adventures with her daughter.
Phone:(650) 968-7243 x360
Julie has been with Green Foothills for over a decade: first as Organizational Coordinator (2008), then as a Legislative Advocate (2010), and now as Director of Impact (2018). She is responsible for bridging Green Foothills’ advocacy and marketing and communications efforts as well as developing and implementing the systems and tools needed to effectively evaluate and articulate the impact of the organization’s programs. She also continues to engage in advocacy issues. As a member of the Santa Clara County Food System Alliance, Julie has co-authored two publications on agriculture in the Santa Clara Valley: Small Farms, Big Potential: Growing a resilient local food system (2020) and Santa Clara County Food System Assessment (2013).
Julie holds a M.A. in Slavic Linguistics from the University of Virginia. She enjoys travelling, art, hiking, and riding on her husband’s Harley.
Phone:(650) 968-7243 x339
Alice began her service with Green Foothills in 2010 as a Board member before joining staff in 2012 as a Legislative Advocate. In 2017, she transitioned to Legislative Advocacy Director overseeing the Advocacy Department’s priorities, strategies, and campaigns, as well as engaging directly in advocacy efforts. Alice, who holds a J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, previously practiced environmental law with the Environmental Law Foundation in Oakland.
Alice is a founding member of Redwood City Neighbors United, and in her leisure time, she can usually be found hiking with her husband in nearby Edgewood Park, cooking complicated new recipes, or reading books from previous centuries.
Phone:(650) 968-7243 x313
Andrea joined the team in 2020 to run the Community Advocates Leadership Academy (CALA). She began developing her abilities in community-based education and ethnographic research through her undergraduate career at UC Santa Cruz, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. Andrea has since been putting her skills to use in service of marginalized communities in the Bay Area and recently joined the movement to bring equity to the outdoors. She believes that the road to liberation is marked by humility, connection to land, and collective action.
Raised in the Colombian Andes, from a legacy of teachers and fighters, Andrea now calls San Jose home. You can find her hiking, camping, and starting good trouble with family and friends throughout the Bay.
Lennie first became involved with Green Foothills in 1968 as a Board member before becoming the organization’s first full-time San Mateo County Legislative Advocate in 1978. For 50 years, Lennie has championed the protection of the San Mateo coast and other key landscapes leading a number of critically successful and historic open space campaigns and ballot initiatives. She was also instrumental in helping to found the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District in 1972, and its expansion into San Mateo County in 1976 and the coast in 2009. Lennie’s legendary environmental accomplishments on behalf of Green Foothills has earned her numerous awards including Bay Nature Magazine’s 2019 Citizen Hero Award, San Mateo County Historical Association Museum’s 2019 History Maker award, Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter’s 2016 Environmental Hero, and Cox Enterprise’s Cox Conserves Heroes award in 2009.
She and her husband, Mike, along with a group of friends who perhaps trusted them too much, have clocked hundreds of miles backpacking in Yosemite and the southern Sierra Nevada, as well as in Alaska, and have made a number of major ascents of minor peaks.
Helen joined Green Foothills in 2017 to expand the organization’s advocacy efforts in San Mateo County, but ultimately is effectively representing the organization in both counties it serves. Through her advocacy, Helen has been able to combine her love of the outdoors with her passion for environmental justice and the public process on a number of issues, especially as it relates to parkland and public access. Prior to joining Green Foothills, Helen managed Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s 2016 re-election campaign, where she assisted with outreach in three counties.
A west coast native with a B.A. in Government from Scripps College and a M.P.A. from the University of Colorado, Helen has lived in the Bay Area for over 35 years. You can often find Helen hiking in the mountains, reading, or chasing her son.
Phone:(650) 968-7243 x311
Leslie Lopez Holder
Leslie came to Green Foothills in 2018, creating and leading data-driven marketing campaigns with our staff and consultants to build momentum and community support for our advocacy, education, and fundraising goals. Her role at Green Foothills allows Leslie to use her skills and passion for people and our earth at the local level. A graduate of UC Davis with a B.A. in Design and Economics, Leslie carries a background in social media, email campaigns, digital advertising, and general marketing strategy to drive awareness and sales.
Leslie now lives in beautiful Chicago, working remotely for Green Foothills. An INFJ personality type and aspiring zero-waster, she is often traveling with her husband/best friend, eating some good food, snapping some pictures, and having some life-inspiring conversations.
Phone:(650) 968-7243 x310
In 2019, Shwetha became a member of the Green Foothills’ team to oversee fundraising campaigns, member stewardship, and donor relationships. Being born into a community that respected and worshiped nature in one of the biodiversity hot-spots in India, Shwetha is passionate about conservation, human well-being, and sustainable development. Prior to joining Green Foothills, Shwetha worked for Village Enterprise managing donor communications and online marketing and at the D-Lab at MIT on off-grid energy for communities without access to electricity.
Shwetha holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable International Development at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She loves to hike in the Bay Area local parks, cook wholesome plant-based meals, and read to her young daughter.
Phone:(650) 968-7243 x314
Since 2015, Justyne engages the Green Foothills’ community with compelling educational and fundraising events including our annual Nature’s Inspiration. By exposing our community to Green Foothills’ advocacy work, we can mobilize and protect more local open space. Previously she worked for Environmental Volunteers helping children learn through hands-on science and nature education. Justyne holds B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.
As an environmentalist and mother of three young children, Justyne places great importance on family time, exploration of the outdoors, and the future of our planet.
Phone:(650) 968-7243 x340
Moises joined Green Foothills in 2018 fulfilling the critical role of first point of contact for our supporters, promoting team success by providing a clear and visible presence for Green Foothills in the community through several media platforms, and helping with fiscal processes. Prior to this, Moises worked for Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association managing farmers’ markets, learning about sustainable agriculture, local food systems, and the importance of supporting local small-scale agriculture. He also launched grassroots outreach campaigns for new and existing markets in San Jose.
Having grown up in South San Jose along Coyote Creek, the conservation of Coyote Valley and the foothills resonates very strongly with him. Moises lives in the Evergreen foothills in East San Jose, actively uses many of the hiking and biking trails in the Bay Area, and dabbles in wood working in his spare time.
Phone:(650) 968-7243 x315
Joan is a native of Los Altos Hills with a lifelong passion for conserving the natural beauty of our valley and coastline for future generations. She was fortunate to grow up with Lois Hogle, Mary Davey and Ruth Spangenberg as family friends and role models. Joan was in high tech marketing in Silicon Valley for many years and worked most recently as Vice President, Digital Marketing at SAP in Palo Alto. Prior to SAP Joan led marketing programs for various technology companies including Sun Microsystems and Apple Computer. She has a passion for leading meaningful change, mentoring, and delivering strategies that inspire and deliver results. Joan spends her spare time hanging out with three terrific daughters, performing community service, and career coaching. She maintains her work/life balance by being an ardent foodie, running, hiking and cycling throughout our beautiful valley.
Jeff has been involved with Committee for Green Foothills since 2002. His professional work has been in the field of lasers and laser applications, most recently in optimizing high-powered fiber lasers for materials processing. In his free time, Jeff enjoys cycling and hiking, especially the areas in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties that Green Foothills works to protect.
Bryan has a degree in architecture from UC Berkeley. For the majority of his career, Bryan has worked in the research divisions of pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He is currently working as a statistical programmer, preparing clinical trial data for submission to the FDA.
Bryan lives in Redwood City. His hobbies include bicycling and nature photography.
Ricardo is a California native who enjoys weekend walks on Deer Hollow trails from his home in Los Altos with his wife and 3 daughters. During the week he works as a senior tax executive for Samsung and is proud to say that he is culturally acclimated for global business effectiveness in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Ricardo has 25 years experience in corporate tax with eBay, Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co. Ricardo has a degree from the University of Southern California where he is member of the USC Leventhal School of Accounting Advisory Board. He is VP of the Silicon Valley Chapter Tax Executive Institute (TEI), and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Larry is Committee for Green Foothills’s very own “Retired Mad Scientist and Professional Citizen” in San José. When not bicycle-touring or designing satellites to measure the stars, he’s been working for creeks, trails, parks, community, and local history, with a long-term emphasis on Willow Glen and the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Larry is founder of Willow Glen’s eList, San José Riparian Advocates, and The Friends of the Willow Glen Trestle. He was on the Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Commission and the San José Neighborhoods Commission, regularly participates in planning meetings for High Speed Rail and the Diridon Station Area/Google Village, and presently serves on the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Preservation Taskforce, the Office of County Heritage Taskforce, and the San José Parks & Recreation Commission. Committee for Green Foothills provides a great way to network, share information, and leverage community action!
Matt, a native of Los Altos, is an old Greenfeet hand, having served on our Board from 2006 to 2014, including multiple years as President. His knowledge of our organization and long-time commitment for our mission are welcome additions. When not spouting unfounded opinions at our board meetings and events, Matt works in the automotive industry and also administrates the Frank Burrows Memorial Scholarship in east San Jose. He lives in San Carlos and enjoys hiking and traveling while he’s not working or volunteering with us.
Martha (Tate) Cohn
Tate Cohn is a Palo Alto resident and an active volunteer with Blue Planet Network, the Red Cross, and at Castilleja and the Peninsula French American Schools. Her childhood experiences of spending summers in mining camps led to a lifelong love of the outdoors. Among her favorite activities are horseback riding (including leading pack animals on camping trips), hiking, and skiing.
Michelle was born on the East Coast but has always felt California and Southeast Asia were her true homes. Passionate about diverse cultural and ecological landscapes, she pursued academic and environmental research in Australia, the Philippines, and San Jose. After six years of managing tropical agroecological projects in the Philippines, Michelle moved to San Jose. Since 2012, she has worked and volunteered for San Jose’s urban gardens and open spaces. As part of her Masters program at San Jose State University, she investigates climate-related changes in Mt. Hamilton’s oak woodland communities. Through her academic, professional and volunteer work, she wants to help improve south Santa Clara County’s climate resilience, regional habitat restoration, and environmental conservation.
A native Bay Area resident, Ron has volunteered for over 20 years at Henry Coe State Park and serves on the Board of Directors of Coe Park’s Pine Ridge Association. An avid outdoorsman and lifetime backpacker, he has twice hiked the John Muir Trail. Ron has been a homebuilder, a real estate agent, and founder and owner of Coast Range Brewing Company, a local microbrewery. He writes a regular outdoor column called “Getting Out” for the Morgan Hill Times and Gilroy Dispatch that he hopes will entice others to hike our local parks and preserves. Ron values the open spaces near his home in south Santa Clara County and wants to join with CGF in the work that must be done to protect it.
Craige Edgerton joined the Board of Green Foothills in 2019. He is a longtime resident of south San Jose and spends much time hiking around Coyote Valley. He has worked as Executive Director of the Land Trust of Santa Clara Valley for 12 years, served on the Board of the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority (OSA) for 6 years, volunteered for the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center in Morgan Hill for 5 years, is a 20 year docent for the OSA, is active in Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society’s Wetlands Discovery Program, a program to teach third through fifth graders about wetlands in the Bay Area, and is an active member of the West San Jose Kiwanis for 35 years. Craige has backpacked for 41 consecutive years, mostly in the Sierra Nevada but also Alaska, Nepal, Peru and completed the John Muir Trail in 2012. Craige is currently retired but is working almost full time in various volunteer projects.
Craige hopes to add whatever experience he has to continuing the mission of CGF and ensuring that it continues to be Local, Vocal and Effective!
Ed lives in Moss Beach and is the Chair of the Surfrider Foundation’s San Mateo County chapter. This is a group dedicated to the preservation and respectful treatment of the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches. Under his guidance, the chapter implemented a water-quality testing program for local beaches and streams that has been in operation for over a decade. When he’s not surfing or saving our coasts, Ed works as a scientist on a multidisciplinary team working on conversion of agricultural waste to biofuels.
Lisa is a native of the Bay Area growing up in Cupertino and currently living in Los Altos. Living in such a beautiful area has always made it hard for Lisa to not spend time outdoors but joining her son on his trek to earn his Boy Scout hiking merit badge several years ago sparked further interest in exploring all the wonderful local parks and trails. Lisa has spent her nearly 28-year career at KPMG and is currently an audit partner serving technology clients. She earned her B.S. in Mathematics/Applied Science at UCLA and is a CPA and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She has served as a non-Board member of KPMG’s Nominating Committee, as a Parent Committee member for her son’s Boy Scout troop, as auditor of Los Altos High School Music Boosters, and was recognized as one of the 2011 Silicon Valley Women of Influence by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. She likes to spend her free time with her husband and teenage son cooking, traveling, hiking, skiing and playing tennis.
Monica Nañez was born and raised in the South Bay, lived in Coyote Valley for 15 years, and currently lives and works in San Jose. Early in her college years she developed a passion for social and environmental justice, and she has been active in her community ever since. Monica earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University. For seven years she worked for Our City Forest, overseeing volunteer programs, community engagement, and education programs. She was also instrumental in launching the OCF AmeriCorps program and managed the program for five years.
At First Community Housing, she holds the position of Sustainable Communities Manager. She oversees several programs and projects including resident services, environmental education workshops, bicycle programs, community gardens, grants, research, internet infrastructure projects, and PV installation across a portfolio of 20 affordable housing developments with over 3,000 residents. Monica’s work focuses on urban sustainability; she is excited to be a board member of Committee for Green Foothills where she can work on open space protection and preservation as well.
A lifelong resident of the mid-peninsula, Nancy grew up hiking and exploring the parks of California and the west coast. Aware from a young age that precious open spaces were being lost to development, she works with Green Foothills and in her role as a San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner to protect what remains.
Living in Woodside since 1985, Nancy was twice appointed to both the Open Space Committee and the Architectural and Site Review Board, and is a 2014 graduate of CALA. The same year she organized a campaign to collect and return to Restoration Hardware over 1 ton of their catalogs, demonstrating the community’s outrage over the company’s outrageous waste of paper and resources.
A recent grandmother, Nancy’s hobbies include hiking, sailing, tennis, and anything that keeps her in shape to chase down a toddler.
Violet was born and raised in Samoa in the South Pacific. She served the Government and people of Samoa as a climate change expert for over ten years. Her earlier career as a biodiversity officer gave her the opportunity to manage National Parks, Marine Reserves, and community resource management programs. Her passion for the environment is rooted from her upbringing where she values the environment as a source of life providing sustenance and resources. She believes people in return, must treat the environment with respect to ensure its continued productivity and future existence.
She is currently working as a Project Manager for ACTERRA‘s [email protected] to Grid Ready Project and recently graduated with a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University. She lives in Sunnyvale with her husband and two children and enjoys outdoor outing and baking in her free time.
Brian has returned to Committee For Green Foothills serving on the Board of Directors after previously serving on staff as a Legislative Advocate for 9 years, working primarily on Santa Clara County issues but some San Mateo County priorities as well.
Formerly an environmental lawyer at Earthjustice, Brian does legal and environmental policy consulting. Brian was elected to the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board from 2010-2014 and is especially concerned with water and climate change issues related to open space protection.
Norm Arslan is a native of San Mateo and has lived in the San Francisco bay area all his life.. He has been in private practice as a psychotherapist for over 37 years. In addition, he provides executive coaching and training for two management consulting firms, MYT out of New York and LDI based in San Francisco.
In his spare time, he is the lead singer and guitar player in a classic rock band, likes to travel abroad, and exercises regularly to stay in shape. He has spent extensive time backpacking in the Sierras and Southwest, and has hiked many of the trails in the Bay Area. These experiences have given him a sense of awe and rejuvenation with the beauty of nature. He is passionate about protecting both Bay Area open spaces and the planet in general.
Bay Area transplant originally from Texas, Lauren Bigelow has been an active member of the Silicon Valley progressive community for the past 7 years. After receiving a BS in Psychology and Social Action, Lauren began working with regional non-profits on a variety of social justice issues. She brings more than a decade of marketing and community experience to her work at Palo Alto Housing, a local affordable housing nonprofit where she manages the City of Palo Alto Below-Market-Rate (BMR) rental and ownership programs, Mountain View Employee Homebuyer Loan Program and most recently, the City of Mountain View’s BMR rental and purchase programs.
In her spare time, Lauren enjoys wine, travel, good conversation and cuddling with her puppy while reading or watching movies. She believes that the housing crisis is something that must be addressed regionally and will need significant changes in local political will to move forward with large-scale solutions. She hopes to learn how very different demographics can work together to solve an issue that affects us all.
“It is hard to argue that housing is not a fundamental human need. Decent, affordable housing should be a basic right for everybody in this country. The reason is simple: without stable shelter, everything else falls apart.”- Matthew Desmond
Chuck Cantrell has been a resident of the Bay Area for several years (with a brief stint living outside of the US in Bath, UK). He first moved to Mountain View from St. Louis, MO, where he grew up in 2007. He and his wife Claudia now live in San Jose where they have found a pleasant balance of urban areas and open spaces. Chuck works as a Director of Commerce Strategy Consulting and has spent more than 25 years working with retailers and consumer product companies helping them find market based solutions that optimize their businesses. Chuck counts himself as lucky to live in such a beautiful area that he can share with his wife and dog Luci. The father of 3 adult children, he hopes to one day have grandchildren to enjoy time with in some of the open spaces CGF works tirelessly to protect.
Kit was born and raised in Illinois and learned about the fragility of groundwater basins from her grandfather, an Agricultural Engineer. She moved to the Bay Area in 1983, excited to apply my Chemical Engineering education to the booming semiconductor industry. Motivated to contribute more to the industry, Kit earned a MS in Electrical Engineering and an MBA. As the first employee at QuickLogic, she had the opportunity to develop new technologies and was awarded several patents on amorphous silicon antifuse devices. Along the way, she met and married Tony Alvarez and turned her attention to their home in Los Altos Hills. The birth of their daughter, Isabel, inspired Kit to start an organic skincare company to protect her against the dangerous realities of drugstore products. The beauty of the hills and bounty of wildlife guided Kit to learn about native plants, water conservation, and stewardship of our watershed. She is honored to serve on the board of Grassroots Ecology and volunteers with a variety of organizations including Committee for Green Foothills to protect and restore our watersheds. Kit is especially interested in Lehigh Quarry activities and the restoration of Permanente Creek. When not exploring a creek or a native landscape, you’ll find her practicing flamenco guitar.
Since 1985 Press Agent Lee Houskeeper’s News Services/San Francisco Stories has been recognized as one of the most effective public relations companies in Northern California. His clients include Cotchett, Pitre, & McCarthy and civil rights attorney John Burris. Lee Houuskeeper specializes in producing well-attended Press Conferences for his clients. In the past year alone Lee Houskeeper’s News Services has drawn every major local & national television, radio & newspaper to over 30 successful Press Conferences including Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy’s environmental case of the of city of Oroville lawsuit against the state of California for the failure of the Oroville Dam, the Paradise, and Wine Country Wildfires and also spearheaded the media effort for the Surfrider Foundation v. Martins Beach case, that after a successful five-year battle, finally opened Martins Beach to the public.
A Bay Area native, Melissa’s childhood in Marin County was a pastoral joy. Feeling a deep connection to the natural world has been at the center of her life and has guided her career. Melissa has extensive community organizing experience, enjoys mentoring, and loves a challenge. Since 2003 she has been leading efforts throughout the Bay Area to protect parks and open spaces through ballot measure campaigns, policy advocacy, and community building. Locally, Melissa has served as the Chapter Director for the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Conservation Program Director for Greenbelt Alliance; currently she is the Strategic Partnership Manager for Santa Clara County Parks. She also is a board member of the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters. Melissa has enjoyed being a partner of Committee for Green Foothills on many campaigns and knows that we can save Coyote Valley (and much more)!
Since 1977 Margaret has lived on 80 beautiful acres in San Mateo County where she raised her three sons in their alternative energy house – solar electricity and no TV! Together with her husband, Margaret has owned and managed Buck’s Restaurant in Woodside since 1991. She was on the board of Committee for Green Foothills from 2005 to 2013, and has continued volunteering as chair of the Development Committee.
Laurie Jones Neighbors
Laurie Jones Neighbors moved from the wide-open plains of West Texas to the awe-inspiring coast of the Bay Area thirty years ago, and she remains as passionate about protecting farmlands as she is about conserving wild spaces. She brings a special dedication to transforming structural barriers impacting low-income communities and communities of color to her work, and has a professional and educational background in environmental justice.
Laurie served as the Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Bay Area regional environmental justice organization Urban Habitat, where she was the architect of the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI). Prior to her work at Urban Habitat, Laurie taught in and directed a number of academic programs for under-represented students. As part of her commitment to the environment, she serves as a member of the board for TransForm, a California policy and advocacy organization that promotes walkable communities with excellent transportation choices in order to connect people of all incomes to opportunity and help solve our climate crisis.
Laurie’s favorite activity is getting out of the city with her watercolors and easel and recording her own impressions of our gorgeous California landscapes.
Smita was born in India and grew up in San José, California. In 2002, she and her cousins in the foothills of the Indian Himalaya launched the Mountain Children’s Foundation, which works to empower young people in mountain regions to transform their own communities. She also volunteers as a mentor for foster youth and is involved with a number of other nonprofit organizations working here and abroad. She is humbled by the natural beauty around us and passionate about protecting our wilderness and its inhabitants — especially the South Bay’s unique and beautiful Coyote Valley.
She is deeply grateful for the work Green Foothills has done to protect our open space and for its Community Leadership Academy (CALA), which opened up a treasure trove of new ideas, skills and experiences. She is excited to help Green Foothills with these and its other initiatives.
Dan grew up in San Jose and has a PhD in Physics from Stanford. He has lived in Portola Valley since 1977, and has long enjoyed hiking and camping in the Bay Area and the Sierras with family and friends. As his career progressed from academic high-energy physics, through Decision Analysis, to financial engineering and risk management, he maintained his interest in the environment; retired, he now has more time to focus on the legacy we will leave future generations.
Dan has served on the boards of Hidden Villa and Acterra, as a guide with Hidden Villa’s Environmental Education Program, and as a Jasper Ridge docent. He has supported Green Foothills for years. An avid photographer, he contributes his nature photographs to several conservation organizations. His photographs are at CaptureTheLight.Zenfolio.com.
Dan is awed by the legacy of Green Foothills and wants to help advance its mission in the future.
Robert grew up in Sunnyvale during those years when orchards and farmland formed a contiguous greenbelt to the adjacent Cities, Bay and Santa Cruz Mountains. His father was a Civil Engineer specializing in land development and worked on marking the Bay to Sea Trail up Stevens Creek with Semiperverins. During Robert’s involvement with the De Anza College California History Center, he wrote chapter 1 of The Cupertino Chronicles on the history of the wineries on Montebello Ridge.
Robert graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in the Political Economy of Natural Resources. During his last quarter, he did a work study on Coyote Valley with Greenbelt Alliance. That was 40 years ago. He realized his dream of being involved in land use planning when he was appointed to the Sunnyvale Planning Commission and then elected to the Sunnyvale City Council. He also previously served on the Board of the Committee for Green Foothills.
As a real estate appraiser, his professional activities have included work in eminent domain, arbitration, flowage easements as well as being jointly retained by local government agencies and land owners to help the parties agree to a sale price for open space land through mediation and without the necessity of eminent domain. He has had the opportunity to serve on the Santa Clara County and City and County of San Francisco Assessment Appeals Board, quasi-judicial bodies which adjudicate real and personal property assessment disputes between property owners and the Counties.
He currently serves as the Chair of the Land Use Committee of the San Jose City Council Evergreen District 8 Community Round Table, a non-profit community group. He found myself in the thick of the San Jose No on Measure/Yes on Measure C campaign which resulted in meeting the enormously wonderful and effective Megan. The campaign was an unexpected, intense and incredible experience which has resulted in me once again getting involved with Committee for Green Foothills.
Katie and her partner, Barbara, have lived gratefully on the Coastside since 1990, enjoying the wide open spaces, ocean and beaches, trails and trees, and opportunities for cycling, hiking, sailing and boogie-boarding and simple contemplation. Finding an ally in Green Foothills – and, originally, Lennie Roberts – they have spoken up against inappropriate developments and embraced efforts to preserve open space and supported the organization’s development efforts. Katie and Barbara have also volunteered as Peninsula Open Space Trust easement monitors for a large ranch on the Coastside for more than a decade. In addition to her work as editorial director for an investment research firm, Katie also serves as the chair of the board of trustees of Mills College in Oakland and on the board of the Istituto Italiano Scuola in San Francisco.
I’m a Belmont native. I was a SF State Environmental Studies student and part-time grocery clerk; now I’m a CivicSpark Fellow for the City of Hayward Environmental Services Department and a tenant/immigrant rights advocate. At Hayward, I do greenhouse gas emissions reporting and promote community engagement through environmental programs. Back home, I organize with One San Mateo to advance tenants rights; and, I present before local government councils to enhance immigrant protections. CALA has taught me how to empower my community to influence local government policy.
Charlie Tomberg grew up in the green, wooded suburbs of New England where he learned an appreciation for the natural world and spent many happy hours hiking the trails near his house. He has lived in the greater San Francisco Bay Area for almost thirty years and has experienced many of the parks and natural wonders the area has to offer. After a successful career in the computer industry, he transitioned to working in the philanthropic sector, earned a Masters degree in Philanthropic Studies and started the Tomberg Family Philanthropies, his family’s charitable foundation.
Charlie brought his lifetime passion for the outdoors and the environment to this work by establishing support for environmental projects as one of the Philanthropies’ top funding areas. He has also served on the Foster City Parks and Recreation Committee, completed an internship at a local land trust, and volunteered for several other nonprofits. Charlie loves to travel and to be exposed to different places and cultures. This has strengthened his passion for preserving the natural beauty of the Bay Area.
Watt leads initiatives focused on climate-resilient solutions for the biggest challenges of our time: urban sprawl, natural and working lands conservation, and growth of healthy, thriving communities for all. She works with local and state leadership to bring transformative approaches to such pressing challenges as the October 2017 Wine Country Firestorms, where partnerships have formed to accelerate production of a range of housing choices, not just in the fire zones, but in infill areas where housing production has been lagging. Durable and significant results of her work include the permanent protection of over 243,000 acres (90 percent) of the Tejon Ranch through agreements between environmental organizations and the Tejon Ranch Company, combined urban growth boundaries and transfer of development credits to grow the City of Livermore up and conserve high value natural and wine producing lands beyond, and a sales tax measure generating hundreds of millions for conservation in Orange County. She was instrumental in forming the Council of Infill Builders and is an active Board member on two major California Conservancies, Santa Lucia and Tejon Ranch. Professional memberships include Lambda Alpha International, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners. In her spare time, Terry’s passions extend to hiking, swimming, sailing and gardening.Being a part of Committee for Green Foothills’ mission advances her personal mission to conserve California’s open spaces, farmlands and natural resources while building up better neighborhoods and communities for all.
Bill and his young family moved to the Bay Area from Michigan on his daughters first birthday in 1972 as he pursued his career in high tech manufacturing management. They moved to Palo Alto in 1978 following the birth of their second child.
Walking and enjoying open spaces has been an important part of family life for the Whitmers. This was especially important while their children were young as they tried to pass appreciation for the beauty of the natural world and understanding our place in it on to the next generation. It’s a joy for them to see these values being passed to their grandchildren.
Following retirement in 1997, Bill took the opportunity to volunteer for a variety of non-profits with emphasis on environmental and service organizations. He was a board member and Treasurer for several years at Committee for Green Foothills and Committee for Green Foothills Action. He is currently a trustee at Hidden Villa. Jan and Bill enjoy traveling to the worlds natural places where they enjoy walking, scuba and learning about other cultures. Other interests include theater, modern art and jazz music.
As a member of the advisory board, Bill hopes to share his experience in financial management and strategic planning with Committee for Green Foothills. He believes that preserving and defending the open areas of the Bay Area is very important in these days of increased pressure on environmental protection. “We live in a very special place. Preserving it for the appreciation and education of future generations is a very important part of our duty as citizens”.
Jim is a 5th generation resident of the San Francisco Peninsula. He has been actively involved in protecting and enhancing the environment in San Mateo County for most of his life, starting at age 19 when he incorporated the first outdoor education program in the County and worked closely with Ollie Mayer to develop a broad ranging curriculum for adolescents from the County’s public schools, hospitals, and its juvenile hall. In the 1970s he worked with Lennie Roberts to develop the first heritage tree ordinance in the County, while also revising the County’s timber harvest ordinance to better protect the County’s forests. While attending law school, Jim worked as a staff assistant to Congressman Pete McCloskey, with whom he focused on coastal issues. More recently, he has served on the Board of Audubon California and as an alternate member on the California Coastal Commission.Professionally, Jim has worked over the past decades in Silicon Valley based start-up and large-cap media technology companies, leading their business development and/or corporate development teams. Jim has been a long term supporter of Committee for Green Foothills and is excited to be an advisory board member.