President, Los Altos Hills
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.
Vice President, San Jose
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.
Secretary, Redwood City
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.
Treasurer, Los Altos
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.
Kris Lannin Liang
Kris is a third-generation Bay Area native with a passion for parks, pinnipeds and architecture. As Deputy Director of Public Affairs for California State Parks, she managed special projects, interfaced with the governor’s office and represented the department in matters involving the California Film Commission. She utilizes her skills as a UC Certified Naturalist to indoctrinate the public about the abundant natural wonders at Año Nuevo State Park and Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, and advocates for marine mammal protection along the San Mateo County coast.
An active volunteer with The Marine Mammal Center, Kris rescues and rehabilitates seals, sea lions and otters. Her love of seals has taken her to Ireland, where she rehabilitated harbor and grey seals, and to the Farallon Islands where she worked with elephant seals for Point Blue Conservation Science. She monitors harbor seals for Point Reyes National Seashore and Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, and is an Oiled Wildlife Network Responder. Kris is also a huge architecture groupie that represents Moss Beach on the Coastside Design Review Committee.
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.
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.
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.
Jo-Ann Byrne Sockolov
Jo-Ann is a lifetime local resident and never ceases to be awestruck by the incredible beauty and diversity of our natural surroundings. Jo-Ann is a 2015 graduate of CGF’s Community Advocates Leadership Academy (CALA). She is a Planning Commissioner for the Town of Atherton, and member of Atherton’s Tree Committee. She is a business, social enterprise, and community leader. Jo-Ann has a B.S. in Business and a B.A. and M.A. in Speech Communications Studies, and holds designations as a Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Fundraising Executive.