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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
L-R: Sally Foster, Supervisor Dave Roberts, Scott Griffiths, and Pastor Bill Harman at the Harbaugh Seaside Trails Unveiling
San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy is governed by a volunteer board of directors, whose skills include scientific, legal, business, and professional expertise.
Doug Gillingham, President
Doug went for a run in the lagoon the day he moved to Solana Beach. Inspired by that welcoming experience in 1989, he’s been an advocate for this wetland and a Conservancy supporter ever since. Each fall, Doug listens for the honking of geese on migration, returning to the lagoon as they swoop over his neighborhood before setting down for the night—his enthusiasm (running through the house to the yard for a look) even inspires his kids. Doug is onboard to help the Conservancy advance its mission to protect and enhance the lagoon, and in particular to help with challenges and opportunities presented by the planned San Elijo Lagoon Restoration Project. When not running, bicycling, chasing his kids, and greeting geese from the reserve in his backyard, Doug works as a licensed civil engineer consulting in the areas of water supply planning and engineering for public and private clients.
Nicolle Selby-Thomas, Vice President
Nicolle and her family have lived near the San Elijo Lagoon for over 20 years. She has been a long-time Conservancy supporter and advocate. Her appreciation for land preservation and open space, along with her interest in watershed education, inspired her to join the board in 2012. Nicolle recently left Qualcomm with over 20 years of experience in leadership positions focused on Procurement/Supply Chain Management. Additionally, she has held leadership positions at several aerospace and defense firms. Nicolle holds a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and was a former instructor for Contracts Management Extended Studies Program at San Diego State University. Nicolle was a past recipient of "Tribute to Women & Industry (TWIN) Award". Recently, she was recognized as Volunteer of the Year at North County Philanthropy 2016 Award Ceremony. Nicolle's interests include playing soccer, as well as walking or running the trails of the lagoon with friends and her dog.
David Kramer, Secretary
David and his wife, Debbie, are longtime Solana Beach residents. David is a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, and relocated to San Diego County in 1984. He and Debbie raised their two children, Joel and Tamara, on South Rios Avenue for many years. Their proximity to San Elijo Lagoon inspired their membership. David is the founder of Oakhurst Builders, a construction company specializing in custom residential and small commercial projects. One of the company's goals is sustainable and solar powered construction. He has a naturalist’s passion for the outdoors, geography, bird watching, and travel.
Matthew Adams, CPA, Treasurer
Matt was born and raised in Olivenhain, and has always enjoyed the reserve for hikes and sunset views. In recent years, Matt and his wife Danielle wanted to further support the Conservancy, so they joined the President’s Council. Matt is a Certified Financial Planner and CPA with Aspiriant, a family wealth management firm in Solana Beach. Matt was a volleyball scholar athlete at UC Santa Barbara and graduated cum laude with a business economics degree, emphasizing accounting. He received his CPA while working for Deloitte LLP. In his free time, Matt is usually keeping tabs on his twin baby girls Evelyn & Avery Adams. Matt also enjoys surfing various Cardiff reef breaks, scuba diving, hiking, and camping.
Bill Harman, Pastor
Pastor Bill's interest in the Conservancy stems from his environmental concerns and expressing those concerns in our local setting. He has been a supporter of various national conservation groups, including Sierra Club and other wildlife foundations. Pastor Bill decided upon retirement to concentrate all these various concerns into support for SELC. He feels that, as a retired Lutheran pastor, part of his Christian faith calls upon him to be concerned for God's creation. Pastor Bill hopes his presence on the Board can help to make San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy better known in our area, and that he can contribute to its educational goals. He graduated from Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH in 1961, the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, IL and received his ThM in Theology from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. He completed post graduate work in Islamic and African Culture at Hartford Seminary Foundation in Hartford, Connecticut in 1967. Pastor Bill serves as teacher/community ambassador at The Grauer School, which has worked closely with the Conservancy over the years. He has been married to Patricia since 1965 and they have two sons, two granddaughters and two grandsons.
Anita Hayworth, PhD
Anita has lived in Encinitas for 20 years and has been avidly birding Southern California since she moved to the region in 1988. She has always placed a high priority on working in conservation and habitat management. She has especially focused on birds and has and continues to conduct studies on their physiology, monitoring population changes, and conducting surveys for various endangered species and their habitat needs. San Elijo Lagoon, being located in such close proximity for both work and play, has been important for her personal and professional experience. As a parent, she helped out with school trips to the lagoon, enriching the visit and knowledge and even providing art experiences for children. Anita feels the lagoon is an important connection to nature that is close enough for all members of society to enjoy and for her to visit regularly, and, for a birdwatcher, is a treasure chest of birds.
Anita received her PhD from University of California Davis in Ecology, taught ornithology at Davis and then moved to Southern California. She is currently senior biologist and project manager at Dudek, a local environmental and engineering firm, and provides support for proposed projects as well as functioning as habitat manager for a number of open space preserves in San Diego County. While her specialty and passion is birds and butterflies, she is a general wildlife biologist well versed in permitting and agency coordination.
Susie has lived near San Elijo Lagoon for 30 years. She has enjoyed walking and running the trails and observing lagoon birds, animals, springtime flowers, and fall colors. She participates regularly in area bird counts and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Project FeederWatch. She is a long-term supporter of the Conservancy and has been a member of the President’s Council for 7 years. Susie graduated from UC San Diego with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. She is currently a lab coordinator at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where she engages in biological research.
Kevin K. Johnson, Esq.
Kevin is a 1980 graduate of the University of California, Davis, School of Law. He specializes in land use and environmental law. He is a Founding Board Member for SELC (1987) and served as its President from 1991 to 2001. He also serves as General Counsel the Conservancy.
Linda Jones, PhD
Linda is a native San Diegan and received her PhD in marine ecology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Linda retired from NOAA after working as Deputy Director and marine mammal scientist at the NW Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, WA. Upon returning to San Diego in 2007, she became involved in the Conservancy because she enjoys the lagoon. Learn more about Linda's contributions as Naturalist In the Spotlight. Linda is also a Master Gardener and is a member of the Master Gardener Association of San Diego County, a UC Irvine program.
Michael Lea, PhD
Michael is a retired academic and financial services executive. He has a PhD in economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has taught at Cornell University, San Diego State University, the University of California, San Diego and the Wharton International Housing Finance Program at the University of Pennsylvania. His most recent position was Visiting Professor of Finance and Director of the Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate at San Diego State. Michael joined the board in January 2017.
Megan has lived in Solana Beach for 15 years with her husband while raising their two children. She was born and raised in Oregon and has a strong love of nature, the beach and our lagoons. Her professional background is primarily in Marketing Communications. For 10 years she served as Product Manager at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington. At Microsoft, she focused on increasing revenue for key software products through retail, corporate and online channels of distributions by account management, product promotions and marketing programs that included extensive sales force product training, creative team management and development of marketing vehicles such as newsletters, direct marketing and advertising. Megan attained her BA from the University of Santa Clara in Santa Clara. In her spare time, Megan enjoys reading, cooking, entertaining and travel with her family.
John is a native San Diegan and was raised in the community of Del Cerro. He grew up surfing in the local waters from Sunset Cliffs to Carlsbad and is an avid waterman. He has lived in Encinitas for the past 20 years with his wife Carla and their two sons. He and his family have been concerned about the health of San Elijo Lagoon. He enjoys golf, surfing and skiing. John earned a bachelor's degree in Economics from UCSD and a Masters from SDSU's Executive MBA program. He currently works for AT&T. He represents the company in educating the public on AT&T's Sustainability efforts and other operational matters. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce and has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Mottino Family YMCA, San Diego North Economic Development Council, Encinitas Rotary Club and San Diego Regional Technology Alliance. John joined the board in January 2017.
Ed and his wife Janet came to Solana Beach from Orange County in 1990, and soon discovered hiking in San Elijo Lagoon. He is a director at Union Bank in his 30-year career in bank management, and member of its Foundation’s Local Area Committee. He enjoys nonprofit volunteering, including the Board of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (San Diego). A Southern California native, he holds degrees from CSU Fullerton and UC Los Angeles. His hobbies include freshwater fly fishing, golf, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Elizabeth Venrick, PhD
Elizabeth Venrick joined the board in 2008. She is a biological oceanographer emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, specializing in phytoplankton ecology. She served on California Fish and Game Commission between 1976 and 1982. More recently, she has directed the Scripps component of California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations. Elizabeth became involved with the Conservancy first as a docent, then as a member of the 20th Anniversary Committee. Since 2012 she has been working to establish the Guide to the Plants of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. With a total reserve plant list exceeding 300 plants, she expects to be around for a while.
Paul has lived in North County all his life, where he has devoted his life to service through leadership in his profession and his community. He enjoys running and hiking along the trails in the Lagoon, and often has a pair of binoculars in hand to check out the local bird population. He has helped out at many of the restoration events in the Reserve over the years. This is his second time to serve on the Conservancy's Board, having served as Treasurer from 2010-2014. He also has served as co-chair of the Conservancy's last two Birds of a Feather Galas and returns as co-chair in 2017. Paul has been a professional realtor for 37 years, currently working for Sea Coast Exclusive Properties in Encinitas.
PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL CHAIR
Tom Golich is a longtime Solana Beach resident whose home overlooks San Elijo Lagoon. He and his wife, Donna, cherished their lagoon walks with their family, beginning more than 50 years ago, and still do today. Tom joined the conservancy’s board of directors in the 1990s and served for six years. He also volunteered in community leadership on the Solana Beach City Council, from 1998 to 2004, and was mayor for one term. During this time Tom became more familiar with the development issues facing the property now known as Harbaugh Seaside Trails. When the opportunity to purchase the property was presented, Tom and Donna joined in to support the conservancy as one of the lenders to this land acquisition. He has stayed active in this role and serves on the committee to oversee the coastal overlook's restoration for public trails and native habitat. Tom recently served on the board for San Dieguito River Valley Park Joint Powers Authority, and chaired its Citizens Advisory Committee.
2017 BIRDS OF A FEATHER GALA CO-CHAIR
Sally is dean emeritus of the San Elijo campus of MiraCosta College, a site which borders the reserve. She helped SELC sponsor the first Lagoon Lecture Series, which raised awareness in our community about the reserve, its geology, its history, the plants and birds that live there, as well as the issues we will face in the future as we continue to protect and restore it. Sally coordinates the LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone) program at the San Elijo Campus of MiraCosta College and serves on the Scholarship Committee of the Coastal Community Foundation. A native of Michigan, Sally earned a B.A. from University of Michigan and then moved to California where she earned a M.A. in Psychology at Chico State. She has lived in Encinitas since 1978, and has two sons. It was her younger son's Environmental Impact Study, for a biology class in high school, that got Sally and her family particularly interested in San Elijo Lagoon. Her son chose a site next to the lagoon for his year-long study. He would visit his site several times a month, recording seasonal changes in the levels of flora and fauna, and paying special attention to human-related impacts to the estuary. Sally was a Conservancy board member from December 2007-December 2016. Sally was recognized as Volunteer of the Year at North County Philanthropy Council 2015 Award Ceremony.
The board of directors leads the conservancy in its mission to protect and restore San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, its watershed, and related ecosystems for the benefit of current and future generations. Founded in 1987, San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy is a community-supported nonprofit land trust for San Elijo Lagoon.
Our vision is a world where biodiversity is preserved and people act to conserve nature and embrace it as central to a healthy community.
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