Board of Directors
Board Member, Coastside State Parks Association; Docent, Ano Nuevo State Park; Board member, Redwood Meadows Ranch Homeowners Association; former Leadership Team, Mid-Peninsula Democratic Volunteer Center; former hospital administrator and health policy analyst; resident of Menlo Park and Bonny Doon.
Senior Vice President of Virtual Channel Sales Strategy at Wells Fargo; strategy and process improvement management consultant at Bain & Company, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Ernst and Young; B.A. Brown University; M.B.A. Stanford School of Business.
Administrative Director of Natural Reserves & Coordinator of field Studies at the UCSC; Research Affiliate and Program Director of Central Coast Wetland Working Group at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, SJSU; BS Humboldt State University; Ph.D. Texas A&M University.
Managing Partner and Founder, Breakaway Energy Partners;
Former executive at NRG Energy, SunEdison, and Solar Power
Partners (acquired by NRG Energy). BA in Environmental
Chemistry, UC San Diego; MBA, University of Southern California.
Active cyclist, Bay Area native, and resident of Burlingame, Calif.
A senior-level nonprofit professional with more than 15 years of management and fundraising expertise at SF Parks Alliance, Ms. Demitz has successfully cultivated relationships with philanthropic donors to diversify revenue, scale fundraisers and events such as Party for the Parks to increase revenue and brand, and improve collaboration between internal departments to support strategic planning and new HR initiatives.
Director Product Marketing, Blue Coat Systems; former Senior Marketing Manager, Fortinet, Inc.; former Senior Marketing Manager, Cisco Systems, Inc.; former Product Manager, Apple Computer; member, Steering Committee, Neighbors Against Irresponsible Logging; resident of Los Gatos.
Former Vice President, AWD Technologies; former Quality Assurance Manager, Guy F. Atkinson Company; President, Myrtle L. Atkinson Foundation; Former President, Friends of Menlo Park Library; resident of Menlo Park.
Fred Keeley has held elected office for 24 years in the Monterey Bay Area. Mr. Keeley is the former Speaker pro tem of the California Assembly. He was the elected Treasurer of Santa Cruz County for ten years and an elected member of the Board of Supervisors for eight years. Now, Mr. Keeley teaches in the graduate program of Public Administration at SJSU and at the Panetta Institute of Public Policy. He is on the board of directors of Working Partnerships USA, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, and Sempervirens Fund. Mr. Keeley authored the two largest park and environmental protection bonds in the nation’s history, the California Marine Life Protection Act, and the California Ocean Science Trust Act.
President, Putnam Automotive, Inc.; Former President, Burlingame Chamber of Commerce; resident of Woodside.
A thirty-year career in California higher education (University of California, California State University); post-retirement consultant for all facets of political and issue-based campaigns; active sailor and cyclist; and an elected Member of the Santa Cruz Port Commission.
Former President and CEO of Corium and BioSeek, Inc.; former Executive VP and General Counsel of ALZA Corp. and corporate counsel at Cetus and Chiron. Current board member of biopharmaceutical companies and the non-profit organizations Campaign Legal Center and Issue One; B.A. Stanford University; J.D. Stanford Law School. Resident of Los Altos.
Woodside Community Foundation, Board of Directors; Amah Mutsun Land Trust, Board of Directors; Formerly, Senior Vice President of Cornish & Carey Commercial Real Estate; Former owner, Cornish & Carey Residential Real Estate; Former Board Member Woodside High School Foundation; UCB California Naturalist.
Vice President, Venture Investing at Citi Ventures; former investment professional at Bessemer Venture Partners and Longworth Venture Partners; former cofounder and head of product at a tech startup; hiking and camping enthusiast; resident of Redwood City.
Former senior administrator at Stanford and Santa Clara Universities, including serving as Associate Provost, Assistant to the President (Stanford), and Senior Assistant Dean in the Schools of Law and Engineering (Santa Clara). Bay Area native, long-time outdoors enthusiast, and artist. Resident of Menlo Park.
Retired Santa Cruz attorney; member and former hike leader, Sierra Club; resident of Soquel, California.
Sara Barth, Executive Director
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Sara Barth joined Sempervirens Fund in 2016 after 12 years working in leadership positions at The Wilderness Society (TWS), most recently as Senior Regional Director for the Pacific and Southeast regions. Sara oversaw TWS efforts to protect wildlands around the country, including successfully preserving over 1 million acres of federal land in California, and she completed a major climate adaptation project for the organization. Prior to TWS, Sara served as an environmental advisor to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer in Washington, D.C. Her other professional experience includes working for the National Wildlife Federation and the World Wildlife Fund on U.S. land and wildlife policy. Sara holds a B.A. in Biopsychology from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment.
Patrick Gibbons, Chief Financial Officer
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Patrick Gibbons joined Sempervirens Fund in 2014 and is responsible for all financial and accounting functions, human resources, information technology and office management. Before coming to Sempervirens Fund he worked as finance director at various local nonprofit organizations including The Hearing and Speech Center of Northern California, Meals on Wheels of San Francisco, San Francisco Parks Trust, Strybing Arboretum Society and Haight Ashbury Free Clinics. Patrick is a native of San Francisco and has a B.S. in Accounting from San Francisco State University.
Michael Kawalek, CFRE, Director of Philanthropic Engagement
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Michael Kawalek joined Sempervirens Fund in 2013, and he currently serves as the Director of Philanthropic Engagement. Before coming to Sempervirens Fund, he worked as Director of Development and Finance for Bay Area Wilderness Training and as a fundraiser for the Oakland Museum of California, the San Francisco Zoo, and KQED. Michael earned his Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential in 2015, serves as a Board Member for the Golden Gate Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is a Bay Area native.
Laura McLendon, Director of Land Conservation
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Laura McLendon is the Director of Land Conservation at Sempervirens Fund. She joined Sempervirens in 2006, and has spent the majority of her career working on land conservation projects that protect and restore redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains. As Director of Land Conservation, Laura oversees all land acquisition and strategic conservation projects, as well as the stewardship and care of all of Sempervirens’ properties and conservation easements. Previously, Laura worked at The International Ecotourism Society in Washington, D.C., and in the environmental education department of the Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens. Laura holds a B.A. in Human Biology and M.A. in Anthropological Sciences with concentrations in environmental science, policy, and resource management from Stanford University. Laura is a native Californian, professional visual artist, and currently resides in San Francisco, California.
Matt Shaffer, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
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Matt Shaffer joined Sempervirens Fund in 2020. For more than two decades Matt has worked with national and local nonprofits and foundations to advance brand, marketing, and communications strategies, and align and improve organizational priorities and health. Most recently he has served as Director of Marketing for The Trust for Public Land, Senior Brand Strategist with Mission Minded, and Vice President of Marketing for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. He is non-native to California, but has been a low-impact invasive resident in San Francisco and Marin County since 1996. He earned his Masters from San Francisco State University.
Ann Blanchard, Manager of Annual Philanthropic Giving
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Ann Blanchard joined Sempervirens in 2012. Ann has more than 10 years in non-profit service working in the social services field assisting adults with developmental disabilities. A Bay Area native who grew up camping at our local state parks, she holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of California, Davis and a B.F.A. in Visual Communications and Graphic Design from the International Academy of Design and Technology, Sacramento.
Alyssa Gillooley, Executive Assistant
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Alyssa Gillooley joined Sempervirens Fund in early 2018 as the Executive Assistant to Executive Director Sara Barth. With over 20 years in the non-profit sector, Alyssa has extensive experience in administration and project management and has a BA in Applied Economics from the University of San Francisco . Her earliest memory of the redwoods was on a vacation to California as a girl. “I remember how majestic the redwoods seemed at that time and I am still in awe of them today,” she says.
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Holly Grench joined Sempervirens Fund in 2017 as a Development Associate and assumed the role of Donor Relations Coordinator in 2018. She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Stanford University with a focus on nature and the environment in American culture. She grew up attending summer camp in the Bay Area where she first backpacked the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail and fell in love with California’s redwoods.
Beatrix Y. Jiménez, Land Stewardship Associate
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Beatrix Jiménez joined Sempervirens Fund in 2018 as a Land Stewardship Associate. She previously worked in environmental construction and remediation performing plant and wildlife surveys, restoration, and environmental compliance throughout California. Prior to that, she interned at Peninsula Open Space Trust assisting the Land Stewardship team. On her free time she enjoys hiking throughout the Santa Cruz and Diablo mountain ranges. Beatrix holds a B.A. in Biology (CCS) and a minor in Earth Science from UC Santa Barbara.
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Amanda Krauss is the Director of Tribute and Legacy Giving. She originally joined Sempervirens Fund 2011. After a short leave, she returned to Sempervirens Fund in 2019 to continue sharing her love of redwoods with others. Amanda currently serves on the Board of Directors for Cancer Support Sonoma, an organization that provides integrative therapies for people with cancer in Sonoma Valley, and holds an active CFRE fundraising credential. She graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in Art Studio and Avian Sciences and continues to go birding to gain inspiration for her artwork.
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Paige Rausser joined Sempervirens Fund in 2012 after nearly 15 years at The Trust for Public Land (TPL). As a Senior Project Manager at TPL, Paige’s projects protected thousands of acres of southern California coastal habitat from Otay Mountain in San Diego, to the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles, to ocean properties in Santa Barbara County. After managing the complex Cahuenga Peak project, which included an international communication and fundraising effort as well as public and private funding, Paige decided it was time to do conservation work closer to home. Growing up in Los Altos, Paige spent her childhood hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains and hanging out on the beaches. At Sempervirens Fund, Paige works to protect priority properties through fee acquisition, conservation easements and other tools that will most effectively save redwoods for future generations to enjoy. Paige earned her B.S. in Political Economy of Natural Resources from U.C. Berkeley and her M.E.M. from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Ian Rowbotham, Land Stewardship Manager
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Ian Rowbotham joined Sempervirens Fund in 2016 as the Land Stewardship Project Associate. He holds an M.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University, with a focus on sustainable resource use. Before coming to Sempervirens Fund, he conducted research on the effects of climate change on forests of the Sierra Nevada and the movement and physiology of white sharks and bluefin tuna.
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Julie Seelen joined Sempervirens Fund in 2018 as Associate Director of Philanthropic Engagement. She comes to Sempervirens Fund with more than a decade of experience working locally in the land trust community, including many years as the Development Director for Save Mount Diablo. More recently she was with California Trout and The Fund for People in Parks. She serves on the Board of Directors for Las Trampas–an organization supporting adults with developmental disabilities–and holds an active CFRE fundraising credential. In her spare time, she wanders in Redwood Regional Park and is looking forward to explore the trails among the redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Julie has a Master’s degree in Architecture and Building Construction from the University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
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Lillian Tsai joined Sempervirens Fund in 2019 as the Manager of Philanthropic Engagement. Lillian grew up on the Northern California coast and developed a full appreciation of the majesty of the forest while at the University of California in Santa Cruz (and earned her B.A. in Economics as well). While her background in is Finance, Lillian has worked for numerous not-for-profit entities and joins Sempervirens Fund’s development team with a strong desire to promote the preservation of our natural surroundings.
- Gage Dayton, Chair, Ph.D.
- Anthony R. Ambrose, Ph.D.
- Nona Chiariello, Ph.D.
- Philippe S. Cohen, Ph.D.
- Virginia Matzek, Ph.D.
- Lisa Micheli, Ph.D.
- Wallace “J” Nichols, Ph.D.
- Scott Stephens, Ph.D.
- Chris Wilmers, Ph.D.
- Andrew P. Hill
- George C. Collins
- Howard J. King
- Claude A. “Tony” Look
- Dorothy Varian
What does the Royal Air Force’s victory in the Battle of Britain have in common with the establishment of Castle Rock State Park? Russell Varian. Learn more about the integral role this Silicon Valley hero and his widow, Dorothy Varian, played in the history of Sempervirens Fund on the Sempervirens Fund Podcast.