Our Board of Directors and Advisory Board consist of involved and committed community leaders who are passionate about the conservation and preservation of California's heartland. Read their biographies and discover the depth of skill and vision that govern SRT.
Board of Directors
GREG COLLINS, Board Chair
One of the early members of the Four Creeks Land Trust, which later became Sequoia Riverlands Trust, Greg is the principal in the consulting firm of Collins & Schoettler. This 30-year-old public sector planning firm provides a full range of planning services to cities and counties in the San Joaquin Valley. He served on the Visalia City Council and Visalia Redevelopment Agency from 1975 to 1991, presiding over the City of Visalia as it gained a reputation for innovative and progressive planning policies. From 1987 to 1991 he served as mayor and chairman of the Visalia Redevelopment Agency. He served another term on Visalia City Council from 2005 to 2009. Because of his planning background, Greg has chaired or served on committees dealing with land use, housing, redevelopment and circulation.
BILL DeLAIN, Vice Chair
Bill joined the SRT board in 2011. He is a Region Manager for Southern California Edison Company, where he manages and transacts all phases of company/customer business, political, and civic activities in Edison’s San Joaquin Valley service area. Bill serves as Board Chair of the Tulare County Workforce Investment Board. He is a Director of the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation, the Visalia Economic Development Corporation, and the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization.
DON KAPLAN, Treasurer
Don is a CPA and Investment Advisor who has worked in Visalia for more than 30 years. He has been a longtime supporter of SRT, having served on the Finance Committee since 2007. Don, his wife Sharon, and son Cameron, operate Mirizzi Farms, growing citrus and other tree fruit in the Visalia area, with attention to sustainability and concern for the environment. Don enjoys hiking, exploring the Central California Coast, great blues, and an occasional golf outing.
JULIE ALLEN, Secretary
Julie brings over 30 years experience in the southern Sierra Nevada, where she worked for many years as the land management planning staff officer, or planning director, of the Sequoia National Forest. She serves on the Tulare County Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) and on the corresponding state organization, CALAFCO. She brings considerable knowledge and expertise in land and resource planning in both the public and private sectors of California, along with strong skills in negotiation and facilitation. Julie values conserving healthy natural systems across public and private ownership boundaries, an interest and dedication she brought to SRT's Tule Oaks chapter in 1994. She first joined the board in 2002 and rejoined in 2014 because she believes that land trusts are an important, non-regulatory way to protect conservation values on private land. Julie owns and manages a small ranch in Springville where she has lived for 35 years.
Pete received his B.A. Degree in Business Administration at Humboldt State University in 1971. He worked for 12 years with Union Oil Company of California in Marketing and Distribution, before attended San Joaquin College of Law where he received his J.D. degree in 1988. He was admitted to the bar in 1988 and worked as a Deputy District Attorney for Tulare County before going into private practice in 1991. He practiced law at the firm of McKinney, Wainwright & Saul-Olson until 2009. Pete is a member of the Rotary Club of Visalia, served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Tulare County Library Foundation through 2012, and is a Governor of the Central California Scottish Society. He is a past president of the Valley Oak Region of Porsche Club of America and has served as Vice-President of the Visalia Chapter of the Experimental Aviation Association.
Barbara Bicais Foskett has been a citrus farmer and broker for the past 35 years. She was raised in the Napa Valley and relocated to Tulare County to grow specialty citrus. She is a graduate of Sonoma State University with a degree in business management. A resident of the area since 1990, Barbara lives in Springville, California.
Brian Grant serves as Vice President of Ag Operations at Bolthouse Farms in Bakersfield. He previously served as Vice President of Ranch Operations at Tejon Ranch Company. Brian joined the SRT Board in December 2015.
Ernie joined the board in 2014 after a long career with United Way of Tulare County, serving as its Executive Director. He lives in Exeter, California.
After a brief hiatus in accord with SRT By-laws, Barbara rejoined the SRT board in 2015. She is a Certified Public Accountant, and lives in Visalia, California.
Kathy joined the SRT board in 2014. She has served in various executive positions in large-scale real estate development and agribusiness ventures for over 30 years, and is a founding/emeritus board member of the Tejon Ranch Conservancy. Kathy is from a farming community in east central Illinois and currently resides both there and in Thousand Oaks, CA.
JACK SAHL, PhD
Jack Sahl is the founder and principle scientist of a boutique environment, health and safety consulting company. He earned his Ph.D in Epidemiology from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, with a Master of Science degree from the University of Minnesota. Through his company, Jack identifies urgent problems then assembles teams of business, policy, engineering, and scientific leaders to address high-priority issues and implement solutions that create lasting value. The focus is on the integration of energy, water and the environment to support “sustainable cities;” environmental management; and employee and public health and safety.
Prior to leading his company, Jack was an executive with Southern California Edison (SCE). He headed SCE’s Corporate Environment, Health & Safety Department and was responsible for all aspects of worker safety and environmental policy and programs. He was the Director of Environment & Resource Sustainability and was responsible for the development, strategy and implementation of SCE’s corporate responsibility and sustainability programs. Jack has also administered SCE’s charitable contributions in the area of environmental giving. Additionally, he led the development and implementation of SCE policy for electric and magnetic fields, spanning the frequency range of 0 Hz to microwave telecommunications.
In addition to serving on the Sequoia Riverlands Trust Board of Directors, Jack serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Conservation Corp and the National Forest Foundation. Additionally, he participates on the Technical Advisory Board for Lloyd's Registry Quality Assurance, the TWU Sector Council for the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda, and the Electric Power Research Institute’s Occupational Health and Safety Science Advisory Panel.
Gary Smith, from a multi-generational farming family west of Tulare, manages 4400 acres of farm property for a Northern European family with 250,000 acres worldwide. These productive farms include environmental restoration and conservation practices that are critical to sustainable agricultural practices. With a background in economics and banking as well as farming, Gary has worked closely with SRT on various projects and now lends his expertise to the SRT Board, which he joined in December 2015.
Jim graduated with a B.S. in animal husbandry from UC Davis followed by UC Davis Veterinary School where he earned a Doctor of veterinary medicine. He spent 10 years in private veterinary practice in the San Joaquin Valley and served as a Technical Services Veterinarian for the Upjohn Co, for 27 years, which became Pharmacia, which was sold to Pfizer Animal Health. He retired in 2007 and manages Buckeye Ranch, a 400 acre blue oak woodland in California Hot Springs. SRT manages the conservation easement that was established in 2007. The property is leased out for cattle grazing. His wife Gay's parents first purchased the property in the early sixties. Jim and Gay have lived at the ranch for 34 years. Jim joined the SRT board in 2013.
Emeritus Board Members
- Mike Chrisman
- Russell F. Hurley
- Dennis R. Keller
- Philip B. Laird
- Mike Olmos
- Jane T. Olson
- Jean Osher
- Sally Pace
- Amy Pack
- Elizabeth Palmer
- Ron Paregien
- Kenneth Richardson
- William Tweed