Who We Are

Meet Our Board

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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


 

  • ROD MEADE, Chair

    ROD MEADE, Chair

    Rod joined the SRT Board in 2018, becoming Board Chair in 2021. In his capacity as owner/President of R J Meade Consulting, Rod provided public policy, environmental planning, regulatory and entitlement guidance to a variety of large-scale public and private clients. He was responsible for formulating regulatory approval strategies for clients, including The Irvine Ranch, Tejon Ranch, Rancho Mission Viejo and Yokohl Ranch. Rod managed teams of technical and biological consultants necessary to obtain the local, state and federal agency approvals of proposed residential and commercial development. A key element of Rod’s consultation involved managing the design of permanent natural community reserves to protect sensitive species and habitat and formulating long-term adaptive management and funding programs to support those reserves. On behalf of public sector clients, Rod served briefly as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Delta Vision Initiative, was the Restoration Administrator for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, and served as the Land Use and Agriculture Consultant to the Great Valley Center for the Governor’s San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Initiative. Rod retired at the end of 2017. He continues to provide assistance to environmental organizations.

  • BRIAN W. GRANT, Vice Chair

    BRIAN W. GRANT, Vice Chair

    Brian Grant serves as Executive Vice President for Nickel Family, LLC, a diversified, family owned agribusiness company with operations in Kern, Fresno and Merced Counties. He previously held Vice President positions with Bolthouse Farms and the Tejon Ranch Company. He brings over 20 years of experience in agriculture, water management, real estate and ranch operations to the SRT Board. He holds a B.S. degree in Agricultural Business from Colorado State University, a Postgraduate Certificate in Resource Studies from Lincoln University in New Zealand, a Master of Public Policy and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University. In addition to serving on the SRT Board, he serves on a variety of water agricultural boards throughout the San Joaquin Valley. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters, fly fishing, skiing, or playing tennis. Brian joined the SRT Board in December 2015, and was elected SRT Board Vice Chair in 2018.

  • KATHY PERKINSON, Treasurer

    KATHY PERKINSON, Treasurer

    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.

  • JULIE ALLEN, Secretary

    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 SRT 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.

  • MIKE CHRISMAN

    MIKE CHRISMAN

    A fourth-generation Californian, Mike Chrisman is owner/partner of Chrisman Ranches, a family ranching and farming business in Tulare County. Chrisman served as California Secretary of Natural Resources from 2003 until 2010, overseeing policies, activities, a budget of $6.1 billion and 17,000 employees in 25 departments, commissions, boards and conservancies. As a member of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s cabinet, he served as the governor’s chief adviser on issues related to the state’s natural, historic, and cultural resources. Chrisman also chaired the California Ocean Protection Council, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and the Delta Stewardship Council.

    In 2010, he became the director of the Southwestern Partnership Office for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. There, he oversaw the foundation’s fish, wildlife, and habitat programs in the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona until 2013.

    Prior to becoming natural resources secretary, Chrisman served as region manager for Southern California Edison Company, where he managed all phases of company and customer business, and the political and civic activities in Edison’s San Joaquin Valley service area. From 1994 to 1996, he served as undersecretary for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. From 1997 to 2003, he served on the California Fish and Game Commission, where he also was chair of the Wildlife Conservation Board. Chrisman joined the SRT Board of Directors in 2020.

  • PETE COWPER

    PETE COWPER

    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.

  • DON KAPLAN

    DON KAPLAN

    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.

  • MARK LARSEN

    MARK LARSEN

    Mark Larsen is General Manager for Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District in the southern San Joaquin Valley. He joined the SRT Board in 2016 and served as Chair until 2020.
    At the district, he manages projects, develops water management policy, and engages in developing and maintaining relationships with various local entities towards groundwater mitigation, water transfers, water education and conservation since 2002.
    Mark also serves as the Watermaster for the Kaweah and St. Johns Rivers Association, serves on the board of the Water Education Foundation, is the coordinator for the Greater Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency, and serves on the board of the Tulare County Flood Commission. Mr. Larsen holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from California State University, Fresno.

  • MIKE OLMOS

    MIKE OLMOS

    SRT past Board Chair Mike Olmos rejoined the board after his time as Visalia's top city administrator. He announced his retirement in 2017 following a 16-year career with the City of Visalia in various capacities.

    Olmos started as a city planner and was promoted to development services director in December 2002, overseeing planning, transit and engineering. After a city administration reorganization in 2004, he took over the public works department and was named as community development and public works director. In 2005, Olmos was appointed assistant city manager, then city manager in 2013 when he replaced Steve Salomon. During his stint as city manager, Olmos led Visalia's General Plan update, expected to guide the city's growth through 2030, and Measure N, a local tax measure seeking to fund road maintenance, police, and fire. Olmos also oversaw the development and construction of Visalia's Animal Care Center, Fire Station 53, the Visalia Emergency Communication Center, and a major upgrade to the Visalia Wastewater Treatment Plant.

  • MIMI SHULER

    MIMI SHULER

    Mimi Shuler is a noted educator and work-based learning authority whose innovative efforts with Porterville Unified School District are nationally known. After years of collaboration with Sequoia Riverlands Trust, Shuler retired from PUSD and joined the SRT board in 2020, where she now serves as a champion of SRT's conservation education programming. In 2017, she received the Excellence in Education Employee of the Year Award from Tulare County. In 2019, Shuler was featured in the PBS Nature-produced documentary on SRT's work entitled Nature's Keepers, with production by ValleyPBS and generous funding from the National Science Foundation and New York City PBS affiliate WNET. In addition to her volunteer service to SRT, Shuler currently serves as the JustServe.org specialist for Tulare County, connecting nonprofit organizations with volunteers that strengthen humanitarian work throughout the area.

  • IAN TREACHER

    IAN TREACHER

    Ian Treacher is a Financial Advisor based in San Luis Obispo, where he helps business owners, ranchers, farmers, and their families plan for financial goals. He currently serves on the board of directors for Literacy for Life in San Luis Obispo, where he is a member of his local Rotary International club. He is a past board member for Tulare County-based FoodLink. A graduate of University of Southern California, Ian enjoys surfing, camping, mountain biking, and hiking with his family. He joined the SRT board in December 2016.

  • COLBY WELLS

    COLBY WELLS

    Colby Wells is a Senior Public Affairs Manager for the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) in Fresno, Kings and Tulare Counties. He represents SoCalGas to local governments, business and community organizations, media outlets, and the community at large. Colby is active in many of the local business and community organizations within the three counties he serves. Through SoCalGas’ charitable giving program, he has participated in Happy Trails Riding Academy, ImagineU Children’s Museum, Foodlink Tulare County, Visalia Emergency Aid Council, Habitat for Humanity, United Way and various other organizations and programs. Colby currently serves on several community boards including the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Kings Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Workforce Investment Board of Tulare County, San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, Sequoia Riverlands Trust and the Redwood High School Band & Color Guard Boosters. Colby joined SoCalGas in 1997 after graduating from California State University, Fresno with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He currently lives in Visalia with his wife Carrie, 18-year-old son Logan, 16-year-old daughter Bethany, and 14-year-old daughter Shaylee. The family is very involved in Grace Community Church, music activities and horse-riding classes through Happy Trails Riding Academy.

SRT board of directors and staff at Carrizo Plain for the March 2017 board retreat.

Emeritus Board Members


ROB HANSEN

BRIAN NEWTON

SCOTT SPEAR

Advisors


 

  • Mike Chrisman
  • Rob Hansen
  • Dennis R. Keller
  • Mike Olmos
  • Jane T. Olson
  • Jean Osher
  • Sally Pace
  • Amy Pack
  • Elizabeth Palmer
  • Ron Paregien
  • Kenneth Richardson
  • Cliff Ronk
  • Jim Sullins
  • Karen Telallian
  • William Tweed
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