Our Board of Directors is an all-volunteer, working board consisting of up to 12 members. Board members make policy decisions and take roles in running the organization. The board meets monthly at various locations.
Tim Wallace, President, has been involved with natural resources all his life, first as rancher and logger, then later in academics. He has been at UC Berkeley since 1963. "I've worked in the White House on agricultural matters and was Director of California's Department of Food and Agriculture. I've done consulting abroad in Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Far East."
Joseph H. Engbeck Jr., Vice-President, has written extensively about the history of California and the American West. He has been actively involved in the environmental movement since 1960, including Save the Redwoods League, Save the Bay, the California Historical Society, and People for Open Space. He was editor of the State Park System's publications program as well as founder of the Claremont-Elmwood Neighborhood Association and the Friends of Claremont Canyon.
Marilyn Goldhaber is a native of Oakland and a graduate from UC Berkeley with degrees in mathematics and biostatistics. Before joining the Claremont Canyon Conservancy board she worked in epidemiology at Kaiser Permanente and in two State Health Departments. After the 1991 Oakland Fire, she and 11 other members of the community formed a task group to educate themselves in fire ecology and learn how to live in an wildland-urban interface. The group incorporated as a nonprofit in 2001 and the Claremont Canyon Conservancy was born.
Jon Kaufman, Vice President, was executive vice president and a partner at Solem & Associates, a San Francisco-based public relations before retiring in 2015. Jon's work involved working with public officials and advising clients on public policy issues, including public utilities and transportation, land use, and energy, throughout the Bay Area. His interest in wildlife conservation and the environment date from his childhood growing up in Cleveland, Ohio where is father was a city planner and worked to save local parkland. Jon heads up the stewardship program for the Conservancy.
Nancy Mueller is a native Californian and has lived in East Bay since coming to study at UC in 1967. After graduating in humanities, she taught sixth grade for a while, then went on to become one of the area's leading realtors. A resident of Alvarado Road since the late 1970s, Nancy was always curious about the overgrown park, we now fondly know as John Garber Park, and thought it would be a wonderful place for her two young boys to play—if only it was more safe and accessible.
Fast forward to the 1991 great fire. Nancy’s husband Robert fought along side firemen saving their house at the very edge of the burn zone. After the fire, Nancy had a further desire to see Garber Park developed and the whole canyon made more fire safe. In conversation with other neighbors, the concept of a Claremont Canyon Conservancy was hatched and Nancy became one of the 12 founding board members. Nancy’s concern about reducing critical fuel loads and her years negotiating real estate transactions encouraged her to rejoin the board in 2016 to work for the safety of all.
Dick White is a professor of electrical engineering at Berkeley, specializing in sensors. He has co-authored two technical reference books and an introductory textbook. In spite of its risks, he lives on Panoramic Hill because of its proximity to the open spaces of Strawberry and Claremont Canyons and the view. Watching the 1970 and 1991 Berkeley-Oakland fires from atop the Hill motivated him to help organize neighborhood emergency preparedness activities and to serve on the Berkeley Fire Commission and the Berkeley Disaster Council.
Jerry Kent, formerly with the East Bay Regional Park District, began his career as a park workman in 1962 and retired 41 years later as the Assistant General Manager of Operations. During most of his tenure he oversaw fire related vegetation management programs District-wide. He had a front-row-seat during the expansion of the Park District from six parks that totaled 6,000 acres in 1962 to 65 parks and over 100,000 acres today. He was the Park District's representative while developing the East Bay Hills Vegetation Management Consortium Fire Hazard Mitigation Program and Plan following the 1991 Tunnel Fire. Jerry retired from the Park District in 2003, but continues to devote his time toward fire safety in the East Bay Hills.
Bob Strayer is originally from farm country in eastern Ohio but moved to the Bay Area at a young age. He's had many careers, from farmer to fire equipment; construction to computer programmer/developer; amateur scientist to advanced neuromuscular massage therapist. "Growing up poor taught me the importance of service to the community. When I moved to Claremont Canyon in 2010, I discovered Garber Park, a 1920's park that had been neglected for decades. I joined in the effort to restore the park and am honored to now be a member of such a distinguished board and be afforded the opportunity to help carry out our mission statement as a steward of the Claremont Canyon."
Steve Holtzman is currently a Partner with the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Holtzman was a Trial Attorney with the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice in San Francisco. Mr. Holtzman is also on the Board of Directors and is a two-time alumnus of the Student Conservation Association. As part of his SCA work, Mr. Holtzman has a substantial background in trail maintenance and construction. He regularly contributes to numerous environmental and conservation causes.
Josh Borkowsk is a GIS specialist with former training trail building and landscape management. Josh lives in Oakland and can be found often on the trails in Claremont Canyon as an avid hiker and weekend volunteer. More coming soon.
Volunteer for the board
If you are interested in advocacy and would like to volunteer for a board committee, fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.