Meet our Board of Directors

Original Board of Directors c1998

Left to Right: Sean Welch, Tim Vendlinski, Richard Kauffman, Jeff Stephens, Beth Keer, Rob Leidy, Mark Rauzon, Steve Ritchie, Ricky Jacobs, Harry Schrauth, Eleanor Dunn, Erin Patch, Carl Kohnert, and Paul Frank.

President - Jeff Stephens, Bid Manager

Jeff is an accomplished business communications, sales enablement, and sustainability professional with over 20 years experience in the real estate, energy, and environmental fields. He is a director of bid management for a large technology real estate firm where he oversees proposal preparation of private sector and government proposals. He has a particular interest in grant research, grant proposals, and broadening FOSC’s funding base. Jeff is a Fundamentals of Sustainable Accounting Credential holder from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and has a B.S. degree in Natural Resources Management. He enjoys trail running, mountain biking, and stand up paddle boarding.

Vice President - Eleanor Dunn, Veterinarian

Eleanor is a veterinarian and is the co-owner of the The Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital. She practices a holistic approach to veterinary health care and is certified in veterinary acupuncture. Eleanor has long been active in her local community, and is a founding member of the Friends of Sausal Creek. She is an avid local historian and has played a key role in the development of the Dimond Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park trail system.

Treasurer - Beth Keer, Retired Computer Executive, Retired Teacher

Beth spent most of her career in the computer industry, retiring in 2007 to become a teacher. At Hewlett Packard she was a lab director managing computer research in Cupertino and Palo Alto as well as in St. Petersburg, Russia. She managed software development labs and brought new computer technologies to market. Beth has a B.S. degree in Computer Science from San Francisco State University and a teaching credential from Mills College. After leaving Silicon Valley, she taught science to elementary school children in Oakland school district and at the Chabot Space & Science Center. Beth regularly volunteers in Beaconsfield Canyon, one of FOSC’s restoration sites. Her past community service has included: docent at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, California Native Plant Society member and volunteer, president of the board of directors for the Friends of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, and California Invasive Plant Council board member. Beth enjoys hiking, backpacking, knitting, cooking, propagating native plants, and spending time with her family.

Secretary - Richelle "Ricky" Jacobs, Psychotherapist

Ricky became Secretary of the FOSC Board of Directors in October 2012. She has lived in the Sausal Creek Watershed since 1988, especially enjoying and appreciating FOSC's superlative work in Dimond Park. It was seeing FOSC's effectiveness first hand that made her want to contribute her time to the organization. As a psychotherapist in private practice since 1975, Ricky has a deep-seated belief that a healthy psyche requires a healthy natural environment.  You can read more about her at

Carl Kohnert, EPA Emeritus

Carl had a long career with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, serving more than 25 years in the San Francisco Regional Office on the senior management team as a Deputy Division Director, leading air pollution, enforcement, field, and management programs. Carl came to the Friends of Sausal Creek in 2008 and joined the board as a way to share his lifelong interest in and enthusiasm for the environment. He loves being able to give back to the community through the hands-on experiences that the watershed provides. Carl serves on the Steering and Fundraising committees. He holds a B.S. degree in Economics from Southern Methodist University and a Masters degree in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin.

Morgan Capilla, EPA Environmental Policy Specialist

Morgan works in EPA Region 9’s Environmental Review Branch, where she reviews and comments on environmental impact statements prepared by other federal agencies pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic from 2012-2014. During her service, she collaborated with a women’s association on grassroots initiatives including improved cook stoves, ecotourism, and youth environmental education. She feels so fortunate to have worked alongside such a dedicated, resilient community organization; in working closely with them, she developed a profound appreciation for the ways in which grassroots movements can assist marginalized communities in overcoming environmental and public health disparities. Morgan holds a Master of Public Policy with a specialization in Environmental Policy from Duke University, and a Bachelor if Arts in English with a minor in Environmental Studies from UCLA. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling, going to concerts, and tutoring at an international school in Oakland.

Robert Leidy, Ecologist

Rob is an ecologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, San Francisco where he has worked in the Wetlands Office for nearly 30 years. He focuses his energies on a wide variety of projects involving the protection of streams, rivers, oceans, and wetlands throughout the American West and Pacific Islands. Rob is an expert on stream fishes of the San Francisco Estuary and California. When not coaching girls' softball, Rob devotes much of his professional and personal time to native fish research and conservation. Rob has B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, in Conservation Resource Studies and Wildland Resource Sciences, respectively, and holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Group In Ecology, U.C., Davis. Rob has been a Friends of Sausal Creek board member since 2010.   

Steven Ritchie, SF Public Utilities Commission

Steve is assistant general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and is responsible for overseeing water system operations and planning for the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System. Prior to this position, he managed the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, a multi-agency effort to restore 15,100 acres of valuable habitat in South San Francisco Bay while providing for flood risk management and public access. In his spare time he served as scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 203, which has been active in the Sausal Creek watershed for many years.

Tim Vendlinski, Life Scientist

Tim has been protecting and restoring urban creeks since 1980. In his youth, he spearheaded a drive to conserve 100 acres of oak woodlands and grasslands along Sacramento's Arcade Creek. After earning a B.S. degree in Environmental Policy and Planning from U.C., Davis, Tim served 27 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where he supervised the Wetlands Regulatory Program and the Bay Delta Program. There he helped renowned scientists formulate the "X2" salinity standards that underpinned the Bay Delta Accord of 1994, and he led the Interagency Vernal Pools Stewardship Initiative that conserved approximately 40,000 acres of rangelands across the Central Valley. Beginning in 2007, Tim spent four years at the nonprofit Sustainable Conservation as director of their Restoration on Private Lands Program. Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and friends, and celebrating diverse activities and interests including backpacking, baseball, concerts, cooking, cycling, gardening, photography, traveling, and everything vintage.

Barry Stenger

Barry Stegner is retired from a career that has spanned many interests and institutions. He has pastored a parish as a Franciscan priest; earned a Ph.D. in and taught social ethics at the graduate level; directed a small foundation; was the Director of Development of and then finished up as the Executive Director of St. Anthony Foundation, a large nonprofit serving the hungry and the homeless in San Francisco. Born and raised in the Fruitvale district where he again lives, Barry has had a long interest in and love for Sausal Creek, from exploring the creek and its tunnels as a kid to now joining his daughters in creek clean-up efforts. He hopes to help FOSC extend its fundraising efforts to involve more of the community.

Sean Welch, Attorney

Sean is a partner at a pre-eminent political and government law firm where he specializes in law and civil litigation in the areas of election, campaign finance, initiative/referenda, and governmental ethics and conflicts of interest. He is a graduate of Brown University and received his J.D. with honors from the University of California Hastings College of the Law. Sean joined the board in 2010 and helped establish the FOSC For the Future Fund, our endowment that, through the generosity and assistance of so many others, will help fund our future efforts.  


Emeritus - Harry Schrauth, Retired Oakland Public Works Administrator

Harry is a retired City of Oakland Public Works administrator who originally established the Environmental Services Division within the city organization. He has been active with FOSC since its inception and was instrumental in creating the Native Plant Demonstration Garden in Dimond Park. Harry has been a board member since 2006. A former high school and college sports official, Harry is currently involved in the assignment of officials for the California high school basketball and football playoffs. He has a B.S. degree in recreation and physical education from San Francisco State College, an M.S. in recreation administration from the University of Illinois, and an M.P.A. in public administration from Golden Gate University.

Emeritus - Mark Rauzon, Biologist, Professor at Laney College

Mark is a tenured geography professor at Laney College, Oakland and an expert in the effects and eradication of invasive animals and plants on tropical islands. He has extensive experience in restoration programs ranging from the removal of rats and cats on Pacific atolls to enhancing populations of threatened seabirds and shorebirds, for which he received the Special Achievement Award from the Pacific Seabird Group in 2006. His management planning experience includes the master plans for several wildlife refuges for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, US Navy, and restoration programs for US Marine Corps bases. He is an award-winning author of over 20 nonfiction science books for children and is an illustrator and photographer. His photos can be seen at Mark is a founding member of the Friends of Sausal Creek.

Student Board Member - John Cadiz

John Cadiz is a rising senior at University of California, Berkeley studying civil & environmental engineering. John’s main purpose and passion in pursuing a degree in civil engineering is to provide a voice and an outlet for communities and businesses to actively shape their own future and to create effective communication which can transcend beyond socioeconomic status and language barriers. He has done research on water management, arsenic filtration, and sustainable development which has peaked his interest in providing sustainability awareness and education. Besides academics and civil engineering, he loves to play piano, to take care of plants, and to visit national parks. At the end of the day, John’s belief and passion extends beyond the classroom in which he sought to further his ambitions by becoming a part of the FOSC Board of Directors.

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