The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation Board of Directors is an actively engaged group of volunteers and advisors. When fully appointed, the board of directors consists of 19 members. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors appoints 10 members, and the Parks Foundation board appoints nine. Board members raise funds for Regional Parks’ projects, serve as parks ambassadors in the community, and oversee the staff and budget of the Parks Foundation. The organization also hosts an advisory board of community leaders who provide strategic guidance for the nonprofit.
The Parks Foundation encourages interested individuals to learn more about the board and apply for board membership.
The Parks Foundation board of directors typically meets on the first Friday of each month at 8 a.m. Meetings are open to the public and are typically held at the second floor conference room at Sonoma County Regional Parks headquarters, 2300 County Center Drive, Santa Rosa. During pandemic, meetings are held on Zoom. Agendas are posted on this website in advance of each board meeting. Please contact Melissa Kelley if you wish to attend a meeting.
Carol Eber, Chair
Carol Eber has lived in Sonoma County since 1969. She is a seventh generation Californian and great great granddaughter of Mark West. She has had a career in education for over 35 years. She taught at Rancho Cotate High School, led projects in international studies and foreign language at SSU, and served as a school and district administrator at Petaluma High School, Drake High School and the Tamalpais High School District. She currently is an education consultant. She has held seats on the City of Petaluma Technology Advisory Committee and Youth Commission. She has a passion for connecting young people to their environment – both the natural and the built. Her favorite regional park is Tolay Lake, and her favorite park memory is “Camping at Gualala Point Regional Park with my son when he was young.”
Nicole (Nicki) Artieres
Nicki Artieres has resided in Sonoma Valley since purchasing her grandmother’s summer home in 1975. She enjoyed many years as a youth in the Valley’s glorious outdoors and came here to start her family. Her adult boys and dogs filled their weekends with numerous outings to the parks in Sonoma County for many years. Nicki has owned two Sonoma Valley businesses: The Real Food Catering Company in the 80’s and Focus4 Promotions since 1998. She has sat on the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Sonoma Valley Groundwater Management Board, is currently on the Board of Zone3A Water for Sonoma Valley, and is Sargent at Arms and Membership Chair of the Rotary Club of Glen Ellen/Kenwood. Nicki’s favorite park is Sonoma Valley Regional Park where she frequently enjoys outings with her two dogs.
Justin Borton leads a group of trail runners to the top of Taylor Mountain every Tuesday morning. His love of running and his talent for promotion culminated in the “Sonoma Strong” effort when he rallied the Sonoma County trail running and fitness community to raise money and awareness for Sonoma County Regional Parks to help fund the recovery from the wildfires of 2017. A resident of Sonoma for 14 years, Justin works in sales. In addition to Taylor Mountain Park, Justin loves a steep run up Hood Mountain and meeting up with the Healdsburg Running Company and Shiloh.
Chad Dorr was born and raised in Santa Rosa. He left Sonoma County to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, after which he served a 21 year career as a naval officer and helicopter pilot. He began his encore career in the law by attending U.C. Berkeley School of Law and then practicing for a major international law firm in its Washington, D.C. office. The Tubb's/Nun's Fires spurred him to return home to serve Sonoma County and be close to family. His practice includes business law matters, estate planning, and trust administration. He is also an at-large member of the Sonoma County Bar Association. His favorite parks are the Joe Rodota and West County Regional Trails for a great, mostly flat, mostly car-free, 30 mile round trip bike ride.
Olga was born and grew up in Mexico. She moved to Sonoma County in 1985 as a newlywed and has lived in Sonoma County since. She has two grown sons and two grandsons. She recently retired from a 33-year carrier in supply chain - planning and purchasing. Now, she is working full time in the family business and is also a serving member of the Sonoma County YMCA Board of Directors. Olga is an avid runner and has ran more than 45 marathons in the last 12 years, she loves to inspire others to start running. Olga also enjoys hiking, backpacking, and camping. She absolutely loves the outdoors and especially our regional parks. Her favorite park to visit is Foothill Regional Park and her favorite park memory is running there with her husband in the rain.
Jenifer Freebairn, Treasurer
Jenifer Freebairn of Sebastopol is a 16-year Sonoma County resident. She has worked with many nonprofit organizations during her career in winery sales and marketing. She hopes to promote park passes as an employee benefit that can inspire healthy habits and good team morale. A lover of all parks, Jenifer enjoys riding her bike on the Joe Rodota Trail between Sebastopol and Forestville and is particularly fond of “sunrise and sunset hikes up Taylor Mountain in the spring when the landscape below is brilliant green as far as the eye can see.”
Ari Hauptman, MD, Secretary
Ari Hauptman, MD has called Santa Rosa and Sonoma County home since 2001. He is a pediatrician who is especially concerned with decreasing childhood obesity and youth nature deficit syndrome by helping to promote our Sonoma County Regional Park gems to the families of Sonoma County. He is proud that the parks are equally accessible to all families of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. He loves the outdoors and hiking, skiing, camping, backpacking and breathing pristine oxygen molecules. He grew up in southern California and is so appreciative of the open spaces that northern California and Sonoma County work so hard to preserve. His favorite regional park is Spring Lake, and his favorite park memory is “Our first climb of Hood Mountain to Gunsight Rock as a family on my birthday.”
Hugo Mata has lived in Sonoma County for more than 25 years. He was born and raised in the Mexican State of Jalisco and migrated to Sonoma County at the age of 17. For more than 12 years he has been working as a consultant participating in environmental outreach projects with Spanish-speaking audiences. As Director for Media and Bilingual Outreach he works closely with C2 Alternative Services’ team in developing environmental education programs for non-English speakers. He produces and hosts “Nuestra Tierra,” a weekly one hour environmental radio show at KBBF radio. His favorite regional park is Crane Creek, and his favorite park memory is “Hiking at Stillwater Cove Regional Park.”
Stephen A. Meacham, Vice Chair
Stephen Meacham of Sonoma is a 30 year resident of Sonoma County and brings 35 years of marketing, consumer research, and organizational development expertise to the Parks Foundation board. For 18 years he owned and operated Creative Audience Research, a media marketing research and consulting company with clients including Viacom, Gannett, and Journal Broadcasting. He has been an active member of the Sonoma County land stewardship and parks community, serving on the LandPaths Board of Directors for 8 years and regularly volunteering for Regional Parks. He is passionate about helping facilitate parks access “so all residents can experience the area’s diverse natural beauty on their own terms, a prerequisite for taking action to preserve the environment.” Stephen's favorite Regional Park is Sonoma Valley, and his favorite park memory is “the smile on my dog’s face when we got to the parking lot.”
Michael Murphy of Sebastopol is a deeply devoted Sonoma County equestrian, active Realtor, and committed conservationist. He has been patrolling parks on horses as a member of the Mounted Assistance Units of state and county parks since 1992, and has served in leadership roles with Back Country Horsemen of America and California. He has actively assisted the Santa Rosa Junior College equine studies program through teaching, student advising, and helping raise $5 million for the college’s equine facility. He holds a BS in Environmental Planning from Sonoma State University. Michael’s passion for parks is driven by his vision of preserving open spaces and trails in healthy and sustainable condition for his grandchildren.
Richard Retecki brings 40 years of work experience and advocacy relating to parks, public access, acquisition of open space lands, resource conservation, and long-range planning throughout Sonoma County and the North Coast. He was a project manager and advanced planner with the California State Coastal Conservancy for over 20 years, was a founding member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center in East Oakland, and has contributed time and expertise as a board member for many other nonprofit organizations at the statewide, regional and local levels. He brings unique historical knowledge of the development of our regional parks combined with a lifelong commitment to their promotion and preservation. He continues to coach Little League baseball. His favorite regional park is Hood Mountain, and his favorite park memory is “Watching dramatic sunsets from the bluffs at Gualala Point.”
Diana Sanson became a resident of Sonoma County in 2006. After a career in telecommunications and technology she applied her marketing and project management skills towards a career in fundraising and environmental education. In addition to serving on the Parks Foundation board, Diana's community service includes work with Audubon Canyon Ranch. Sonoma Shambala Meditation Center and Impact 100 Sonoma. Diana's favorite park experiences include mushroom hunting at Stillwater Cove and hiking up Hood Mountain where she recalls, "small kids never thought they could make it to the top, but they did!"
Channa Sweet is a Michigan native who proudly calls Petaluma her home. After traveling to 5 continents, she was drawn to the unique natural beauty of Sonoma County. In her free time, she and her husband adventure across Northern California hiking, kayaking, and camping. Her “happy place” is being next to the water with her toes in the sand. She is eager to promote an active lifestyle for children by reconnecting them with nature’s playground – the outdoors. Passionate about giving back to her community through a nonprofit career, Channa currently leads a fundraising team at United Way Bay Area. Her favorite park is Helen Putnam Park and her favorite Sonoma County park experience is getting engaged in a redwood forest.
Marja Tarr is a longtime civic volunteer from Petaluma, where she currently serves on the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee and has served on boards for several youth sports organizations. A former Petaluma Music, Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Marja is passionate about expanding the valuable Regional Parks programs to more county residents, and educating our children regarding the positive effects of the outdoors, teaching them about their environment, and teaching them to become the next stewards of our parks. She particularly enjoys Tolay Fall Festival with her grandkids, and watching the delight in their eyes as they participate in and learn from Native Americans, and from the many youth 4H volunteers.
Suzanne Tucker is a resident of Penngrove. She is active in the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce, founded their Petaluma Business Alliance, and is participating in Leadership Petaluma. Suzanne has an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and is the founder of One Stop Graphics, a marketing and design company. She has assisted several regional nonprofits with fundraising strategies and event marketing. Suzanne’s favorite park experience is “just BEING in the parks walking and hiking, looking out at the vistas, at the trees and hills, hearing the birds. We are blessed to have so many beautiful places to walk – and it’s good for the soul to do so.”
Rochelle Cook Johnson, Past Vice Chair
Barbara Cooper, Past Secretary
Liz Ellis, Founding Board Member
Cameron Scott Kirk, Past Secretary
Maureen Lynch, Past Board Member
Andy Rodgers, Past President
Kristin Thigpen, Past President