Kelin Backman, Chair
Kelin Castleberry Backman is co-owner of Clementine EcoEvents and is one of the founders and the director of Rivertown Revival. After teaching English for several years, Kelin left the education world to open an event business. Clementine has grown over the years and is contracted by Bike Monkey, the producers of Levi Leipheimer’s GranFondo, to organize this event’s festival FondoSonoma and kick off gala, Festa del Fondo; Clementine was contracted by the City of Santa Rosa to organize the kick off gala for the Amgen Tour of California; and is currently the Northern California’s fundraising team for Jared Huffman for Congress. Kelin lives in Petaluma with her husband, two daughters, three dogs and nine chickens.
Elizabeth Howland, Vice Chair
Elizabeth is Managing Director of Development at the McKesson Foundation and is also a proprietor of Clementine EcoEvents, a company that is committed to saving the planet, one event at a time. She is also a principal in andHow, a marketing consulting firm. Earlier in her career, Elizabeth was Vice President of Marketing at Athleta, the premier women’s sports apparel retailer, where she oversaw all marketing functions and spearheaded the design and production of the Athleta catalog and web store. Prior to Athleta, Elizabeth spent several years in executive positions for multi-channel retail firms including Triplex, Gymboree and Bio Bottoms. Elizabeth is a founding member of Friends of the Petaluma River. She has lived in Petaluma for 25 years and is an active outdoor enthusiast and musician.
Eric Backman, Secretary
Eric Backman is a seventeen year resident of Petaluma, where he lives with his family. He is married and has two daughters, who are 20 and 12. Eric has been an educator for nearly two decades, teaching social studies and ethics at both St. Vincent High School and Casa Grande High School. He became an assistant principal at Casa in 2008, where he currently serves as the school’s Small Learning Community project director. Eric has a master’s degree in History and Gender Studies from San Francisco State University and holds credentials in teaching and Education Leadership from Sonoma State. Eric enjoys running, fly-fishing, playing the drums, backpacking in the high Sierras, and spending time with his great family and friends. He kayaks often on the Petaluma River and on Tomales Bay. He is a volunteer staff member for Petaluma’s Rivertown Revival and joined the Friends of the Petaluma River Board in 2011.
Dan Ancheta, Treasurer
Vice President and Manager of Bank of Marin’s North Petaluma Marina Office. A native of Petaluma, Dan graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Business Administration. His connections to the river include being a three year member of Casa Grande High School’s Unified Anglers Program and a former member of the Sonoma State University Rowing Club. Dan enjoys backpacking and volunteering with the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew with his partner, Megan.
Dan is currently a member of Rotary Club of Petaluma Sunrise and is the founder of the Sonoma County Backroad Challenge – the club’s fundraising initiative. He is on the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee and is a graduate of the Leadership Petaluma Class of 2010. He is a former board member of the Petaluma Downtown Association/Petaluma Visitor’s Program and the Butter and Egg Days Parade.
J.T. Wick is a principal with Berg Holdings, responsible for government affairs, design and development. Wick has secured $26 million in Federal funding for Port Sonoma, a multi-modal transit center and ferry service. His work also includes office, mixed use and ranch development. He holds degrees in law from Golden Gate University and political science from UCSB.
J.T. lives with his wife and four daughters at the L’il Peckers Egg Farm in Petaluma. Wick is a Past President of the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce, and a member of PACC Governmental Affairs Committee, P-RAP, Bank of Marin Petaluma Advisory Board, The Construction Coalition, Petaluma TLT, and Redwood Empire and Athletic Soles running clubs.
For the past ten years, several times a week, I have done my kayak training on, and occasionally in, the Petaluma River. The River has been good to me, and it’s time to give back. I’m particularly interested in encouraging human-powered boat use and discouraging wetlands development on the River. Patrick has been involved in the wine business in Sonoma County since 1974; although he recently sold his Sonoma Mountain winery, he continues making wine from his vineyards in Argentina and Lodi. During much of this time, he has had leadership roles in national wine industry organizations and been actively involved with local land use issues. Patrick has a BA in English literature from Pomona College and a MA in philosophy from Harvard University. He lives happily with Gina Cloud, a fellow kayaker, in Bloomfield; he has three grown daughters.
Elizabeth Mori is inspired to devote her time and energy to community organizations which advocate public access to natural environments. She is the Co-founder of the Save La Cresta Coalition, a Petaluma neighborhood organization dedicated to preserving west Petaluma open space. She is a member of the City of Petaluma’s Development Codes and Advisory Committee, and is former member of the Petaluma’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. During her career in the private financial sector, she was a Vice President of Operations, responsible for technology and organization change. She was the principal of Webwise, a consulting firm assisting technology industry teams develop strategic plans. She was also a member of the Firefund Credit Union Board of Directors. She has a degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Riverside. Elizabeth and her husband have lived in Petaluma for 30 years, and have two adult children.
New Zealand born landscape architect David Hansen retired from a successful career working for three Bay Area open space districts. His work over 33 years was with the Marin County Open Space District (Planner and Acquisition Manager), the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Land Manager) and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (General Manager). He was a founder and first chair of the Bay Area Open Space Council. David was responsible for the acquisition and management of over 70,000 acres of protected open space and farm land in four counties of the Bay Area. Aside from FOPR he is a co-founder and/or current Board member of several environmental non-profit organizations including the Bay Area Ridge Trail, The Trail Center, Whole Access, Sonoma Land Watch, Marin Open Space Trust and LandPaths. Among numerous avocations David enjoys singing with Sonoma Chanson, gardening, backpacking, running and kayaking. David has an art degree from Willamette University and studied for his Masters in Landscape Architecture at U.C. Berkeley. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil for three years in the ‘60s, served as Director of the Oakland Zoo Society in 1974 and was a planning commissioner in the town of Fairfax in the late ‘70s. David lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Marjorie and has two adult children Alexander and Miranda.
As a consulting geologist, Andy has been in the environmental management profession since 1986. Andy founded ECON (Environment, Community & Opportunity Network) in 1999 – a for-profit cooperative network of local independent professionals and specialists.
Important to Andy is giving back to the community in which he lives and works. In addition to being a board member for FOPR, Andy is involved with the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation; the Petaluma River Cleanup Committee , California Coastal Cleanup, Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce and the North Bay Watershed Association.
Andy is married with two daughters and lives on a small farm located in the Liberty Creek subwatershed.
Dr. John Shribbs
Jaimey Walking Bear