Pacifica Land TrustBoard of Directors
Sam became a PLT Director in September 2008 and is currently the Director of Commercial Operations at Theravance BioPharma. Previously he was The Director of Corporate Relations for the University of California, San Francisco, where he was a Member of the University Development and Foundation Department. Sam was responsible for developing strategic corporate partnerships and tactical plans for sponsorships and campaign fundraising for the university Mission Bay hospitals project and more than 75 medical departments. He has worked as a commercial operations manager for both Genentech and Eli Lilly, where he launched critically needed therapies for multiple diseases. He also served with the Peace Corps in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.
Sam moved to Pacifica because of its dynamic open space environment and the communities priority to preserve wildlife. He believes that the preservation and expansion of Pacifica serves as a model for the state and also the future economic engine for the city. He is now a volunteer with many environmental groups and is focused on the future integration of Pacifica’s open space with other park systems and public lands.
Sam holds a business degree from the University of California, Riverside and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His volunteer services includes past board memberships for the Pacifica Library Foundation, Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) Liaison Committee, Pacifica Economic Development Committee, and the Pedro Point Community Association.
Dinah F. Verby
Dinah F. Verby is a retired attorney and mediator. Before retiring she also served as an Administrative Law Judge for the San Francisco Rent Board, and was on the mediation panels for the San Mateo Superior Court and Small Claims Court, as well as the California 1st District Court of Appeal. Since moving to Pacifica in 1989, Dinah has been active in various community activities, including efforts to preserve open space, wildlife habitat, and growth control, while promoting sustainable development principles. She is also a member of the Pacifica Climate Committee, a group of citizens who are working to implement citywide policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Andrew Meiman joined the Pacifica Land Trust Board with a track record of volunteer service and a professional career centered around improving communities’ natural and built environment. In 2008, he co-founded the Pacifica Education Foundation and served on its Board through 2015, with six of those years as it’s CFO and Treasurer. Andrew is a Principal and Co-Founder of ARC Alternatives, a clean energy consulting company based in San Francisco, serving public sector and institutional clients throughout California. ARC Alternatives manages strategic energy programs and advises their clients in their efforts to save energy through efficiency investments and decarbonize their supply by switching to clean power generation, such as solar photovoltaics. Previous professional experience includes management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton in public transit and electronic payments. He holds an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, and a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a registered Professional Engineer (Mechanical) in California.
Michael recently retired after working in the City of Pacifica Planning Department for over 20 years. He served as Planning Director from 1997 to 2010, where he oversaw all aspects of the City’s planning function. When Michael first joined the Planning Department in 1985, one of his tasks was to work with the Open Space Task Force and help complete the Open Space Task Force Report, which contained a number of recommendations for preserving open space in Pacifica, including the establishment of an Open Space Committee and creation of the Pacifica Land Trust. Michael provided assistance in setting up both these organizations.
Michael’s other duties with the City of Pacifica included working with citizen groups such as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Liaison Committee and the Climate Change Task Force. He also helped initiate the current General Plan Update process.
Michael was drawn to Pacifica by its scenic beauty and flourishing coastal environment. He strongly believes in environmental protection, and that a balance can be found between open space preservation and reasonable economic growth. Michael currently lives in the Sunset District of San Francisco. He obtained his Master of Arts degree in Geography from San Francisco State University in 1987.
Stephen Johnson is a landscape photographer, author, designer and educator. He has been photographing since 1973. His work has been featured in Communication Arts, Life Magazine, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, PBS Newshour and ABC Discovery News, among many other magazines and television programs.
His books include At Mono Lake, the award winning and critically acclaimed The Great Central Valley: California’s Heartland, Making a Digital Book and the new Stephen Johnson on Digital Photography. Internationally recognized as a digital photography pioneer, Johnson’s photographs have been exhibited, published and collected in the United States, Europe, Mexico and Japan. His work has concentrated on large environmentally sensitive photograph projects. Stephen is well known for his passionate lectures and deep love for the traditions of fine photography. His photography Studios, Galleries and Education Center are located in Pacifica, California. Visit Stephen Johnson Photography website.
We are pleased to introduce Ellen Natesan, who joined the board of the Pacifica Land Trust in April 2020. Ellen has a PhD in wildlife and fisheries science and over 20 years of experience in natural resource protection. Ellen has lived in Pacifica since 2008 and she decided to move to Pacifica in large part because of the abundance of beautiful and unique natural areas in and around Pacifica. In her day job, Ellen manages a team of scientists and planners responsible for environmental regulatory compliance, habitat restoration, and ecological monitoring associated with utility operations and watershed land management for San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission. She is committed to using her expertise to help protect local natural areas and has been a member of Pacifica’s Open Space Advisory Committee since 2017. Ellen is excited to join the board of the Pacifica Land Trust and looks forward to participating in efforts to secure the protection of open space for the benefit of current and future generations.
PLT Project Staff
Romany Hall Sieferman
Volunteer Coordinator, Pacifica Land Trust
Steve is a retired Ranger of 39 years. The bulk of his two Ranger jobs was building hiking & horseback trails. He completed the California State Trail Coordinator Training. He was the onsite supervisor for the construction of the narrow-gauge portions and other developments for the EBRPD Ohlone Wilderness Trail.
As an EBMUD Ranger/Naturalist II Steve planned trail construction projects, notably for the Mokelumne Coast to Crest trail, and directed various trail construction crews. He developed trail routes and construction techniques to minimize maintenance, erosion and biological impacts and maximize aesthetic values of trails.
Steve also directed volunteers on trail and stewardship projects throughout his career.
Steve has received numerous awards over the years, including a Certificate of Appreciation from the First Lady, Hillary Clinton. In 2011, he received the Lifetime Professional Achievement Award at the annual California Trails & Greenways Conference.
Since May of 2021, he has had a partime job with the Pacifica Land Trust as the PLT Stewardship and Trails Coordinator for projects at Pedro Point Headlands. His wife, Stephanie can always tell when gets home after working with volunteers, because he is always very happy.
Board Alumni (partial list – work in progress)
Radford (Skid) Hall
Skid Hall has his MS and Ph.D. in Water/Natural and Recreational Resources Planning and Policy from Colorado State University and has been a member of the Pacifica Land Trust (PLT) for over 20 years. He has served as President and Treasurer in the past. He was actively involved in the Pedro Point and Mori Point projects for PLT. Now professionally retired, he is a civil engineer and had a long career with US Army Corps of Engineers and also as a planning and permitting consultant in the SF Bay area. He is on the Stanford University Urban Studies Program faculty and has been a lecturer there for two decades. He served several terms as a planning commissioner for the City of Pacifica and was a initial member of the Pacifica Hillside Review Board and served on past economic development and land use committees. Skid is a member of the American Planning Association (APA) the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and is also a Certified Environmental Planner (CEP). He has lived in Pacifica with his family since 1965.
Bernie is professor emeritus in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and member of the University of California Berkeley Bioengineering program. Professionally Bernie’s research program focuses on human aging and bone diseases. He has more than 130 publications and his laboratory is internationally recognized for its leadership in basic and clinical research dealing with aging.
Bernie and his wife Eulalia moved to Pacifica in 1980 and quickly fell in love with the natural beauty and pristine environment of Pacifica. Since then Bernie has served on numerous city committees including the Waste Water Treatment and Flood Control committees. He co-founded the San Pedro Creek Watershed Coalition and The Pacifica State Beach Coalition, and was instrumental in the purchase and restoration of beach property that has since been given to the State Parks and is now part of Pacifica State Beach. Bernie is deeply concerned about the environment. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Pacifica Land Trust for more than 10 years and is committed to the preservation of open space in Pacifica.
Breck Hitz and his wife, Anne, moved to Pacifica from San Francisco more than 20 years ago. Both are active in the Pedro Point Community Association, and Breck is a past board member of the Pacifica Library Foundation. The couple has two children, Emily, who graduated from the University of British Columbia this year and is now working in Vancouver, and Will, who is in his second year at UBC.
Professionally, Breck is the author of a textbook on laser engineering that will be published in its fourth edition early next year. He’s the former executive director of the Laser and Electro-Optics Manufacturers’ Association and former editor of Photonics Spectra magazine. Now “retired,” he has several consulting clients and is working on a book about the history of the U.S. laser industry.
Julie Lancelle has recently rejoined the Pacifica Land Trust Board after serving many years in Pacifica as an elected official and on volunteer boards, including 2 stints on the City Council (1992-94, 2002-2010). Julie became involved in environmental protection efforts shortly after moving to Pacifica with her family in 1986, participating in Pacifica Citizens Proposal for Route 1, Pacificans for Mori Point, and as a member of the Open Space Task Force and later the Open Space Committee. This work led to helping with the formation of the Pacifica Land Trust in 1991 and advocating for the funding of the Pedro Point Headlands before the Coastal Commission. Later she was able to join the Board of PLT in 1998 and served until 2002, when she went onto the City Council. Julie fought side by side with other Pacificans to defeat various attempts to develop Mori Point in the 1980’s and 90’s. Those efforts were rewarded in the summer of 2000 when the Pacifica Land Trust (with the support of the Trust for Public Land, the National Park Service, and the people of Pacifica) launched the campaign to save Mori Point by raising $100,000 in 2 months in order to help with the purchase costs and show the Park Service and the Trust for Public Land our community’s strong commitment to saving the 109 acre property
John Murphy is a founding member of the Pacifica Land Trust, starting in 1991. He is a past president and vice president of the Land Trust. He is a chemist and retired director, founder and owner of environmental laboratories. He has managed environmental remediation of chemical spills, leaking tanks, unscheduled reactions and novel analytes; evaluated properties for clean up and reuse after contamination; restored brown field lands, built and operated remote sensing site remediation instrumentation. He has in place in installations around the world gas sensors and monitors for green house gases and trace pollutants. He continues to represent manufacturers of gas sensors for research and industry. He hikes, camps and travels in retirement.
Bill is the founder of a non-profit company providing reading machines for the blind and a for-profit company that was the leading geospatial, maps and route calculation platform for mobile and internet applications. He has CEO and senior executive experience growing companies from inception to profitability with proven experience in business development, strategic alliances, sales, marketing, technical/customer support, consulting services and administration with full P&L responsibility. He was a resident of the Shelter Cove community is Pacifica for many years. He is now living in San Jose and is looking forward to moving back to Pacifica.
Alison Sanders has lived in Pacifica since 1998. She is the co-owner of Ocean Yoga, a local yoga and massage business. Alison has also been active in various non-profit efforts including the Pacifica Ocean Discovery Center and the Marine Mammal Center.
Alison served as the the Director of the Office and Research and Sponsored Programs at San Francisco State University, where she has worked for the last 17 years.
She also obtained her B.S. in Biology and M.A. in Marine Biology from SF State, while working with the Oceanic Society on the Belize Dolphin Project.
Alison is excited to be a part of the Pacifica Land Trust, and working with a great organization.
Kathy moved to Pacifica in 1997 and immediately fell in love with its natural beauty. After the birth of her daughter, she plunged into local volunteerism, serving as Board President of the Pacifica Co-op Nursery School, docent at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and Pedro Point Headlands Steward. She headed native plant landscaping at Ocean Shore School, which led to her current job as Native Plant Nursery Manager at Go Native, a habitat restoration company. She is currently Project Manager for the Pedro Point Headlands Restoration and Trails Project and is enthusiastic about protecting this important open space for future inclusion in the San Mateo County Parks system.
Celeste is a public interest environmental attorney. Celeste and her family moved to Pacifica in 2003. Inspired by Pacifica’s scenic beauty and her passion for conservation, Celeste became a member of the Open Space Committee in 2004 and the GGNRA Liaison Committee soon thereafter. She went on to serve on the Planning Commission and also on the Climate Action Plan Task Force. She is currently a member of the Pacifica Climate Committee, a local grassroots group advocating for climate change planning and public education. Celeste hopes to incorporate building resilience to climate change impacts into future PLT projects.
John has a PhD in Microbiology, did research in biochemistry and genetics, and was also a medical writer. He was recently a city council member and mayor of Pacifica. John and his wife were attracted to Pacifica by its numerous hiking trials and beaches. He hopes to preserve and add to the open space around town.
Naftali grew up in Pacifica, hiking, biking and volunteering in open spaces around the Bay Area before heading to school at UC Davis where he completed his B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning with a focus on conservation. Naftali has worked on habitat restoration and stewardship projects in agricultural and natural areas with a number of nonprofits and government agencies in San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, San Francisco, Yolo and Solano Counties. Naftali is currently coordinating our stewardship and volunteer projects at the Pedro Point Headlands!