Barbara S. Lindemann, is emerita professor of History and Ethnic Studies at Santa Barbara City College. After earning her PhD in History at UCSB, she enjoyed a 34-year career at SBCC teaching courses in U.S. History, History of American Women, and History of Immigration to the U.S., among others. She served in leadership positions at SBCC and in numerous political and non-profit organizations before and after her retirement. She was born and raised in a small town in southern Pennsylvania, attended Friends School, Baltimore, and Wellesley College, and earned an MAT from Harvard University. She married a Californian and has lived in Santa Barbara for most of her adult life. She can commonly be seen hiking front country trails or enjoying her EBike. She is a longtime supporter and volunteer for the Community Environmental Council and was a member of the Partnership Council for five years.
Catherine Brozowski, CEC Co-Vice President of the Board, is the Executive Director of the Audacious Foundation, and Principal of Giving Matters, a consulting firm supporting families and foundations on grantmaking strategy. She has a long history of non-profit stewardship. After receiving an M.P.A. with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington, she began her career at the National Network of Grantmakers, a network of progressive funders. She went on to serve as the Corporate Giving Manager for Washington Mutual, managing their philanthropy throughout the Southeast. In Santa Barbara, she was Vice President of the Orfalea Foundation and the Santa Barbara Foundation. Catherine also serves on the Board of Directors of the REACH program, an experiential education program for high school students. Catherine grew up in Ventura County and is proud to call Santa Barbara home where she lives with her husband and two young children.
Charles Newman, a native Southern Californian, received his B.A. from U.C.S.B. and law degree from Washington University’s School of Law. He practiced law and specialized in the defense of complex class actions and commercial litigation.
Charles was a director of the Montecito Water Board (July 2015 to December 2016) and served on its Recycled Water (Chair), Finance, Water Supply, Legal and Public Information (Chair) Committees. He chaired (2019-2020) and served on the Montecito Planning Commission (2017-2021).
Kathy Yeung is an entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in start-up and mid-size growth tech companies. She is the Chief Executive Officer of ViQi Inc, a cloud-based, AI image analysis software company. Kathy co-founded Catalyst Cuisine and SimplyBridal, and served as a Vice President of Operations & Online Marketing at Oversee.net. She is also active on nonprofit boards and has served as a Partner and Board Member of the Los Angeles Social Venture Partners, Chair and Founding Board Member of KIPP LA Prep Charter School, and Board Member of The UCLA Anderson School of Management Alumni Association, where she earned an MBA and a B.A. in Economics.
Dr. David N. Pellow is the Dehlsen Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Global Environmental Justice Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he teaches courses on social change movements, environmental justice, human-animal conflicts, sustainability, and social inequality. Along with publishing a number of works on environmental justice issues, he has also consulted for and served on the Boards of Directors of several community-based, national, and international organizations that are dedicated to improving the living and working environments for people of color, immigrants, indigenous peoples, and working-class communities. He earned his B.A. in Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1992, and went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D in Sociology from Northwestern University in 1998. Originally from Nashville, he and his family have lived in Santa Barbara since 2015 and deeply enjoy hiking in the area.
Board Members At Large
Jon Clark is a native Santa Barbaran and has served for the past 15 years as President of the James S. Bower Foundation, a local grant maker that focuses on early childhood, education, end of life care, and the environment. Jon has a long history with CEC, initially interning in the mid-80s and years later becoming the organization’s third executive director. After leaving CEC in 1998, Jon became Executive Director of the Wendy P. McCaw Foundation, during which time he served as CEC’s Board President. In 2017 he was named Man of the Year by the Santa Barbara Foundation. As an active leader in our community, Jon has served on the Boards of a number of local organizations including Cottage Health, Santa Barbara Foundation, Storyteller Children’s Center, Carpinteria Children’s Project, Direct Relief International, Santa Barbara Region Economic Community Project, and Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce.
Christine DeVries is a Management Consultant for banks, small businesses and nonprofit organizations, specializing in employee engagement, leadership training and time management. With over 30 years of experience as a Financial Services Executive, she is widely recognized for her work. A three-time Paul Harris Fellow, Christine has served on the Boards of the Montecito and Carpinteria Rotary Clubs and a number of local organizations. As a trained Climate Reality Leader and charter member of the Santa Barbara Climate Reality Chapter, she leads educational events and encourages action to address climate change. Christine served as co-chair of CEC’s Partnership Council until 2021.
Nadra Ehrman is a property management professional with over 15 years of experience in both the non-profit and private sectors. She is currently a Residential Community Manager with The Towbes Group in Santa Barbara, CA and has been with the company for 11 years. Prior to moving to Santa Barbara, she lived in San Diego and worked for San Diego Youth Services and St. Vincent de Paul, providing housing and support services to at-risk youth.
In her current Community Manager role, she oversees a wide range of business activities and has been a leader in promoting sustainable business practices. She assisted in several green certifications of residential properties and spearheaded many sustainability initiatives throughout the entire portfolio.
Her community involvement includes being a member of the IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management) Central Coast Chapter 102 Board, and the Green Business Alliance, a business networking arm of the Santa Barbara Green Business program. She is also a Katherine Harvey Fellows alum and on the State Street Advisory Committee.
She received her BA from UC Santa Cruz, a Master’s of Science in Social Entrepreneurship at USC and the Accredited Resident Manager (ARM) ® certification from IREM.
When not working or serving on committees, Nadra enjoys spending time with her 14-year old daughter and is also an avid visual artist and yoga, fitness and Afro-Brazilian dance enthusiast.
Carolyn Fitzgerald moved to Santa Barbara in 2015 from Chicago, where she was born and raised, and has become an active volunteer with several local non-profits. In addition to co-chairing the Community Environmental Council’s Green Gala starting in 2018, she has helped plan the annual fundraising galas for CALM, Direct Relief, Lotusland and Montecito Union School. Carolyn is also joining the Board of the Montecito Union School Foundation. While living in Chicago, Carolyn chaired the annual gala for Holy Trinity High School and was on the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Guild Board. Prior to her work with non-profits, Carolyn was the Director of Marketing for Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and worked at Starcom MediaVest, an advertising agency in Chicago. Carolyn graduated from Northwestern University with a major in Communications. She lives in Montecito with her husband Andrew and her two young children, Jay and Nora.
Laura Francis has over 25 years of experience in ocean and environmental science education and outreach, working for the National Park Service, National Marine Sanctuary System and as a teacher and environmental educator. She leads a variety of projects and programs including professional development for teachers and creating education and outreach materials for the public designed to increase ocean awareness and stewardship. Laura earned her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley in Zoology and her Masters at UC Santa Barbara in Deep Sea Biology. As an active leader in our community, Laura is also involved with Santa Barbara Women’s Fund, Sustainable Change Alliance, Rachel’s Network, and Toniic, a Global Action Network for Impact Investors.
David Jackson has over 10 years of experience working in philanthropy with a focus and passion for the arts and education. Working from Zegar Family Foundation’s (ZFF) New York‐based office, he helped increase the number of grantees in this field, partnering with T.E.A.K. Fellowship among others. After finishing graduate studies at Columbia, he began working in development for Little Orchestra Society in New York and helped launch the Fernando Pullum Community Arts Center in Los Angeles. David currently lives with his wife and two sons in Santa Barbara, CA, dedicating his time to researching potential grantees for ZFF, and expanding the Foundation’s outreach to more organizations committed to improving standards in education, advancing environmental justice, and pursuing solutions to houselessness throughout California.
Elliott MacDougall is the founder and Chief Executive of Weymouth Development Group, an energy real estate company. A leader in renewable energy development, Elliott’s operating projects generate enough green electricity to power tens of thousands of California homes. Elliott is a published thought leader and policy advocate for domestic energy infrastructure reform and renewable energy expansion. He also promotes the fundamental importance of energy security and proactive climate change multinationalism. Elliott received his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and B.A. from Georgetown University, Edmond A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Pat McElroy spent 37 years with the Santa Barbara City Fire Department, the final five years he served as Fire Chief. He was the leader of the City Fire Political Action Committee for 20 years and served as the President of the Santa Barbara County Fire Chiefs Association. He also served as Liaison Officer for a United State Forest Service Type 1 Incident Management Team for ten years. In 2016 he was named a Santa Barbara Local Hero for his efforts in reforming California’s 911 Cellphone service. Currently, he serves as Executive Director of The Partnership for Resilient Communities which was formed after the 2018 Debris Flows in Santa Barbara County.
He received his B.A. in Anthropology from UC Santa Barbara.
He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Bonnie Kerwin, a longtime Early Childhood Educator, who is currently Assistant Director of Starr-King Parent Child Workshop. They have three adult children.
Ivette Peralta is the Education Program Manager for Planned Parenthood California Central Coast (PPCCC), where she trains PPCCC’s Promotorxs team (health peer-educators) and coordinates their efforts in North County. She moved to Santa Maria five years ago and holds a B.A. in Journalism from California State University, Fresno. Previously, she worked for Univision Costa Central as a creative content producer and at Lee Central Coast Newspapers as a bilingual reporter and producer for Santa Maria Times en Español. She also co-produced the Spanish local radio show, “Mejorando,” which focused on promoting health and well-being in the Latinx community. She is the former Chair of the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women and currently serves as Vice-Chair representing the 5th District. Ivette is also active in the community and is a part of the Santa Maria Valley Women’s March Committee, the Latino Legacy Awards Planning Committee, and a founding member of Toastmasters Valle de Santa María.
Some of her community involvement includes being part of the Santa Maria Valley Women’s March Committee, the Latino Legacy Awards Planning Committee, and a founding member of Toastmasters Valle de Santa María. She is the former Chair of the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women and currently serves as Vice-Chair representing the 5th District. Ivette is also a former Community Representative for CommUnify Policy Parent Council Committee.
She is a hiking and biking enthusiast and enjoys spending time with family and friends. One of her favorite grounding activities is taking long walks by the beach along with her partner.
Peter currently is self-employed as a Natural Lands Management Consultant. Peter’s past work includes 8 years as Director of Ecological Restoration for the Catalina Island Conservancy, 6 years as manager for the State of Hawaii’s Natural Area Reserve System and 9 years as preserve manager/director for the Nature Conservancy on Santa Cruz Island, CA. He currently serves on the board of Midland School, on the Council of Advisors for the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, as well as on the Elings Park Campaign Advisors Council. He is the current campaign chair for the SB Botanic Garden’s Backcountry Campaign and is a member of the state’s Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program working group. He received his undergraduate degree in Geography with an emphasis in Botany from UC Santa Barbara and his Masters in conservation biology at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Happily retired, he now finds time to work in his native plant garden and on the many sustainable features at his and his wife, Lisa’s, Santa Barbara home. He is forever seeking ways to spend more time on the islands and in Santa Barbara’s backcountry.
Board Members Emeritus
In 1970, Marc McGinnes led the founding of one of America’s first ecology centers, the Community Environmental Council of Santa Barbara, and in 1977 one of the first public interest environmental law firms, the Environmental Defense Center.
Marc retired from his regular teaching duties in 2005 as a Senior Senate Lecturer in the Environmental Studies Program, capping a distinguished teaching career at UCSB that began in 1972. He is a former director of Congress on Optimum Population and Environment, Chicago, and Earth Island Institute, San Francisco. As a legal ecologist, Marc’s presentations on Using and Practicing Law as a Healing Art have been featured at numerous conferences on peacemaking, conflict resolution and environmental law. He is a founder and director of the Peaceful Resolutions Institute and Community Mediation Program of Santa Barbara.
Paul Relis became the founding Executive Director of the Community Environmental Council in 1970, a year after the infamous Santa Barbara Oil Spill of January 28, 1969. Along with wife Kathy and other colleagues, he established the Santa Barbara Ecology Center that included a bookstore featuring the outpouring of new environmental literature, a public meeting center and environmental displays. The Ecology Center was the headquarters for the CEC magazine, “The Survival Times” that offered readers in-depth stories on local, regional and national environmental literature.
In quick succession, Paul led the CEC to establish the Chapala Garden, an organic garden in the heart of the downtown, Santa Barbara Earth Day, and the El Mirasol Polyculture Farm, an environmental education center. In the mid 1970s Paul worked with CEC’s then co-director and later Santa Barbara Mayor, Hal Conklin, to develop recycling in Santa Barbara and later an environmental think tank, the Gildea Center. It was CEC’s pioneering work in developing recycling programs and policies that led Governor Pete Wilson to appoint Paul to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, an executive position in the California Environmental Protection Agency where he oversaw the implementation of California’s far reaching recycling and composting programs from 1991-1998.
Since 1998 Paul has served as Senior Vice President of an environmental services company in Southern California where he has led the development of technology to convert the organic portion of municipal waste to renewable natural gas and soil products–a zero waste technology. He has written many articles on a wide range of environmental topics and remains very involved in California’s recycling and renewable energy programs.
He has been a Lecturer at UCSB, his alma mater, since he was appointed to that position in 1996.
Paul served as a Board Member of the CEC from 1998 until 2010, and served as Board President from 2005-2006. He resigned from the Board in 2010 after forty years of involvement in all aspects of CEC’s endeavors. He continues to provide financial support and expertise to the group.
Selma Rubin moved to Santa Barbara in 1964. During her long and active life, she was a catalyst for change in local politics and environmental issues. She played an integral role in establishing The January 28 Committee formed in response to the 1969 oil spill, which went on to become the Community Environmental Council. On March 16, 1970 CEC became a legal non-profit, and Selma served as the Treasurer, as well as serving on numerous other CEC committees during her many years of service.
In 1970, she played a primary role in halting the proposed development slated to build 1,500+ homes on the Gaviota Coast. In 1995 she received the SB Independent Hero Award recognizing her many contributions. Selma has been honored with numerous prestigious environmental awards over the years. She remained active on the CEC Board continuously from 1970 until March of 2006.
Selma was a Santa Barbara legend and treasure, and has been a founder and/or Board member of at least 42 organizations, including the Environmental Defense Center, Fairview Gardens, the American Civil Liberties Union, SBCAN, PUEBLO, Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee and many other community organizations supporting Santa Barbara’s social and environmental well-being.