BANNING RANCH CONSERVANCY BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Terry Welsh, M.D.
Terry Welsh is a physician and dedicated coastal open space activist. After working with the Bolsa Chica effort, he founded the Sierra Club Banning Ranch Park and Preserve Task Force and has served as its chairperson since 1999. He has served as president of the Banning Ranch Conservancy since its creation in 2008. Terry can also be reached at (714) 719-2148.
Suzanne Forster is a New York Times best-selling author of over 40 novels, as well as a teacher, lecturer and conservationist. She’s a twenty-five year resident of Newport Beach who lives on the perimeter of Banning Ranch, enjoys its riparian beauty and abundant wildlife on a daily basis and is dedicated to preserving it as open space for future generations.
Steve Ray oversees the Conservancy’s daily operations and activities. Because of his prior experience with legal and environmental issues, he has been charged by the Board with direct oversight of legal counsel and the litigation and legal process, and he reports regularly to the President and the Board on these matters.
Debby Koken has been involved in efforts to preserve Banning Ranch for the last 10 years. She is also a Life Member of the Sierra Club, a supporter of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, and is a graduate of the Back To Natives/US Forest Service Restoration training.
Mary is an active real estate agent working primarily in the Newport-Mesa area, where she has lived for about 29 years. She has the passion of protecting her community and the fact that her four grandchildren are 4th generation, raised down the street from Banning Ranch, opens her heart to be committed in helping preserve the natural beauty for her great grandchildren and all the new generations to come. Mary has over 35 years of accounting experience in the local areas.
Jennifer W. Frutig, Ph.D.
Dr. Jennifer W. Frutig has a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and is also the assistant treasurer of Greenlight. She moved to Beacon Bay in 1977 from Washington, D.C. and grew up in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. She has taught courses in the California State University system, worked as a research analyst for the County of Orange, and is presently working for a nonprofit organization that advocates for disability rights. She had worked with Jean Watt and Jan Vandersloot on several initiative campaigns in Newport Beach and has represented the Orange Coast River Park, Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks, and SPON at the Orange County Fair for several years.
Diane Silvers, Ed.D.
Diane Silvers has an Ed.D. from the University of La Verne and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She is the President of World Wings International (LA/OC Chapter), a philanthropic organization with 32 chapters worldwide. She has taught as an Adjunct Professor at UCLA, UCI, UCSC and at community colleges. Diane has presented her research about Servant Leadership in the United States and Canada, is a native Californian and has been a resident of Newport Beach since 1975. She is committed to helping preserve the natural beauty of Banning Ranch.
Rick Huffman grew up in Newport Beach and now lives in Costa Mesa with his wife, Cynthia. Rick has been involved in supporting the preservation of Banning Ranch, attending numerous Coastal Commission meetings from Morrow Bay to Chula Vista. Rick serves on the board of the historic Hortense Miller Garden and House in Laguna Beach, the Bikeway and Walkability Committee of Costa Mesa, and is treasurer of Costa Mesa First, which supports smart growth policies in Costa Mesa.
An a certified Naturalist, Cindy has been involved in her Costa Mesa community of 40+ years and is an avid advocate for open spaces, educating the public and supporting conservation of our precious natural resources. Cindy’s area of study has been in the natural sciences and she has worked in the fields of horticulture/agriculture. She holds a Certificate of Ornamental Horticulture and has worked with the CA Department of Food and Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture and the UC Davis South Coast Research and Extension Center. She founded the Talbert Restoration & Revitalization Program in Talbert Regional Park and for many years she has proactively supported the Banning Ranch Conservancy in its effort to preserve the Banning Ranch.
Carol Lind earned her B.A. from Pitzer College where she first became interested in protecting and preserving the environment. Carol’s professional career has been as a consultant in residential real estate and she recognizes the need to create sustainable neighborhoods which are appropriately sized and designed to exist in concert with the natural habitat and community infrastructure. She is a long-time member of the Sierra Club and has long supported a myriad of environmental groups & causes. Carol’s family has been involved in West Newport for over sixty years. As such, it is only natural that Carol’s environmental concerns would focus upon the future preservation of the natural habitats of the Banning Ranch.
Kathleen (Kay) Howe brings to the Banning Ranch Conservancy her years of experience with environment-based education; using the local setting as a context for learning. With an M.S. in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Hawaii, and as an educator and curriculum development specialist in Hawaii since 2004, Kay brings to Southern California the concept of Aloha ʻĀina, love of the land and care for the land. Having lived in Orange County as a child she holds memories of the land and Santa Ana River watershed and asks the question, where do we want to go from here? Knowing that human health is dependent on environmental and ecosystem health, Kay has envisioned and developed K-12 educational projects that support student interest and academic success by empowering and engaging youth through learning that is both relevant and meaningful. She sees the Banning Ranch as a beautiful avenue through which to collaborate with local communities to grow connections that support the preservation of open spaces and ecosystem restoration, and can aid us in identifying actions that can be taken to develop resilience and adaptation to climate change in Southern California.