Board of Directors and Staff

Ed Easton, Past Chair, Land Use Committee


Ed passed away in August, 2019 at age 83. Here's our statement for him, Goodbye, Friend.

Ed Easton was elected to the Goleta City Council in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. He served as mayor of Goleta from December 2011 to December 2012.  Prior to election, he had served as a member of the Goleta Planning Commission, the Design Review Board, and the City of Goleta Old Town Project Advisory Committee.

Ed and his wife Ky retired to California in 2000, and lived in and renovated a 1913 California bungalow in Old Town Goleta. In 2014, they moved to the Cathedral Oaks Village in Noleta, requiring him to resign from the Goleta City Council.

Originally from the East Coast, Easton earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a Master's Degree in Architecture from Yale University. As a student, he worked on redevelopment projects for the City of New Haven, Connecticut. Following graduation they moved to North Carolina and Ed was licensed as an architect in 1968. He served as Director of Housing and Physical Planning in Charlotte's Model Cities Urban Renewal Program until he joined the staff of the National Wildlife Federation to create a Leadership Development program. To broaden the program to serve the entire environmental community, he founded the Institute for Conservation Leadership, a nonprofit organization with a six-year grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts in 1974.

Easton has held volunteer leadership positions in the Sierra Club, leading Groups, Chapters, and as the Appalachian Regional Vice President. He has been a board member of the Gaviota Coast Conservancy since 2004. He also founded Friends of Coal Oil Point Reserve. He is currently on his fourth attempt at retirement. 


Steve Forsell, President, Chair, Outreach Committee

Steve_Forsell-small_cropped.pngSteve Forsell has lived in Santa Barbara since 1968 when he went to UCSB. He owned a successful Real Estate Appraisal Company for 30 years in Santa Barbara, and has always been involved in his community. Now he’s retired, with more time to devote to his passions. After being introduced to GCC and the Naples Coalition, he became a member of the Board of GCC in 2011. He is the Chair of the Outreach Committee for GCC, as well as serving as Vice President. Steve says, “For me, nothing is more important locally than preserving the Gaviota Coast. I am pleased to be able to work with these dedicated and hardworking Board members and volunteers who are making a real difference.” He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Mary and has two grown children.

Karen Feeney, Vice President

Karen-on-the-move_3_cropped.jpgKaren Feeney has been an environmentalist from an early age. The 1969 oil spill affected her deeply and her early career focused on environmental education, coastal protection, and land use planning. She spent 20 years with the Community Environmental Council, where she was responsible for establishing the Community Hazardous Waste Collection Center, Regional Integrated Pest Management Coalition, and Watershed Resource Center. In April 1990, Karen was responsible for leading the effort to bring Earth Day back to Santa Barbara. Since 2005, she has worked in marketing and business development for local green builder Allen Construction.

Karen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara. She is a LEED Accredited Professional. Her nonprofit experience includes participation with The Sustainability Project, Art From Scrap, and as past co-chair of the Parade of Green Building. Karen has two grown children – Erin and Ryan – and believes in living life to the fullest whether it is traveling, exercising, skiing, golfing, dancing or enjoying friends and family.

Richard Hunt, Treasurer, Chair, Finance Committee

Richard.jpgRichard Hunt has served as Treasurer and Board Member of Gaviota Coast Conservancy since 2006. His professional background of almost 50 years as a Certified Public Accountant provides him with the skills to manage the financial and tax reporting requirements of GCC. He has also held volunteer positions at Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network, International Academy at Santa Barbara, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a number of other local nonprofits, including 40 years as Treasurer of Los Padres Chapter of Sierra Club.

He has 4 children and 5 grandchildren, from 2 to 18 years of age. His favorite leisure activities include traveling with his wife Nina, SCUBA diving, hiking and kayaking.

Greg Karpain, Secretary

Greg_Gaviota_Coast_Conservancy_Board__Photo.jpgCurrently, Greg Karpain serves as Global Customer Reference Marketing Manager at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. His job history qualifies him as a Jack of all trades: he’s worked as a daycare teacher, carpenter, professional photographer, a banquet waiter at Santa Barbara hotels, Grand Canyon river raft swamper, Director of international software sales, and as editor for his freelance writing business. Greg dived for coins at Catalina Island for his first paycheck (his dad was the City Manager of Avalon). In his free time, he and his partner, Margaret, spend time outdoors enjoying how lucky they are to be living in one of the most gorgeous places in the world. The Gaviota Coast Conservancy provides him the perfect opportunity to give back to the beauty.



Phil McKenna, Chair, Land Use Committee, Past Board President 


Phil McKenna discovered the Gaviota Coast as a student at UCSB, as he wandered along the beach enjoying the view from the bluffs. He was captivated by its openness and diversity. It’s his intention that his grandchildren, present and great, can experience our coastal lands as he was privileged to do. He joined the board at Gaviota Coast Conservancy in 1998, and was President for two years. He’s married to Melinda and recently retired from financial consulting.


Mike Brown, Chair, Development Committee, Past President

Michael_S_Brown__MG_5316_small_pp.jpgMichael S. Brown was born in Southern California, attended college in Northern California, grad school and work on the East Coast, and has been back in California since 1990. He serves as Board President for Gaviota Coast Conservancy, and has been involved with SB Channelkeeper, Environmental Defense Center, SBCAN, and the Naples Coalition and is a Governor’s appointee on the Ocean Protection Council. In his work life, he’s a partner in Brown and Wilmanns Environmental, LLC, a sustainability consulting firm with domestic and international clients. He previously worked in federal, state, and local government agencies and in sustainability at Patagonia, the outdoor clothing company. His wife and he have three kids who aspire to live in Santa Barbara, but are currently scattered across the country and Australia. They visit when they need a dose of Santa Barbara surf. 

Lee Moldaver

1370Lee.jpegLong-time Santa Barbara resident Lee Moldaver consults on tech sector new product development. A life-long outdoors enthusiast, he was an original board member of Gaviota Coast Conservancy, Audubon CA, COAST and the Air Advisory Committee. Lee has held senior board positions with the Santa Barbara Library Commission, SB Metropolitan Transit District; SB Transportation Committee; SB Creeks and Watersheds; SB Audubon Society; Citizens Planning Association; Environmental Defense Center; CRIC; ORCA; Citizens Council on Crime; COAST; South Coast Watersheds Alliance; Allied Neighborhoods Association; SB Regional Economic Community Project, as well as volunteering with Partners in Education as well as numerous other civic and area nonprofits. 

He serves as stakeholder for the City of Santa Barbara Charter update; the Santa Barbara General Plan and Circulation Element updates; City of Santa Barbara Measure E; SB County Measure D; Task Force on Electoral Systems; SB County Association of Governments advisory committees, especially as related to the 101 corridor, and other civic groups.

Lee has been controversial for the inconsistency of his 25 years East Beach volleyball play. A staunch advocate for Nine Inch Nails and for Clifford Brown's trumpet and Earl Hines' keyboard, he finds constant renewal in walking, hiking and visiting the beaches, hills, and paths of the Gaviota Coast. He’s rumored to be a decent cook.

Nancy Black, Chair, Communications Committee


Nancy Black has served the board as Communications Director since 2014. She co-founded Mercury Press International in 1991 with her husband, Isaac Hernandez, providing editorial content, video, photography, promotion, social media, publishing, communications and outreach services to editorial, nonprofit and private clients. She has been writing her mother Linda Black's legacy daily horoscopes column since 2008. Syndicated internationally by the Chicago Tribune and Tribune Media Services for almost three decades, the column has tens of millions of readers. Nancy served as Board President of Pesticide Awareness and Alternatives Coalition (from 2004-7), producing the California Organic Festival and supporting the City and County of Santa Barbara to adopt Integrated Pest Management for parks, schools and municipal properties, for which she received Congressional and State awards. A founding Board Member of the Santa Barbara Chapter of the national Association of Women in Communications (2009-12), she has two decades of experience on school committees in Santa Barbara, and currently serves the Israel Palestine Project (2004 to present), Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species (2015 to present), as well as Gaviota Coast Conservancy (2014 to present).

Nancy earned her BA in Studio Arts at UCSB after studying at Ventura College and Ventura High School. She grew up on a Cal 40 sailboat with frequent trips to the Channel Islands, and currently has a bi-continental lifestyle in Santa Barbara and Spain with her husband Isaac Hernandez, and their sons, Diego and Quique.

Guner Tautrim

guner-tautrim.jpgGuner Tautrim is a 6th generation steward of the land known as Orella Ranch in Gaviota, California. Born and raised on the ranch, Guner graduated from High School in the nearby town of Goleta. Higher education took him to Humboldt State University with a 1 year abroad program at the University of Hawaii, Hilo. Graduating with an interdisciplinary studies degree in Sustainable Ecological Tourism (with an emphasis in the Pacific Islands) Guner was eager to explore the islands. The following 2.5 years were spent on a 55’ sailboat sailing from Hawaii to Australia and back, visiting 13 island nations in the process. Upon returning home to marry his high school sweetheart, Guner began sinking his roots deeper and deepr into the lineage of living on and caring deeply for the land we call Gaviota. Now currently active as a board member of the Gaviota Coast Conservancy, as well as having served on the chair of the Gaviota Planning Advisory Committee, Guner keeps his finger on the pulse of this last stretch of undeveloped Southern California coastline. 
In addition to full-time ranch work, Guner supplements his income as a self-employed custom woodworker and urban tree miller. Guner and his wife Heidi have two handsome little boys, Sequoia and Kai. 

Donna Senauer

Donna_Senauer.JPGnative-born Southern Californian from Santa Monica, Donna Senauer grew up enjoying and appreciating the joy and importance of public beach and coastal access. She attended UCSB and continued to a Physician Assistant Program, practicing as an Orthopaedic Physician Assistant until her retirement. She currently serves as a Montecito Planning Commissioner. 

Committed to land use protections and environmental stewardship, protection of groundwater resources is a particular passion for Donna. She's a long time member and volunteer of the Naples Coalition, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County and the Sierra Club. She's passionately dedicated to ensuring and advocating for the preservation of the Gaviota Coast. Her views are perfectly summed up in this quote by former Californa Coastal Commissioner Peter Douglas, "The coast is never saved; it is always being saved."

Donna lives in the Lower Village of Montecito with her husband, Ben. They have three children and two grandchildren. Donna enjoys hiking, tennis and swimming. The low-tide Gaviota beach walk between El Capitan and Refugio is her absolute favorite.

Kathryn Washburn, Chair, Governance Committee    

Kathy grew up in Southern California, graduated from UCLA and was a city planner in Orange County. She then moved to Washington DC where she managed programs at EPA, the Office of Coastal Zone Management in NOAA and the Department of the Interior, where she was Director of International Affairs for 20 years. She retired to Santa Barbara in 2012. She has an MA in Public Administration from George Washington University. Her interest in Gaviota Coast started with a Newcomers walking tour of Naples several years ago. After observing coastlines throughout the world she sees Gaviota as one of the most beautiful coasts anywhere, deserving permanent preservation.“As a new member of the Board, I hope my experience with city/county planning and coastal preservation at the national level will be an asset to our endeavors”, she recently commented.

Greg Helms

Greg joined the GCC board in 2020, having served on the Naples Coalition for a number of years.  Greg enjoys and seeks to preserve the coastal environment for its many human and natural values.  By day, Greg serves as fisheries program manager for Ocean Conservancy, and is responsible for ecosystem protection programs in southern California, including advocacy for marine protected areas (MPAs) through the Marine Life Protection Act.  Prior to this Greg was Community Affairs Director for the Environmental Defense Center, where he engaged and mobilized community members on a variety of coastal, marine and terrestrial resource protection campaigns and programs.  Helms received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Political Science with an emphasis in public policy analysis from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Helms serves on the Channel Islands Sanctuary Advisory Council and the Collaborative Marine Research Committee and co-chairs the Channel Islands Conservation Working Group.  Helms is a certified research (ReefCheck) diver.

Peter Sperling


Peter V. Sperling is the Chairman of Apollo Group, and a co-founder and Chairman of CallWave, Inc. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his MBA from the University of Phoenix. 



Mike Lunsford, Past President  

Mike_Lunsford_of_Gaviota_Coast_Conservancy.pngMike Lunsford is a retired State Park Ranger, with 25 years of service, 22 of which were on the Gaviota Coast, where he was recognized for his achievements in resource management, and the creation of the trail system at Gaviota State Park. During his career as a ranger, he attended the Santa Barbara College of Law, and was admitted to the state bar in 1992. With a growing awareness of the significance of the Gaviota Coast, Mike became a charter member of the Gaviota Coast Conservancy Board of Directors, where he served as its president for many years, and continues to serve. 


Doug KernDoug Kern, Executive Director 

As director of conservation for the Mendocino Land Trust, Doug Kern successfully completed more than a dozen endangered coho salmon recovery projects. He helped conserve old-growth redwoods and agricultural lands through conservation easements and managed Land Trust properties to improve public access. Kern's work on climate change includes establishing the first public electric vehicle-charging station network in Mendocino County. Prior to his five years at the Mendocino Land Trust, Kern served as executive director of the Urban Watershed Project in the Presidio of San Francisco for 16 years. He also led the Presidio Restoration Advisory Board, where he organized community input and restored natural stream ecosystems from contaminated lands.

Kern received his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in geophysics and later returned to school to earn an MBA from Cornell University. He is a trained mediator with experience resolving complex, multi-party land use issues. “Doug brings extensive skills, experience and knowledge to our organization that will allow Gaviota Coast Conservancy to strategically pursue the preservation opportunities that are developing on the coast." said Steve Forsell, Gaviota Coast Conservancy president. "He is collaborative and energetic. We are thrilled to have engaged his service.” 

Janet Koed, Administrator

1385Janet.jpegJanet Koed studied at San Diego's Point Loma College, and then transferred to UCSB, "just in time for war demonstrations and crazy times in Isla Vista."  Janet graduated with a Liberal Studies degree, and earned her Early Childhood teaching credential. She taught at Goleta HeadStart, and later served as Director for the Cornelia Moore Dental Foundation, a nonprofit that went to schools and taught dental hygiene. The Foundation also provided grants for dental care for children who couldn’t afford it. Later, Janet worked with Jane Kelley and Anomaly Imports. "This was an education that you don’t get at school. We traveled to Zapotec villages where Jane bought hand-crafted weavings and art and then we sold them in the US.” Around this time, Janet began volunteering for Naples Coalition as administrator and volunteer coordinator. Janet's passion for keeping California's wide open spaces free from sprawl remains undiminished.

Advisory Board

Marc McGinnes

Don Olson

Paul Relis

Dr. Adam K. Green

Diane Wondolowski

Lansing Duncan

Wayne R. Ferren, Jr.

Dr. Lisa Stratton

Thekla Sanford

Richard Sanford

Steve Gaines

Doug Buckmaster