Randy Knight – President
Randy Knight has just recently joined the Board of Trustees after serving on The Land Conservancy’s Land Committee for the past five years. He is Professor Emeritus of Physics at Cal Poly and the author of two widely used physics textbooks. He’s a Fellow of the American Physical Society and currently is Chair Elect of the society’s Forum on Education… Read More
Jim Patterson – Vice President
A native Californian, Jim attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Management with a concentration in forestry. He did graduate work in horticulture and forestry and is a certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture.
Professionally, Jim has owned and operated a nursery and landscaping business, farmed oat and alfalfa hay and served as water conservation manager for the Atascadero Mutual Water Company. Jim served two terms on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, 2005 to 2013… Read More
Rob DeGraff – Treasurer
Rob DeGraff has led community improvement projects on the west coast for over 30 years. He developed progressive policies to address a wide variety of public issues in Portland, Oregon. After retiring to SLO in 2008, he sought opportunities to utilize his professional expertise and passion for the outdoors… Read More
Members at Large
Jim serves as President/CEO of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Supply Company, a 2700 member agricultural supply cooperative located in San Luis Obispo. He has held this position since 1969.
Jim served twenty years as an appointed Outside Director of Farm Credit West, a 6 billion dollar Agricultural Credit Association. He was a member of the Mission Community Bank Board of Directors, until it was acquired by Heritage Oaks Bank, and served as an Ambassador during the transition. Read More
Roger has been working in environmental protection since 1972. Roger earned a BS and MS in Civil Engineering, U. C. Berkeley, with emphasis in Environmental Engineering with a year of graduate work in Surface and Groundwater Hydrology. He is a Registered Civil Engineer in California.
Roger worked for the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Coast Region for nearly four decades, with the last 18 years as Executive Officer… Read More
Jim Grant is a native Californian and has lived on the Central Coast since 1978 after moving from the northern California town of Chico. Chico is home to Bidwell Park, a massive park of 3,670 acres, nearly 11 miles long, making it the third largest municipal park in California. This amazing park shaped Jim’s views regarding the value of public open space in and around urban areas. Jim has served on The Land Conservancy’s Land Committee and Governance Committee since 2018. He joined the Board in 2019.
Chris Helenius was born and raised in San Francisco. After graduating from UC Berkeley Chris attended the University of Santa Clara law school and graduated in 1976. He was a law clerk on the Supreme Court of California and then moved to San Luis Obispo where he practiced law for thirty years and eventually became a partner with the firm of Burke, Smith, Helenius & Hayes. During his career he tried over ninety jury trials and many court trials and binding arbitrations… Read More
Pat is a native Californian and has lived on the Central Coast since 1982 after moving from the Central Valley. He is an avid trail runner, backpacker, skier, pilot and beginning sailor. He enjoys the many trails and open spaces San Luis Obispo County and the Sierra have to offer. Pat is currently the local Los Padres Division Director for PG&E serving San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Kern counties… Read more.
A fourth generation native of San Luis Obispo, Carrisa grew up on the same property where the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo’s Octagon Barn Center now sits. Being raised on a working cattle ranch she was taught at a very early age the importance of being stewards of the land. She attended Cal Poly University where she earned her degree in Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration… Read More
A native of California, Ann grew up in the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Sierra. Living in the Sierra gave Ann her passion for the outdoors and open space. She attended Stanford University where she earned degrees in Math and Computer Science. Her early work was as a computer scientist doing Artificial Intelligence research…. Read More
Joel Sheets joined The Land Conservancy Board in 2019. He is a retired scientist who moved to San Luis Obispo with his family in 2014. He earned a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of California, Irvine, CA. He spent over 30 years working for Dow AgroSciences, having various research roles as Research Leader in the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department…. Read More
Ron Yukelson is Chief Business Development Officer at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community. He has more than 30 years of senior level hospital and health care management experience, the past 12 on the Central Coast.
His daily duties include strategic planning and business development, marketing, physician recruitment and retention and media relations….. Read More
B.K. Richard – Emeritus
Before retiring to San Luis Obispo in 2003, B.K. Richard spent his career managing advanced technology projects for TRW, Inc. His 29-year project experience included leading a system engineering effort for NASA on an Earth observation satellite information system for climate scientists, directing technology for TRW’s commercial information business, leading a contract for the U.S. Army’s largest command and control system, and running a $200M/yr. business unit. In San Luis Obispo, B.K. set out to contribute to his local community by applying the skills and experience from his career, and from his broad interests in the environment, business, and technology. Read More
Gary Felsman – Honorary Trustee
Gary has been resident of San Luis Obispo County for more than 25 years. He has served as President of the Land Conservancy for the past 4 years. He has a passion for working to protect and enjoy many special places on the California Central Coast and elsewhere. Graduating from Cal Poly in 1978, he moved to San Diego for three years, then was off to Colorado to live in Nederland, CO while employed at Storage Technology Corporation for three years… Read More
Beverly Gingg – Honorary Trustee
Beverly Gingg grew up on a Paso Robles area cattle ranch. Her roots run deep in North County agriculture, and she has a lifelong passion for outdoor learning. Beverly earned an M.S. in Biological Sciences from Cal Poly in 1989 and has been involved in community leadership and science education, in the classroom and outdoors, for more than 30 years. Read More
Pete Jenny – Honorary Trustee
He joined the Land Conservancy Board of Trustees in 2009 after retiring from his position directing San Luis Obispo County Parks. A longtime advocate for outdoor recreation and land protection, Pete was instrumental in the success of the Dana Adobe Cultural Landscape project and a variety of other countywide conservation efforts… Read More
Herb Kandel – Honorary Trustee
Herb Kandel is a California native and a 20-year resident of Nipomo with his wife, Donna and two daughters, Anya and Zosha. He joined the board of the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County in 2002, and initiated the Nipomo Chapter of the Land Conservancy in 2003. He has assisted the Land Conservancy staff with several projects including the the Nipomo Watershed Project, acquisitions in Black Lake Canyon, and community creek cleanups. Prior to his service with the Land Conservancy, In 1999 Kandel founded the Nipomo Creek Committee of the Nipomo Community Advisory Council (NCAC)… Read More
Penny Rappa – Honorary Trustee
Penny Rappa comes to us with a great deal of enthusiasm and experience. With her husband, Joe and their three daughters, Penny moved to San Luis Obispo County in 1974. She currently lives in Avila Valley, adjacent to the Bob Jones Bike Trail. Penny believes in actively participating in her community. As both a City of San Luis Obispo and County Planning commissioner and a member of the City’s City Council from 1985 through 1994 she has gained a great deal of knowledge and experience… Read More
Ed Carson – Emeritus ( -2017)
Ed was raised on a small farm in Indiana. He served in the Air Force and later obtained his BS, MS and a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. Upon retirement, Ed served as a Farm Management Extension Specialist for Purdue University from 1955-1983. After moving from Indiana to California in 1984, Ed worked both as a driver for the handicap service Runabout, and as a Williamson Act property appraiser for the San Luis Obispo County Assessor’s office… Read More
Valerie Endres – Emeritus
Valerie Endres has been a member of the Board of Trustees for more than 15 years. Her specialty has been membership events, including Barn Day, Creek Day, and Family Day on the Bob Jones Trail. Growing up in Westchester County, New York, Valerie lived in a house that overlooked a property that was being held by the county for a future highway… Read More