BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Current Anza-Borrego Foundation Board Members:
A native of Massachusetts, I spent my adult life bicoastal — New England/California. My career was in university communications, at my alma mater Boston College, San Diego State, and UC Berkeley. I also completed 20 years of service in the Navy, most of them in the reserves, retiring as a Commander.
I moved to San Diego County in 2012, residing in Fallbrook. During my pre-move reconnoitering, I shared with a local resident a photo of my then four-year-old daughter next to a cholla, an iconic family photo, and told him of my interest in the desert. He told me he was a member of the ABF board. A couple of years later, so was I.
As a former Chief Ranger of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, I enjoy a special relationship with both ABF and the Park. My interests in ABF and ABDSP include championing natural and cultural environmental protection locally and globally in addition to serving with this renowned, model partnership. My current, academic, and artistic work emphasize these themes. Anza-Borrego Desert SP is foundational to the health and well-being of the areas in and adjacent to the community of Borrego Springs. I am happy to share my background and energy as a trustee of the Parks’ official Partner, ABF.
From 1995 to 2010, I was the manager/executive director of ABF. During those years ABF acquired Sentenac Canyon and Cienega, and the ranches—Vallecito, Lucky 5, Mason Valley, and Tulloch. I came to love the Anza-Borrego Desert, a landscape vastly different from the lakes and woods of my native Minnesota. The blessing I value most about Anza-Borrego, in addition to its raw beauty, is “stillness.” My love of history and mysteries has evolved into a passion for genealogical research of my family tree.
I have a diverse background in marketing and finance. I have worked in commercial real estate leasing and development and founded an international wine exporting and marketing company. I have also worked in the long-term care insurance arena. Now retired, I try to involve myself in making a difference in my community in a variety of ways. Regarding my work with ABF, I believe that knowing natural spaces such as the Anza-Borrego desert will help people yearn to conserve it for future generations. I have a University of Pennsylvania Finance degree and an MBA from Harvard Business School. I love living in Cardiff by the Sea.
I was originally introduced to Borrego Springs at the age of two and have been a regular visitor, now a resident, ever since. Professionally, I spent 30 fascinating years working for California State Parks, retiring as Deputy Director for Park Operations. My favorite pastimes are hanging with my grandson, playing guitar, exploring every corner of this great park, and playing an occasional round of golf.
Acquiring the remaining park inholdings should continue to be a high priority for ABF. However, changing the hearts and minds of Californians regarding the vital importance of their desert may be our most daunting challenge.
I have been a writer/photographer my whole adult life, but that has simply satisfied my desire to wander in nature. I am fascinated by the natural world, touched deeply by things like the Northern Lights, a desert sunrise, comets, or the beauty of a colorful bird. I have been a part of ABF since it was created and strongly support its efforts to preserve California’s premier state park. I am happiest when my boots are dirty and filled with sand.
Sharon Goldsmith, Ph.D. – Naples, Florida
My late husband Jerry and I discovered Anza Borrego while bird watching in 1990. Two days eventually became four months here each year where the beauty and mysteries of the desert and its inhabitants continue to enchant me. When not in Borrego, I live in SW Florida at the edge of the Everglades. My professional expertise has centered on Standards, Certification and Accreditation. I currently head a consulting group that works with organizations throughout the world in this field. This has included designing the accreditation system for the Land Trust Alliance, to encourage and evaluate best practices in land use and conservation.
Terry Hunefeld – Borrego Springs, California
After a 35 year career in real estate, my wife Ann and I decided to make our permanent home in the most special place in the world — the Anza Borrego Desert. More than 20 years of wilderness backpacking and hiking throughout the 1000 square miles of the park’s desert wilderness has given me a profound sense of gratitude for the men and women who over the past 100 years made this all possible. As a way of giving back, I now volunteer as a park naturalist, visitor center volunteer, member of the wildlife tracking team and as a trustee of ABF.
My love for the desert began in 1981 when I joined the County of San Diego as the County Hydrogeologist. On frequent trips to the desert to monitor groundwater levels I was awed by the stark beauty and serenity of the region. After retiring from the County in 2003 I joined the ABF Board as a way of “giving back” to the nature and environment of the Park. In 2010 I moved to Borrego Springs to experience the Park full time (and to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life). Borrego, ABF and the Park is my slice of paradise.
Phil Pryde, Ph.D. – San Diego, California
I am a Professor Emeritus at SDSU, where I taught courses on environmental policy for 32 years. To paraphrase Will Rogers, ‘I’ve never met an ecosystem I didn’t like’. My favorite ecosystem is the Anza-Borrego Desert and I’ve participated in Christmas Bird Counts there since the 1980’s. As a county planning commissioner, I worked to remove four desert roads, including Grapevine Canyon and Kane Springs, from the county’s transportation element. To praise the many ecosystems we have locally, I enjoyed writing San Diego: An Introduction to the Region, now in its fifth edition. I feel privileged to assist the Anza-Borrego Foundation in its vitally important work.
Jim Smith – Borrego Springs, California
Borrego Springs has been home for Judy and me since 2001. We were lucky enough to join the Paleontology Society which led to our love of the Park and its rocks, dirt, plants, and animals. Since the Park has given us so much, we naturally want to give back. I have been on the Board since 2010. Working with the kind of staff and board members we have at ABF will change your life for the better. We might have met somewhere around the ‘Outrageous Front Porch Revue’ that explodes across the Borrego musical terrain every year, with all proceeds going to ABF and the Park.
Retired from ABDSP in 2011 as Associate State Archeologist, ABDSP’s rich cultural and natural heritage inspires my service as an ABF Trustee and Education Committee Chair. As an academic, I would like to see increased interaction between the ABF Educational programs and UC Irvine Steele/Burnand Anza Borrego Desert Research Center.
The ABDSP Sister-Park Relationship with Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in Mongolia, is dear to my heart, enriching my understanding of arid-regions, past and present. As Project Leader, I initiated the Archaeology of the Mongolian Steppe field project at Ikh Nart in 2010 and saw it grow and develop into an international collaboration between several universities.
Dave Van Cleve – Ramona, California
I enjoyed a 31-year career with California State Parks, including assignments as a ranger, park ecologist, Superintendent of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and District Superintendent of the Colorado Desert District. I joined the Foundation’s Board in 1989. I have long believed that one of the key roles of ABF is to ensure that its land conservation work plays a vital role in sustaining biodiversity, ecological complexity, and climate change adaptability. I enjoy bicycling, hiking, upright bass, singing, and building wooden toys for my grandchildren. I’ve been lucky enough to have written two books about park rangers and am currently working on a movie about parks.
Mike Wells, Ph.D. – San Diego and Borrego Springs, California
I had a career with State Parks for 34 years and my first and last permanent assignments were at ABDSP. It was a natural progression to become a volunteer here. A great thing about ABDSP is that every trip here is a potential adventure. Even on a short day-hike, you are likely to encounter natural or cultural features that are your own unique discovery. The most important function of ABF is to protect the physical/biological integrity of ABDSP so that the citizens of California can discover it on their own.
Throughout my career in public accounting, I have spent as much time as possible exploring the natural world. I discovered Anza Borrego Desert State Park during my college years and fell in love. Some favorite moments from time spent in ABDSP have been hiking Indian Head Mountain, exploring washes and slot canyons, camping with friends and family, botanizing and birding, and listening to the desert sounds. I have been involved with ABF for many years. It is important to me to foster a love for nature, wilderness, and public parklands in others. As a volunteer, I get to help support that work and the mission of the organization.
Maris Brancheau, Esq. – San Diego, California
Originally from Michigan, I moved to Borrego Springs at the age of 24 to work for the Borrego Sun newspaper. One of my beats was Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and I enjoyed writing about the Bighorn sheep count, the annual Christmas Bird Count, the Hawk count, and numerous challenges facing the park. I won awards for my investigative series on the Sunrise Powerlink–– a proposal that would have marred the desert landscape forever. That battle led me to pursue a career in law, and I left Borrego Springs for law school in 2011. I’m currently an Attorney in San Diego and am proud to be an ABF trustee.
I have been visiting Anza-Borrego Desert State Park since I was 9 years old. I grew up discovering the desert with my family and as an adult, my love for the desert has deepened resulting in my passion for desert photography and exploring all that the park has to offer. I am a board member for the San County Office of Education, representing District 4, which includes a large portion of inland north San Diego County and work for LEGO® Education. As a trustee, I work to ensure that future generations will enjoy and preserve the park.