Dave Davis is the President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Community Environmental Council (CEC). Dave currently serves as the Chair of the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District Board of Directors, the provider of regional transit services to the Santa Barbara South Coast and a national leader in the electric bus technology. Dave also serves on the boards of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project and the Santa Barbara Built Green Advisory Council.
Dave served as the City of Santa Barbara’s Community Development Director and City Planner for almost 25 years before retiring from public service. He has also taught planning and environmental studies at UCLA and Moorpark College. Dave has received numerous awards, including national recognition for planning innovation from the National League of Cities, social advocacy from the American Planning Association, and lifetime achievement from the American Institute of Architects. He has been named “Planner of the Year” by the Santa Barbara Citizen’s Planning Association as well as “Citizen of the Year” by the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization. Dave has been recognized for distinction by the Pacific Coast Business Times in “Who’s Who in Clean Tech and Sustainability.”
Dave received his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Dennis Allen, Past Board President
Dennis Allen is the CEO and founder of Allen Associates, an award-winning construction company specializing in green building. For over 30 years Mr. Allen has taught courses on sustainable design and construction through the University of California Extension Program and at the Santa Barbara Community College Adult Education Program.
Mr. Allen is also a Board member of the Museum of Natural History and chair of the Dean’s Council at the Bren Graduate School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB. He is active in the Green Building Alliance, the Santa Barbara Contractors Association, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and is involved with the Santa Barbara County Innovative Building Review Program. He also is the founder of the Parade of Green Buildings.
Laura Burton Capps, Vice President
Ms. Capps has spent over 15 years developing strategic communications and issue advocacy campaigns for the nation’s highest profile public officials, including President Bill Clinton, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign, as well as leading academic and non-profit organizations. She has recently established her own public affairs consulting firm in her hometown of Santa Barbara, CA. Her current work involves issues of immigration reform, child hunger, interfaith education and climate change, on the national and local level.
Karl Hutterer, Treasurer
Mr. Hutterer, Ph.D. is the Emeritus Director at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, after serving a12-year tenure. He served for ten years as the Director of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington, where he also held an appointment as Professor of Anthropology. He has held positions at numerous other universities including in the Philippines, at the University of Hawaii, the East-west Center in Hawaii, Bryn Mawr College, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served or serves on several national and state boards of museum and nonprofit organizations.
Jordan benShea, Secretary
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Jordan benShea is the Owner of boutique marketing firm SkyView Projects, offering traditional, digital, and social marketing where “we believe your strength is your story.” Ms. benShea is also the Founder of the blog Sustainable Socially, highlighting how to use social platforms as a new paradigm for creating a sustainable planet. She regularly is engaged in discussions on social media for social good, how marketing strategies are driven by the brand story, and innovative ways to humanize high value audience interactions.
A published author and serial observer, Ms. benShea is committed to our environment and engaging our community. When she is not strategizing about how best to interact with a brand, training a client in social media, or writing a blog post about sustainable practices, she can be found in nature appreciating Santa Barbara’s mountains and beaches. She is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley, with a B.A. degree in Mass Communications and an emphasis in Business Administration and Journalism. You can view her digital footprint through LinkedIn or Twitter.
Board Members At Large
Mr. Carmody has an extensive background in venture debt financing as a Founding Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Agility Capital. Agility provides short term financing to emerging growth companies throughout the western US. Mr. Carmody has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Coast MIT Enterprise Forum and has chaired the Steering Committee for the Business & Technology Awards Dinner benefitting the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara County. He is a guest lecturer on venture finance and also has an extensive background in environmental analysis and technology demonstration from his work as an air quality engineer. Mr. Carmody is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and is most proud of his accomplishments as a loving husband and father of two young sons.
Adam Green, Ph.D., is a Biological Sciences professor and the Director of the Center for Sustainability at Santa Barbara City College. In his time at SBCC he has advised in the purchase of 235kW of solar energy generation, designed and planned a food-producing garden on campus to provide produce to food services, implemented a food scrap collection for composting, and helped alleviate the parking and transportation challenges. In addition to his teaching career, Mr. Green has collaborated and co-hosted events with Santa Barbara Permaculture Network, Fairview Gardens, Loa Tree, Quail Springs, UCSB, The Sustainability Project, Citizens Planning Association, the City of Santa Barbara, and Oasis Design.
Mr. Hahn, J.D. has over 20 years of experience in developing a broad litigation and transactional practice in real estate, trust and probate, and business. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and joined the California Bar in 1989. Currently, he is Senior Associate at Allen & Kimbell law firm. He actively supports the Santa Barbara community, having served in the past as a board member or volunteer at local nonprofits including the Environmental Defense Center, California Rural Legal Assistance, the Braille Institute, and AYSO.
Bruce Kendall is a professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research seeks to advance the science that underlies endangered species conservation and sustainable fisheries management. Bruce’s broad interest in sustainable development has also led him to work on expanding campus sustainability at UCSB, where as Associate Dean for the Graduate Division he has endeavored to expand opportunities for interdisciplinary research and education for graduate students across the campus.
Stan Roden is a mediator-arbitrator with 36 years of civil and criminal litigation experience in state and federal courts and 10 years as a neutral in over 350 mediations, settlement conferences, arbitrations and discovery referee assignments. He has successfully mediated disputes about water law, water quality, groundwater, and environmental contamination among other case types. Mr. Roden has donated his time to Global Justice Center in New York, Common Ground Santa Barbara, and taught conflict management as an adjunct teacher at colleges, universities and law schools including Santa Barbara City College and University of California, Santa Barbara.
John H. Steed
Mr. Steed, J.D. has 31 years of experience in private practice after earning his degree from Harvard Law School in 1977. He has specialized in corporate law, financial services, and real estate transactions with private law firms in Orlando, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and Tokyo. He continues to investigate opportunities for collaboration between U.S. and Japanese companies in the fields of renewable energy generation and power storage.
Bio coming soon…
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.
Mr. McGinnes 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. Mr. McGinnes is a former director of Congress on Optimum Population and Environment, Chicago, and Earth Island Institute, San Francisco. As a legal ecologist, Mr. McGinnes’ 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. Mr. Relis, his wife Kathy, and his colleagues established the Santa Barbara Ecology Center that included a bookstore that featured an 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, Mr. Relis led the CEC to establish the Chapala Garden, an organic garden in the heart of the downtown, Santa Barbara Earth Day, the El Mirasol Polyculture Farm, an environmental education center. In the mid 1970s Mr. Relis 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 Mr. Relis 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 Mr. Relis 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.
Mr. Relis 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 his expertise to the CEC.
Ms. 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 Ms. Rubin 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. Ms. Rubin 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.
Ms. Rubin 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.