John H. 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.
Catherine Brozowski has a long history of non-profit stewardship, and is the former Vice President of the Orfaela Foundation. After gaining a Master’s of Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management, she began her career at the National Network of Grantmakers, a network of progressive funders. She went on to act as the Corporate Giving Manager for Washington Mutual, managing their philanthropy throughout the Southeast, and helped the Group Health Foundation form national initiatives. Catherine also served on the Board of Directors of Montana Yellowstone Expeditions Foundation, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and Donors Forum of South Florida. In Santa Barbara she was formerly Vice President of the Santa Barbara Foundation, and currently is on the Eleos Foundation Board.
Karl Hutterer, Ph.D. is the Emeritus Director at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, after serving a 12-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. Karl 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.
Charles A. Newman, a native Southern Californian, received his B.A. from U.C.S.B. (with high honors) and a law degree from Washington University’s School of Law. In his law practice at large firms, Charles specialized in the defense of complex, class actions.
Charles was a director of the Montecito Water Board July 2015 to December 2016) and served on its Recycled Water (Chair), Finance, Water Supply, Legal and Public Information (Chair) Committees. Since his initial appointment in January 2017 by the Board of Supervisors, he has served on the Montecito Planning Commission which he currently chairs.
Board Members At Large
Nadra Ehrman is a property management professional with over 15 years of experience in both the non-profit and private sectors. She is currently a Residential Community Manager with The Towbes Group in Santa Barbara, CA and has been with the company for 9 years. Prior to moving to Santa Barbara, she lived in San Diego and worked for San Diego Youth Services and St. Vincent de Paul, providing housing and support services to at-risk youth.
In her current Community Manager role, she oversees a wide range of business activities and has been a leader in promoting sustainable business practices. She assisted in several green certifications of residential properties and spearheaded many sustainability initiatives throughout the entire portfolio.
Her community involvement includes the Santa Barbara Green Business Program Steering Committee and the Sustainable Future Engagement team. She is also a Katherine Harvey Fellows alum.
When not working or serving on committees, Nadra enjoys spending time with her 12-year old daughter. She also is an avid dancer and health enthusiast primarily studying multi-cultural dance. She also teaches and performs. Running, going to the gym, yoga and hiking are some other ways she likes to stay active and engaged.
Carolyn Fitzgerald moved to Santa Barbara four years ago from Chicago, where she was born and raised, and has become an active volunteer with several local non-profits. In addition to co-chairing the Community Environmental Council’s Green Gala in 2018 and 2019, she is currently involved with planning the annual fundraising galas for Direct Relief, Lotusland and Montecito Union School. While living in Chicago, Carolyn chaired the annual gala for Holy Trinity High School and was on the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Guild Board. Prior to her work with non-profits, Carolyn was the Director of Marketing for Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and worked at Starcom MediaVest, an advertising agency in Chicago. Carolyn graduated from Northwestern University with a major in Communications. She lives in Montecito with her husband Andrew and her two young children, Jay and Nora.
Laura Francis has more than 25 years of experience in ocean and environmental science education and outreach, working for the National Park Service, National Marine Sanctuary System and as a teacher and environmental educator. She leads a variety of projects and programs including professional development for teachers and creating education and outreach materials for the public designed to increase ocean awareness and stewardship. Laura earned her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley in Zoology and her Masters at UC Santa Barbara in Deep Sea Biology. She is also involved with Sustainable Ocean Alliance and Santa Barbara Women’s Fund. She lives in Santa Barbara with her son.
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, Adam 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.
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.
Kim Kimbell is a founding partner in the law firm of Allen & Kimbell, LLP in Santa Barbara, and has practiced for 41 years with an emphasis on real estate law and practice. An active community member, he previously served on the Community Environmental Council Board of Directors for nineteen years and was President for five. He is also a past President of the Goleta Valley Historical Society and current Chairman of the County-appointed Gaviota Planning Advisory Committee. He is active in numerous other civic and charitable organizations including the Dean’s Council of the Bren School at UCSB, San Roque St. Vincent’s de Paul Society, and the Trust for Public Land California Advisory Board. Kim maintains a working relationship with many elected officials at the state, county and local level.
Barbara Lindemann is emerita professor of History and Ethnic Studies at Santa Barbara City College. After earning her PhD in History at UCSB, she enjoyed a 34-year career at SBCC teaching courses in U.S. History, History of American Women, and History of Immigration to the U.S., among others. She served as Academic Senate President and was honored as Faculty Lecturer in 1985. Barbara was a founding member of the Santa Barbara Chapter of the National Organization for Women, and of the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee. Since retirement, she has been chair of the Planned Parenthood Central Coast Action Fund Board, of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Board, and of the Mission Canyon Association Board. Barbara is a fifth-grade teaching docent in public schools with the Community Arts Music Association. She is a longtime supporter and volunteer for the Community Environmental Council and was a member of the Partnership Council for five years.
Pat McElroy spent 37 years leading various aspects of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department, including his final three years as Fire Chief before retiring in 2018. He was recognized twice as Firefighter of the Year from the Santa Barbara City Firefighter’s Association. A highly active community member, he belongs to multiple boards and organizations that support firefighting and incident management efforts, as well as philanthropic groups like Doctors Without Walls. He received a BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Barbara, and also spent five years in his early career with the US Forest Service.
Kathy Yeung is an entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in start-up and mid-size growth tech companies. She most recently co-founded SimplyBridal, an omni-channel retail and e-commerce bridal business, and was previously a General Manager at Oversee.net, an internet advertising technology company. She has served as a Partner and Board Member of the Los Angeles Social Venture Partners, as a Chair and Founding Board Member of KIPP LA Prep Charter School, and as a Board Member of The UCLA Anderson School of Management Alumni Association. Kathy has an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School of Management, and a B.A. in Economics from UCLA. She lives in Carpinteria very happily with her wife and son.
Immediate Past President
Laura Capps has spent over 15 years developing strategic communications and issue advocacy campaigns for some of the nation’s highest profile public officials, including President Bill Clinton, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Secretary John Kerry’s presidential campaign, and other leading organizations. She now runs her own public affairs consulting practice out of her hometown of Santa Barbara, CA. Laura is an active volunteer in her community. In addition to her work on national boards, she is involved locally on the boards of the Community Environmental Council, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Interfaith Initiative of Santa Barbara County. She is also an elected member of the Santa Barbara School Board.
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.
Marc 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. He is a former director of Congress on Optimum Population and Environment, Chicago, and Earth Island Institute, San Francisco. As a legal ecologist, Marc’s 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. Along with wife Kathy and other colleagues, he established the Santa Barbara Ecology Center that included a bookstore featuring the 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, Paul led the CEC to establish the Chapala Garden, an organic garden in the heart of the downtown, Santa Barbara Earth Day, and the El Mirasol Polyculture Farm, an environmental education center. In the mid 1970s Paul 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 Paul 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 Paul 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.
Paul 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 expertise to the group.
Selma 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 Selma 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. Selma 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.
Selma 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.