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Advisory Council

The Advisory Council of the Laguna Foundation is a group of outstanding citizens who support the mission of the Foundation.

Julie Solomon Atwood has produced events generating over $2.5 million dollars for North Bay charities. Prior to her career in event planning, Julie maintained interior design ateliers in Marin and San Francisco. Julie has had the opportunity to turn these two career skill sets into an equally satisfying, community-based business called Julie Atwood Events. With a fantastic team of regional resources, Julie is an ambassador for Sonoma County and a spokesperson on the importance of sustaining family farms and local businesses. Julie has served, or is currently on the Board of, several regional non-profits, including Sonoma Valley Vintner’s & Grower’s Alliance, Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Riding Center, Valley of the Moon Children’s Home Foundation, Vintage House Senior Center and Slow Food Sonoma Valley. She is currently a member of the Children’s Home Auxiliary, plus a member of several prestigious Hospitality Industry trade organizations, including: ISES, WIPA, WCSEP, Women for Wine Sense, SF Professional Food Society, SVVGA & Sonoma County Vintners. Her interests range from riding, birding, photography, and trying to organize her ever-growing collection of farm, kitchen and tabletop antiques. She is also trying to become an accomplished kayaker. Julie lives on a historic ranch in Glen Ellen with her husband and varied cats, dogs, horses and waterfowl.
Denise Cadman retired after 29 years as Environmental Specialist for the City of Santa Rosa. During her career she managed 1,500 acres of irrigated and natural area land in the Laguna de Santa Rosa planting creek corridors, removing invasive species, conducting studies and performing long-term surveys on plants, birds, and mammals. An education program complimented these efforts. Denise currently teaches at the Santa Rosa Junior College as an adjunct faculty member in the Biology Department. 
Connie Codding, wife of deceased shopping center developer Hugh Codding, has been very active in local philanthropy for a number of years. She is President of the Codding Foundation, a family philanthropic foundation benefitting youth up to 18 years of age in Sonoma County. She currently serves as Executive Vice President of Codding Enterprises which is developing Sonoma Mountain Village, a One Planet sustainable community located in Rohnert Park. In addition, Mrs. Codding serves on the boards of PDI Surgery Center, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific Board of Advocates in Sonoma County, Sonoma Paradiso Foundation and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Sonoma State University. Having grown up on Sonoma County, she enjoys many outdoor activities.
Bill Cox started his Department of Fish and Wildlife career in 1974 as a Seasonal Aide living in Point Arena studying the salmon and steelhead runs on the Garcia, Gualala, and Klamath rivers for what was then known as the Anadromous Fisheries Division. His full-time appointment came in November of 1977 in Yountville, in 1980 Bill moved out to Sebastopol to cover Sonoma County, representing the Department on all things fish and stream related. Then, in 1982, Bill picked up Marin County as well. Bill sees the positive relationships he has built with the local agencies and the public in Sonoma and Marin counties as his greatest accomplishment.
Caryl Hart is a Commissioner on the State of CA Parks & Recreation Commission and is also Director of Sonoma County Regional Parks. She has extensive experience in land conservation practice and policy, with a focus on land use and climate change. She is currently Chair of the Commission, and has been a member since 2000. From 2006-09, Commissioner Hart served as a member of the Forest Protocols Advisory Committee to the Climate Action Reserve, which developed accounting principles governing participation in voluntary carbon markets. She acted for fifteen years as an advisor to the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, and was a founding member of LandPaths, an environmental land trust and land management non-profit dedicated to maximizing resource conservation while allowing managed public access. Hart received her PhD in Environmental Science Policy and Management at the College of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley, her J.D. at the University of San Francisco College of Law, and a B.A. in economics from Cornell University.
Dr. Claudia Luke, Director of Sonoma State University Field Stations Nature Preserves, has 20 years of experience directing field stations for the University of California and California State University. At Sonoma State University, she serves as Director for three SSU field stations (Fairfield Osborn Preserve, Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, and Los Guilicos Preserve) which support academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences by providing education and research experiences in place-based learning. She has worked extensively with partners and collaborators to build regional academic-management collaborations in the areas of watershed management, habitat connectivity, habitat restoration, and environmental education. She has served as a Board Member and Science Advisor on the South Coast Wildlands Project and as Secretary-Treasurer to the Organization of Biological Field Stations.
Steve Olson has been a pivotal figure in North coast agriculture and education. In addition to being a popular teacher and administrator at the Santa Rosa Junior College, he has played a central role in the establishment of SRJC's Shone Farm, a 365-acre outdoor learning laboratory for students of the college's Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. In addition to his educational achievements, Steve has served as President of the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa and trustee of several foundations including the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Foundation, Sonoma County 4H Foundation and the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Foundation. Steve currently serves on the SRJC Shone Farm Foundation Board and the SRJC Foundation Ag Trust Committee. He was recently recognized as a 2017 "Spirit of Sonoma" honoree by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.
Steve Rabinowitsh is an instructor of Political Science at Santa Rosa Junior College. He has been teaching at SRJC since 1987. He has Masters Degrees in both Political Science and Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado. Steve served on the Santa Rosa City Council and the Executive Board of the Association of Bay Area Governments from 1998-2006. He helped organize and sustain community support for the Prince Memorial Greenway and was involved in promoting bikeway construction, smart growth, affordable housing, open space protection and public art. He currently serves on the SMART Citizens Oversight Committee, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District Advisory Committee, the Sonoma County Community Foundation Board of Directors and Grant Distribution Committee, the Santa Rosa Art in Public Places Committee and is the Chair of the Santa Rosa Watersways Advisory Committee.
Dr. Robert Rubin holds a Ph.D. in physiological ecology from UC Irvine. He has served as program developer for the National Science Foundation Office of Public Understanding of Sciences, and the U.S. Depart. of Energy Office of University Programs. Presently, he is on the scientific advisory boards of the Save Our Seas Foundation, The Sea Watch Foundation, and The Manta Trust; and is the Director of the Pacific Manta Research Group. As a marine biologist he conducts field research on Manta rays and pelagic marine communities in the sub-tropical Mexican Pacific. This work has resulted in educational documentaries produced by The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, National Geographic, and the BBC. As a member of the biology faculty at the SRJC, he served as Chairman of the Life Sciences Department, President of the Academic Senate, and on the Board of Directors of the College Foundation. Additionally, he originated and sought funding for the Faculty Fund for Advanced Studies and the Student Internship Scholarship at The Pepperwood Preserve. Dr. Rubin has been acknowledged for Teaching Excellence by the State of California, the SRJC, The University of California, and the Congress of the United States. In 1996, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching selected him as the California College and University Professor of the year.
Raini Sugg and her husband Steve Vallarino have lived in Sebastopol since 1977 and raised two daughters. Raini has a background in education with degrees from SF State University and SSU. She became a Laguna Docent in 1999, the Foundation’s first year of operating an all volunteer educational program. She was instrumental in developing the Learning Laguna school program by creating curriculum, interfacing with teachers, and training docents. Raini served on the Laguna Foundation's Board fo Directors from 2013-2021, including serving as the Board President from 2014-2016.She served on the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center board of directors for eight years, two terms as president. As an avid birder and advocate for the environment, she has spent the last 17 years increasing the public’s awareness of the beauty and importance of the Laguna.
Rick Theis co-founded the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy with his wife Carolyn Johnson in 2000 to educate more than 700 community leaders to create public policy that balances environmental and social justice with economic interests for a sustainable community. He is a trustee and chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee at Sonoma Academy where he led the development of the master plan and oversaw the construction of the Janet Durgin Guild and Commons. It will be LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certified. It received the 2017 Green California School Award for Leadership in Zero Net Energy and the 2018 American Institute of Architecture Top 10 Award for outstanding environmental design and performance. He was the Executive Director of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association from 1984 to 1999.
Vic Trione, Chairman of the Board, Luther Burbank Savings; Principal, Trione Winery.
Lisa Vollendorf, Ph.D., is a passionate advocate for equity and inclusion in our communities and educational institutions. She has worked in the California State University (including at Long Beach State, San José State, Sonoma State, and the CSU Chancellor’s Office) for the past sixteen years in various roles, including as a Spanish professor, dean, provost, and crisis management advisor. She is wholly devoted to forging opportunities for all students to feel welcome and succeed, regardless of their racial, ethnic, linguistic, or socioeconomic backgrounds. Lisa has served on numerous boards for cultural and educational organizations over the years, including MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latinoamericana), the Green Music Center, and the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies. Lisa moved to Sonoma County in 2017, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to support the environmental protection and education efforts of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. A lifelong environmentalist, Lisa grew up in Breckenridge, Colorado, where she developed a deep love and respect for the planet. She is an avid hiker, backpacker, and traveler who always looks forward to the next adventure. You can follow her on Twitter @lisavol.

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