About Us

Audubon California Board of Directors

Board of Directors

MARIE BERGGREN is former Chief Investment Officer and Vice President for Investments at the University of California, was responsible for overseeing the university system’s investment portfolio until her retirement in 2013. Prior to joining the Treasurer’s Office in 2002, Ms. Berggren was Executive Vice President/Department Head of Venture Capital Investments for Bank One Corporation. While employed at Bank One and its predecessor organization, First Chicago Corporation, she was the Senior Vice President and Department Head of the Corporation’s Mergers and Acquisitions activity. Prior to that she was the Managing Director of Public Equities and Director of Research for First Chicago Investment Advisors (the predecessor to Brinson Partners). Ms. Berggren earned her MS in Management from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a BA in Economics from the College of New Rochelle. She joined the Audubon California board in 2014.

ANN BRICE is the former Co-Executive Director of the Yolo Basin Foundation, a non-profit in Davis, CA associated with the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area and dedicated to wetlands education and conservation.  In the early 1990s she ran the Psittacine Research Project at UC Davis and spent several years studying the Yellow-naped Amazon in Guatemala.  From 1996 to 2000, she was the founding Executive Director of the Cache Creek Conservancy, a non-profit that grew out of a multi-year settlement with the aggregate producers on the creek.  She currently serves on the board of directors of the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District and the Northern California Water Association.  Ann is the author of A Landowner’s Guide to Streambank Management on Cache Creek and Exploring Putah Creek from Monticello Dam to the Yolo Wildlife Area. She graduated from Brown University and has a PhD in ecology from UC Davis, where she specialized in avian nutrition.  Her hobbies include birding, horseback riding and nature photography.  Ann joined the Audubon California Board in 2014.

WILLIE BURNSIDE is a retired Senior Partner of The Boston Consulting Group, where he worked for over thirty years. Willie has been an avid birder since his childhood in Northern Ireland, a pastime he has continued during a career which has taken him to London, Boston, Chicago and, for the past twenty years, Los Angeles. He is a Board Member of the Executive Service Corps of Southern California, past Board Member of Occidental College, The French Foundation for Alzheimer’s Research and The California Club, and past member of the Finance Committee of Jesus College, Cambridge. In addition to birding, Willie enjoys photography, including bird photography, hiking, travel, fishing and golf. He obtained a degree in Classical Studies from Cambridge University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

SUSAN GOTTLIEB is the co-founder and co-owner of The G2 Gallery (www.theg2gallery.com) in Venice, California, a philanthropic art gallery which features wildlife and nature art exclusively. All proceeds from sales of work at the gallery are donated to conservation organizations. Ms. Gottlieb is dedicated to conservation and passionate about birds and wildlife. Both she and her husband, Mr. Dan Gottlieb, are talented wildlife photographers who travel around the world to capture photos of wildlife and nature. She also began a native garden in Beverly Hills in 1990 to save water with drought tolerant plants and attract birds. The garden has been designated as official Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation and featured in various newspaper and magazine articles. Ms. Gottlieb serves on the board of The Friends of the Ballona Wetlands and supports many conservation organizations. She lives with her husband and four rescued cats, which are able to roam their property and enjoy the outdoors safely and without threatening birds or other animals thanks to a special open air cat run they constructed on their property. Ms. Gottlieb has been a member of the board since 2009.

ALLISON HARVEY TURNER joined the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation in 2003, and she oversees the Foundation’s Environment Program. Allison directs strategy, and manages program staff and grantmaking to advance water management and land stewardship in California. In this role, she develops efforts to support effective programs, build strong partnerships, and develop organizational capacity. Before moving into the role of Program Director, Allison led the development and implementation of the Foundation’s water and migratory bird strategies. Allison serves on the Advisory Board for Sustainable Conservation, and she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.

DAVID JENSEN has served as the president of the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society for six years.  He has been interested in birds his entire life and has been actively birding since he met the legendary David Gaines in 1977. At that time Jensen was working as a commercial fisherman and construction diver. He later returned to college and earned a Master’s degree in Entomology at U.C. Berkeley, where he studied the effects of selenium poisoning at Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge. That led him to a career in environmental management, which has included hazardous waste enforcement, the cleanup of a former uranium processing plant, and his current role as Director of Environmental Health for Mendocino County. David’s diverse background and education have helped him to collaborate with differing factions.  As a regional stakeholder in the Marine Life Protection Act’s North Coast Region, David worked with commercial, sport, tribal and environmental groups to negotiate the protection of important seabird rookeries. Part teacher and part missionary, David most enjoys working with beginning birders, patiently answering their questions as he introduces them to the wonders of the avian world, passing on the legacy he inherited more than thirty-five years ago.

BARIS KARADOGAN is a consultant at Endless Inc, and the former CEO of Hip Digital Media. Prior to joining Hip Digital Media, Baris was a venture capitalist for ten years, at U.S. Venture Partners, a leading Silicon Valley based venture capital firm and at Fuse Capital. As a VC, Baris invested in a wide variety of industries including digital media, telecommunications and semiconductors. Before becoming a venture capitalist, Baris worked in both engineering and marketing at 3Com/U.S. Robotics, where he developed software for the company’s networking and cable modem products. His efforts at U.S. Robotics resulted in a number of U.S. patents.

Baris served on the Board of Directors of “Friends of Anatolia,” a nonprofit that restored and renovated a number of on elementary schools in rural Turkey. He is also the founder of “Nature Turkey,” a nonprofit promoting conservation ecology in northern Turkey. Active in the Turkish business community, Baris has been a longtime advisor to the Turkish American Business Connection, the premier business organization in the West Coast promoting collaboration between the US and Turkey. Baris also is the Silicon Valley advisor to Turkcell, Turkey’s largest wireless operator, on matters of venture capital and the startup ecosystem. Baris holds an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College, where he graduated summa cum laude. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu.

IYA LABUNKA, former independent film producer and Disney Film Studios executive, spent all her childhood summers tramping around the woods and fording the streams of Upstate New York. It was through these adventures and experiences that her immigrant parents imparted an enduring love and respect for nature. After meeting and getting married to filmmaker Wes Craven, this interest flowered into more direct activism, including joining the Audubon California board in 2015. Iya is deeply honored to have been invited to be a part of this great organization and looks forward to this new chapter in her life which is a direct connection to how it all began.

VIC LEIPZIG is a long-time leader of Sea and Sage Audubon in Orange County, leading field trips to the Salton Sea for over twenty years, and serving as Director, Conservation Co-chair, Vice-president, President, and now immediate Past-president.  A biologist and ecologist, he also served as Planning Commissioner, City Councilman, and Mayor of Huntington Beach, which is the location of the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, site of a major community-based conservation victory by local groups with support from Audubon.

HELENE MARSH is a climate change advocate, event organizer/facilitator and the owner/developer of one of the few LEED platinum homes in the country. She attended Harvard-Radcliffe as an undergraduate and pursued her master’s at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Early in her career, Helene worked in Europe for 8 years in international finance and business with Lloyds Bank and Euromoney Publications. While living in Prague in the 1990s, she started and managed a furnishing fabrics company and established a non-profit focused on corporate social responsibility. For the last 15 years, she has focused primarily on contributing to local and international climate change initiatives including working for Conservation International, and serving on the Boards of Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Cool the Earth. Helene is a strong believer in sustainable and responsible investing and a clean energy economy. She also served on the Marin County Civil Grand Jury during 2013-14. Helene has lived in the USA, England, Spain, and the Czech Republic and speaks French, Spanish, Italian and Czech. She joined the Audubon California board in 2016.

MARK MUSHKAT joined the board of Audubon California in December of 2013. Presently he serves on the Finance and Development Committees. Prior to joining AC, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Golden Gate Audubon for four years, serving on the executive, finance and development committees. Mark is an independent investment consultant in Northern California. He has had leadership roles with multi-family offices and global private banks in New York, Connecticut, and California, assisting families with planning and philanthropy. In addition, he is a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) and has held numerous securities licenses related to his consulting and company oversight roles. He is a summa cum laude graduate of University of Cincinnati receiving a BA degree where he currently serves on a Board of Advisors; he attended the graduate program in clinical psychology at George Peabody College as well as an Executive Program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Mark is also a volunteer with Sutter Hospice, the San Francisco Public School District, and organizations affiliated with Vipassana courses in California.

PEDRO NAVA is an attorney, residing in Santa Barbara, engaged as a consultant, emphasizing government relations. Since 2014, he has served as the Chairman of the Milton Marks Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy (Little Hoover Commission), appointed by Assembly Speaker John A. Perez and re-appointed in 2017 by Speaker Rendon. In 2011, Mr. Nava served on the Fish & Wildlife Strategic Vision Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee. He is a former member of the California State Assembly (November 2004-November 2010) He obtained his law degree from the University of California, Davis, Martin Luther King Jr. Hall, School of Law and worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Fresno and Santa Barbara counties.  From 1987 until his election in 2004 Mr. Nava was a civil litigator. Mr. Nava also served on the California Coastal Commission from 1997 until 2004, appointed by then California State Assembly Speaker Cruz Bustamante and re-appointed by then Senate Pro Tem John Burton, where he earned the highest environmental protection vote awarded by the Sierra Club. 

DIANE ROSS-LEECH, the Director of Environmental Policy at Pacific Gas & Electric, supervises a department of ten employees that are responsible for overseeing environmental regulatory and legislative review and analysis, environmental justice strategies, developing habitat conservation plans for PG&E’s operations, implementing avian protection programs, analyzing renewable energy projects and policies, collaborating with federal, state and regional environmental regulatory agencies, and partnering with critical environmental non-profit organizations. Diane attended both the University of California at Davis and the University of California at Berkeley. Diane served as the Board President of Golden Gate Audubon Society from 2006 through 2011, and as the Chair of the Management Board for SF Bay Joint Venture since 2010, and will continue to serve as Chair through mid-2013.

WENDY SCHACKWITZ is President of Napa-Solano Audubon, scientist at the Joint Genome Institute, and an avid birder with more than 500 birds on her life list. Dr. Schackwitz received her BS in Biology from Oregon State University and PhD in Genetics from the University of Washington. She has worked for the last 10 years at the Joint Genome Institute/Lawrence Berkeley National Lab as a scientist, where she leads a group that studies the genetics of organisms that are important for bio-fuel production. Dr. Schackwitz was Educational Chair for Napa-Solano for one year before being elected as President last May. She has been birding for ~15 years and is hoping to complete a version of a Big Year in 2015. Dr. Schackwitz joined the Audubon California board in 2014.

ROBERT SNOW was born and raised in Chico, CA. He received his BA degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his PhD in Zoology from the University of Washington. Following a career in Neurophysiology at the University of Maryland Medical School and Tulane University Medical School, Robert joined the fledgling GPS industry in Anaheim, California. He worked for 24 years in that industry, defining GPS systems for precise applications such as timing, geodesy, surveying, and mapping. Robert retired in 2009 and moved to Fresno in 2010 to be close to family and to enjoy the proximity to the mountains. Robert is currently President of Fresno Audubon Society as well as the editor of the newsletter, The Yellowbill. He enjoys birding, hiking, biking and SCUBA diving as well as working in his garden.

DAVE TYRA is a native Californian, growing up in Santa Cruz.  His background is Operations and IT management for high tech companies in Silicon Valley, where he worked for 25 years. He ran his own video services company for 6 years, until moving from San Jose to Paso Robles in 2006.  He and his son had been casual birders for some time and joined Morro Coast Audubon in 2011. At his son’s request, they attended the National Audubon Conference in Stevenson, WA in 2013.  He has served as Treasurer and President at Morro Coast Audubon Society, and has been asked by the MCAS board to serve another term as President.  He has coordinated the California Brown Pelican survey and Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey for San Luis Obispo county. Dave joined the Audubon California board in 2017.

NANCY WHITE  is the Program Advisor on Water Issues for the Tomkat Charitable Trust. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of Estabrook Investment Advisors, LLC. Nancy practiced law in Denver and later founded and ran a national consulting firm, White-Scott LLC. She currently serves as an officer and trustee of the Schlegel White Foundation. Nancy received her J.D. from the University of Denver School of Law after receiving both her B.A. and her M.A. from the University of Massachusetts. She joined the Audubon California board in 2015.

Emeritus Members

KRISTI PATTERSON, of Portola Valley, California, served on the Audubon California Board from 2007-2016, including four years as chair. She also served as a member of the National Audubon Society board. Kristi spent her career in the software industry, managing a team at Kana Communications and prior to that she worked at Netscape Communications and Bain & Company. Growing up in Santa Cruz and spending summers backpacking in the Sierras, Kristi has always loved the natural world and being active in the outdoors.  Along with being actively involved in her local community, she continues to enjoy exploring Northern California, as well as Western Colorado and Montana with her husband, Tom, and their two children.

JACOB SCHUTT joined Parallel Advisors to help create a truly innovative wealth management firm founded on the principles of a disciplined planning process, an open architecture platform, and transparent reporting. Prior to joining Parallel, Jake worked for Morgan Stanley's Global Wealth Management Group. He achieved the Pace Setter's award and built his business providing advice to affluent individuals, families, and trusts. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Jake was a senior technology consultant for several web development firms serving the largest global non-profit organizations. Jake holds a B.A. in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is also the trustee of several trusts, serves as Chairman of the Board for Wilmon Timberlands, a timber investment and management company. He serves on the Finance Committee of Marin Headlands Center for the Arts, a non-profit organization that provides artist residency programs in Marin. He is also a board member at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center in Tiburon.

ROBERT STEPHENS of Soquel founded the Elkhorn Native Plant Nursery in Moss Landing, a wholesale and retail nursery providing California native plants and seeds for landscaping and restoration. The nursery also offers botanical consultations, planning and implementing restoration, erosion control and landscaping projects, and seed collection and seed cleaning. Robert also operates a commercial apple orchard in Soquel and serves on the San Felipe Ranch Board of Directors, a cattle ranch in Central California. He is an advisory board member of the O'Neill Sea Odyssey and the Elkhorn Slough Foundation. He is the past chair of the Audubon California board of directors. He has twin daughters and enjoys horseback riding, biking, fishing, kayaking, nature photography and swimming.

In Memoriam: WES CRAVEN, who passed from this life on August 30, 2015, was a Los Angeles based filmmaker recognized for his genre-bending and innovative horror films. Best known for creating the iconic Freddy Kreuger in Nightmare on Elm Street and for directing the record breaking Scream franchise, Craven directed 30 feature films, over 20 television shows & movies of the week and published one novel, The Fountain Society (1999). Craven's work earned acclaim at festivals and award shows worldwide. Craven was born and raised in inner-city Cleveland, Ohio. He earned undergraduate degrees in English and Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois and a masters degree in Philosophy and Writing from John Hopkins University. Prior to pursuing his film career, Craven taught humanities at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. Two of Craven’s later feature films, My Soul To Take (2010) and Scream 4 (2011), were collaborations with his wife, producer Iya Labunka. Craven was a lifelong bird lover and was an Audubon California Board Member from 2010 until his passing in 2015.

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