Meet Our Board

Meet Our Board

The Santa Lucia Conservancy Board of Trustees is a blend of Preserve community members and at-large members who together bring expertise in the natural sciences, conservation, law, business and management.

2024-25 Board Members

  • Rick Frank, Chair
  • Jim Andrasick, Vice Chair
  • Richard Schaefer, Treasurer and Sonoran Institute Representative
  • Lorraine Yglesias, Secretary
  • Paul Kranhold, Preserve Board Representative
  • Scot Smythe
  • Scott Hennessy
  • David Deniger
  • Nikki Nedeff
  • Mike Stone
  • Kimberly Ventre

Conservancy Founder

Tom Gray

Committee Assignments 2024-25

Executive Committee
Committee Chair: Rick Frank
Members: Jim Andrasick, Richard Schaefer, Lorraine Yglesias, Paul Kranhold

Finance Committee
Committee Chair: Richard Schaefer
Members: Jim Andrasick, Scot Smythe

Governance Committee 
Committee Chair: Lorraine Yglesias
Members: Scot Smythe, Mike Stone

Audit Committee
Committee Chair: Jim Andrasick

Ecological Management Committee 
Committee Chair: Scott Hennessy
Members: Dr. Bill Shaw, Nikki Nedeff

Communications & Outreach Committee
Committee Chair: Scot Smythe
Members: Paul Kranhold, Kimberly Ventre

Richard M. Frank, Chair

Rick Frank joined the Board in 2019 and is Professor of Environmental Practice and Director of the California Environmental Law and Policy Center (CELPC) at the U.C. Davis School of Law. Formerly the executive director of the Center for Law, Energy, & the Environment (CLEE) at UC Berkeley School of Law, Professor Frank returned to UC Davis School of Law in January 2010. In addition to leading the CELPC, he teaches numerous classroom courses in the environmental law curriculum. Before coming to CLEE and UC Berkeley, Professor Frank practiced law with federal and state agencies for 32 years, most of that time with the California Department of Justice. Immediately before joining Berkeley Law, he served as California’s Chief Deputy Attorney General for Legal Affairs. Until being promoted to serve in senior management in the California Department of Justice in 1998-2006, Professor Frank practiced environmental and natural resources law for a quarter century on behalf of numerous client agencies and the People of the State of California. He is quite familiar with land conservancies, having helped draft the enabling legislation of the California Tahoe Conservancy; serving as the CTC’s principal legal counsel for the first 10 years of its existence; and also having provided legal representation to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Coastal Conservancy, Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Delta Conservancy, among others. Rick and his wife live in Pacific Grove, California.

James Andrasick, Vice Chair

Jim joined the Conservancy Board in 2019. He is currently a director and past chairman of Simpson Manufacturing (NYSE:SSD), an international provider of engineered construction products. Jim is the retired chairman, president, & CEO of Matson Navigation, a transportation company serving the Pacific Rim, and the past president of C. Brewer & Co. Ltd., a Hawaii-based agribusiness with substantial landholdings, both domestic and international. Jim’s non-profit experience spans over 30 years and includes past chairman of the University of Hawaii Foundation, the American Red Cross-Hawaii State Chapter, the Hawaii Employer’s Council and the Hawaii Agricultural Research Corporation. He served as a trustee of Mills College and the SF National Maritime Park Association, two organizations dedicated to education. He is presently Treasurer and past chairman of the Big Sur Land Trust and a trustee of the Coast Guard Foundation. Jim holds a B.S. degree, with honors, from the US Coast Guard Academy, where he was captain of the basketball team his senior year. He earned an MS degree from MIT in 1971. He is a Vietnam veteran, happily married with four natural children and two foster children from Asia. Jim and wife, Ginger, own a home at The Santa Lucia Preserve and are avid hikers, gardeners and world travelers.

Richard Schaefer, Treasurer and Sonoran Institute Representative

With more than 36 years of experience in the financial industry, Richard specializes in portfolio development and management. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Arizona, passed the Series 7, 8, 31, 63 and 66 securities exams, is insurance licensed and holds the Accredited Wealth Management designation. Through RBC Wealth Management, Richard is a Chairman’s, President’s or Director’s Council Award recipient since 1994. He received the Dick McFarland Volunteer of the Year award in 2003. This award recognizes employees who made the most outstanding contributions to their community. He also received the Spirit of Philanthropy award for dedication to philanthropic issues in 2006. That same year the community of Tucson awarded him the Father of the Year award. In 2008, Richard received the Dynamic Duo award for extensive community service. And RBC named him as an RBC Global Citizen Award recipient in 2017. Outside of the offi ce, Richard is president of the board of directors for St. Augustine High School, is chairman of the Pima County Board of Adjustments, is commissioner for the Pima County Commission on Trial Court Judges, on the Tucson Medical Center Audit and Oversight Committee, is a founding member of the Father’s Day Council in Tucson, is a Development Committee member for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona, is a board member for JobPath, on the board of directors for Sonoran Institute and chair of the finance committee for Sonoran Institute. Previously, Richard was a Steele Children’s Research Center board member.

Lorraine Yglesias, Secretary

Lorraine Yglesias is a marketing executive experienced in growing market share for brands with a focus on the Latinx space. Recent efforts include increasing Hispanic visitation to the Monterey Bay Aquarium from 8% to 25%. Prior to joining the Aquarium, Lorraine worked for communications and film companies in San Jose and Los Angeles, including Comcast, Lorimar-Telepictures, and the Hollywood Reporter, where her duties included developing the US Hispanic and Latin American markets for her employers. The daughter of immigrants and as a first-generation college graduate, Lorraine is an advocate and mentor focusing on the intersection of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the environment, social and economic justice, and communications. She currently serves on the board of Santa Cruz Community Ventures focusing on Monterey market development to expand their mission of building compassionate and equitable local economies, the Siembra Latino Fund (a field of interest for the Community Foundation of Monterey County) and Development Committee member for Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation. Lorraine is also serving on an interim marcom workgroup created by the Monterey County Health Department to help advise in the rollout of a community-based initiative VIDA (virus integrated distribution aid) to connect with the most affected sectors of the Monterey county area with access to COVID testing and vaccination, as “vida” translates to “life.”

Scot Smythe

Scot Smythe joined the Conservancy Board in 2020. He is an associate director with Redmandarin, a London based sports marketing agency and currently on the faculty of the WP Carey School of Business at the Arizona State University as an associate professor. He also serves as an adjunct professor at California State University Monterey Bay in their College of Business. In the field of sports and event marketing Scot led senior executive roles with SSE, a leading UK energy company based in Glasgow, the Lloyds Banking Group headquartered in London, Visa International as senior vice president based in San Francisco. Prior to his 20 years with Visa Scot managed marketing and sales promotion roles with Volkswagen of America and the Clorox Corporation. Scot serves on the ASU Sports Business Advisory Board and is an advisor to the Board for the Santa Lucia Preserve Community Services District. Scot earned his BA at the University of California Santa Barbara and a Master’s in International Management from the ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management. He is an active area volunteer supporting numerous local events and leads the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for the Carmel Police Department and the Santa Lucia Preserve. He also serves as a member of the Monterey County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team. A 4th generation Californian and Carmel native, Scot and his wife Judy own a home in the Preserve.

Paul Kranhold

Paul Kranhold is a part-time resident of the Santa Lucia Preserve, where he has been a member of the Ranch and Golf Clubs since 2009. Paul is an active conservationist and wildlife enthusiast with a particular interest in watershed management and the protection of endangered steelhead and salmon populations throughout the Pacific Ocean. He is currently Co-President of Sard Verbinnen & Co (SVC), a New York based crisis and financial communications consultancy where he has been working for the last 16 years. SVC specializes in developing and executing communications strategies across stakeholder groups for some of the most complex financial events in the world. Prior to joining SVC, he was Vice President of Corporate Communications at AT&T in New York where he worked until the company was sold in 2004. Earlier in his career, he was Vice President of Communications for the Irvine Company, one of the largest private landowners in California where he helped communicate the benefits of limited development and land conservation on the Irvine Ranch. Paul began his career in Washington as a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Interior in the George H.W. Bush Administration, where he served on a task force studying the development risks and benefits of the outer continental shelf off the California coast. After returning to his home state, Paul became press secretary to California Governor Pete Wilson.

David Deniger

David B. Deniger is a retired private equity real estate investor and the Founding General Partner of Hyphen Solutions, LLC., a SaaS technology company in the homebuilding industry. He was previously the managing general partner of Olympus Real Estate Funds and a partner at Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, managing over $25 billion in private equity. He founded Hyphen in 1998, which has grown into a multibillion-dollar company serving homebuilders across the US and Canada. Deniger serves as Chairman of the Board of Hyphen and is a Trustee Emeritus of the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation. He also served on the Research Council of The Institute of Human Origins at ASU and taught as an adjunct professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Through his passion for photography and storytelling, he and his wife, Mara Batlin (a Carmel Valley native), founded a documentary film company, Highest Common Denominator Media Group, which has produced films for National Geographic Network, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Sundance Foundation, and The Discovery Channel. 
David and Mara have been living (with dogs Kitty, Oscar and Jack) at the Preserve since completing their home 25 years ago. Deniger holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Nikki Nedeff

Nikki Nedeff has nearly 40 years of experience in Monterey County working with public agencies and private organizations to evaluate, inventory, preserve, restore and manage natural resources. A Monterey County native, she has a deep and enduring appreciation for our regional geography and biodiversity. Nikki completed advanced degrees in Biogeography from University of California, Berkeley, and spent a portion of her career teaching at Cal State University, Monterey Bay. She worked with the California and Arizona chapters of The Nature Conservancy, was Vice President coordinating California programs for the Wilderness Land Trust, and managed land acquisition for Big Sur Land Trust. She was the first Naturalist/Ecologist for the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District and spent a number of years with the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District as the Riparian Projects Coordinator administering restoration efforts along the Carmel River. Nikki has served in leadership positions for several non-profit and environmental advocacy groups, including the Ventana Wilderness Alliance, Native Plant Society and Monterey Pine Forest Watch. She enjoys living in Carmel Valley and loves to garden, hike and explore wild places with her partner, Boon.

Mike Stone

Mike Stone is the former Managing Director of Sirona Dental Systems Pty Ltd. – the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies. Previously, Mike served as President of Schick Technologies Inc. and also Executive Vice President of Schick Technologies, Inc., where he was responsible for running sales and marketing after joining the company in January 2000. Mike serves on the Executive Advisory Committee at the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester and spent five years as a Board Trustee at the American Association of Endodontists Foundation.

An avid golfer and Chair of the Santa Lucia Preserve Association Board (SLPA), Mike and his wife, Patty, have called The Preserve home since 2016.

Kimberly Ventre

Specializing in brand identity and marketing operations, Kimberly Ventre spent a career in advertising for some of the world’s best known retailers. She co-founded Aldrich Browne Winery, worked to establish Project Chimps, and is an advisor to the Whale Sanctuary Project. As a lifelong health, environmental, and animal advocate, Kimberly has actively promoted a sustainable and compassionate lifestyle. Her current focus is on ecosystem conservation, anti-captivity legislation, and ways to provide education that encourages informed and thoughtful food choices. She serves on the Boards of Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation and Ridge to River Animal Sanctuary. Kimberly completed her undergraduate (B.A. Literature/Political Science) and graduate studies (M.A. Urban and Regional Planning) at the University of Florida. She and her husband, Marty, split their time between San Francisco and Menlo Park.

Scott Hennessy

Scott Hennessy joins the Conservancy Board with a robust background in county planning, environmental restoration, and nonprofit service in Monterey County. With a master’s degree in Marine Biology, Scott currently serves on the boards of the Carmel River Watershed Conservancy and the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation. He has worked as the Director of the Monterey County Planning and Building Department and the Director of the Watershed Institute at CSUMB, founded a native plant nursery focused on providing vegetation for restoration projects as well as a thriving food service business. As a land use consultant, Scott worked on projects including the MPRPD Garland Park Southbank Trail Reconstruction, Palo Corona Aerial Spraying Program, the Palo Corona Parking Facility, and the MPWMD Steelhead Barrier Access Acquisition and Permission to Work Program. Scott is the founding member of the California Mountain Lion Foundation, which worked to develop and pass the California Wildlife Protection Act. He has served as the Chair of both the Monterey Peninsula Audubon Society and the Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club. He has served on the boards of the Hatton Canyon Coalition, which prevented Hatton canyon from becoming a freeway route, the Fort Ord Parklands group, which is responsible for establishing the public lands of Fort Ord today, and Monterey County Resource Conservation District.

Tom Gray, Conservancy Founder

Tom Gray founded the Santa Lucia Conservancy in 1995 as an essential part of the plan for the Santa Lucia Preserve. He and his late partner Peter Stocker first saw the 20,000 acres that would become The Preserve in February 1989.  They envisioned a conservation community of approximately 300 homes on 10% of the land, with 90% protected in permanent conservation. Tom guided the creation of The Preserve after Peter’s death in May 1990. Tom was a principal with Pacific Union Co., a diversified Northern California real estate company headquartered in San Francisco, which he joined in 1982. Prior to his work at Pacific Union, Tom was a senior executive at Wells Fargo & Company and ran two of Wells Fargo’s real estate subsidiaries. He chaired the California State University Monterey Bay President’s Council and led the capital campaign for the University’s Chapman Science Academic Center, the first newly-erected building on the campus. He chairs the board of Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County. He was inducted into the Monterey Peninsula Business Hall of Fame in 2024.  Tom and his wife, Alayna, have lived on The Preserve since 1990.