He manages family ranches and vineyards in Sonoma and Tulare Counties (California). He has been a CEO and Director of Niman Ranch, Executive Vice President and Director of Ravenswood Winery, and a member of the management teams at E. D. Bullard Co. and Sitka Inc. Justin is currently Vice Chairman/ Director of E. D. Bullard Co., and a member of the Board of Directors of several other corporations. He also served for 8 years as a councilmember (2 years as Mayor) of his hometown, Belvedere, California. A graduate of The Thacher School, Justin received Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Earth Sciences from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard University.
Justin devotes considerable time to nonprofit endeavors. He has served as President and Trustee of The Thacher School and President and Director of Family Winemakers of California. Justin has served as a League Councilor for many years. He was elected to the Board in 2011 and was elected Board Chair in 2015. He serves on the League’s Audit Committee and Personnel Committee, and has served on the League’s Committees Task Force 2015, the 2012-2013 Strategic Plan Refresh Work Group, and he chaired the 2012-2013 executive search committee. Justin and his wife, (League Councilor) Sandra Donnell, have two children: Nathaniel (34) — married to Stacie Wang — and Claire (32) — married to Daniel Sternberg. He is an avid naturalist, SCUBA diver, and traveler.
Peggy Light is Vice President of Rite Engineering & Manufacturing Corporation.
She has strong financial skills and has had a successful career in public accounting (CMA, and CPA (retired)), operational auditing, food distribution, and for the past 18 years has helped manage her family’s boiler manufacturing business in Southern California. She received a BA in Political Science and an MBA with an emphasis on Accounting and Information Systems, both from the University of California at Los Angeles. Peggy is passionate about the natural world and spends as much time as possible in nature — hiking, fishing and travelling. She is a 3rd generation supporter of Save the Redwoods League, and has served on the Audit and Nominating Committees, and on the 2013-13 Strategic Plan Refresh Work Group. She currently serves as Chair of the Development Committee and the Redwoods 2018 (Centennial) Task Force.
C. Blake Williams
Blake Williams is a Managing Director in the Investment Banking division at Oppenheimer & Co. and serves as head of its Hardware and Emerging Technology practice.
In this role, he provides a wide range of capital formation advice, including initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, private capital raising, PIPEs, convertible debt and leveraged finance, as well as strategic advisory services including mergers and acquisitions and proxy contests. He has over 20+ years as a trusted advisor to public and private technology companies from growth oriented investment banking platforms, including Cowen and Company, Piper Jaffray, Robertson Stephens and CS First Boston. Early in his career, he also practiced as a corporate and securities attorney at Latham & Watkins in Los Angeles.
Blake received his bachelor’s degree (AB) from Harvard University and received his Juris Doctorate degree (J.D.) from Columbia University School of Law.
Blake has a passion for redwood conservation, re-forestation, ecosystem protection and exploring the science around climate change. As a young boy, his inspiration was heavily influenced by admiration for his father, Dr. Carroll B. Williams, Jr., who is a retired scientist for the U.S. Forest Service, was an Adjunct Professor Emeritus in the College of Natural Resources at the University of California at Berkeley, and served on the Board of the East Bay Regional Park District. His father is also among the first African-American men to receive both a Masters and a Ph.D. in forestry and entomology in the U.S. A key part of Blake’s personal mission is to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs, conservationists and youth to environmental sciences through education and by providing access to diverse communities.
Andy Vought is a retired CEO for multiple start-up companies.
Over the past 35 years he has held CEO, CFO and Director positions of many semiconductor chip companies with a focus on broadband communications. Andy holds a BA in Environmental Studies and a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School. Andy developed his relationship with the League through his work with the Portola and Castle Rock Foundation, where he serves as Director and past President. Andy was elected to the League’s Council in 2012 and joined the Board in 2013. Andy currently serves as League Secretary and is Chair of the League’s Audit Committee. After 30 years enjoying Redwoods in the Bay Area, Andy moved with his wife Andrea to Venice, California, in 2015.
Matthew K. Berler
Matt graduated from Cornell University (A.B. in History) and Harvard Business School (M.B.A.).
Before Harvard, he was a Research Associate at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia from 1983 to 1985, conducting national security studies for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In addition to a lifelong interest in public policy and conservation, Matt is an avid outdoorsman, endurance athlete, art collector and land steward on his ranch in the Mayacama Mountains. Matt, his wife, Amy, and their four children live in San Francisco.
Matt currently serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee, and Trustee, of the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation; Chairman of the Investment Committee, and Trustee, of the Contemporary Jewish Museum; and Trustee of the Shalom Hartman Institute; and, is a member of the California Advisory Board of The Trust for Public Land and the Investment Committee for the Shimon ben Joseph Foundation.
During his 14 years (2003-2016) at Osterweis Capital Management Matt served in a number of capacities, starting as an investment analyst and ending up as a lead Portfolio Manager, President and CEO. Prior to joining Osterweis in early 2003, he was a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley in the Equity Research Division. He served as the Senior Analyst covering the North American Paper and Forest Products industries and as Team Leader of both the Global Forest Products Research Team and the North American Basic Materials Team at Morgan Stanley. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1994 as a Principal and he was elected Managing Director in 1998. Prior to Morgan Stanley, he worked from 1987 to early 1994 in research at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, where he was a Vice President.
Rosemary Cameron’s career has been in the public sector with management experience in regional and municipal parks and recreation, city management, and legislative affairs.
For 20 years, she served as East Bay Regional Park District’s Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, leading integrated marketing communications programs for the largest local park agency in the United States. In addition, she served as Executive Director of the Regional Parks Foundation, a separate nonprofit organization that raises private support for Regional Park District programs. Since retiring in 2010, Rosemary has had an active consulting practice and she continues to speak on marketing, branding, communications, social media, and fundraising at professional conferences and trainings.
Rosemary holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Government from Mills College and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Her volunteer involvement includes serving on the boards of the San Francisco Parks Alliance, National Association of Park Foundations Advisory Council, and the California Parks and Recreation Society’s PAC. She currently serves as Chair of the League’s Education Committee and serves on the Finance and Investment Committee, and she was active on the 2012-2013 Strategic Plan Refresh Work Group and with the League’s Centennial Visioning process.
Bill Croft is Professor of Linguistics at the University of New Mexico.
He received his A.B. and A.M. degrees from the University of Chicago, his Ph.D. from Stanford University, and previously taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Manchester (UK). His primary research interests are in syntax (from a crosslinguistic perspective), semantics, and evolutionary models of language change. He has written nine books and over 100 articles and book chapters. He has been invited to present his research in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institutes of Psycholinguistics and Evolutionary Anthropology and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and he was recently elected a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America. He serves on many editorial boards for academic journals and scholarly presses.
Bill was elected to the League’s Council in 1987, contributed to the sequoia grove section of Sequoia National Forest Mediated Settlement Agreement in the 1980s, and has served on the League’s Master Plan Task Force and chairs the Science Committee. He and his wife Carol Toffaleti have hiked in most of the redwood parks and sequoia groves, and love hiking in the forests of California and in the deserts of the Southwest where they presently live.
Melissa Harris graduated from Temple University, with an AD in Horticulture, and has a BA and MA in English Literature from the University of Maine, where she taught briefly as an adjunct.
A mother of three, Melissa raised her kids primarily in Maine and was involved with many and various activities in their multiple schools. She has become more and more involved with another lifelong passion, photography, and now travels as frequently as possible on phono tours with an emphasis on remote and vanishing cultures. She and her husband Shep have been in the Bay area for 9 years. Upon arrival in San Francisco, she became an active volunteer for the Alcatraz garden restoration project. Visiting the redwoods was love at first sight and they continue to inspire her, hence her interest in the League. With a lifelong passion for gardening and forestry, most of Melissa’s experience derives from the management of their private properties. At home, she splits her time between the City and their house in Marin, exploring the area redwoods, beaches and parks. Melissa is honored to do whatever it takes to preserve the redwoods. She now has a young grandson whom she can’t wait to introduce to the magic of the redwood forest!
Wendy is a San Francisco CPA, specializing for the last 20 years in high net worth individuals, estates and trusts.
She holds a BA from Columbia University and a Masters in Taxation from Golden Gate University. She has also been the Executive Director of her family’s foundation for the last 19 years, overseeing all finances, every site visit and every grant. She spends her free time volunteering in the community. She is a 3rd-generation Junior Leaguer, has run two of her chapter’s largest fundraisers and has been the Mount Tamalpais School auction treasurer for the last nine years. Wendy is also a 4th generation native Californian and a 4th-generation member of a lumber family that was using sustainable practices long before it was popular. Both she and her family have been long time supporters of Save the Redwoods League and she has spent a lifetime learning about trees, preservation and sustainability. When her father passed away 6 years ago, her family honored his memory with a lead gift to protect the Noyo River redwoods. Wendy serves on the League’s Finance and Investment Committee and she has been active in the development of the League’s Centennial Campaign and 2017–2020 Strategic Plan. She and her husband, Rich, have been married for 18 years and have two children: Cody (15) and Katie (12).
Sam Livermore has been practicing corporate, governance, securities, and mergers and acquisitions law in San Francisco since 1978.
He has been a partner with Cooley LLP since 1996, where he heads the San Francisco Business and Finance Practice and he has served on the firm’s Management Committee. Sam holds an AB summa cum laude from Dartmouth, a Master’s in International Relations from the University of London (London School of Economics), which he attended as a Marshall Scholar, and a JD from Stanford. While pursuing his professional career as a lawyer, Sam also was one of the founders of The Yosemite Fund (now The Yosemite Conservancy) in 1988 and its predecessor the Return of Light Campaign in 1985, and served as its Chairman from 1996 through 2004. He also is serving or has served on the boards of the Fund for People in Parks, the Conservation Horizons Task Force of the California Council of Land Trusts, the Terwilliger Nature Education Center (now WildCare), the Marin Art & Garden Center, Marin Country Day School, Bear Creek Association, and other organizations, and has served as an advisor to numerous other conservation and educational organizations throughout his career. Sam is a 5th generation native Californian with a lifelong passion for the Sierra wilderness.
Robert E. Mellor
Following graduation from law school, Rob Mellor practiced corporate law in San Francisco with corporations and the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP.
Following his career in law, he was the Chairman and CEO of a public company in the building materials distribution and homebuilding industry. Upon retirement Rob remains the chairman of Coeur Mining, Inc., a public company, director of the Cal Atlantic Group, Inc., a national public company homebuilder, and the lead director of Monro Muffler Brake, Inc., a public company in the auto maintenance and aftermarket tire industry. Rob graduated from Westminster College in Fulton, MO, with a BA in sciences, and from the SMU Dedman School of Law. He is on the executive board of the law school. He served previously on the board of the California State Chamber of Commerce. Rob has been in California since 1968 and has been a League Councilor for many years. He has hiked in the redwoods of Northern California and throughout the Sierras. He has also been involved for years with the American Himalayan Foundation. He and his wife, Suzanne, have lived in Marin for over 40 years and have made many trips to, and done many hikes in, the redwoods.
Jim Sergi has held various positions in academic nursing and cancer research, before cofounding and serving as CEO of a healthcare services and drug development company.
Jim is currently President and Managing Partner of CSSi LifeSciences, a global drug and medical device development company, whose mission is to bring new drugs and products to patients faster. Jim and his wife Allison were the founders of ProED Communications, a pharmaceutical regulatory and clinical development and education company. Previously, Jim served as Director of BayTower Group, a healthcare investment advisory company, and is a Partner in Moss, Lichen & Stone, a real estate development concern. Jim also serves as an advisor to numerous healthcare and venture backed companies, and has served or serves on numerous non- and for-profit boards. A League Councilor since 2005, Jim has served on committees and task forces, including the League’s Development Committee, Redwoods 2018 (Centennial) Task Force, Climate Change Task Force and 2012-2013 executive search committee, and he currently serves as Chair of the League’s Governance Committee. Jim and his wife, Allison Huegel, reside in San Rafael and have a son, Lee Sung Sergi, and a golden retriever, Wilma Belle. Lee Sung takes pride in being considered a “Junior Councilor.” Jim is an avid enthusiast of the outdoors, fishing and open water swimming. Jim and his family enjoy spending time at their Redwood Grove home in Humboldt County.