Leadership Team

Guided by our Board of Directors, our Leadership Team leads our staff in carrying out our mission to protect and restore redwood forests and connect people with their peace and beauty so these wonders of the natural world flourish.

Sam Hodder. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Sam Hodder

President and Chief Executive Officer

Sam Hodder joined the League as its President and CEO in September of 2013. Sam brings more than 25 years of conservation experience in California, Oregon, Washington, New Hampshire and Maine to guide the League into its second century of protecting redwood forestland.

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Sam has spent his career managing and overseeing land conservation programs from the remote wilderness to the inner city, conserving forests, waterways, green spaces, working farms, urban trails, and all manner of wild places for people to enjoy. Inspired by the social and environmental benefits that open spaces provide, his passion for protecting and connecting people with the outdoors has guided his career and ultimately brought him to the League after nearly 20 years with The Trust for Public Land.

Since joining the League in 2013, Sam has guided the development of its Centennial Vision, a bold 100-year plan to accelerate the pace and scale of the League’s mission to Protect and Restore the redwood forest and Connect people to its peace and beauty. As the League’s Centennial year of 2018 approaches, Sam has overseen: the protection of over 8,800 acres of redwood forestland from the Prairie Creek Corridor in Redwood National and State Parks to the Case Mountain Reserve in the southern Sierra; the stewardship and restoration of thousands of acres of young redwood forest; the advancement of pioneering discoveries in the canopy of the old-growth forest through the League’s Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative; and the inspiration of millions of moments of awe and transformation through investments in redwood trails, education programs, and park improvements.

A graduate of Princeton University and an enthusiastic explorer of California’s parks and trails, Sam lives with his wife Kendra and four sons in the East Bay, where they enjoy the great redwoods of the East Bay Regional Park system.


Jeff Hoelsken

Jeff Hoelsken

General Counsel

Jeff Hoelsken joined Save the Redwoods League in October 2022 as its General Counsel. Hoelsken brings more than 20 years of legal, business management, and nonprofit leadership experience to Save the Redwoods League.

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Being born and raised in the Bay Area gave Hoelsken the opportunity to explore the numerous lakes, rivers, beaches, and mountains throughout Northern California. “From an early age I have felt a deep connection to nature and animals, and there has always been something special about being in the redwoods,” says Hoelsken.

Hoelsken brings more than 20 years of legal, business management, and nonprofit leadership experience to Save the Redwoods League.

He began his legal career litigating large-scale, complex construction and environmental cases in state and federal courts. He then spent the next several years in the renewable energy sector. He co-founded and served as general counsel to a distributed wind energy project development company, and later was general counsel to a multi-state solar energy business.

“My career has always been focused on supporting the greater good and taking practical action on the causes that I care deeply about,” Hoelsken says. His love of animals led him to focus the next phase of his career on animal-related nonprofits, first as the executive director of a horse rescue and sanctuary in the Napa Valley, and then as the director of operations and in-house counsel to a national service-dog organization supporting veterans with disabilities.

Prior to joining the League, Jeff was senior counsel at Paragon Legal, where he provided in-house counsel services to both corporate and nonprofit clients. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley and his law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

Hoelsken says, “It is an honor for me to be part of Save the Redwoods League and to support its critical mission protecting and restoring California redwoods, and connecting people to the peace and beauty of redwood forests.”


Linneth Lim

Linneth Lim

Chief Financial Officer

Linneth joined the League’s Finance Team in 2018 as the Controller and was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 2023.

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Lim has more than 18 years of accounting and finance expertise, including her most recent roles at the League, as acting CFO and controller. Before that, she was the assistant controller for Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

Lim is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the University of California, Riverside, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.


Georgia McIntosh

Georgia McIntosh

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

McIntosh joined the League in 2024 to lead the organization’s marketing communications and outreach efforts to connect people to the peace and beauty of the redwood forests.

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McIntosh is a seasoned marketing professional with more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, including strategy and brand development, marketing, advocacy communications, external relations, cross-functional program management, executive and board communications, team leadership and stakeholder engagement. McIntosh most recently held the role of Director of Special Projects at The Trust for Public Land, where she was responsible for program leadership and management of organization-wide priority projects. She also served as the Trust’s interim SVP, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, leading their work on brand awareness and engagement, public relations, digital, creative and editorial.

McIntosh was previously Vice President for Marketing/Communications at Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization. She has also worked for several additional nonprofit organizations and marketing agencies.

McIntosh is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is also a board member for the Marin Conservation League in San Rafael, California.


Paul Ringgold. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Paul Ringgold

Chief Program Officer

Paul joined the League in July 2015. He came to us with nearly 30 years of land management and conservation experience.

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Most recently, Paul was vice president of land stewardship at Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) in Palo Alto, Calif. He was at POST for 16 years, creating strategies for the permanent protection of conservation values and natural resources on all POST-protected lands and easements. Prior to that, he worked as a policy research associate at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation in Washington, D.C., and served as staff forester, lands manager and ecosystem research program director with the University of Washington. He holds a master of forest science degree from Yale University and a bachelor of science degree in forest resources management from the University of Washington. He currently serves as advisory council chair of the Bay Area Open Space Council. A Los Angeles native, he lives in San Francisco with his wife and son.


Kirsten Saenz Tobey

Kirsten Saenz Tobey

Chief Operating Officer

As the League’s chief operations officer, Kirsten Saenz Tobey oversees and directs the operations and human resources functions, including leading strategic planning and championing the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion values. She brings nearly two decades of experience in organizational management and values-driven leadership to her role.

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Born and raised in the Bay Area, Kirsten cherishes her experiences in the redwoods, from teenage backpacking adventures in Big Basin to weekend explorations in the East Bay hills. Reflecting on her connection to nature, Kirsten shares, “Redwood forests have been the setting for some of the most defining moments of my life.”

Before joining Save the Redwoods League, Kirsten co-founded and served for 18 years as the chief impact officer at Revolution Foods, where she was instrumental in addressing childhood food insecurity and supporting schools and students during the pandemic. Previously, she worked as an environmental and social justice advocate at Earthjustice.

Kirsten’s dedication to social impact and sustainability extends beyond her role at the League. She currently serves on the board of Amigos de las Americas and is recognized as an Ashoka Fellow and an Aspen Institute Catto Fellow. Additionally, she teaches a social entrepreneurship course at UC Berkeley and serves as an operating advisor to the Closed Loop Fund.

Kirsten is thrilled to contribute her skills and energy to Save the Redwoods League and lead the organization into its next chapter of growth and conservation efforts. “It is an honor to join Save the Redwoods League at this critical juncture of expansion,” she shares. “I’m eager to further the mission of this esteemed organization.”


Tim Whalen. Photo by Paolo Vescia

Tim Whalen

Chief Development Officer

Tim Whalen has over 20 years of fundraising leadership experience in the San Francisco Bay Area and a proven track record of creating and implementing comprehensive development programs and campaigns to achieve fundraising goals.

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Recognized as a creative, dedicated team leader and a highly effective manager, Tim was most recently the Associate Director of Development at the San Francisco Symphony where he was responsible for the Symphony’s individual giving programs, raising over $23 million annually. Prior to the Symphony, Tim was the Senior Director of Development and Gift Planning a the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco where he conceived and implemented a $25 million endowment campaign, exceeding the campaign goal by raising a total of $31 million while significantly increasing the annual giving programs during the same period. Additionally, Tim has served in development leadership roles for Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and KQED, San Francisco’s public television and radio station. Prior to his fundraising career, Tim was a Captain in the United States Army. Originally from the Black Hills of South Dakota, Tim received a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

“Ever since I arrived in the Golden State over two decades ago, I have been in awe of the redwoods which are emblematic of California’s natural beauty,” Tim said. ” As we gain new understandings of the redwoods and their benefits to mitigating the impacts of climate change, I’m even more inspired to help protect and restore the redwood forests.”