Point Lobos Foundation Staff
Kathleen Lee, Executive Director
Kathleen is a long-time resident of the Monterey Peninsula. Until recently, Kathleen has been the District Director for Representative Jimmy Panetta and before that served 17 years as the Chief of Staff for a Monterey County Supervisor. Through this work, she has excellent contacts in state, county, and local governments and extensive experience handling significant local projects. She has served as an elected official herself as a member of the Board of Directors for the Monterey Regional Parks District, where she is in her 3rd term. Kathleen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from California State University, Fresno and a Masters in Public Administration from Golden Gate University.
Tracy Gillette-Ricci, Development Director
Tracy is a graduate of Florida State University and started her career in Social Services. She grew up on the West Coast of Florida and has a deep love of marine areas and a passion to help preserve and protect natural resources. After moving to California in 1999, she discovered the Monterey Peninsula and in 2005 made it her home. She joined the Point Lobos Foundation staff in 2012 and has spent the last several years dedicated to supporting and furthering the organization’s mission. Contact Tracy at 866-338-7227 extension 107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reg Henry, Point Lobos Magazine Editor
Reg is a former editor of The Herald who had a 45-year career in journalism and in retirement still writes a nationally syndicated column for the Pittsburgh (Pa.) Post-Gazette. Reg grew up in Australia, where he started as a cub reporter for the Courier-Mail in Brisbane. He then moved to England and worked at The Times of London. Next, a move to Pittsburgh to join the Post-Gazette. Reg was the Herald editor from 1988 to 1993. He was the Post-Gazette’s deputy editorial page editor when he retired from full-time journalism at the end of 2014. He moved back to this area in March 2015 and is now a Point Lobos docent and member of the foundation. Reg can be reached at email@example.com.
Caitlin McMillen, Finance Specialist
Caitlin is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale and has worked as a project coordinator for interior design firms on the Monterey Peninsula for the past 10 years; managing the budget, procurement, and coordination of both high-end residential and hospitality projects throughout California. Caitlin lives in Monterey with her husband, son, and daughter. Contact Caitlin at 866-338-7227 extension 103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLF Board of Directors
Jim Rurka, President
Before retiring to Carmel in 2013, Jim enjoyed a 45-year business career in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industries, leading marketing and business development initiatives, holding executive leadership positions, and serving on the Boards of Directors of both venture-backed and public companies. He is a former Director of the Governing Board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Jim graduated with a BA in English Literature with a minor in Business from Seton Hall University, where he also attended its Stillman School of Business.
Happily trading the business world for the natural world, Jim now devotes much of his time to favorite outdoor activities—hiking, birding, photography—and, of course, interpreting nature as a docent at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. He completed docent training in 2014 and served as Deputy Docent Administrator and then Docent Administrator from 2016-2020.
Jim was elected a PLF Board member in 2015 and served as Board Secretary during 2021. He and his wife Anne reside in Carmel, have two grown children, three grandchildren (and a grandpuppy), and are thoroughly enjoying family, friends, travel and volunteer work in the community.
Scott Kurteff, Vice President
Scott grew up in the Mt. Diablo foothills. Exploring rural surroundings at home formed an enduring imprint. Moving to the Monterey Peninsula in 2000 intensified an appreciation for nature’s perennial beauty. After working in management and Controller/CFO positions within large corporations and small businesses, Scott now serves as Chief Financial & Administrative Officer for the Central Coast YMCA. He holds a degree in Finance from UC Berkeley. Being a dad to three grown children provided an opportunity to witness first hand how a passion for the outdoors is set in motion. Scott considers it a privilege to support an organization that cultivates that passion in others while preserving a resource both powerful and fragile.
Holly Carlin, Treasurer
Holly retired as a CPA at the end of 2018 after 35 years in practice. The last 17 years she had her own practice where she specialized in nonprofit accounting for the last 10 years. She is a 5th generation Californian. Her grandparents lived in Carmel Valley and one of the family’s favorite places for picnics was Point Lobos. The Monterey Peninsula was a second home for her so she followed her parents to the peninsula in 1986 where she raised her son in Pacific Grove. Being newly retired, Holly looks forward to spending more time with her grandson in the bay area, working with the PLF and spending more time outside and with family and friends.
Donita Grace, Secretary and Docent Administrator
As a child, Donita’s father served in the Air Force, which afforded her the opportunity to live in many locations. She was born in Texas and then lived in Colorado, France, and Guam before settling in California. She and her husband, who have been Point Lobos docents since 2014, divide their time between San Jose and Marina.
Donita is retired from a career in education as a middle school teacher and principal. In her role as a Point Lobos docent, she most enjoys school walks and talking to visitors about the importance of preserving the natural world for future generations. Point Lobos was a favorite place when her children were growing up and that tradition continues today with her four grandchildren.
Tyler Eberly is a student and volunteer with extensive volunteer experience throughout the U.S. and internationally. He has served many organizations, including the Ronald Mcdonald House, Habitat for Humanity, North Druid Hills Homeless Shelter and the YMCA. Tyler has served on the Central Coast YMCA Board of Directors since 2020, leading a successful fundraising campaign as the campaign chair. Tyler has assisted the YMCA’s community support efforts to make a deeper impact in local communities.
Tyler has had leadership experience in retail and has worked in retail for several years. He is also a student, pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at California State University-Monterey Bay. After graduation, Tyler will sit for the CPA exam to become a California Certified Public Accountant.
Tyler values kindness and generosity. “Kindness is free”, and he recognizes the immense impact a small act of kindness can have. He loves all living things and has a special appreciation for any kind of life in this world. Tyler loves nature and the outdoors. He also values perspective and diversity of thought.
Tyler has lived in different countries around the world, including Costa Rica and England. These experiences have given Tyler a multicultural perspective, and he is able to speak English and is conversational in Spanish. Tyler lives in Seaside, California where he enjoys spending time with his wife and three dogs, listening to music, and watching films. Tyler also spends his time having dinner with his family and stargazing.
Karen Max Kelly
Karen’s deep appreciation for public lands started with annual camping forays to National Parks from her family’s St. Louis home; continued through graduate school and work as a field biologist in the Arctic, and grew profoundly via a mid-career job directing a conservation non-profit in Alaska.
A 2014 move to the CA Central Coast to support her husband Brendan’s career led Karen to switch her own professional focus to helping non-profit organizations raise and manage money to best meet their missions. Karen works as the Accounting Manager at Monterey Peninsula College Foundation and serves as Treasurer or on the Finance Committee of four local organizations.
Public lands like Point Lobos do not become cherished jewels without the hard decisions and hard work of the public. Karen joined the Pt Lobos Foundation Board in 2021 to share in some of that hard work–and of course for the opportunity to develop an even deeper relationship with this glorious Reserve right in her neighborhood.
My last 70 plus years have been full of adventure, love, career pursuits and travel. As a native Californian, I was born and raised in southern California. After graduating from UCLA, my career as an educator began in Fountain Valley, CA and then continued in the 80’s as an elementary principal in Anaheim. After completing my doctorate at USC, I enjoyed training school administrators with the California School Leadership Academy. Now retired, my husband, Michael, and I love living in Carmel with its natural beauty and peacefulness. Each wrinkle alongside my eyes is from the laughter and joy that I have had over the years. I look forward to creating new wrinkles of time as I try new things, explore new territories and experience the positive surprises and opportunities of each day. I am honored to be a part of the amazing Docent Organization and Point Lobos Foundation Board.
Tracy joins the Board of the Point Lobos Foundation bringing with her a passion for preserving natural areas along with experience in board work and financial analysis. She recently returned to her native California along with her husband Jose, having spent the past two decades in Chile and North Carolina. She holds both a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s of Business Degree from Stanford and has a professional background in banking and investor relations. Tracy loves dancing and exploring the natural beauty of our area through hiking and cycling.
Ruth is a lifetime resident of Monterey County and a CSUMB alumnus. She is currently the Manager for Community Services at CHISPA (Community Housing Improvements Systems and Planning Association) the largest nonprofit affordable Housing Developer in Monterey County. Ruth has previously served on the GRID Alternatives Board of Directors and also served as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Greenfield from 2007 through 2010. She is a 2012 LEAD Alumni (Leadership Education and Development). Ruth has a long history of participation with community groups and activities focused on community, health, education, and equity. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, the outdoors, and serving her community.
With deep family roots in Santa Cruz, Carol has spent many summers around the Monterey Bay area. Carol enjoyed a professional career in sales and raised her family in the Bay Area. She has volunteered with many organizations over the past twenty years and especially enjoyed her time as a Girl Scout Nature Camp leader. Carol is now in Pacific Grove and is interested in sharing the beauty and promoting stewardship of Point Lobos.
Karin Stratton, Immediate Past President
A collaborative leader, Karin has worked for nearly three decades in the non-profit sector, including San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park, the New England Aquarium in Boston, and most recently in support of sustainability initiatives and conservation partnerships at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Karin is passionate about habitat and resource management, species conservation, and affecting positive change for the natural world. She is an avid native plant gardener, ocean advocate, and overall outdoor enthusiast. Her love of nature and wild places started at a very young age with countless visits to local parks and summer trips to the Jersey shore and her grandparent’s farm in Maine. She is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where she studied Biology and Environmental Studies, a springboard for her career path and passions. Late winter and early spring are her favorite seasons to hike Point Lobos because the native Ceanothus (California lilac) blooms are in full force providing a sea of periwinkle blossoms along many of the trails – a beautiful sight to see! It is truly Karin’s honor to serve her community through the Point Lobos Foundation.
Kara is a Carmel resident, born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing. She is currently a Marketing Event Coordinator for Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. Kara brings 13 years of sales, marketing, and event leadership experience in the local hospitality and healthcare industry to the Point Lobos Foundation Board of Directors. In her free time, Kara enjoys spending time with her parents, husband, and two boys.
Point Lobos Reopening
Point Lobos will reopen Wednesday, January 18th. There are areas of the Reserve that will be kept closed until permanent repairs are completed. Please be aware of the following trail closures: South Shore segment just [...]
Monterey County Gives!
Thanks to the support of 284 donors, the Point Lobos Foundation exceeded our goal for the Monterey County Gives! campaign. Donations made through this campaign will get a pro-rata match determined by the performance of [...]
Pizza for Point Lobos
Thank you to all who came out to support us at this fundraiser! We had a great time and hope to make it an annual event.