Staff and Board

Staff

Kathleen Lee, Executive Director
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 Gillette-Ricci, Development Director

Tracy is a graduate of Florida State University and started her career as a Social Worker. She grew up on the West Coast of Florida and has always had a 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 the organization's mission. Contact Tracy at 866-338-7227 extension 107 or tracy@pointlobos.org.

Reg Henry, Editor, Point Lobos Magazine
Reg Henry, Editor, Point Lobos Magazine

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. Born in Singapore, where his father headed the Reuters news agency, Reg grew up in Australia, where he started as a cub reporter for the Courier-Mail in Brisbane. After service in the Australian Army in Vietnam, he moved to England and worked at The Times of London. After he married his American wife Priscilla in 1976, he moved to Pittsburgh and joined the Post-Gazette. Reg was the Herald editor from 1988 to 1993 and returned to Pittsburgh after the Herald was sold. 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 regwriter43@gmail.com.

Caitlin McMillen
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 and son. Contact Caitlin at 866-338-7227 extension 103 or accountspayable@pointlobos.org.

Board of Directors

 Joe Vargo
Joe Vargo

Our hearts are heavy with the recent passing of our beloved Point Lobos Foundation President, Joe Vargo. All who had the honor to have known him remember the soft-spoken gentleman with a kind and generous spirit who was devoted to service and to his community. He led by example and selflessly immersed himself in the needs of the Foundation, engaging with Point Lobos docents, walking the trails, serving as Chair of the Partnerships and Collaboration Committee, and as President of the Board in 2020.  Joe also worked tirelessly on initiatives to alleviate overcrowding at the Reserve and improve safety on Highway 1. 

 

Joe was a retired Project Management professional whose career included management positions with Bank of America, Visa International, and Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and the UK. Before retiring he was Vice President and Manager of Project Managers for Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco. Joe also served on the Board of the Big Sur International Marathon and has been the Operations & Venue Manager for the Carmel International Film Festival.

 

To honor Joe’s memory, The Point Lobos Foundation has established the Joe Vargo Memorial Fund. Through gifts made in memory of Joe, we will carry forward his passion, energy, and love of Point Lobos. He is deeply missed by all and he leaves a strong legacy of service at Point Lobos.

 

Karin Stratton, President
Karin Stratton, President

Karin is the Partnership Manager for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. She engages over 200 Conservation Partners across 9 countries and 4 continents. Trained as a biologist and environmental scientist, Karin’s profession is truly her passion. She has over 25 years’ experience working at zoos and aquariums with a background in conservation education, husbandry, membership, development, guest experience, interpretation and training. She greatly enjoys collaboration among partners and industry leaders to affect positive change for the natural world. Karin is an avid gardener, native plant advocate and overall outdoor enthusiast. Late winter and early spring are her favorite seasons to hike Point Lobos because the Ceanothus (California lilac) blooms are in full force; she is so fond of the lilac-periwinkle blossoms, she painted her front door the same vibrant color. 

Juan Govea, Secretary
Juan Govea, Secretary

A lifelong Salinas resident, Juan Govea serves as the Director of Community Engagement at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History where he oversees the museum’s exhibits, educational, and community science programs which provide free educational experiences for over 12,000 local students annually. He has been nationally recognized as an educator, serving as a U.S. Department of Education Fellow and has spoken at the White House about his experience in education. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, birding. and hiking. He is especially fond of hiking to the tops of Monterey County's highest peaks.

Holly Carlin, board member
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.

Kit Armstrong, Immediate Past President
Kit Armstrong, Immediate Past President

Kit has spent her working career in the environmental field. This included regulation and planning with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, managing environmental and social issues for a global energy company, and currently as an independent environmental consultant.  Her experience encompasses environmental law and strategy, government and community relations, and strategic and operational planning, among other areas.  Her professional focus and personal passion have always been natural resources conservation, especially through organizational collaboration and partnerships.  She feels deeply privileged to be able to put that passion to work as both a member of the Point Lobos Foundation Board of Directors and as a docent at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.

Danielle Bragg
Danielle Bragg

Danielle Bragg grew up in Salinas and Pacific Grove and currently works as an IT Senior Business Analyst at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Before returning home to the Monterey Bay Area in 2015, Danielle built her IT career in commercial real estate where she worked to define, plan, and implement major leasing systems. At the Aquarium, she has had the opportunity to support a range of systems from Sales and Reservations to Education and Seafood Watch.  Her professional mission is to make work better through well-planned systems, data governance, and continuous process improvement.  In addition to being a proud PG Breaker, she holds a degree in English from Vassar College. In her free time, she is devoted to her small pack of rescue dogs, enjoys sewing and gardening, and is an avid fan of opera and baseball.

Scott Kurteff
Scott Kurteff

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.  

Barb McGoughey
Barb McGoughey

Barb has been a lifelong advocate for the environment, starting with family camping trips as a child visiting National Parks throughout the United States. Raised in Detroit, she attended Michigan State University where she received a degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Education. Barb started her career as an Outdoor Education and Camp Director for YMCA camps in the midwest, which led to a thirty-five-year career with YMCA's in five states and brought her to the Monterey Peninsula in 2008 as CEO of the Central Coast YMCA. Currently, she serves as the Director of Association Resources for the California State Alliance of YMCAs, where she provides organizational consulting to YMCAs throughout California. In her spare time, she loves to travel, hike, and garden.

Castel Ortiz
Castel Ortiz

Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Castel attended SUNY at Buffalo and Kingsborough College, where he received a degree in Chemistry. He then embarked on a career on Wall St, the last 20 years as the Senior NASDAQ Trader at Goldman Sachs where he developed a reputation as a skilled trader, teacher and mentor. Upon retirement in 2004 he pursued his passion for the arts, travelled extensively and volunteered with Earthwatch, Boarder Babies and as a Wish Granter for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others. Since moving to Carmel in 2011, he has continued his volunteer ethic as a Guide at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and as a Docent at Point Lobos. He enjoys photography, drawing, painting, Krav Maga, Tai Chi, hiking and travel.

Jim Rurka
Jim Rurka, Docent Administrator

Before retiring in January, 2013, Jim spent 45 years in executive marketing and business development positions at large pharmaceutical companies as well as both established and start-up biotechnology firms. Over the course of his career, Jim successfully closed more than 25 licensing, partnership and venture deals, launched new pharmaceutical products into U.S. and European markets, and served as CEO and member of the Board of Directors of both private and public U.S. healthcare companies. He is also a former director of the Emerging Companies Section and Governing Board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Jim holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature with a minor in Business from Seton Hall University, where he also attended its Graduate School of Business. Jim served in the U.S. Navy, and is a 2014 graduate of PLSNR Docent Training Class 36. Jim and his wife Anne reside in Carmel, have two children (Mark and Jennifer) and three grandchildren (Isabel, Nathan and Haley). They are thoroughly enjoying family, friends, travel and volunteer work in the community.

Alan Shoebridge
Alan Shoebridge

Alan is the director of marketing for Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. He has also held senior marketing and communication leadership roles at Kaiser Permanente and Providence St. Joseph Health, two of the nation's largest healthcare providers. Alan earned his BA in English from the University of Oregon. He is a new resident of the area and quickly embraced the central coast lifestyle. In his free time, Alan enjoys cycling, reading, hiking and exploring Monterey County with his wife, Amber and their two English bulldogs.