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Our Staff

MEREDITH HENDRICKS

Executive Director

mhendricks at sblandtrust dot org

Meredith’s family history in ranching dates to the late 1800s in Goleta and informed much of her work in conservation nonprofit leadership for the last 20 years in northern California. Her career has focused on permanently conserving land for future generations and developing public open space in the San Francisco Bay Area, including 7 years as the Director of Land Programs at the nationally accredited land trust, Save Mount Diablo. Meredith holds a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology from UC Davis and a master’s degree in Environmental Business Relations from San Francisco State University.

Among Meredith’s most important career accomplishments is the creation of the Dr. Mary Bowerman Science and Research Program, providing small grants, especially to students, for research projects on Save Mount Diablo’s properties and protected land network in the Bay Area. She also successfully worked on the expansion of the regional Marsh Creek Trail network and was instrumental in protecting the last 95 acres of the historic Anderson Ranch from subdivision, ensuring the property’s long-term preservation.

VANESSA BROOKS

Membership and Database Coordinator

vbrooks at sblandtrust dot org

Vanessa received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Service from Azusa Pacific University and has worked in the non-profit world for over ten years. Although new to the environmental field, her passion in non-profit work has remained the same: partnering with local communities to make a sustainable and positive impact. Vanessa’s love of nature and the outdoors inspires her work in preserving the beauty of Santa Barbara County. In her spare time, you can find her roller skating, cooking, or trolling local nurseries for new houseplants.

CARLOMAGNO CALDERON

Land Programs Associate

ccalderon at sblandtrust dot org

Originally from Imperial County, Carlomagno has been in Santa Barbara since 2014, when he began his studies at UC Santa Barbara. After receiving his BS in environmental science in 2019, he started his career as a restoration ecologist, helping restore native habitat in the Santa Barbara region. He now uses his ecology and outdoor education background to engage with and connect communities to the outdoors as part of the Land Trust.

In his spare time, Carlomagno enjoys cooking, documenting and observing insects, rock climbing, and exploring the beautiful hiking trails in Santa Barbara.   

LESLIE CHAN

Land Programs Director

lchan at sblandtrust dot org

Leslie is the Land Programs Director, a brand-new role at the Land Trust focusing on community outreach, program development, and project planning. Recently, Leslie was the visitation manager for the Dangermond Preserve at The Nature Conservancy. As the Land Programs Director, Leslie will help the Land Trust engage more folks with our important work through community outreach programs including Land Trust Treks.

Her background in community engagement and conservation planning will be instrumental in the establishment of a north county preserve and furthering the Land Trust’s strategic plan and Conservation Blueprint.

HILARY DOUBLEDAY

Donor Engagement Manager

hdoubleday at sblandtrust dot org

Hilary Doubleday is a 5th generation Santa Barbara resident with extensive experience in nonprofit fundraising and development. Before her experience in development and education, Hilary decided to make use of her college degree in English and Film by working in publishing and design. She spent several years at Time-Warner’s Sunset Magazine, wrote a regular parenting column for the online magazine ParentClick, and published two children’s books.

Hilary has been an active member of the Santa Barbara community and was a trustee at Marymount of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. She was also a founding member of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s SMart Families. In her spare time, Hilary loves reading, hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family over delicious meals.

KELLY GUEVARA-CORTEZ

Bookkeeping Assistant

kguevara at sblandtrust dot org

Kelly moved to Goleta in 2020 from Madison, Wisconsin. A third-year student at Santa Barbara City College, Kelly is pursuing a Business Administration degree with a concentration in Accounting. She appreciates the outdoors and the Land Trust’s mission to conserve natural resources. When she is not studying, Kelly loves going to the beach, hiking with her dogs, and thrift shopping.

EDEN HAGEN

Development Intern

ehagen at sblandtrust dot org

Eden is a fourth-year student at Westmont College, where she is pursuing a degree in Environmental Biology. Originally from the Bay Area, she has lived up and down the West Coast and most recently spent a semester in Mexico, where she obtained her Spanish minor.

From her experiences working in wildlife rehabilitation to teaching the public about coastal ecosystems at the Natural History Museum, Eden is passionate about showing her community the importance of environmental conservation. In her free time, you can find her hiking, hanging out with her friends’ cats, or journaling on the beach.

SALLY ISAACSON

Education Coordinator

volunteer at sblandtrust dot org

Sally works closely with the docents who lead programs for school children and adults at the Arroyo Hondo Preserve. Sally worked at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden for 20 years and is a former Director of Education. She has an M.A. in botany and several teaching credentials. She has taught at Allan Hancock College, in public schools, and classes for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

Sally enjoys writing and nature photography and occasionally writes articles for local publications. For many years, she and her husband ran a herd of beef cattle on the family ranch located near Lompoc. Currently, she has a small cow herd, a horse, and other animals on her own little ranch.

KYLE KUSA

Land Stewardship Coordinator

kkusa at sblandtrust dot org

Originally from New York, Kyle developed a passion for natural history by spending his early years exploring the bays and beaches of Long Island. Sailing, surfing, and fishing established an interest in ecology that would eventually manifest into a vocation. 

In 2017, Kyle relocated to California to work as an AmeriCorps volunteer. In 2022, he graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Studies. He previously worked for The Nature Conservancy as a conservation steward, and most recently as a research associate for The Great Basin Institute monitoring California Spotted Owls in Sequoia National Forest.

LISA MACKER

Director of Finance and Administration

lmacker at sblandtrust dot org

Lisa returned to the Land Trust in 2019, having worked here for seven years through early 2013.  She brings a wealth of non-profit financial and administrative experience to the Land Trust with over forty years of working with local non-profits including the Alpha Resource Center, Fielding Graduate University, VNA Health the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.  From 2010-2014 she served as a Trustee for Santa Barbara City College and currently is an active volunteer for other local organizations. She earned a degree in Business Economics from UCSB and has a CPA license (inactive).

Lisa is a long-time resident of Santa Barbara, moving to Goleta with her family in 1969.  She raised her three children here, enjoying the beautiful outdoors and all those special hiking spots unique to Santa Barbara. In her free time, Lisa is an active performing musician and she also enjoys hiking as well as body surfing and swimming in the ocean.

ELAINE MADSEN

Land Stewardship Associate

emadsen at sblandtrust dot org

Originally from San Francisco, Elaine found home in Santa Barbara in 2004. She has worn many hats over the course of her career including graphic designer, knitting guru and chocolate maker. Most recently she did conservation and restoration work on Anacapa, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands. Elaine is inspired by community, nature, and building reciprocal relationships with our ecosystem, and she is excited to bring her culmination of skills to the Land Trust. She works closely with Land Stewardship Director Alison Petro to monitor easements, restoration projects, and GIS mapping. In her free time, you might find her foraging for mushrooms, experimenting with pigments and dyes or reading a book in a hammock in the woods.

KIM MORUCCI

Land Transaction Manager

kmorucci at sblandtrust dot org

As the land transaction manager, Kim plays an essential role in planning and managing various aspects of land acquisition efforts, landowner engagement, and grants. Kim brings nearly 20 years of experience in the real estate industry with an emphasis on land acquisition and conservation easement transactions. She worked closely with Save Mount Diablo, an accredited land trust and conservation organization in Northern California.

Recently relocated from the Bay Area, Kim is getting acquainted with her new hometown by exploring Santa Barbara County trails and beaches.

ALISON PETRO

Land Stewardship Director

apetro at sblandtrust dot org

Alison holds a dual Masters of Environmental Management and Masters of Forestry from the Nicholas School at Duke University. She previously worked at the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, where she developed a passion for working with landowners and using conservation easements as a tool to protect land. She’s worked in a variety of landscapes over the past ten years-from analyzing salamander habitat in the Southern Appalachians to studying birds in Belize to leading environmental education trips in Marin County, California.

Alison was born in San Francisco and grew up hiking throughout the Coast Range and Sierra Nevada mountains. These trips fueled her love of the outdoors and led her to pursue a career in conservation. Today, she’s excited to be back in California, working to preserve and protect the beautiful landscapes and unique ecosystems of Santa Barbara County.

ZULIMA ROJAS

Bookkeeping Assistant

zrojas at sblandtrust dot org

Originally from Venezuela, Zulima has a degree in engineering. In 2017, she moved to Santa Barbara and decided to pursue her interest in finance and accounting in lieu of engineering. She has a certificate in accounting from Santa Barbara City College and experience managing small businesses. Recently, Zulima volunteered for the United Way preparing tax returns for those needing assistance and greatly enjoys community service and working with numbers. Zulima likes to read, write, and find peaceful places to explore outdoors in her free time.

DEVIN ROTHMAN

Land Acquisition Manager

drothman at sblandtrust dot org

Devin’s lifelong passion for natural spaces has guided his work in land stewardship, ecological research, and environmental education from the midwestern US to New Zealand. He holds a Masters of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at University of California, Santa Barbara where he specialized in conservation planning. He comes to the Land Trust after spending the last three years working on community resilience and conservation in the Santa Barbara region at LegacyWorks Group. He is an avid hiker and naturalist, spending much of his time exploring trails across the County and getting acquainted with the unique landscape. At the Land Trust, Devin puts his passion to work for the landscapes and community of Santa Barbra County.

GAVIN SPENCER

Arroyo Hondo Preserve Assistant Manager

gspencer at sblandtrust dot org

From growing up in Ventura County and making Santa Barbara home, Gavin has cherished the vast beauty of grasslands, craggy sandstone peaks, and briny ocean air their whole life. His love of the region’s natural ecology has led him to work previously for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden as well as Grounded Land Works, a local landscaping firm specializing in native plant installation. In his downtime, he loves surfing, cooking for friends, and hosting creative writing groups. Gavin is thrilled to work at Arroyo Hondo where he can continue the work of land stewardship while working for better recreational land access for all of Santa Barbara County.

JENNIFER DUNN & JOHN WARNER

Arroyo Hondo Preserve co-Managers

arroyohondo at sblandtrust dot org

John has a great deal of experience when it comes to managing visitor activities and being responsible for overseeing business planning. John has a degree in Business Administration from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California and experience as a Production manager which comes in handy for scheduling and managing large groups of people. In addition to working at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, John has three associate degrees from Santa Barbara City College in Nursery Production and Operations, Landscape Contracting, and Landscape Irrigation and owns his own California native plant nursery, Santa Barbara Natives, since 2003. 

Jennifer is a very social person who has had experience as an event coordinator for Hind, an athletic apparel company in San Luis Obispo, California where she managed and scheduled public events and trade shows. Jennifer is a Registered Nurse who has been working at Cottage Hospital since 2003. She is also a devoted trail runner and explores Arroyo Hondo daily. 

John and Jennifer have been managing the Arroyo Hondo Preserve since 2005.

CINDY WRIGHT

Office Coordinator

cwright at sblandtrust dot org

A seasoned administrator, Cindy spent 13 years at University of Southern California as an executive assistant to the vice president of capital construction development and real estate & asset management. Her career has spanned administration, sales, and human resources. While Cindy keeps everything on track at the Land Trust office, she likes to hike, ride horses, and practice photography in her free time. Cindy has also run two half marathons in the last 10 years and she is unquestionably a dog person.

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