Jo Powe

President of the Board, MRT
Nonprofit Consultant, Hollywood Commission
Advisory Board Member, Duke Gardens

Jo Powe, President, joined the Board in 2010. A long-time resident of the Santa Monica Mountains Jo comes to the Board with a great enthusiasm for helping continue to protect this unique resource. Jo has been a lawyer since 1983 and has devoted her legal career to environmental causes. For more than 10 years she was lead attorney for the Friends of Ballona Wetlands. She was a founding partner of Hedges, Powe & Caldwell, a Los Angeles law firm that represented numerous environmental organizations. Jo was very active in the legal opposition to the SOKA development at King Gillette Ranch and worked with many environmental groups in opposition to development of Ahmanson Ranch. In addition to the MRT Board, Jo has served on the Board of Trustees of the Center for Law in the Public Interest and is currently serving on the Board of Advisors for the Sarah P. Duke Gardens at Duke University.

Phil Boesch

Founder, Boesch Law Group | Boesch Law Group

Mr. Boesch is the founder of the Boesch Law Group. After joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher following law school, Mr. Boesch founded Kinsella, Boesch, Fujikawa & Towle, and then in 2000, he founded the Boesch Law Group. The Boesch Law Group is known for its highly selective and personal attention to a diverse range of individual and business clients.

An accomplished trial lawyer, Mr. Boesch has a long history of winning and closing complex litigation disputes. He was and is the lead trial counsel for Anna Nicole Smith in winning the $475 million Judgment named the “Number One Judgment in the U.S.” by US Lawyers Weekly. He won the largest wrongful death judgment for non-economic loss in California history; prevailed for the Wall Street Journal against all major oil companies in the leading case for public access to court files; won the widely reported case for Gary Coleman; prevailed as lead counsel in the McMartin Pre-School civil case; successfully defended the Los Angeles Times in well-publicized defamation and privacy cases, and Mr. Boesch was President of Heal the Bay during its action as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit that created the multi-billion dollar Hyperion sewage treatment plant. At the request of the California Judges Association, he has authored three editions of the Judge’s Handbook for media access to the courts; and he was retained by 26 of the 27 television news anchorpersons in Los Angeles in the first and leading case permitting cameras in the courtroom.

Enhancing his reputation as a strong advocate well-known to arbitrators and judges, Mr. Boesch serves as an Arbitrator on the Large Complex Case Panel of the American Arbitration Association, as a result of which he has been selected by more than 280 law firms to decide their clients’ disputes. With a breadth of experience and expertise in contracts, negotiation and business matters, Mr. Boesch’s skills also assist general counsel and serve numerous companies and entrepreneurs in negotiation, planning, business advice and contracts, particularly for businesses relating to entertainment, communications and technology.

Colette Brooks

Chief Imagination Officer | Big Imagination Group

As agency founder and Chief Imagination Officer, Colette provides strategic and creative guidance on all client campaigns. Along with BIG’s account and creative teams, she is directly responsible for overall project execution and success.

Colette founded Big Imagination Group in 1987 and has 30 years’ total experience in the fields of advertising, branding, direct response marketing, and public relations. Colette fully immerses herself in the soul of every brand she stewards, experiencing them first hand from an end user perspective. Whether its subscribing to a Vedic lifestyle for her work with Banyan Botanicals in an effort to expand consumer appeal for Ayurveda; traveling the country to collect “Shakey’s stories” for a multi-generational social media campaign featuring the pizza chain’s many fanatics; or living on the streets of Los Angeles for one week to better understand the emotional and psychological barriers that face the homeless population served by the nonprofit human services organization OPCC, Colette throws her head and heart into every aspect of her clients’ businesses to help them authentically engage with their target audiences and cultivate unwavering brand ambassadorship.

In her role as Chief Imagination Officer, Colette is the executive creative director as well as the head of all client relationships. She is personally involved in all aspects of the planning, implementation and measurement of every project BIG executes.

Colette has served as a long-term trustee of OPCC, a Los Angeles human services agency providing supportive programs and housing for the homeless, mentally ill, and victims of domestic violence. She also serves as board chair of Tim Robbins’ politically and socially relevant theatre company, The Actors’ Gang, and sits on the advisory board of Los Angeles’ Sustainable Business Council.

Personal note: An avid surfer, yogi and animal rescuer, Brooks shares her “eco-ranch” in Malibu with her motley crew of rescue dogs, horses, cats, goats and pigs – the ranch’s official four-legged composters.

Mark Gavens

COO of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Mark Gavens is an expert on healthcare delivery organization and operating performance. He brings more than 38 years of experience to his role overseeing operations at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Marina Del Rey Hospital.

His efforts focus on developing and implementing systems for maintaining the highest level of quality and service, building service line capabilities, supporting staff competencies and engagement, and maintaining strong financial performance. His responsibilities entail close collaboration with a wide range of faculty leadership and medical staff to ensure the delivery of effective and efficient healthcare services in alignment with Cedars-Sinai’s research and education missions.

Before joining Cedars-Sinai in 2004, Gavens served as corporate vice president for System Services and president of Southside Hospitals for Sentara Healthcare, a leading integrated delivery system based in southeastern Virginia. He also has held positions as senior vice president of Administration and Corporate Operations at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Gavens is a board member of the Hospital Association of Southern California. He previously chaired the American Hospital Association’s Metropolitan Hospitals Governing Council, Illinois Hospital Association’s Ambulatory Care Section, served on the board of Voluntary Hospitals of America — West and has been a frequent lecturer in the master’s program at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He also serves on the boards of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and the Venice Family Clinic Foundation.

Gavens earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago.

Meg Haywood-Sullivan

Social Influencer, Photographer and Environmental Activist
Ambassador, Conservation International
Ambassador, Surfrider Foundation
Ambassador, Protect Our Winters
http://www.meghaywoodsullivan.com/

MEG HAYWOOD SULLIVAN is a photographer, environmentalist, & (role)model who splits her time between shooting campaigns and pushing for environmental stories through editorial features & social platforms. Meg’s career has taken her from shooting a feature with National Geographic Adventure about the last remaining glacier in Yosemite to documenting the at-risk California National Monuments. In addition to creating multi-dimensional campaigns for sustainable companies like KEEN, Patagonia, prAna, and Clif Bar, she also participates in leading climate change panel discussions. With her degree in Environmental Studies and nearly a decade’s worth of experience as an outdoor photographer, Meg is constantly working on projects that inspire the public to care about the planet, while activating a whole new generation of environmentalists, stewards, and voters. Meg is currently a global ambassador for Conservation International, Surfrider Foundation, and Protect Our Winters. Meg is also a member of the legendary Explorers Club.

Nancy Helsley

President, MRT Cold Creek Docents
Secretary of the Board, MRT
Retired Public School Teacher
Board Member, Resource Conservation District

President of the Cold Creek Docents who operate MRT’s education program at the UCLA Stunt Ranch Reserve, joined the board in 1993. As a charter member of the Cold Creek Docents in 1978, Nancy worked to develop the docent program that received the Take Pride in California award and the Governors Historic Preservation Award in 1992. Nancy has been an activist in the Santa Monica Mountains since the 1960s and a life-long teacher of ecology, archeology, the environment and the cultural history of the Chumash. She is a director of the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, past board member and president of the Cold Creek Community Council. Nancy taught in the L.A. Unified School District, managed a YMCA summer camp and participated in numerous outdoor education programs. She was the co-chair of the Trust`s Celebrity Auction which netted over $85,000. She holds a California life teaching credential and served two years as education coordinator for the California Association of Conservation Districts, traveling throughout the state promoting conservation education programs and the California Envirothon.

Dr. Lee Kats

Pepperdine University
Vice Provost
Frank R. Seaver Chair of Natural Science
Professor of Biology

As Vice Provost, Dr. Kats works closely with Pepperdine’s information technology department, office of institutional effectiveness and assessment, and research and sponsored programs. Dr. Kats is also involved in the university’s strategic planning process and implementation. Kats received his Ph.D. in animal ecology from the University of Kentucky in 1990. He has published numerous research articles on amphibian ecology and conservation ecology and serves on the Board of Editors for the scientific journals Conservation Biology and the European scientific journal on freshwater biology, Hydrobiologia. Dr. Kats conducts most of his research in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California; however, he also leads classes and conducts research in Costa Rica and in Argentina. His current research is on the causes of amphibian declines in Southern California. He and his students focus their studies on the effects of ultra-violet radiation, wildfire, and the introduction of exotic predators on amphibians. He has significant background in the areas of animal behavior, conservation, animal ecology, tropical biology, and stream ecology.

Noah Perch-Ahern

Partner | Greenberg Glusker llp

Noah Perch-Ahern, a Partner in Greenberg Glusker’s Environmental Department, maintains a broad national environmental and energy practice and is often engaged to work on cases of first impression and other sharply disputed matters. Mr. Perch-Ahern has significant litigation experience and has taken cases to trial. At the same time, Mr. Perch-Ahern regularly helps clients devise solutions to difficult regulatory problems and represents clients in connection with administrative proceedings. A significant component of Mr. Perch-Ahern’s practice also involves transactional matters. For example, Mr. Perch-Ahern frequently advises clients concerning the environmental aspects of business transactions, represents energy-focused startup companies, and counsels clients in connection with environmental land use matters related to development projects, including industrial, commercial, and renewable energy projects.


Ira Ziering


Ziering France Company

Ira Ziering grew up in Massachusetts and Los Angeles. Received a B.A in English Lit. from UCSB in 1980 an J.D from Boston University Law School in 1985 and a Masters of Divinity Degree from Harvard Divinity in 1989. He worked as a litigation attorney at Chasalow Fenigstein and Kaufman and as Director of the Business,Legal and HR departments at Diagnostic Products Corporation (DPC) where he also served as a Board Member. In 2006 Ira led the negotiations that led to the sale of DPC to Siemens AG. Prior to his involvement with Tree People Ira’s primary environmental commitment has been to various land conservation campaigns centered around the marshes of Wellfleet MA. where his family has a small summer cottage. Ira is married to the artist GodeleineDeRosamel and has two young sons, Felix 7 and Gabriel 5.