Our Board

NBC’s Board volunteer their time and expertise throughout the year to uphold the mission of the Newport Bay Conservancy and strategically direct the organization to fill that charge. Board Members are elected by our membership (volunteers who serve over 48 hours or more in the past year) each November at our annual meeting to serve two year terms and can be elected for a subsequent term. The Conservancy is always looking for passionate folks to sit on the Board. For more information on how you can become a Board Member, send us an email to info@newportbay.org.

INTERESTED IN BEING A PART OF OUR BOARD? Seeking individuals to apply through September, 2022. For more information read this introductory letter. Send an email to taylorsais@yahoo.com.

Board Meetings are conducted on the fourth Wednesday each month from 5:30-7:00 p.m. via ZOOM. The public is welcome to attend. Please give us a call at 949-923-2269 or e-mail us for more details.

Quicklinks:
2022 Operational Budget
2021 Annual Report Presentation
2020 Annual Report Presentation
Current Bylaws
Non-discrimination Policy
Unaudited Financial Statement FYE2020
Other Financial Reports posted to Guidestar.org

Kimberly Leue-Bick, President
kim.bick@newportbay.org
Kimberly is the Founder and Managing Partner of a certified, woman-owned environmental law firm in Newport Beach California. She holds her Law degree from Stanford, MS in Civil Engineering and an undergraduate degree in Applied Earth Sciences. As part of her work, but also because of her own interest, Kimberly follows trends and emerging issues in the environmental field. The Back Bay is an important resource and she values and prioritizes restoring and protecting if for future generations of species and for our own well-being into the future. Kimberly’s background allows her to understand the issues that face the Back Bay. Being on the Board, she helps further the mission of the Conservancy and strengthen opportunities to educating our youth.

Cassandra Radcliff, Vice President
cassandra.radcliff@newportbay.org
Cassandra wrote the book Saving Upper Newport Bay: How Frank and Frances Robinson Fought to Preserve One of California’s Last Estuaries (2020). She is an Associate Acquisitions Editor at Walter Foster Publishing (an imprint of The Quarto Group), an art instruction book publisher founded in 1922 by Laguna Beach artist Walter T. Foster. Cassandra began volunteering with the Newport Bay Conservancy and OC Parks in 2014 after visiting the Bay for birdwatching. Now a Volunteer Naturalist (class of 2020), Cassandra is most passionate about trash cleanups, restoration, and birdwatching. In 2019 she was the recipient of a OneOC Spirit of Volunteerism Award and in 2020 was elected to the Newport Bay Conservancy Board of Directors. Serving as the Vice President and Community Outreach Committee Chair, Cassandra uses her expertise in writing and editing to help educate the public about the Bay, as well as acquire funds for the organization.

Ramraghi Fuller, Treasurer
ramraghi.fuller@newportbay.org
Ramraghi Fuller is a Private Banker Team Lead for a global financial services institution with expertise in wealth management for law firms and their attorneys. As a Team Lead, she is responsible for the banker team business strategy for legal markets in Beverly Hills, Orange County, and San Diego. She has twenty years experience as a financial advisor to legal markets in Orange County and San Diego. Ramraghi is involved in the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion and Mentorship Committees. As a nature enthusiast, Ramraghi personally understands the importance of protecting natural resources such as the Upper Newport Bay. She looks forward to volunteering in education programs to the public. Keeping our future generations informed about the relationship between humans and nature is essential in our mission to protect and preserve the Upper Newport Bay. Ramraghi is Chair of the Finance Committee and sits on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Susan Jarratt, Secretary
Over a forty-year career as a teacher and writer, Susan Jarratt has taught high school, first-year college writing, undergraduate humanities courses, and graduate seminars in rhetoric.  She’s done lots of academic writing and is now trying her hand at environmental topics.  She began volunteering for NBC in the early 2000s and completed the naturalist course in 2018. Since then she has greeted visitors to the Muth Center, talked about birds for Friends Tour groups, and served on the Research and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committees. Susan has contributed “Ask-a-Naturalist” columns for the NBC website and currently organizes the DEI reading group. As a board member, she looks forward to contributing in many areas to the NBC mission.

Derrick Ankerstar, OC Parks Representative
Derrick is one of the Orange County Parks Rangers assigned to the Peter and Mary Muth Center. He is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach. Derrick has been a full-time Park Ranger for the County of Orange since 2012 and served as a Reserve Ranger for OC Parks from 2010 until his appointment to full-time status in 2012. He is passionate about nature and its preservation and has maintained particular interest in the Newport Back Bay.

Mario Cuevas
Mario Cuevas serves as a teacher at Lowell School in Santa Ana. He became involved with the Conservancy as a result of our FiiN program. Mario has been a teacher in the Santa Ana District for 26 years. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from National University. Mario was instrumental in developing a partnership between Coast Hill Church and Second Harvest of Orange County to provide meals to needy families at both the Lowell school site as well as the Madison Elementary school in Santa Ana. Mario views his service to protect Newport Bay as an honor and a privilege, and looks forward to opportunities to increase the Conservancy’s capacity of diversity, equity and inclusion for all. As an educator, he looks forward to working with the community at large, Board Members, County/City staff and all those who are unfamiliar with the diverse ecosystems the back bay offers.

Julie Ferguson
Julie is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. She holds a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Oxford. After moving to this area 10 years ago, she enjoys having good weather all year round to hike and enjoy the outdoors. Julie is interested in promoting educational opportunities in the Bay. She also aims to highlight the various research projects that are being carried out in the area, such as the spread of invasive species and the impacts of sea level rise.

Sherry Marger
Sherry is an artist and a relative newcomer to the Upper Newport Bay area who found the scenery awe inspiring from an artistic perspective. She has a selfish ulterior motive to protect the area for artists, like herself and others who appreciate what the area has to offer. That is why she would like to help preserve the Back Bay and the surrounding neighborhoods. She is a concerned resident and utilizing information she has learned from her short tenure as a volunteer for NBC as well as the resources that are made available to all. She has become more aware of invasive and endangered species that are being addressed by the Conservancy and that need to be protected. Sherry has a special interest in the Big Canyon project since it effects her immediate neighborhood. Her other concerns are with the close proximity of the airport in regards to noise pollution as it effects the Back Bay and the airplane emissions that are being dispersed into the surrounding flora and fauna.

Susie Onate
Susie Onate manages complex transactions for Pacific Life’s commercial mortgage loan portfolio line of business and is part of the leadership team that established Pacific Life’s Asian American and Pacific Islander resource group. Susie has worked in real estate for over 18 years and has over 25 years of experience working in law in Australia and the United States. She holds a degree in Finance from the University of Phoenix and a Paralegal Certificate from the University of San Diego. Her interest in protecting the environment started in her late 20’s when she became an avid mountain biker. As a Filipino Australian, she knew nothing about California and gained an appreciation for the diverse and beautiful landscape and how urban sprawl threatens it. She was pleased to find out during her time at Rutan & Tucker how local governments protect nature and wildlife through open space requirements. She gained a lot of knowledge reading environmental impact studies and entitlement documents and how undeveloped open spaces such as wetlands and parks protect the flora and fauna native to a specific area. Because the Upper Newport Bay is one of the very few remaining undeveloped wetlands in Orange County, she believes it is important to preserve the Bay to not only protect the native plants, birds, and other wildlife but also to protect the ocean from pollutants. Susie believes that as home prices soar, there is growing pressure to protect undeveloped spaces so educating people on the importance of preserving the wetlands is critical.

Taylor Sais
Taylor Sais holds a B.A. Environmental Science from UC Irvine and M.S. Environmental Studies from Cal State Fullerton. He is currently employed by San Diego Gas & Electric and advises on infrastructure projects throughout South Orange County and San Diego County. Taylor has participated in multiple Newport Back Bay clean-up events as well as assisted the NBC Research Committee on numerous projects. Taylor chairs the Board Development Committee and is part of Marketing, Outreach and Advocacy Committee.

Angie Vazirian
Angie is a local business woman, a Real estate broker who lives and plays in the Back Bay. She has a Masters degree in education from Emporium State University in Kansas. She has 2 daughters, both here in Orange County and has 3 grand children. Angie has been a volunteer Naturalist since 2006. She and her husband are both passionate about nature and its preservation. Her husband served on the Banning Ranch Conservancy Board for 15 years. She has maintained particular interest in the Back Bay as a local home owner in Santa Ana Heights. She developed her interest in the area as a walker, jogger, biker and artist like herself and others who appreciate what the area has to offer.

Dave Waller
Dave is currently a volunteer Naturalist for the Conservancy that loves to inspire our younger generation leading school groups and family hikes from the Peter and Mary Interpretive Center. Dave has has been pivotal supporting the Conservancy, chairing the Fundraising committee in 2019-2020 and planning a plethora of special events. Dave loves what the Bay has given to him and would like to give something back to its protection and preservation. Currently, Dave is leading the charge to develop a long term strategic plan for the Conservancy.

Randall English, Past President
randall.english@newportbay.org
Randall English is a former IT professional who spent a majority of his career with Schneider Electric. In addition to his IT responsibilities, he oversaw the company’s philanthropic endeavors. He has participated with employees from Schneider Electric on restoration activities in and around the Bay. Randall is an avid outdoorsman and brings a wealth of enthusiasm for environmental issues to the Board. Before acting as the 2018-2019 Board President, Randall has served as NBC’s Secretary, Vice President and President. In his spare time, you can find him out on the Bay leading kayak tours or helping remove trash from a high tide.

Peter Bryant, Past President (ex-officio)
peter.bryant@newportbay.org
Peter Bryant’s interest and passion are in documenting, monitoring and preserving local biodiversity and ecosystems. He has been teaching Biodiversity and Conservation for 20 years at UCI, and now participates in the First-year Integrated Program in Environmental Science. Peter specializes in photographing invertebrates, especially the more difficult ones including the smallest insects as well as various marine and aquatic species. He has a Masters’ degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Genetics, and he is now participating in an international effort to catalog biodiversity using DNA-based methods. Besides serving as NBC’s President for the previous two years, he also established a Research Committee which has organized an Annual World Wetlands Day Symposium.

See Past Board Documents