NBC’s Board volunteer their time and expertise thought the year to uphold the mission of the Newport Bay Conservancy and strategically directs 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Meetings are conducted on the third Wednesday each month from 5:30-7:30 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.
Kimberly Leue-Bick, President
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.
Julie Ferguson, Vice President
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.
Ramraghi Fuller, Treasurer
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.
Josie Bennett, Secretary
Josie is a field biologist with experience implementing habitat restoration and monitoring at various sites in Orange County. She has expertise in our local natural history including plants, plant communities, insects, amphibians, reptiles and birds. Prior to joining Laguna Canyon Foundation, Josie worked for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the Natural Resource Management department of California State Parks in Orange County. Josie studied Biology at California State University, Long Beach and received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with an emphasis on Ecology and Environment. She is certified through the National Association for Interpretation as a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG).
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.
For the past 28 years, Dr. Tim Brown has demonstrated his interest in civic leadership and commitment to the City of Newport Beach through a number of endeavors. Dr. Brown is currently as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Newport Beach. Prior to that Dr. Brown served on the Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission for the city of Newport Beach for two terms beginning in 2006. Prior to his service on the Parks Beaches and Recreation Commission, Dr. Brown was a member of the Newport Beach Aviation Committee. Since 1999, Dr. Brown has been a resident member of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, served Vocational Service Chair of the Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club. Dr. Brown has also been instrumental in the formation of the NPO which operates the Lobsterfest. At NBC, Tim chairs the Board Development and Education Committees.
Over a forty-year career as a teacher and writer, Susan Jarratt has taught high school, first-year college writing, undergraduate humanities coursesand graduate seminars. At UCI and Miami University (Ohio), she has served on the dissertation committees of over fifty PhD students. Susan is the author or co-author of four books and over forty academic articles and book chapters; she has delivered over a hundred presentations internationally and nationally. In addition, Susan was successful in gaining almost $300,000 in grants over her career. 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, helped out with educational programs, 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.
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.
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 Editorial Project Manager 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. While serving on the Board, Cassandra will use her expertise in writing and editing to help educate the public about the Bay, as well as acquire funds for the organization through grant writing.
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 Southern California Gas Company and works in environmental compliance along with managing the company’s sustainability programs. Taylor has participated in multiple Newport Back Bay clean-up events as well as assisted the NBC Research Committee on numerous projects. Taylor is part of Marketing, Outreach and Advocacy Committee.
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 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 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’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.