Board of Directors

ECOS strives to create a safe space for everyone to participate in our mission to achieve regional and community sustainability and a healthy environment for existing and future residents.

Attend our board meetings!

Everyone who is interested is welcome to attend ECOS Board meetings!

For more info about the meetings, including dates, times, agendas and minutes, click here.

Executive Committee

Board President

Ralph Propper

Ralph Propper retired in 2015 from the California Air Resources Board’s Air Quality and Climate Science Research Section. Until becoming ECOS president, he was an adjunct chemistry professor at Sacramento City College. He is also a board member of Breathe California Sacramento Region, and Sacramento’s “Green Incubator.”

Contact: rpropper47 [at] icloud [dot] com

Board President-Elect

Susan Herre

Susan Herre is an urban planner and architect. At the United States Department of Transportation in Washington, she managed transit and rail capital projects, and previously worked on university and hospital buildings in San Diego and St Louis. Over the years Susan has been an activist for urban transit and preservation of open space.

Contact: susanherre [at] gmail [dot] com

Immediate Past President

Brandon Rose

Brandon Rose currently serves on the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Board of Directors and the Sacramento County Treasury Oversight Committee. Brandon works for the California Air Resources Board with a focus on reducing air pollution emissions from the transportation sector. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from UC Davis.

Contact: brandondrose [at] hotmail [dot] com


Earl Withycombe

Earl Withycombe is a consulting air pollution engineer, community activist and recovering elected official. Earl’s direct participation in ECOS’ work began in 1992 with advocacy and testimony on the 1993 county general plan update. He has been an indispensable leader on the ECOS board of directors ever since.

Contact: earlwithycombe [at] gmail [dot] com


Andy Sawyer

Andy Sawyer is a past president of ECOS, a former chair of Sierra Club California, and chair of the Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter. An environmental lawyer, Andy has served as chair of the California State Bar Environmental Law Section and the Sacramento County Bar Association Environmental Law Section.

Contact: andysawyer [at] aol [dot] com

At-Large Director Representative to Executive Committee

Ron Maertz

Ron Maertz spent his entire career working in environmental public service. Since his retirement, Ron has become actively involved in ECOS, serving as one of ECOS’ representatives to the Smart Growth Leadership Recognition Program Committee and as its Land Use Chair / Co-Chair for over 10 years. Ron was selected as Environmentalist of the Year in 2012.

Contact: ronmaertz [at] surewest [dot] net

At-Large Director Representative to Executive Committee

Quincy Stivers

Quincy Stivers is a lifelong resident of Sacramento, and started out as an intern for ECOS. She is a recent graduate from the University of California, Berkeley where she began studying the effects of climate change. She is dedicated to building a more sustainable Sacramento.

Contact: qstivers [at] gmail [dot] com

Habitat 2020 Committee 


Robert Burness

Rob Burness graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Biological Sciences. Rob served as a land use planner for the Sacramento County Planning Department, where he focused on compact, efficient urban growth that minimizes impact on natural habitat. Rob is also involved with the Sierra Club.

Contact: rmburness [at] comcast [dot] net


Sean Wirth

After retiring from a career in real estate investing, Sean has dedicated his life to saving habitat in our region. He is currently the conservation chair for the Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club, Co-Chair of Habitat 2020, on the board and executive committee of ECOS and a founding member of Save Our Sandhill Cranes.

Contact: wirthsoscranes [at] yahoo [dot] com

Transportation, Air Quality and Climate Change Committee 


John Deeter

John Deeter has been a board member of ECOS since 2005, and has served as Treasurer (2007-14), and as Chair/Co-Chair of the Transportation, Air Quality & Climate Change Committee since 2015. He is a passionate advocate of non-auto modes of transportation and rides his bicycle frequently. He is retired, after 30 years of astronomical research at the University of Washington.

Contact: jdeeter [at] gmail [dot] com

Organizational Development Committee


Nancy Hughett

Nancy Hughett, retired from the California Air Resources Board, has worked with a variety of environmental and community groups over the years. Before joining the ECOS Board, she co-founded and helped lead the Science Project Mentoring Program, which advises students as they design and conduct experimental science projects at a local Sacramento school.

Contact: coyote1 [at] surewest [dot] net

Land Use Committee


Jonathan Ellison

Jonathan Ellison is an attorney in private practice in the Sacramento area with expertise in disabled peoples’ rights, elder law, Social Security, housing law, nonprofit law and a passion for preserving the environment. A father and grandfather, Jon joined the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) board of directors in 2006 and became President of the Board for 2011- 2012. He has also been co-chair of the Organizational Development Committee.

Contact: jellison [at] surewest [dot] net


Robert Meagher

Robert Meagher has tirelessly kept up the project list for ECOS, which includes all new relevant proposed developments in the region. He has also managed to consolidate and organize the countless PDF documents that often make up long CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) documents, and their corresponding attachments, into a single database categorized by region, priority and timing. Making these documents easier to use and refer to cuts down on the time it takes ECOS committees to digest and comment on environmental documents, effectively making it simpler for us to engage in the CEQA process.

Contact: Robert [at] Meaghers [dot] net

At-Large Directors

Chelsea Kelly-Reif

Chelsea Kelly-Reif is the current President of Sacramento Environmental Democrats and a member of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County Central Committee. She works as a Lead Software Engineer at the California Energy Commission with a focus on cloud computing and data science. As an ECOS board member since 2018, she is passionate about climate change mitigation, intersectional environmental justice, and conservation biology.

Contact: ckellyreif [at] gmail [dot] com

Chris Brown

Chris Brown is a nationally recognized expert in water conservation and drought. He left his position as Executive Director of the California Urban Water Conservation Council in 2014 to work on climate issues as well as his ongoing water-related work. He also serves as the coordinator of the Sacramento Climate Coalition.

Contact: info [at] sacclimate [dot] org

Gabriel Balensiefer

Gabriel Balensiefer is an industrial non-destructive evaluation technologist specializing in computed tomography and digital radiography at a lab researching advanced manufacturing.

Contact: gabriel [dot] balensiefer [at] gmail [dot] com

Margaret Loehr

Bio to follow

Contact: marglow45 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Rory Pilling

Rory Pilling is a 17-year-old transgender man currently in his senior year of highschool. He’s been involved in political activism for a few years now, working on a variety of issues like stopping a jail expansion with Decarcerate Sacramento, lobbying in DC for the Global H.E.R. Act (abortion access) with Advocates For Youth, and running his school’s Gender Sexuality Alliance as president since his sophomore year.

Contact: rory [dot] pilling [at] gmail [dot] com

Sandra Hall

Sandra is currently on the Davis EV Association board, part of the Sacramento EV Association focusing on marketing support, working with a high school group on an outdoor adventure and environmental education and very interested in improving the local community through climate adaptation advocacy and education.

Contact: sehall [at] ucdavis [dot] edu

Quincy Stivers

Representative on the Executive Committee, as listed above

Quincy is listed above, under “Executive Committee,” because she is one of two At-Large Directors who represent all of the At-Large Directors on our Executive Committee.

Ron Maertz

Representative on the Executive Committee, as listed above

Ron is listed above, under “Executive Committee,” because he is one of two At-Large Directors who represent all of the At-Large Directors on our Executive Committee.

Member Organization Representatives

350 Sacramento

Ilonka Zlatar

Contact: ilonka [dot] zlatar [at] gmail [dot] com

Breathe California Sacramento Region

Chris Flores

Contact: CFlores [at] sacrt [dot] com

California Native Plant Society Sacramento Valley Chapter

Janet Koster

Contact: jlkscorpio101 [at] gmail [dot] com

Citizens Climate Lobby Sacramento Chapter

Edith Thacher

Contact: Egthacher [at] gmail [dot] com

Environmental Democrats of Sacramento County

Slava Bekker

Contact: borislava [dot] bekker [at] gmail [dot] com

Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

This group needs to appoint a representative to the board.

International Dark-Sky Association

Jack E. Sales

Contact: jesales [at] surewest [dot] net

Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sacramento Chapter

Bill Durston

Contact: billdurston [at] gmail [dot] com

Sacramento Audubon Society

Larry Hickey

Contact: larryhickey1 [at] gmail [dot] com

Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association

Guy Hall

Contact: guy [dot] t [dot] hall [at] gmail [dot] com

Sacramento Housing Alliance

Kendra Lewis

Contact: kendra [at] sachousingalliance [dot] org

Sacramento Natural Foods Coop

Michael O’Sullivan

Contact: mosullivan [at] sac [dot] coop

Save Our Sandhill Cranes

Tina Suarez-Murias

Contact: csuarezm [at] arb [dot] ca [dot] gov

Save the American River Association

Betsy Weiland

Contact: flweiland [at] yahoo [dot] com

Sierra Club Sacramento Group

Marko Pavlovic

Contact: vatropav [at] gmail [dot] com

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