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 is welcome to attend ECOS Board meetings! For more info about the meetings, including dates, times, agendas and minutes, click here.

Executive Committee


Ralph Propper
rpropper47 [at] icloud [dot] com

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”.

Immediate Past President

Brandon Rose
brandondrose [at] hotmail [dot] com

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.


Earl Withycombe
earlwithycombe [at] gmail [dot] com

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.


Andy Sawyer
andysawyer [at] aol [dot] com

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.

Habitat 2020 Committee 


Robert Burness
rmburness [at] comcast [dot] net

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.


Sean Wirth
wirthsoscranes [at] yahoo [dot] com

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.

Transportation, Air Quality and Climate Change Committee 


John Deeter
jdeeter [at] gmail [dot] com

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.


Lynne Goldsmith
Lausmith2again [at] gmail [dot] com

Lynne Goldsmith has been passionate about environmental issues her whole life. Her career included Bike Program Manager in Planning for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and public outreach and education consultant for the City of Los Angeles Wastewater Program and City of Burbank Recycling Program launch. Upon locating to Sacramento, she volunteers with ECOS and 350 Sacramento.

Organizational Development Committee


Nancy Hughett
coyote1 [at] surewest [dot] net
Bio to be posted

Land Use Committee


Jonathan Ellison 
jellison [at] surewest [dot] net

Jon 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.


Robert Meagher
RMeagher [at] SureWest [dot] net

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.

At-Large Director Representative

Ron Maertz
ronmaertz [at] surewest [dot] net

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.

At-Large Director Representative

Susan Herre
susanherre [at] gmail [dot] com
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.

At-Large Directors

Nailah Pope-Harden 
nailahph [at] gmail [dot] com
Nailah Pope- Harden is a community organizer from south Sacramento working on environmental justice, community development and civic engagement. She is passionate about equitable resources for all. She got involved in ECOS transportation work in 2016 and joined the ECOS board in 2018.

Ron Maertz
ronmaertz [at] surewest [dot] net
Bio above

Spencer Marshall 
srmarshall23 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Spencer Marshall joined ECOS as an at-large board member in 2013 while attending CSU Sacramento. Spencer was a scientific aid in the 401 Wetlands Protection Unit for the State Water Resources Control Board and upon completing his degree in environmental studies he transferred to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. He serves on the Habitat 2020 committee and is involved with the water group. Spencer is passionate about environmental conservation and is particularly focused on the challenges California is facing in addressing long-term water supply.

Beilul Naizghi
beilul [dot] naizghi [at] gmail [dot] com
Beilul Naizghi came to Sacramento as an Americorp VISTA at NeighborWorks Sacramento in August 2017. She currently works as a Project Assistant at Mercy Housing and is most interested in encouraging infill, transit oriented affordable housing in Sacramento. Beilul has a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University in Public Policy.

Chris Brown
info [at] sacclimate [dot] org
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.

Michael O’Sullivan
mosullivan [at] sac [dot] coop
Michael has been active in the community through involvement in the Lower Sacramento River Task Force, the Sacramento Northern Railroad Parkway, and the Sacramento Tree Foundation. He is a an employee of the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op and has represented the Co-op on the ECOS Board for a number of years. He has also helped put on Sacramento Earth Day and the Environmentalist of the Year awards.

Susan Herre
susanherre [at] gmail [dot] com
Bio above

Tinn Lee
lee [dot] tinn [at] gmail [dot] com
Tinn found sustainability in college when studying interior design and leads a minimalist lifestyle. She currently works as an event coordinator for American Institute of Architects (AIA) and bike valet lead for Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA). You can find her biking around town from event to event, making muffins every Tuesday, or rock climbing at Pipeworks.

Gabriel Balensiefer
gabriel [at] hyperionndt [dot] com
Gabriel Balensiefer is an industrial x-ray inspector serving aerospace and other manufacturing industries. He is a student of business management, and the founder of a non-destructive inspection services and consultation start-up.

Alex Kelter
akmd [at] mac [dot] com
Alex Kelter, MD is retired from the California Department of Health Services (DHS) where he headed its injury and violence prevention branch for 17 years. In the late 1990s he learned about the obesity-related relationship between urban planning and public health. This propelled him toward a relationship with ECOS upon his retirement from DHS in 2006.

Chelsea Kelly-Reif
ckellyreif [at] gmail [dot] com
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.

Member Organization Representatives

350 Sacramento

Laurie Litman
llitman [at] pacbell [dot] net

Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails

This group needs to appoint a representative to the board.

Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) Sacramento Chapter

This group needs to appoint a representative to the board.

Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

This group needs to appoint a representative to the board.

International Dark-Sky Association

Jack E. Sales jesales [at] surewest [dot] net

Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sacramento Chapter

Bill Durston billdurston [at] gmail [dot] com

Sacramento Audubon Society

Larry Hickey
larryhickey1 [at] gmail [dot] com

Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association

Guy Hall guy [dot] t [dot] hall [at] gmail [dot] com

Sacramento Environmental Democrats

Slava Bekker borislava [dot] bekker [at] gmail [dot] com

Sacramento Housing Alliance (SHA)

This group needs to appoint a representative to the board.

Sacramento Natural Foods Coop

Michael O’Sullivan mosullivan [at] sac [dot] coop

Sacramento Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (Sac CNPS)

Janet Koster jlkscorpio101 [at] gmail [dot] com

Sacramento Vegetarian Society

Glenn Destatte sacveggie [at] gmail [dot] com

Save Our Sandhill Cranes (SOS Cranes)

Tina Suarez-Murias csuarezm [at] arb [dot] ca [dot] gov

Save the American River Association (SARA)

Betsy Weiland flweiland [at] yahoo [dot] com

SEIU Local 1000 Environmental Committee

Mike Roskey Mike [dot] Roskey [at] wildlife [dot] ca [dot] gov

Sierra Club Sacramento Group

Marko Pavlovic vatropav [at] gmail [dot] com

↑ top

Share this