Meet our Board

J. Thomas Van Berkem
Tom and his wife, Cathy, live full time in Northstar. Before retiring, Tom was a senior executive at Wellpoint, Inc. Tom currently serves on the Truckee Tahoe Airport Board of Directors and is a member of several other Boards. Tom and Cathy enjoy hiking and traveling.
Gina Biondi
Gina has been a teacher, an accountant, a realtor and served for many years on the Scotts Valley City Council as council member and mayor. She also has extensive experience serving on non-profit Boards and brings to the Land Trust a unique blend of leadership and collaborative skills. Gina enjoys playing tennis and hiking. She and her husband John divide their time between Truckee, Maui and Santa Cruz.
Geoff Griffin, Treasurer
Geoff has been involved in the greater Lake Tahoe area since the late 1970s. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Tahoe City. Geoff enjoyed a long international career in management consulting in advising financial services organizations, technology companies, and payments associations. He is currently involved with the Far West Nordic Ski Education Association and the Auburn Ski Club. Geoff is an avid cross-country skier, hiker, kayaker, cyclist, flyfisher, and photographer. He earned an MBA from Stanford Business School and an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Jeff Brown, President
Jeff and his wife Laura have lived in Truckee since 1995 upon graduating from U.C. Davis and enjoy raising their three children, Owen, Anya and Wesley in a pristine mountain environment. Through a long career in the ski resort and real estate development business, Jeff has had the opportunity to introduce many families to the wonderful lifestyle available in the Sierras. A two-time Ironman, Jeff can be found running the trails throughout the region in the summer and skiing off the beaten path in the winter.
Anne Chadwick
Writer and photographer, Anne Chadwick, splits her time between the Sierra Nevada and Sebastopol, California. She is active in several organizations devoted to protecting the environment and advancing the arts, and she chaired the Fire Safety Committee for the Serene Lakes Property Owners Association. Retired from a career in agricultural trade policy and communications, she has traveled extensively for work and pleasure. Pacific in My Soul, her first book, combines her passions for photography, wildlife, and creative writing. She has a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and studied agricultural economics in New Zealand. She has served on the Land Trust's Stewardship Committee since 2009 and has been active in raising funds for the preservation of Royal Gorge. Anne enjoys alpine and Nordic skiing, cycling, kayaking, and hiking.
Ted Owens, Secretary
Ted was raised in northern California in a family of outdoor enthusiasts, enjoying skiing, backpacking, fishing and hunting. He majored in Political Science at Cal Poly SLO after which he went to work as a government affairs manager for a state-wide insurance association. Trading in the suits and ties, he moved to Truckee full time in 1989 to join his father in the family construction business. Ted is a member of the Truckee Rotary Club, a charter member and past President of the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe, and a member of the Truckee Masonic Lodge #200. He served on the Truckee Planning Commission and the Town Council and was selected in 2003 to serve as Truckee Mayor. Ted was elected to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors in 2004 and 2008 where he served as Chairman of the Board in 2005, 2008 and 2012. As Supervisor, Ted served on several state-wide boards including California’s Sierra Nevada Conservancy representing the Central Sub-region.
Jim Hoelter, Vice President
Jim is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. While on active duty as an infantry officer in the US Army reserve at Fort Gordon, Georgia, he married Virginia (“Denny”) Smith. Jim resumed his college education, receiving his MBA at Harvard. Jim worked for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI and Oakland, CA, and for two marine cargo container leasing companies in San Francisco. He subsequently co-founded the start up container lessor Intermodal Equipment Associates and served as its President from 1978 to 1987. Jim then joined the Textainer Group (NYSE - "TGH") as President and CEO until he retired at the end of 1998. Jim and Denny have three children and seven grandchildren and divide their time between their home on Great Camanoe in the British Virgin Islands, their house at Serene Lakes on Donner Summit, and Sonoma, CA. Jim is currently a board member of Textainer, treasurer and a board member of the Donner Summit Historical Society and Indigo Association Ltd. He also served as president of the Serene Lakes Property Owners Association and treasurer of the Donner Summit Area Association. Jim enjoys hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing, sailing, and fly-fishing.
Kevin Mitchell
Kevin Mitchell, a Northern California native and veteran of the ski industry, has worked at Lake Tahoe and international ski resorts for over 25 years. As part of his current role as General Manager at Homewood Mountain Resort, Mitchell works diligently to preserve and maintain over 1,700 acres of private and public land while operating a renowned Lake Tahoe resort. A Truckee Resident, Kevin Mitchell has lived in the north shore area for over 25 years and can often be found hiking or biking on many of the local trails during the summer, and skiing at local resorts and in the backcountry during the winter.
Mike Sabarese
Mike has been coming to Truckee since 1975 and moved here in 2001. He has been a financial executive and CPA for more than 40 years as well as president of several small businesses in the Bay Area. As a partner, he was involved with the growth of the Yakima Roof Rack Company as well as the shipping and real estate industries. He enjoys working with nonprofits in the Sierras and loves to preserve the environment here.
Chrissy Earnhardt
Chrissy and her husband Denton moved to Truckee from San Diego in 2007 to enjoy small, mountain town life and all that the greater Lake Tahoe area has to offer. She now enjoys raising her daughter in this precious environment and taking advantage of opportunities to play outdoors as much as possible – running, biking, skiing and hiking. Chrissy graduated with a degree in Accounting from San Diego State University and has worked in local government finance for over 10 years.
Brita Tryggvi
Brita is an experienced land use planner and small business owner. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Urban Planning from California State University, San Jose. Brita and her husband, Art, moved to the Tahoe-Truckee area after completing college and graduate school. For the past 30-plus years, Brita has been employed in either the private or public sector in northern Nevada. Brita served on the Truckee Planning Commission for 10 years, and she is a member of other organizations such as the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe and the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation. She and her husband recently retired and now have time to pursue more of their interests, including downhill skiing, kayaking, hiking, gardening, birding, and traveling.
Jim Winterberger
After graduating from the University of Vermont, Jim was lured to Tahoe by snow covered mountains and pristine alpine lakes. As such, Jim joins the board with great enthusiasm and passion for protecting beautiful open spaces with high recreational value and high environmental significance. Jim is the Founder and President of Tahoe Getaways, a property management firm in Truckee, CA. He also serves as the chairman of the Truckee Business Improvement District, is a member of the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association, and North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. When not working, Jim can be found suffering up single track, coaching skiing, and exploring the backcountry with his wife and three young kids.

Advisory Council

Martin Bern
Lance Conn
John Cobourn
Kathleen Eagan
Bob Fink
Penny Fink
Ralph Hunt
Judy Mayorga
William McGlashan
Stefanie Olivieri
Jim Porter
Craig Ritchey
Ann Taylor Schwing
William Thauvette