All members of the Board of Directors are volunteers. You may reach any of the Directors by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the email will be forwarded to them.
DON COPELAND - CHAIR
Don is a life-long native of the Central Coast. His father shared his passion for the outdoors with Don at a very early age, a passion Don has shared with his kids as well. Beginning his working life as a ranch hand, Don gained much of his "boots on the ground" knowledge and honed his agricultural skills until his employment with the County of Santa Barbara Department of Public Works as a heavy equipment mechanic and fabricator for over 30 years. He has been a non-profit and wildlife conservation volunteer for many years, joining the CRF board in 2016.
TERRY PALMISANO - VICE CHAIR
Terry has been involved with the management of the Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve, including the acquisition of the Chimineas Ranch properties, since 2000 as a supervising biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). She was one of the Department’s representatives to advise the Working Group on the formation of the Chimineas Ranch Foundation. Terry has a degree in forestry and wildlife management from Purdue University and spent more than 31 years with CDFW protecting the lands and wildlife of the Central Coast, providing recreational opportunities, and working with the public. Now retired, she and her husband live in Gilroy.
MARK GOMES - SECRETARY
Mark has been involved with the Chimineas Ranch since 2005. He was a member of the working group that formed the CRF and has served as Board Chair and Secretary. He is a native Californian whose ancestors arrived in the early 1700's. His family has been involved in ranching, agriculture and construction in the local area. He is a Cal Poly graduate with studies in agriculture, biology and wildlife biology. Mark served in the U.S. Navy. He is a member of several community and conservation organizations in the Santa Maria area. He is a businessman, outdoorsman and conservationist who owns his own General Contractor business in Santa Maria.
ZEKE BASS – TREASURER
Zeke brings extensive financial and tax experience to the board from his work with Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf and Deckers Brands. He is a Navy veteran and volunteers in his local community. Zeke has assisted with the junior elk hunt on the Chimineas Ranch since 2017 and joined the CRF Board in 2022.
MATT DOCKSTADER - AT LARGE
Conservation and the outdoors have been a large part of Matt’s life for as long as he can remember. As a father, he does his very best to make sure the same drive and passion for the outdoors and community is strong with his children as well. Matt is the owner and taxidermist for Butcher Shop Taxidermy in Buellton. He was on the Advisory Board for more than 4 years and volunteered on CRF work projects and the junior hunts. Matt administers the CRF Instagram account and assists with the Facebook page.
JOHN DODSON – AT LARGE
John has been involved with CPER as a volunteer since 2005. He was a member of the working group which formed the Chimineas Ranch Foundation and has served as a board member since 2008 holding the positions of Treasurer and Director. His higher education includes work in public education and engineering degrees. He served in the U. S. Navy. John is an 8th generation descendant of an old Californio land grant family. He has volunteered countless hours to local wildlife conservation groups since 1994. He lives in Ventura where he has a successful business as a sales engineer.
STEVE ADAM - MEMBERSHIP
Steve is a former member of the Advisory Board for several years and was raised on a cow/calf and dairy farm in the Santa Maria Valley. He is a retired peace officer and an active hunter/conservationist. He is a certified 4-H shooting instructor and a CDFW Hunter Education instructor. He is active in several local conservation groups. He joined the CRF Board in 2020.
MIKE HANDBERG – AT LARGE
Mike joined the Board in April 2022. He has worked in the Grounds Department for the Simi Valley Unified School District for more than 25 years overseeing landscape maintenance on 30 district properties. He holds a Pesticide Applicators Certificate with the California Department of Pesticide Regulations. As a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), and a member of the San Fernando Valley chapter, Mike has volunteered for many years helping out on the junior elk hunt sponsored by RMEF on the ranch.
JOHN MCGRAY - AT LARGE
John was born and raised on the central coast of California, only leaving to get educated at Chico State. His vocation was in the grading and paving industry working for the family construction business and then spending 27 years with the County of Santa Barbara Public Works as the Road Maintenance Manager. His advocation is as an outdoorsman, spending any available time in the back country of California with his mules, hunting, fishing, and just camping. John has been the president of the Los Padres chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of California, was a 4H shooting sports leader for a decade, served on the Santa Barbara County Trails Commission, and was an advisory board member for the Chimineas Ranch Foundation for 6 years.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE LIAISON TO THE BOARD:
DAVID HACKER, SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST SUPERVISOR