Administration and Board of Directors
Supervisor, 2nd District
County of Marin
Katie was raised in Mill Valley and graduated from Tamalpais High School in 1978. She attended Sonoma State University, receiving degrees in Liberal Studies and English. For the past 20 years, Katie has lived in San Anselmo. Katie’s engagement in public service long pre-dates her tenure with County government and is the foundation of her understanding of the depth of residents’ concerns for their neighborhoods, schools, community benefit organizations and open space. Protection of Marin’s environmental resources is a core, long-standing value for Katie, and shows in her commitment to the protection of our natural resources. She is a proud graduate of the 31st class of the Marin Environmental Forum, a renowned environmental leadership training program.
Fire Safe Council Coordinator
Todd is a third-generation Marin native and has worked 26 years in the fire service, including 19 years as a wildland and municipal firefighter. He studied Forestry and Wildfire Management at the University of Montana, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Urban Planning, Environmental Conservation and Restoration from Sonoma State University. He has worked as a fire inspector, an urban forester specializing in community wildfire protection, and served as Executive Director of Fire Safe San Mateo County, the nation's first Fire Safe Council. He lives in west Marin.
Board of Directors
Asst. Deputy Chief, San Francisco Fire Department, Retired
President, Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District. (2020)
Richard Shortall is a retired San Francisco Fire Department Assistant Deputy Chief. He has also served as the SFFD EMS Chief, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services and General Manager of the Bay Area SUASI Homeland Security Program. Rich is currently a member of the Board of the Ross Valley Fire Department and is an elected Director of the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District. He joined FIRESafe MARIN as a Director in 2015 and currently resides in San Anselmo with his wife Diana.
Jim Chayka (Terri Thomas standing in for 2017)
Conservation Corps North Bay (2020)
Jim Chayka is a Superintendant at Marin County Parks and Open Space. Jim served as Director of Natural Resources at Conservation Corps North Bay, and has been working in the field of Natural Resources & Watershed Management for the last 17 years. Jim started his career in environmental stewardship in 1999 as an AmeriCorps member at the CivicCorps (formerly the East Bay Conservation Corps), and subsequently managed education and restoration programs with Student Conservation Association, Watershed Sciences, Urban Creeks Council, and Sonoma Ecology Center. Jim holds an MS degree in Applied Geosciences from San Francisco State University and joined Firesafe Marin in 2015. He currently resides in San Francisco with his wife and two children.
Fire Chief, Retired
Ross Valley Fire Department (2020)
Roger began his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter with the San Anselmo Fire Department in 1979, and in 1981, he was the last firefighter hired by the San Anselmo Fire Department before the Department consolidated with Fairfax in 1982, creating the Ross Valley Fire Department JPA. He rose through the ranks and was appointed Fire Chief in 2005. Under his leadership, the Ross Valley Fire Department JPA expanded to include the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District in 2010, and the Town of Ross in 2012. Chief Meagor retired in 2013. Roger is long-time Board Member for FIRESafe Marin, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ross Valley Paramedic Authority. A third-generation Ross Valley native, he resides with his wife in the unincorporated area of Fairfax.
Eva Denegri Baker
Emergency Services Specialist
County of Marin Office of Emergency Services (OES) (2020)
Eva is an Emergency Services Specialist with the Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services since 2003. She received her B.A. from Dominican University in Humanities before settling into several careers in Editing and Program Management for Book and Electronic Publishers. In 1996 she joined the Larkspur Association of Volunteer Firefighters where she volunteers to this day. She served as an Officer on the Executive Committee for most of her years in the organization. She was awarded Volunteer Firefighter of the Year and also received several service awards over the years from her fellow volunteer firefighters. Eva joined FIRESafe Marin as a Director in 2003, and has served continuously as an Officer. She and her husband, Bruce, have three adult sons, and currently reside in West Petaluma as empty nesters with their cats, Aja and Hank.
Retired Fire Captain
Marin County Fire Department (2018)
Mill Valley Fire Department (2018)
Scott Barnes is a Battalion Chief with the Mill Valley Fire Department with 28 years of firefighting experience. He has an A.A degree in Fire Service Technology and is an accredited Fire Officer and Chief Fire Officer with the State of California. In addition to his assignment as an operational chief officer with Mill Valley Fire, he coordinates the City’s multi-faceted Vegetation Management Program. He joined FIREsafe MARIN as a Board Member in 2010, and currently resides in Corte Madera with his wife and three children.
Deputy Fire Marshal
Southern Marin Fire Protection District (2018)
Watershed Resources Manager
Marin Municipal Water District (2019)
Mike is the watershed resources manager on Marin Municipal Water District’s nearly 22,000 acres of watershed lands, leading management of natural resources, visitor facilities, and public safety. He began his MMWD career in 1995 spearheading the implementation of the District’s Mt Tamalpais vegetation management plan with its twin goals of protecting bio-diversity and reducing fire hazards. Mike has been on the board since 2008 and was the president of FIRESafe Marin 2013-15. Mike has a strong fire management background including developing vegetation management plans and directing prescribed burning programs for forest restoration in the Lake Tahoe basin state parks and serving on the State Park’s statewide prescribed fire management team. Mike helped establish the Marin Conservation Corps (now Conservation Corps North Bay) in the early 80s, including developing fully-trained corps member fire crew in cooperation with Marin County Fire Department. Mike conducted fire ecology research for the National Park Service/University of Washington Park Study Unit while completing M.S. degree at the University of Washington and a thesis on prescribed fire effects on old growth ponderosa pine forests at Crater Lake National Park. Mike has a B.S. in forestry from the University of California, Berkeley and is a California registered professional forester. He lives with his family in Fairfax.
Shaun Home (Pending approval at 12/14 meeting)
Watershed Resources Manager
Marin Municipal Water District (201?)
Shaun Horne, MMWD’s new Natural Resource Program Manager. Shaun comes to us from Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District where he managed natural resources focused on flood control, habitat restoration, and invasive species management. Shaun has a bachelor’s degree from SF State in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice, and a Master’s from Sonoma State in International Water Resources Management. He holds certificates in GIS from SF State and Water Conflict Management from Oregon State. His work experience includes a stint as a Stream Biologist with Sonoma County Water Agency and as an arborist for a tree company. Shaun is running MMWD’s watershed vegetation management program and will shepherd our Biodiversity, Fire and Fuels Integrated Plan EIR to its conclusion.
Natural Resources Chief
Marin County Parks (2020)
Retired Fire Chief
Inverness Utility District (2018)
Deputy Fire Marshal
Novato Fire Protection District (2020)
Lori Jessell is a Captain, Deputy Fire Marshal and Fire Investigator with the Novato Fire Protection District. Lori Has been employed with Novato Fire since 2002 and has a total of sixteen years in the Fire Service. She obtained her Associate of Science Degree in Fire Technology with honors from Sierra College. Lori is also an instructor, teaching Emergency Medical Responder, and program coordinator for the Fire Technology Program at College of Marin. Lori is a member of the Northern California Fire Prevention Officers and sits as a Co-Chair for the Fire Code Committee. The committee is involved in the International Code Council Code Development process, which reviews and votes on code change proposals from across the nation for the International Fire Code, Building Code and Residential Code. In her spare time, Lori enjoys spending time with her family RV’ing and she dabbles in photography.
Indian Valley Associates (2020)
Craig Knowlton serves on the board of Directors of the Indian Valley Associates in Novato, and has served on the board at FIRESAfe MARIN since 2015.
Kent Woodlands Property Owners Assocation (2020)
Skip Kniesche retired as the Principal at Kent Middle School in Kentfield in 2018. He has been a resident of Kentfield for almost 40 years and he and his wife, Nancy, have been living in Kent Woodlands since 2007. He is a member of the KWPOA fire safety committee. He joined FIRESafe Marin as a Board Member in 2018.
Anthony "Tony" Walls
Vegetation Program Manager, North Bay Division
Pacific Gas and Electric (2019)
Anthony Walls is the Vegetation Program Manager for Pacific Gas and Electric in Marin and Napa Counties. He received his bachelor degree from Sonoma State University. He is a Certified Arborist, a Utility Specialist and a member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and Utility Arborist Association (UAA). He joined FIRESafe MARIN as a Board Member in 2016.
VMP Battalion Chief
Marin County Fire Department (2020)
Christie started her career in 1984 as a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service. She worked her way up through the ranks working on engines, helitack, and hotshot and fuels crews, including Fuels Battalion, Forest Division Chief positions until moving to the USFS Regional Office as Regional Fuels and Fire Use Specialist. Christie has an A.S. in Forestry and Technical Fire Management Certification from Colorado State University. She promoted to the National Park Service Pacific West Regional Office 2004 -2014 where she held both the Deputy Regional Fire Management Officer Fuels and Operations positions. Christie retired with 30 years of federal service and moved to Marin County Fire after accepting the position of Vegetation Management Program Battalion Chief in November 2014.
Conservation Corps North Bay (2020)
Terri is a natural resources manager, ecologist and planner with 36 years of national park experience in management, science, monitoring, operations, policy, and regulation in the full breadth of natural resource disciplines. Currently she is the Director of Natural Resources for Conservation Corps North Bay. Since 1984 she led programs and projects in San Francisco Bay Area national parks for Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Presidio Trust. Under Terri’s leadership, teams of resource professionals implemented cutting edge urban ecological restoration and research in serpentine grassland, dune, coastal scrub, marsh, creek and lake ecosystems. She initiates effective ways of connecting people to the land through habitat restoration and maintenance through conservation corps, volunteers, education, science, and land management partners. This type of stewardship program has grown and spread throughout the bay area.