Joanna settled in Redwood country in 2008 after several invigorating visits to the region. She had a passion for the outdoors, and was eager to get to work in her new community. She began volunteering with Wildlife Biologists at Redwood National and State Parks, and was hired as a seasonal Fish & Wildlife Technician in 2009. Joanna continued her seasonal work as she attended graduate school at Humboldt State University. After receiving her Master's Degree, she was hired as the Operations Assistant for Redwood Parks Association. She then become the Development Director for Redwood Parks Conservancy. And now she has taken the helm as Executive Director. During her off time, Joanna enjoys hiking the beautiful trails near her home and fishing the spectacular rivers of the northern California coast.
To reach Joanna, email her at [email protected] or call (707) 465-7329
Growing up in Humboldt county helped David develop a close connection to wild places. He spent his childhood camping on the Smith River with family, hiking through redwood forests and fishing with his father, brother and grandparents in the rivers and mountain streams that define the redwood coast.
David’s work life has revolved around helping people change the world for the better and support the things they love through charitable giving. In the two decades before coming to Redwood Parks Conservancy, he worked as the head of development for a public radio station and in small town economic development.
David lives with his wife Cori, and two young daughters, Dani and Katie, just a mile from Fort Humboldt State Historic Park, one of RPC’s partner parks. He loves camping, walking and exploring some of the same places with his daughters that he experienced growing up here.
To reach David, email him at [email protected]
Joe is originally from East Tennessee, home to the Great Smoky Mountains. He arrived to redwood country in early 2019 and absolutely loves the beauty of the area.
Joe brings vast non-profit retail experience to Redwood Parks Conservancy due to his time with Great Smoky Mountains Association and Alaska Geographic. Prior to finding his dream career with public lands, he spent over 21 years helping manage theme parks. He spent over 15 years with Dollywood in Tennessee and several more years with Six Flags in Kentucky.
Joe and his wife Lisa enjoy spending their free time hiking and believe far northern California will provide the perfect opportunity for doing just that!
Debi joined Redwood Parks Association, now Redwood Parks Conservancy, in 2011 and brought over 20 years experience in the world of non-profits, including 11 years as director of Children's Miracle Network and five years as district director of Muscular Dystrophy Association, both in Oregon. She fell in love with the redwoods during a Portland marathon training run in 2005 at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, but she never imagined she would actually live and work in the area one day. Debi manages the northern visitor centers and oversees fundraising activities for the benefit of Redwood National & State Parks including Candlelight Walk, and the Prairie Creek Run in the Redwoods 5k. When she's not at work, Debi spends her time walking her dog, working out, gardening and cooking.
To reach Debi email her at [email protected] or call 707-465-7327
Kristen Zumeta, Executive Assistant
Kristen has always been an outdoors enthusiast. Reveling in the mystery and excitement of challenges like thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, The Appalachian Trail, The Colorado Trail, and many others. She also draws from her background at companies like Patagonia in helping to operate RPC.
In her home state of Virginia, Kristen studied Biology and Chemistry with a focus on Plant Sciences. She graduated from Old Dominion University in 2006 and quickly began a life of travel and long distance hiking. When she finally made her way to California in 2012, Kristen was hooked. She met her husband on the Pacific Crest Trail that year and in 2013 they decided that the Redwoods would be a perfect home base for all of their outdoor adventures.
To reach Kristen, email her at [email protected] or call 707-465-7328
Steve Simmons, Administrative Support & Technology
Steve was working with the North Coast Redwood Interpretive Association for five years and joined Redwood Parks Association, now Redwood Parks Conservancy, when the two organizations merged in 2011. A native Californian, he was an Air Force brat and moved around the country a bit, as well as a summer in Okinawa.
Steve brings a lot of real world experience to RPC, having spent many years as an automotive mechanic, construction worker, and serving in the U.S. Army. After many years of heavy labor, he had to find a new path that would allow him to work without beating his body up any further. In 2006, he graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Natural Resources, Interpretation. He uses his many skills to perform a myriad amount of duties for RPC, he has done everything from managing volunteers and seasonal staff, social media and website development, giving tours of Patrick’s Point (his favorite park) and even installing new light fixtures in the visitor centers. Steve currently assists with many administrative tasks.
Steve loves the outdoors, and as an avid motorcyclist, enjoys riding his Harley anywhere that isn’t in the city!
To reach Steve email him at [email protected]
Gary Stemper, Park Store Sales Lead
Gary grew up in southern California, eventually coming up to Humboldt for college to pursue a degree in Wildlife. He quickly fell in love with the area's unique ecosystems and the biodiversity that Humboldt county has to offer and learned to call it home. He brings unique knowledge of local watersheds as well as local plant and animal identification.
Gary spends a majority of his free time fly fishing and tying his own flies, so if he is not at the visitor center he is probably fishing the river or the ocean.