Our Team

 

Cathy Bonser, Executive Director

Cathy joined the then Redwood Parks Association in 2011 as the second Executive Director of the then-newly merged association. She now is in charge of the newly named and growing Redwood Parks Conservancy.  A fifth-generation California girl, she brings the experience gained from 34 years of service in the federal government, followed by working with the nonprofit healthcare community, and found her calling for this new position while dedicating her time to volunteering on the Board of Directors for Redwood Park Association. She works with our public land managers, directs the organization to reach goals established with the Board of Directors, and supervises the staff. Cathy has a bouncing Bichon named Bongo, grown children and grandchildren, eager to learn more about the natural world surrounding us and the true meaning of stewardship.

Joanna Di Tommaso, Development Director

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 has now become the Development Director for  Redwood Parks Conservancy.  During her off time, Joanna enjoys hiking the beautiful trails near her home and fishing the spectacular rivers of the northern California coast.

Joe Luttrell, Director of Operations

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 White, Visitor Services Manager

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 six 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.

Kristen Zumeta, Operations and Management, Redwood Parks Association

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. 

Dylan Bewley,  Assistant Director of Operations

Dylan is a California Native from Vacaville, a small town in the surrounding Bay Area. He came to Humboldt County in 2015 to attend Humboldt State University, graduating in 2017 with his degree in Sociology. Prior to joining the RPC team, Dylan worked with Friends of the Dunes, another local non-profit, doing some heavy restoration to the Manila Dunes. Dylan established a love of the land, and decided to call Humboldt home after graduation. He brought with him to RPC previous retail experience having worked for a large clothing company. That prior experience paired with a love of nature and the outdoors, made RPC a perfect place for him. Dylan joined RPC during the busy summer of 2017, and can be found running merchandise around the parks in the RPC van. When not on the clock, he enjoys cooking Sicilian food to feel closer to home. Dylan finds every day a new chance to learn from this beautiful place he calls home.

Shelby Chambers, Administrative Assistant

Shelby joined RPC in the Spring of 2016 as a seasonal Warehouse Assistant. She grew up in a small community, located in the heart of Redwood National and State Parks. After working with a local kayaking business out of Humboldt Lagoons State Park, she became passionate about getting people outdoors. Now working as an Administrative Assistant, Shelby travels throughout all locations of the park restocking merchandise, writing articles for the member newsletter, working in the Visitor Centers, and keeping up with social media accounts for the conservancy. She spends most weekends hiking through the redwood forest, along our sandy coastline, and enjoys supporting our park partners as a special event volunteer for Redwood National Park. The joy she finds in encouraging others to understand and connect with the natural environment around them makes supporting RPC’s mission the perfect dream job!

Steve Simmons, South District Manager for Redwood Parks AssociationSteve 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, 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 loves the outdoors, and as an avid motorcyclist, enjoys riding his Harley anywhere that isn’t in the city!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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