The San Mateo County Parks Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors and has a small staff. Through grants and contributions from individuals, foundations and businesses, the Parks Foundation provides additional financial support for Park recreational, environmental and educational programs and projects.
Mary DeLong, Chair
Ms. DeLong has been a docent for the Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve for 18 years and served on its board for 10 years. She has always been an advocate for ocean protection. She enjoys hiking, gardening and photography. She lives in Montara with her husband and two dogs.
Katy Rhoades, Vice Chair
Ms. Rhoades has devoted herself to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities. Her work on behalf of disabled people includes serving on the San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities, the Health Plan of San Mateo, the Meals on Wheels Coalition, New Beginning Coalition and the Second Harvest Food Bank. Katy has also worked with the California Children Services and the Far-West Wheelchair Sports Association.
Justin Knowles, Secretary
Mr. Knowles lives in Hillsborough and is a business executive at the Oracle Corporation. He enjoys mountaineering, hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking. He also serves as a board member of the Trail Center, a frequent San Mateo County Parks partner, where he regularly leads volunteer crews to build hiking trails.
Heather Hardy, Treasurer
Ms. Hardy is the Administrative Services Manager of the County Counsel’s Office of the County of San Mateo. A novice hiker and an avid reader, she also serves as Treasurer of the Friends of the Redwood City Library. Heather has been known to remark that the County Parks were among the first friends she made when she moved to the Bay Area from Austin, Texas in 2010.
Susan Eliot Briggs
Ms. Briggs is a product management and marketing executive and is currently working as the Vice President of Product at VolunteerMatch in San Francisco. She brings with her skills in product management, business development and partnerships, strategic planning, and teamwork. She has held positions at Baynote, Move Inc., and numerous tech companies in Silicon Valley including Yahoo and Netscape. She has had previous board experience with the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation and the Las Lomitas Education Foundation. She has been a consultant for nonprofits such as the Taproot Foundation and One Million Lights.
Lyndall Erb, PhD
Ms. Erb is an active member of the San Mateo County Volunteer Horse Patrol, scheduling for the Jack Brooks Horse Camp in Sam McDonald County Park and has held or is currently serving in a leadership capacity for numerous equestrian groups, including Los Viajeros Riding, Equestrian Trail Riders Action Committee (ETRAC), Coastside Horse Council and the Woodside-area Horse Owners Association (WHOA). She volunteers with Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. She is a member of the board for Portola Estates Owners Assoc and is currently Vice President of Bay Area Barns and Trails.
Roger joined the San Mateo County Park Foundation Board in 2017. After completing college and a short period of teaching at Chabot College, a position at the San Francisco Zoo caught his attention. He decided to take this new direction combining education with his primary focus of animals, nature and environmental stewardship. Throughout a thirty-plus year career at the zoo, Roger found many outlets for his interests as a curator and as head of zoo operations. Now retired, Roger is seeking to support local organizations with a similar mission of creating opportunities for discovery and awareness. As a current board member and docent for the Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and a board member for The HEAL Project he has applied his background in informal environmental interpretation to this end. As a Board member for the Parks Foundation, Roger brings to the organization this same enthusiasm for connecting individuals, especially young visitors, with uniquely meaningful experiences.
Mr. Laguna currently serves as the Senior Director of Digital Analytics at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and has spent over 15 years working in the high tech space in Silicon Valley. A long time resident of San Mateo County, Jorge is an avid hiker and backpacker and is also involved in San Mateo youth recreation as a coach and volunteer for local city sports leagues. Mr. Laguna holds an MBA in information technology management from the University of California, Irvine and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Mr. Pfeister is an Executive at Salesforce and lives in San Mateo county. As an avid outdoorsman and Eagle Scout he enjoys making our parks and open spaces accessible to others, with a particular focus on camping, hiking and skiing. He is also a leader within Cub Scouts and frequent visitor of the San Mateo County Parks.
Mr. Pine currently serves as San Mateo County Supervisor, representing District 1, and sits on numerous county and regional boards and commissions including: the SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission; the SF Bay Restoration Authority; the Association of Bay Area Governments; the San Mateo County First Five Commission; and the Health Plan of San Mateo. Mr. Pine has been active in a wide variety of civic and nonprofit organizations including: The Committee for Green Foothills; Community GatePath; the San Mateo County Transportation Authority Citizens Advisory Committee; and the San Mateo County Blue Ribbon Autism Task Force.
Ms. Skinner is a Bay Area marketing executive, writer and avid outdoor explorer. She is Wilderness First Aid-certified and serves the parks as both a Devil’s Slide Trail Ambassador and as a volunteer naturalist for the Friends of Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. She lives in Moss Beach, along the San Mateo County coast.
Mr. Wood is an REI Outdoor School instructor. A few years ago, his discovery of geocaching transformed him from a generally sedentary fellow into an active outdoor enthusiast. Today, Steve teaches REI Outdoor School courses in GPS navigation and geocaching. He is also a founding member of Geocachers of the Bay Area, a regional club with thousands of members
Michele Beasley, Executive Director
Ms. Beasley is a San Mateo County native and has dedicated her career to creating sustainable and equitable communities. Prior to becoming the Executive Director of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation in 2015, Ms. Beasley spent 11 years as Greenbelt Alliance’s Regional Director in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. She has also worked as an advocate for the homeless in Contra Costa County and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana supporting eco-tourism efforts in the late 1990s. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College of California.
Thomas Beck, Database Manager
Thomas has a long history of working and volunteering at non-profits and is an avid hiker.