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About RRI

Since 1985, Resource Renewal Institute has facilitated the creation, development, and implementation of practical strategies to solve environmental problems in a comprehensive framework. With over fifty years of experience in business, government, and nonprofit sectors, RRI founder Huey D. Johnson favors a diverse focus on many environmental issues. RRI maintains a streamlined organizational structure and works with expert consultants from around the world.

Staff Selections

Huey D. Johnson, Founder and President
Environmentalist Huey D. Johnson founded Resource Renewal Institute following his service as California Secretary of Resources in the Brown Administration (1978 -1982). His pioneering policy, Investing for Prosperity, was one of the first comprehensive and long-term environmental plans in existence. Since the early 1990's, when the first nation-scale environmental policies appeared in the Netherlands and New Zealand, Mr. Johnson has promoted these and other Green Plans. He remains an authority on the subject and the third edition of his book, Green Plans: Blueprint for Sustainable Earth, was published in 2008 by University of Nebraska Press.
Elizabeth J. D. Baker, Vice President
Elizabeth J. D. Baker manages RRI programs including climate change and communications strategy and the River Warrior awards. Raised in California, Ms. Baker studied environmental science at Williams College. She served as RRI's representative to the UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen in 2009 by joining the Green Belt Movement delegation of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai. While in Copenhagen, Ms. Baker coordinated media, logistics, and outreach for Professor Maathai. A former manager of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, Ms. Baker's interests in food and food policy are equaled only by her love of music and performing opera with the company she co-founded, Open Opera.

Consultants

Lynn M. Alexander, Program Coordinator, Elders Storytelling Project
Lynn M. Alexander is an environmental planner and principal of LMA Consulting. She has worked with a wide range of federal, state and local agencies, special districts, consulting firms and non-profits. Lynn is a long-time member of the American Planning Association (APA) and a certified planner since 1992. She has served on the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) board of directors and conference committees and has coordinated several conferences and workshops. Recent projects have involved analyses of renewable and natural gas energy projects for state licensing. Lynn holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from California State University and an M.S. in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco. She is currently working on a second Council of Elders' project for RRI that focuses on U.S. government subsidy reform.
Nancy Graalman, Director, Defense of Place
Nancy M. Graalman's commitment to protecting natural places arose from her sense of place and belonging to the red-earth plains, Cimarron River and Gypsum Hills that surround her hometown of Fairview in Northwestern Oklahoma. After majoring in German at Oklahoma State University, she earned a master's in journalism from the University of Arizona. Her professional career includes 20 years as a medical and science writer in Tucson, Boise and San Francisco, where she has lived since 1981. During a drive past Sonoma County's Pepperwood Ranch Preserve in January 1997, she saw a realtor's sign announcing "37 Home sites for Sale," a betrayal of the deed upon which Pepperwood had been granted to the California Academy of Sciences in 1980. Ms. Graalman initiated a public plea to stop the Academy, and through Huey Johnson's intervention and founding of Defense of Place, Pepperwood was saved. Ms. Graalman is the Principal in Bay Laurel Communications, which focuses on health, science and conservation issues.
Tom Hicks, Instream Project Director
Tom Hicks is a California attorney and author of a tax-water law memo on permanent donative instream water transfers, soon to be published in UC Hastings' West-Northwest Journal. Before law school Mr. Hicks was an energy and water policy analyst at the Natural Heritage Institute and the founder and Executive Director of the Headwaters Institute. He has interned at the San Francisco Office of the City Attorney, California State Water Resources Control Board, and American Rivers (DC). Tom chaired the inaugural California Water Law Symposium and is now a board member. Tom is a former whitewater raft guide and Colorado Outward Bound instructor. He holds a JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law and a BA from the University of Vermont.
Dr. Bernard Shanks, Council of Elders
Dr. Bernard Shanks, a fellow of the Resource Renewal Institute, has studied the six main stem Missouri River dams for over four decades.  He has worked for the USGS, served as Director of the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife and advised CA and AZ governors on land and wildlife policy.  The author of three books on public land policy and related subjects, he is now completing a book on the hazards of the Missouri River dams.
Steven Steinhour, Climate Resiliency Project Director
Steve Steinhour is developing RRI’s Extreme Weather Resilience Project.  After graduating from Stanford University and Yale Law School, Steve served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps.  He returned to California and joined the staff of The Nature Conservancy, eventually becoming the Western Regional Vice President for TNC.  Later he served as Deputy Director of the California State Park System.  Returning to the conservation sector, he directed the national public land program for the Trust for Public Land.

Beginning in 1992, Steve had senior management positions in the commercial wind energy industry.  He focused on analyzing both environmental and regulatory issues for potential commercial wind facilities in the United States and Western Canada.  To date, he has supervised all environmental studies and secured all regulatory compliances for construction of over 600 MW of new wind energy projects in the states of Wyoming, Washington and Oregon.
Laci Videmsky, Project Director, New California Water Atlas
Using technology and new forms of community engagement, Laci explores innovative ways to activate citizens to participate in changing government. Currently, Laci is working on a web-based platform for the state of California that makes water understandable, data accessible, and underrepresented communities included in the ongoing water debate. Laci’s education and professional experiences have focused on designing appropriate and equitable solutions for the physical and virtual world. As an architect and product designer, Videmsky has worked with NGOs and non-profit sponsored projects that promote environmentally resilient, economically vital, and socially aware places and things. Laci holds a Masters degree in Architecture from Harvard University. videmsky@gmail.com

Vincent Tremblay, Elders Videographer and Editor
Vincent Tremblay is an independent filmmaker based in Berkeley. After graduating from Hampshire College in Massachusetts, Vincent moved to California to work as a video producer for CNET, utilizing a one-man crew approach to creating content involving technology and science. Vincent shoots video interviews and creates media pieces for GreenTech Media, CBS, and Sony Entertainment. He currently is the lead videographer and editor for RRI’s larger Environmental Elders Storytelling Project, and leads a team of two other assistant editors in the process. vltremblay@gmail.com

Lauren Veen, Associate Video Editor
Lauren is a film editor and videographer based in Oakland. She graduated from Brown University with BA in History, earned Masters in Education at Mills College, and taught for many years in Bay Area public schools. Since completing a certificate program in digital filmmaking at San Francisco State University, Lauren has created promotional videos and documentary pieces for Bay Area non-profits and cooperatives. She operates camera for Director/Producer Vanessa Workman's environmental documentary "Three Hungry Teens" and is currently working on a documentary of her own.

Board of Directors

Annette Gellert
Trustee, The Fred Gellert Foundation
Bill Bryan
Founder, Off the Beaten Path
Yvon Chouinard
Chairman, Lost Arrow Foundation
Found and President, Patagonia, Inc., Chouinard Equipment Ltd., and Great Pacific Iron Works
Christian P. Erdman, Treasurer
Vice President, Ulupalakua Ranch, Inc.
Trustee, Carol Buck Sells Foundation
Bern Shanks
Former Director, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
Huey D. Johnson
Founder and President, Resource Renewal Institute
Former Secretary for Natural Resources, State of California
Founder and former President, The Trust for Public Land
Ron Lovitt
Attorney, Lovitt & Hannan, Inc.

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