2019 Sierra State Parks Foundation Board of Directors
Lolly Kupec, President
Lolly Kupec is the principal of Wild West Communications Group and has designed award-winning marketing materials for local, regional, and national clients, as well as Tahoe City’s sidewalk lights and gateway signage. She completed the North Lake Tahoe Community Wayfinding Signage Design Standards Manual and the Wayfinding Sign Site Master Plan. She has served as chairperson of the Fund Development and Marketing committees and is the mastermind behind our signature fundraising events and marketing materials.
Rob Weston, Vice President
Rob Weston, the retired owner of West Shore Sports, is known and respected throughout the Tahoe community for his passionate support of the Sierra State Parks. Rob’s longstanding involvement with environmental and preservation efforts in the Tahoe Basin have been a great service to our community. Rob is currently serving as the Olympic Snow Trails Grooming Program Coordinator and is chairperson of our Fund Development Committee.
Barton Tretheway, Treasurer
Barton Tretheway has had a passion for all things Lake Tahoe since he first visited in 1946. Though Chicago, Illinois is his primary residency he and his wife Jennifer enjoy several months winter and summer at their home in Rubicon Bay. In addition to having been an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Barton is founder and Managing Partner of Rubicon Solutions Group and a nationally recognized expert in strategy, governance and new product/service development. He serves on several nonprofit boards, and is immediate past chair of the Medic Alert Foundation International. “Our seven Lake Tahoe and Donner state parks are public treasures and I am committed to the work of the Foundation to ensure these parks will be here for current as well as future generations to enjoy”. Barton serves as the Foundation’s Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee.
Rosalee “Rosie” Smith, Secretary
Rosalee (Rosie) Smith has been visiting Tahoe since 1945 when she camped with her family at D.L. Bliss State Park. This began her love for the California State Parks at Lake Tahoe. She has had a cabin on Tahoe’s West Shore since 1968 and makes it her summer home now. She volunteered to help in the parks in 2000 and has been involved ever since with Living History Day at Sugar Pine Point State Park. She is a docent at the Vikingsholm and Ehrman mansions and also volunteers at the Sierra State Park Visitor Centers. Her passion for the parks led her to a position on the SSPF Board in 2010. Rosie serves as the board secretary and chairperson of our Events Committee.
Susan Grove, Board Member
Susan Grove retired after a 28 year career as a California State Park Ranger and Superintendent. She is dedicated to the Sierra State Parks and the increased quality in life they bring to park visitors, school children, and local business people. She loves to spend time in nature and is an avid hiker and camper. Susan is a native Californian and has personally visited over 200 California State Parks.
Barbara Hawn, Board Member
Barb is honored to join the Sierra State Parks Foundation board and to work with such committed and dedicated patrons of state parks. She says, “I look forward to sharing the mission of state parks and SSPF to the Northern Nevada community.” Barb was introduced to SSPF by attending an event at Vikingsholm. Her family has many treasured memories and celebrations spent at our Sierra State Parks. Barb brings a depth of fund-raising and community organizing experience. Barb is the chairperson of the Marketing Committee and also serves She serves on our Fund Development Committee.
Mike Levin, Board Member
Michael Levin has owned a home on the West Shore since 1998 and after retirement moved here in 2016. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and walking the dog, especially through Sugar Pine Point State Park. He joined the board in 2018 with the hopes of preserving and enhancing the beauty of public space in Tahoe, and keeping the Lake accessible to everyone.
Norma Santiago, Board Member
Originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico, Norma came to California in the early ’70s and holds a bachelors of science degree from UC Berkeley in business administration with an emphasis is in organizational behavior and marketing. Norma served as El Dorado County Supervisor from 2005 to 2010 representing District 5. During her tenure as County Supervisor she focused on many issues including economic and workforce development, sustainable communities, forest management, transportation and environmental redevelopment to name a few. Norma uses this experience in her consulting business, Catalytic Connections which focuses on bringing together key partners towards building solutions and implementing projects that provide and economic, environmental, and social benefit. She is the chairperson of our Washoe Meadows Advisory Committee.
Paul Verke, Board Member
Paul brings 25 years of experience in writing, editing and community outreach to SSPF. He has served as a communications professional for the State of California since 1994. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a master’s degree in English from CSU Sacramento. A native Californian and lifelong backcountry skier, hiker and outdoor enthusiast, whenever possible Paul travels into the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. He is a native of Fair Oaks, CA.
Jerry Blackwill, Past President
Jerry is active in the Truckee community and serves as Vice President of Strategic Planning for the Truckee Donner Railroad Society. He served on the advisory committee that helped the California Department of Parks and Recreation set up the SnoPark program. He was chair of the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter Nordic Ski Section and led nordic ski trips and backpacks to Yosemite, Yellowstone and throughout the Sierras. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from UCLA. Jerry serves as SSPF treasurer and, most recently, as Board President from 2013-2017.
Dr. Larry Bienati, Board Advisor
Larry Bienati joined the Board in 2008 and became its president in 2010. He has been a resident of Homewood for 20 years. Larry has served as a corporate management consultant for many leading organizations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. He has held faculty positions at Saint Mary’s College and California State University at Sacramento at the graduate level. He is a passionate supporter of the Sierra State Parks and refers to them as the “oasis of the spirit”.
Kate Shaw JD, Board Advisor
Kate is the principal of KLS Law in Tahoe City specializing in estate planing and the various benefits it can provide to families and individuals. She will able to help you leave a legacy with our parks that will benefit future generations.
Kate is originally from Jackson, Wyoming. She earned a BA in Law and Society from UC Santa Barbara in 2001, and her law degree from Seattle University in 2005. Kate is licensed to practice law in both Washington State and California. A former competitor on the National Freeskiing tour, Kate is your typical ski bum with a law degree.
Dr. Helen Smith, Board Advisor
It is a great pleasure to have Dr. Helen Smith participating as a Board Advisor of the Sierra State Parks Foundation. Dr. Smith has devoted a lifetime of tireless advocacy for the preservation of the Vikingsholm mansion. She spent 14 summers of her youth as a guest of the original owner, Lora Knight. She spent many years conducting tours of the mansion for park visitors and continues to work closely with the State Parks to maintain the mansion as well as perserve the legacy of this fabulous site. She is the foremost historian on all things Vikingsholm, and has published an excellent guide that is now sold throughout the Tahoe region.
Dick Read, Board Advisor
Dick has been a resident of Homewood for 50 years. During his Real Estate career, he became involved with many supportive community organizations including the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Sierra State Parks Foundation where he was on the Board of Directors for 45 years serving as a member and treasurer. Dick’s special interest is supporting the preservation and legacy of the Sierra State Parks historic buildings. His experience and knowledge about the Sierra State Parks continue to be an important benefit to this foundation.