Board of Directors

Russian Riverkeeper Board


EdBurdett 1Ed Burdett

Ed worked in investment banking for 39 years raising money for State and local projects.  He specialized in utility financing and worked for a number of city, county and irrigation district issuers on a variety of clean water, wastewater, water storage and water conveyance projects.  He retired as a Managing Director from Bank of America.  He has been a Russian River watershed landowner since 1989 and moved up permanently in 2010. He is now focusing on making wine and olive oil.  A former triathlete and marathoner, Ed now stays active biking and rowing.


Paul Dolan

Paul Dolan believes that business leaders can help make a better world, and he sees Mendocino County, California, as fertile ground to grow this vision. In Paul’s time at Fetzer Vineyards he led a transformation that put the company at the forefront of organic viticulture and business sustainability and continues to his efforts to improve sustainability. His ultimate intention is to develop the agricultural community into an example of sustainability for the rest of the business world. Paul’s passion is winegrowing at his family’s Dark Horse Ranch in Mendocino County near the Russian River.

ruth wilsonRuth Wilson

Ruth moved to the Bay Area in the late 1980’s, where she worked with early stage software startup companies for more than 20 years. She and her husband moved to Healdsburg in 2010, and although she still does some software consulting, she is becoming increasingly involved with efforts to preserve and protect the both Dry Creek Valley and the Russian River Watershed as a board member of the Dry Creek Valley Association and Russian Riverkeeper.

Brian Burwell 
Board Member

Brian is a partner in Bridgespan’s San Francisco office. He joined Bridgespan to follow his passion and commitment to make a difference on critical social issues including the environment, education and healthcare.

Brian’s focus at Bridgespan has been with both nonprofit organizations and with leading foundations, philanthropists and collaboratives. Brian is also leading Bridgespan’s multi-year initiative designed to work with nonprofit organizations to strengthen their business models for impact and to build organizational effectiveness.

Brian brings extensive management consulting experience working with some of the world’s leading corporations and nonprofit organizations on strategy, execution, organization, and leadership. Brian’s experience has spanned six continents and numerous sectors, including education, the environment, healthcare, consumer products, retail, and hospitality.

Prior to joining Bridgespan Brian spent over 35 years as a partner at Marakon, a strategy and organization consulting firm, where he also served as CEO and was a member of its San Francisco, London, New York, and Melbourne offices. Prior to Marakon, Brian was a research manager with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and an economist with an environmental research group at the University of California, Davis.

Brian is deeply involved with sports, charitable, and educational organizations. He is the chair of the Dean’s advisory council at the University of California, Davis, on the boards of Russian Riverkeeper and Actify, a San Francisco based software company, and continues to serve as a senior advisor for Marakon.

Brian received his AA from Santa Rosa Junior College, BA in economics from the University of California at Davis and MBA from Stanford University. He and his wife, Beatrice are the parents of three adult sons, and grandparents of two girls and a boy.

Julien Gervreau 
Board Member

A Sonoma County native, Julien grew up on the Russian River near Digger’s Bend in Healdsburg where he gained a deep appreciation for the role the river plays in our region’s psyche. Julien is the Director of Sustainability at Jackson Family Wines where his main areas of focus include setting strategies and tactical implementation of water and energy efficiency, onsite renewable energy generation, GHG emissions reductions, and waste diversion for the company’s California and Oregon operations. He has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco and is passionate about designing, developing and managing sustainable business systems that enhance the triple bottom line of economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social equity. Julien lives in Cloverdale with his wife and two young children, where they all share a tandem kayak that needs two additional seats!

Marc Kahn
Board Member

Originally from Northeast Ohio, Marc received his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati and graduate degree at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After internships with the Urban Institute and Council of State Community Affairs Agencies, he embarked in a career as a writer and editor for a leading housing publication in Washington, D.C, which focused on federal housing programs, community development, taxation, and legislation. He co-founded the Bancroft Foundation in 1999 to concentrate his energies on environmental and water quality issues, land conservation and stewardship, and education. Since permanently moving to Sonoma County in 2015, Marc has increased the Bancroft Foundation’s portfolio to include mental health issues, workforce development, and diversity and youth leadership in the environmental movement.

KarenKlineKaren Kline
Board Member

Karen grew up in St. Louis, MO, in a family whose concern for the environment led to recycling paper and “tin” cans as far back as the 1950s.  Although she never lost her interest in the environment, her passion has been leadership education for women.  Thus she has made a career of volunteer service in the not-for-profit sector with organizations supporting young people.  Because of this passion, she was asked to lead a $1,000,000 campaign to fund a leadership education endowment.  She then took a 5-year “hiatus” from volunteer service to become Director of Development for Amigos de las Americas in Houston, TX.  Since moving to Healdsburg in 2011, while still involved in developing future leaders, her life-long desire to help preserve the environment has returned as a major interest.

VSMpic_0Virginia Strom-Martin
Board Member

Virginia is a former assemblymember having served the 1st Assembly District from 1996-2002. She taught elementary school in Santa Rosa for 23 years prior to her election. While in the Assembly, she chaired the Joint Legislative Fisheries and Aquaculture Committee, the Budget Resources Sub-Committee, and the Education Committee. In 2000-2010 she served on the North Coast Blue Ribbon Task Force for the Marine Life Protection Act. Virginia has lived on the Russian River in Duncans Mills for 40 years this July and is a 5th generation North Coast resident. Her wish is to see that our precious and life-sustaining environments remain pristine for generations to come.


Jill Fisher Young
Board Member

Jill has spent many years in California helping to brand and market consumer products, wineries, hospitality and real estate businesses, in addition to Pro-Bono work for the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Ballet and the Napa Valley Wine Auction and Grace Cathedral. Jill fell in love with Healdsburg and the Dry Creek Valley and in 2007 she and her husband, Jay, purchased their home on West Dry Creek Road.

Jill’s experience has included virtually everything involved in the creation and implementation of marketing and promotional programs. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati, in addition to a full fellowship from Yale School of Music and Art and she was also awarded the Wilder Traveling Scholarship for studies in Europe.

Gardening and growing Sauvignon Blanc is a passion for Jill. In addition to serving on the DCVA Outreach and Valley Protection Committee, she also was a Raven Theatre board member for 3 years. She has been a guest lecturer for the Academy of Art and the University of San Francisco. Jill was Vice President of San Francisco’s Fort Mason Community Garden for nine years. She is an equestrian and a member of the Hannovarian Society since 1978, raising and breeding Hannovarians. She is an active member of the California Water Color Association and has exhibited in museums and numerous local and national juried show.

Founders of Friends of the Russian River – 1993

MArty Hop KilnMarty youngerDr. Marty Griffin (Pictures courtesy of Bay Nature Magazine & Adubon Canyon Ranch)

Marty Griffin grew up spending time on the Russian River and later bought the historic Hop Kiln Winery south of Healdsburg along the Russian River. Marty quickly realized how out of control gravel mining was in the 1970’s and 1980’s and organized a number of groups to combat the negative effects of gravel mining on the health of the Russian River including the Westside Road Winery Task Force and then Friends of the Russian River with an intention to have a full-time organization dedicated to protecting the health of the Russian River. Marty was responsible for recruiting the current Russian Riverkeeper, Don McEnhill, to become the full-time advocate for the Russian River. Marty served on the board of FORR and Riverkeeper until 2006 and continues to inspire young advocates through his work with Audubon Canyon Ranch in Bolinas.

Joan Vilms Joan Vilms
Joan is a nationally recognized land preservation expert and avid paddler of the Russian River. Joan served almost 8 years as President of the Board and presided over the creation of the Russian Riverkeeper program, which is now the name of the organization. Joan continues to enjoy the fruits of her labor paddling on the Russian River with long-time contributor to Riverkeeper work Peeter Vilms.





David Bolling David Bolling
Another avid paddler, David went on after founding Friends of the Russian River to write the acclaimed book for River Network, “How to Save a River” that has guided a generation of river advocates to be effective voices for their Rivers. David now works as editor to the Sonoma Index Tribune.



Albert Slenderbrock

Albert helped with all the details of organizing FORR into a formal non-profit organization and was critical to many early successes at FORR.


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