Great Peninsula Conservancy Board of Director Biographies, 2008-2009 July 30, 2008 Phil Best, Silverdale Phil has been an attorney in Kitsap County since 1967, with an emphasis in real property, environmental, and land use issues. Phil also represents the Port of Silverdale. In 1969, he helped found and was the first president of Hood Canal Environmental Council. He was also a founder and first president of Kitsap Land Trust in the 1980s, and has served on the Great Peninsula Conservancy board since its beginning in 2000. Phil served a term as Kitsap County Commissioner from 1995-1998, and has served on the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, Washington State Land Use Study Commission, Puget Sound Regional Council, and the Kitsap Open Space Council. After carrying a high profile as a County Commissioner, Phil is enjoying getting back to the land – actually walking GPC properties and doing hands on work. Phil enjoys photography and is a life-long resident of Kitsap County (Silverdale, Seabeck, and Chico). Gary A. Cunningham, Seabeck An attorney in Bremerton, Gary graduated from Yale University and the University of Washington School of Law. He was a founding member of Kitsap Land Trust – one of the four predecessors of Great Peninsula Conservancy, serving first as secretary and later as president from 1989-2000. He also served as the first president of Great Peninsula Conservancy. Gary led the merger process that created Great Peninsula Conservancy in 2000, and has been on the board since then. He donates his legal services for conservation transactions at GPC. Gary is active with the Bremerton Rotary and Hood Canal Environmental Council. He retired from the board of Olympic Peninsula Kidney Center in 2007 after helping to found the nonprofit in 1980 and serving for 28 years. Gary enjoys golf, travel, skiing, swimming, hiking, and backpacking. He has lived on Hood Canal at Seabeck for more than 40 years. John Dickson, Gig Harbor John's interest in conservation stems from a lifetime of activities in the outdoors. As a young boy, he enjoyed exploring around Lake Michigan. He later lived in Colorado and New Zealand, where he hiked and climbed extensively. Living in Washington since 1975, he has sailed all over Puget Sound, climbed all of the area’s glaciated peaks, and enjoyed the overall magnificence of the Northwest. John taught at five different universities and was dean of the business schools at Eastern Washington University and the University of Puget Sound, where he continues as a professor emeritus of marketing. He brings valuable marketing and organizational leadership experience to the GPC Board. His late wife, Sarah, was one of the early board members of Peninsula Heritage Land Trust – one of GPC’s predecessor land trusts, and he is carrying on where she left off. John joined GPC’s board in 2007, and hopes to leave a land legacy for future generations. Rick Fackler, Seattle Rick is a lifelong advocate for open space preservation. He spent most of his career as a park planner, acquiring open space lands and building trails in Whatcom and Kitsap counties, and the city of Bellingham. While in Bellingham, he was actively involved in several successful bond and levy campaigns, raising money to purchase open space lands. He also served on the board of Whatcom Land Trust for several years. In 1996, Rick moved to Kitsap County to serve as the coordinator of the county’s Open Space Program. While working for Kitsap County Parks, he helped acquire more than 4,000 acres of open space land, including two and a half miles of saltwater waterfront. He retired from Kitsap County Parks in 2003, and now works part-time as a park planning consultant. Rick joined the GPC board in 2007. He enjoys traveling and playing with his grandson. Dave Gitch, Poulsbo Dave retired as President/CEO of Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton in 2004. Prior to that, he was the chief executive at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. A supporter of Kitsap Land Trust – one of the predecessors of Great Peninsula Conservancy – Dave was instrumental in obtaining permission for Clear Creek Trail to cross Harrison Medical Center’s campus in Silverdale. Dave is a board member of the Bremerton Symphony Endowment Fund, Olympic Peninsula Kidney Center, Lutheran Community Services Northwest Foundation, Washington Health Foundation, Kitsap Bank, and Olympic Workforce Development Council. He is also a member of the Bremerton Rotary. Dave joined the board of Great Peninsula Conservancy in 2001, where his interests include planning, fiscal decision making, conservation strategy, and visioning. Dave enjoys reading and outdoor activities. He and his wife Sue have lived in Poulsbo since 1991. John Lantz, Gig Harbor John has a long history of corporate, entrepreneurial, and community involvement, with a special affinity for environmental protection. He earned a B.A. from Stanford University and M.B.A. from University of California, Berkeley. Through 1977, John held executive positions with Weyerhaeuser, General Electric, and IBM. From 1979 until his retirement in 2007, John was president of Lucks Food Decorating Company of Tacoma. Along with 22 other elected Freeholders, he wrote the Home Rule Charter for Pierce County. John joined GPC’s board in 2003, and currently is president of Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. He has been a board member of Tacoma Community College, Tacoma Art Museum, a member of Tacoma/Pierce County’s Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Board, and a charter member of the City Club of Tacoma. John enjoys skiing, kayaking, and travel. John is a long-time resident of Raft Island with his wife Pat (a State Representative). They have three grown children and five grandchildren. Bruce Macdonald, Vaughn In the heady days of television Bruce was on both sides of the camera – working as a reporter, producer, and writer for local and state public television. He also worked a stint in the mussel farming industry. He currently manages his family’s business, Macdonald Building Company, which manages properties and other investments. Bruce was an active member and leader of Peninsula Heritage Land Trust – one of the four predecessors of Great Peninsula Conservancy. He has held several positions, including State Chairman, for Washington Ducks Unlimited, serves on the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Art Committee, and is president of Key Peninsula Civic Center (Vaughn). Bruce joined Great Peninsula Conservancy’s board in 2002. His areas of interest with GPC include building relationships with the business community, identifying mutually beneficial partnerships, and developing marketing strategies. Bruce is an avid bird hunter and fisherman, and is a resident of the community of Vaughn, on the Key Peninsula. John H. Nelson, Kingston John was born in Chicago and received his B.S. and M.S. from Purdue University. After a stint in the Army, he completed a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Minnesota. His career began as a scientist with General Mills in research/development and quality control. He finished his career as Chief Technical Officer at McCormick & Co., Inc. (the spice maker). John and his wife, Linda Benedict, moved to Indianola from Roanoke, VA in 1996 and quickly joined the Indianola Land Trust– one of GPC’s four predecessor land trusts. John joined the Great Peninsula Conservancy Board in 2001 to contribute his management and strategic planning skills. As a "city kid," he enjoyed exploring Chicago's Forest Preserves and lakefront which are protected in perpetuity. Celia Parrott, Belfair Celia began her career as a high school English teacher in Michigan. In mid-career, she returned to college and earned a B.S. in nursing. After working as a nurse for several years, Celia returned to teaching as a health educator with South Kitsap School District. She retired in 2006. Celia was a founding member of Hood Canal Land Trust and served as its first president from 1986-1990. Celia served on the first board of Great Peninsula Conservancy from 2000 to 2004, and came back on the board in 2007. As a land trust veteran, Celia enjoys working with people – whether they are volunteers, landowners, or interested community members. Celia has a longtime interest in stewardship, and chairs GPC’s Stewardship Committee. Celia devotes her spare time to her horse and dog. She and her husband Gary moved to this area in 1977, and live on the Hood Canal in Belfair. Sidnie Shaffer, Bremerton Sidnie works as a leadership development officer for Habitat for Humanity International, and spent nearly a decade with The Wilderness Society as a senior director of fundraising. Sidnie has also worked as a private fundraising consultant, led planning, program and fundraising processes for the Pierce County Arts Commission, and administered Tacoma’s Broadway Theatre District Capital Campaign of 1989-1991. In service to her community, Sidnie has donated much time as a board member for Earth Share of Washington, and was a founding board member and volunteer for Tacoma’s Hilltop Artists in Residence program. In addition to her 23 years of non-profit management experience, Sidnie has deep appreciation and understanding of Puget Sound’s ecosystems. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany from the University of Washington. Sidnie enjoys skiing, ski mountaineering, hiking and climbing in her native Pacific Northwest Cascades and Olympics. Ken Van Buskirk, Belfair Ken was a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service and Olympic National Forest for nearly 30 years, and now manages the Davis Farm outside of Belfair with his family. Ken has deep roots in Mason County and has a long history of serving his community. He graduated from North Mason High School and Olympic College, served on the Theler Center Board of Directors (2001-2003), North Mason School Board (2003-2007), Belfair Sub-Area Planning Group (2001-2003), and has also been active with the League of Women Voters of Mason County. Ken joined the board of Great Peninsula Conservancy in 2008, bringing extensive knowledge of working forests and farmlands. Ken and his family care so deeply about conserving forest and farmland that they have worked with GPC to permanently preserve their own farm and forestlands. Ken and his wife Peggy (Davis) enjoy being close to their extended family, including one grandchild.
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