CSMC Board of Directors

Board Member Biographies


Denyse Frischmuth (President) worked on International Business Development with software and hardware companies in Silicon Valley. She also did International Market Research at NASA/Ames where she authored “Potential Use of Tiltrotor Aircraft in Canadian Aviation.”

Denyse has volunteered as a court appointed advocate for children (CASA) in the Monterey County court dependency system, as a tutor in the America Reads Program, and as a business mentor to youth at risk.  She is a past Board member of the United Nations Association of the USA, where she remains a very active member.

Her environmental work has included organizational leadership in campaigns for curbside recycling, solar panels on new commercial buildings, and a workplace carpooling program. Denyse joined CSMC shortly after its creation and has contributed leadership for the establishment of the local sustainability groups under its umbrella.

Denyse holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Laval University in Québec, and has done graduate work in Linguistics at the U. of Illinois. She was a 2007 recipient of the Woman of the Year award by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

Ruth Smith (Vice President) grew up in a small farming community in the San Joaquin Valley. After High School she worked in the fields packing fruit.

She graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Philosophy in the late 1970’s. She taught Math Anxiety, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology and General Biology at Fresno State University and Fresno City College. She worked as a Cytogenetic Technologist at Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno, retiring in 1987 to become a homemaker. She has two grown children.

A concern about the negative repercussions of our fossil fuel dependence convinced her that we could do better. To that end she became one of the founding members of Sustainable Monterey County.

Ellen Gannon (Treasurer) first joined sustainable organizations upon returning to the U.S. in 1994. After living in Japan in the 70′s and Hong Kong, China and Tibet from 1985-1994, she began to understand food as medicine, health, and life, and dependent on the quality of air, water, and soil balanced with sun.

Her volunteer efforts are focused on restoring balance to our planet, the relationship to nature and insuring perpetuation of our planet for future generations.

She is a member of the Sustainable Carmel Steering Committee, Central Coast Sanctuary Alliance, CERT certified volunteer, Sustainable Pacific Grove Community Garden, Monterey Peninsula Volunteer Service, Women’s Council of Realtors, NAR, CAR, MCAR, Professional Women’s Network, the American Massage Therapy Association, and the Zero Balancing Health Association.

Karin Locke (Secretary and Co-Treasurer) has been a resident of Pacific Grove since 1967 and graduated as a re-entry student from the University of California Santa Cruz with a double BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies. She is married, has one daughter and two grandchildren. Retired from Monterey County Department of Social and Employment Services, her interests are founded in her work on poverty, specifically hunger issues, and its effects on people. Karin is a past Pacific Grove Library board member with a strong belief that reading and literacy are fundamental to moving families out of poverty. While working for the County she mentored people to stay in school and become educated.

Always a gardener and a lover of nature, she is the CSMC Community Gardens Regional Project Coordinator, with a simple goal of developing community through gardens, where people have the opportunity to grow fresh, affordable, organic food.  Her aim is to see community gardens in all of Monterey County, as a means for increasing community safety, for contributing to neighborhood vitality and stability, and for building community through social inclusion and self-reliance.

Other Board Members

Catherine Crockett (Webmaster) resides in Seaside and is a member of Sustainable Seaside’s Steering Committee.  She is a Core Group member of hOURbank of Monterey County, a regional project of CSMC that provides an alternate, time-based, local economy for its members.  She also serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Monterey Peace and Justice Center.  She advocates for environmental sustainability and social justice, believing that the pursuit of social and environmental goals are best guided by basic human needs and the health of the planet, rather than by unbridled consumption of natural resources and endless economic growth.  Catherine holds a B.A. in Business Computer Information Systems from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas and retired in 2013 after 32 years in Information Technology.

Robert Frischmuth serves on the Board of Directors of the Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers. He is a tour guide for California State Parks at Point Sur Lightstation, and a docent at the Point Pinos Lighthouse. Also, he has completed two terms on the Sanctuary Advisory Council of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS).

Robert draws from a broad industrial R&D background in the energy and electric power industries: Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) (15 years) – Project Manager ; Occidental Petroleum (8 years) – Section Manager, Energy R&D ; Shell Development Company (5 years) – Research Engineer, Process Development ; Plastonium, Inc. – Chief Engineer, Product and Process Development ; NASA, Lewis Research Center (6 years) – Aerospace Engineer.

He received his M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University, and his B.S. from Case Institute of Technology.

He is a member of the Sierra Club, the American Cetacean Society, Save Our Shores, the United Nations Association of the USA, and Friends of Moss Landing.

Robin Lee has a background in geology, residential construction, archeology, waste water plant operations and urban and regional development with emphasis on the community participation and community outreach components of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. (NPDES). She has done extensive bicycling including commuting, courier and touring. She has successfully pushed for inclusion of a bicycling green way to be included in the future growth area of the City of Salinas. She has also been involved in obtaining state funding for a restoration project on Santa Rita Creek managed by the Central Coast Wetlands Group. She is a founding member of Sustainable Salinas and Salinas Neighborhood Council.

She is currently directing the Santa Rita and Bolsa Knolls Watershed Group to bring awareness to the needs of the urbanized areas of the Santa Rita Creek Watershed. This group conducts community projects that include community native plant garden installation at Santa Rita Park, annual Santa Creek Fair, storm drain stenciling, and other project s to demonstrate best practices for property owners to prevent pollutants from entering the creek and for creating native plant habitats. The group also aims to develop community environmental activism through its projects.

She has a B.SC. in Geology with minors in anthropology and biology, Masters in Regional and Urban Planning.

Cathy Rivera was born and raised in Sacramento, CA. Inspired by her first experience of Earth Day (1971) in Davis, CA, she helped to establish two community stores, the Sacramento Natural Foods Coop, and the Chico Natural Foods Coop. She then joined a work collective that ran a natural foods business and lived communally. After three years struggling to go “back to the land,” she returned to college to study plant science (UC, Davis, BS and MS degrees). She retired from a 25-year career in plant cell biology that included starting and running her own plant biotech company, Summit Plant Labs.

She has pursued an encore career in music therapy since 2003 (Colorado State University, Master’s in Music). While a music therapist in Austin, TX, she served as board member and officer of the Capital Area Parkinson’s Society for 2 ½ years. She enjoys organic gardening, outdoor adventures, music, and the beauty of the Central Coast with her husband and grandchildren.

Karyn Wolfe brings 25 years of non-profit administration and project management to the CSMC Board, as well as a lifelong interest and love of the natural world. Her interests include ecological restoration, renewable energy, fair and affordable housing, new urbanism, healthy food systems, deep ecology, and the building of a just, whole, and sustainable future for all. She advocates for nature awareness and focuses her time and energy on building an integrated and strong local community that is socially, economically, and environmentally just and healthy.  Karyn is a California Naturalist, has studied social work, is currently obtaining an Eco-psychology certification from Lewis & Clark College, and has a BA in English from UC Berkeley.  She is co-Chair of Citizens for Sustainable Marina, writes online at luminousimmensity.com, is dedicated to supporting in-depth nature experiences in urban and wilderness contexts, and is a devoted mother and mate.

Natalie Zayas Delgado has been a Marina resident since 1996.  She serves on the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club Ventana Chapter.  With Citizens for Sustainable Marina (C4SM) she coordinates the Earth Day event that takes place every April in Marina.  She has raised three sons in Marina and is happy that they have all integrated sustainability into their lives. Natalie has taught environmental science at CSUMB since 2002.  She created a marine debris program for Learning for Life Charter School and has also taught environmental science programs for high school students.  She has a BA, an MS and an EdD which focused on environmental education and literacy.  She currently teaches part-time at CSUMB and full-time at an elementary school in Salinas.  Her favorite quote is, “Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved.” Jane Goodall.