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.

Cathy Rivera (Vice-President) 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.

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.

Other Board Members

Catherine Crockett (Webmaster) is Chair of Sustainable Seaside and a co-founder 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 is best guided by human needs, basic rights, 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 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.

LaVerne McLeod moved to Big Sur in 1979 where she currently resides, after living in various community settings, including Arkansas, Missouri, Palo Alto and Esalen Institute.  She is Co-Coordinator and Steering Committee member of Big Sur Advocate for a Green Environment (B-SAGE).  She organized Big Sur’s first Earth Day Fair and has coordinated the annual event for the last four years.  LaVerne’s diverse leadership involvement in the community has spanned education, the arts, social services, sports, and environmental sustainability.  Learn more on her website:  http://www.lavernemcleod.com

McLeod has multiple experiences dealing with racism, desegregation and social change. These include facing KKK violence in her childhood community and integrating a school in rural Missouri at age fourteen. Her writing is also informed by other childhood experiences on a farm in Arkansas and a small town in Missouri during the rise of the Civil Rights Movement.

As a wife, mother, artist and retired educator, she looks through compassionate eyes as she creates and designs workshops and other compositions.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master of Arts in Counselor Education from Southeast Missouri State University with continuing education work from San Jose State University in California.

Maria Prado is the leader of Sustainable Salinas.  She was born and raised in Mexico, where she developed her deep love of nature and her passion for seeking to understand our connection with it.  After immigrating to the United States, she began her career in education, devoting her time to helping  families improve and strengthen their relationships.  Her interest in urban green projects as a means of community-building led to her involvement as a driving force behind the successful Rescarte Verde community garden project in East Salinas.  Maria’s vision is to build community through sustainability projects that engage participants, encourage self-sufficiency and integrity, and which help develop strong social networks.  Her philosophy is, “What is logic for some can be science for others, and together we can teach each other.”

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.

Laurie Eavey moved permanently to Monterey in 2015 after living part time in her second home in Pacific Grove since 1995.  Laurie has a B.S. in Systems Analysis and Business and an MBA.  Her career has been spent with software companies HP and Adobe Systems where she held a variety of management, executive and professional roles in a number of functions; Customer Support, Human Resources, Marketing, Executive Education, and IT.  Her role before retirement as a Business Solutions Analyst brought to bear her skills in working in cross-functional teams and database technologies to develop efficient processes and systems.  Outside of work, she is most comfortable in the kitchen, cooking and preparing food.  Her passion for the environment was sparked in reading books and participating in a ‘Be the Change’ environmental awareness program.  She went on to attend an intensive permaculture design two-week course during her work sabbatical.  Laurie is Co-chair of Sustainable Monterey aiming to apply her passion, skills and experience in business systems, food and permaculture practices to address the multi-faceted challenge of climate change and protecting our planet.