Our Organization’s Structure

Coastside State Parks is governed by a Board of Directors. Since our association has no paid staff for executive or administrative tasks, our volunteer directors perform these duties themselves as officers of the board and through work on our committees. Committees include Finance, Governance, Park Stores, and Program & Development. This last committee also performs marketing and communication tasks. In addition, CSPA volunteers provide valuable assistance by serving on certain committees, particularly the Park Stores Committee.

To maintain close coordination, California State Parks appoints a member of its staff to serve as liaison between itself and each of its cooperating associations. CSPA’s Cooperating Association Liaison (CAL) is Ranger Terry Kiser, Superintendent of the San Mateo Coast Sector, Santa Cruz District. The liaison for the Park Stores Committee is Docent Coordinator, Christen Bechert.

CSPA’s only paid staff members are the manager and assistant who oversee CSPA’s three park stores. Both positions are part-time. Sales staff in the stores are State Park volunteers.

MEET OUR BOARD

Janet Oulton, CSPA President
Docent at Año Nuevo and Pigeon Point Light Station

Janet Oulton, CSPA President

Janet Oulton retired in 2004 after sixteen years running her own IT consulting business and a cumulative thirty years in a variety of industries. Clients included electronic manufacturers, clothing companies, biomedical companies and medical claims processing. While the industries were different, the focus was always on the business operations.

Upon retiring, she trained as a docent at Año Nuevo, and has continued volunteering there as both a docent and a mentor. In 2012 she also became a docent at Pigeon Point Light Station.

Wondering if she could contribute some of her accumulated business experience to the non-profit that supports the Coastside state parks, she joined the Board of CSPA in 2012 where she helps out with the bookstore management, event ticketing and the bookkeeping.  She became the president of the board in 2016.

Pamela Koch, CSPA Secretary
Año Nuevo Docent

Pamela Koch, CSPA Secretary

Pam Koch was elected to CSPA’s Board of Directors in November 2014. She has been a volunteer docent at Año Nuevo since 2008. She also serves on the Board of Sempervirens Fund.

Pam is a former hospital administrator in Philadelphia and Boston and a health policy analyst working on Capitol Hill and in the federal DHHS Secretary's Office. She holds an MBA with a Concentration in Health Care Management from the Graduate School of Management at Boston University. She has a history of volunteerism and advocacy for under-resourced youth in the Bay Area and currently serves as a Court-appointed Special Advocate in San Mateo County. She is also the current President of the Redwood Meadows Ranch HOA in Bonny Doon.

Since moving to the Bay Area in 1990, she has fallen in love with the dramatic Pacific Coast line and the majestic redwood forest that rises above it. She is an avid hiker throughout the region. Pam is dedicated to supporting the stunning and richly diverse 15 Coastside State Parks in San Mateo County.

Shirley Bentson, CSPA Treasurer
Half Moon Bay Native Plant Nursery Volunteer

Shirley Bentson, CSPA Treasurer

Shirley Bentson grew up in San Mateo in a family that loved camping and outdoor activities. The San Mateo coast and coastal mountains were favorite destinations for weekend adventures. State and National Parks were the predominant venues for family vacations where Shirley and her sister took full advantage of the nature programs. As a young adult, rafting and kayaking in the Sierra and Alaska took center stage as favored activities.

Shirley worked in the finance departments of electronics and aerospace companies for over 45 years. Shirley started as an accounting clerk at SRI International while she completed her B.S. in Business Management at the University of San Francisco in 1979. Throughout her career, she managed accounting departments at Fairchild Semiconductor, Loral and Lockheed Martin.

Shortly after retiring in 2012 while camping at HMB State Beach, Shirley inquired about volunteer opportunities in our State Parks. She began volunteering with the HMBSB Native Plant Nursery, a volunteer group which raises native plants from seed to restore habitat in our coastal State Parks.  When this group proposed the first Coastal Wildflower Day in 2014, Shirley took on the challenge of developing interactive games and crafts related to the coastal flora and fauna. Coastal Wildflower Day has become an annual celebration of native wildflowers, community spirit and volunteer service in April at Francis Beach. Her experience working with youth at CWD has fueled Shirley’s interest in volunteering with State Park Junior Rangers and school programs.

In January 2016, Shirley joined the CSPA Board and in March 2016 was elected Treasurer.

Suzanne Black, Board Member
Pescadero Marsh Docent and Plover Watch Volunteer

Suzanne Black

Before retirement in 2002, Suzanne Black volunteered as a tidepool docent for the Sierra Club. Later, she was commended by San Jose’s mayor for her participation in the Los Gatos Creek Trail Advisory Committee. She is a past director of the Half Moon Bay Open Space Trust (now Coastside Land Trust) and Senior Coastsiders and a past commissioner and president of the San Mateo County Commission on Aging. She is now a volunteer docent for State Parks at Francis Beach, Pescadero S.B. and Marsh, and, formerly, at Pigeon Point Light Station. From 2012-2014 she led monitoring of a heron/egret/cormorant rookery at Pescadero Marsh for a San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory project. She was elected to the CSPA board in May 2015.

She has a B.A. in Political Science from U.C. Berkeley and M.A. in Biology from San Francisco State University. She worked at Finnigan Corporation / Thermo Fisher Scientific, a scientific instruments manufacturer in San Jose, where she wrote, edited and managed technical publications and marketing communications. A similar position followed at the Scientific Instruments Division of Hewlett-Packard / Agilent Technologies in Palo Alto.

Suzanne has published poetry, fiction, and various articles in the Half Moon Bay Review and has edited several books for others. She enjoys learning about the history and varied ecosystems along the coast and sharing that knowledge with park visitors. She keeps busy with writing, nature photography, field biology, and bird watching.

Fred Bockmann, Board Member
Año Nuevo Docent

Fred Bockmann

Fred Bockmann taught elementary school in central Illinois for 10 years. In the mid 1970s, as a hobby he built a computer and began using it in his classroom. Then, from 1980 - 1982, he was Director of an Illinois State Board of Education research program exploring ways computers could be used in education. He joined Apple Computer, Inc. in 1982 and had roles in engineering, sales, and training. Apple relocated Fred and his wife to California in 1997.

When Fred retired in 2007, he joined the docent program at Año Nuevo State Park. After 25 years working for Apple Inc., he was ready to leave the world of cubicles behind, and learn about elephant seals, native Americans, geology, botany, and more of his adopted home state of California. In his retirement, he is an active volunteer at the Media Center, Palo Alto CA’s public access television studio, and spends time as an archivist  at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

Fred enjoys travel, reading, photography, videography, and hiking, and has been known to, at the drop of a hat, take a road trip to explore new areas of the country.  Fred joined CSPA’s board in January 2015.

Ric Lohman, Board Member

Richard Lohman

Ric Lohman retired after more than 40 years implementing Corporate Enterprise Systems. Ric has lived on the San Mateo County Coastside since 1990 and has worked for peninsula companies, such as Visa, Stanford, and Kaiser Permanente. Protecting the coastal environment has been a key part of Ric’s life, and he has served on local Coastside boards, such as, the Midcoast Community Council, the Sewer Authority Midcoastside, and the Granada Community Services District. Ric also served as a Board member of Save Our Shores and was active in the Tom Lantos Tunnel project and in bringing MROSD to the Coastside. Ric is politically active and has been President of the San Mateo County (SMC) Chapter of the California Special Districts Association (CSDA). He also serves on the SMC Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) and the County Commission on Sea Level Rise. Ric joined the CSPA Board in 2014.

Ric is a triathlete and enjoys all outdoor activities, such as, camping, hiking, astronomy, and kayaking. Ric’s wife, Barbara, is retired from teaching science at the Half Moon Bay High School and remains active in outdoor science activities for the school.

Ric and his wife also enjoy travel, playing Bridge, and coordinating activities for their grandchildren.

Rick Mohr, Board Member
CSPA President 2014 - 2016

Richard Mohr

Rick Mohr moved to the Bay Area in 1967 to begin a 40-year career as an aerospace engineer specializing in optimization and navigation. Over his career, he developed and tested software for vehicles that variously dove, swam, skimmed, hovered, flew, and orbited. Rick received a B.S. degree from Iowa State and M.S. and Engineer degrees from Stanford. He worked at Systems Control in Palo Alto, Analytical Mechanics Associates in Mountain View, and Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, CA, from which he retired in 2007.

Rick enjoys amateur photography, travel, and hiking in the Bay Area, in the Sierra, and on his travels. He became a board member of CSPA in 2013 and served as president for two years.