Who We Are
The Coastside State Parks Association (CSPA) was created in December 1990 to further the education and interpretation initiatives of the California State Parks along the San Mateo Coast. CSPA was founded by volunteers in San Mateo County as a 501(c)3 non-profit Cooperating Association to provide support directly to these coastal State Parks.
Coastside State Parks Association: Inspiring public appreciation and stewardship of the natural resources and cultural heritage of the San Mateo coast, in partnership with California State Parks.
CSPA-Supported Programs and Projects
- Helped fund the construction of a foot bridge to open up a new trail in Pescadero Marsh—visited by more than 10,000 school children each year.
- Collaborated with the California State Parks Foundation and State Parks to secure funding for the Año Nuevo Marine Education Center (a $2.8 million project) and courtyard.
- Provided funding for the completion of the visitor center at Half Moon Bay State Beach.
- Coordinated funding for the creation of the interpretive center in the fog signal building at Pigeon Point Light Station.
- Assisted with the procurement of a disabled access van to make Año Nuevo accessible to everyone.
- Supports the annual Pigeon Point Light Station Lighting Anniversary Celebration.
- Provides funding for the State Park docent and volunteer programs at State Parks along the San Mateo coast—supporting over 300 State Park volunteers.
Listen to an interview of CSPA President Joyce Pennell and Board Member Nancy Frost on Pescadero radio station KPDO (9/24/10) on CSPA's role in supporting the state parks on the San Mateo coast.
Since 1984, Ms. Harris has worked with nonprofit conservation organizations and public land managing agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her career has primarily been focused on fundraising, marketing, and nonprofit management. She has served as Managing Director of Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Executive Director of San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society, Landscape Architecture Specialist for City of San Mateo Parks, and Financial Services Manager for San Mateo County Parks.
Ms. Harris holds a BS in Renewable Natural Resources, Wildlife Sciences from the University of Arizona and a MBA, Marketing from Golden Gate University.
When she isn’t enjoying her work with Coastside State Parks Association, she cam be found sea kayaking, telemark skiing, or backpacking in the many parks and open spaces in California.
Click on the name for more information.
Ms. Pennell has over 25 years of experience in the technology sector including both semiconductors and software. Her career includes: Director of Communications at Nikon Precision, a leading company in photolithography systems used in semiconductor manufacturing; Director of Communications and Manager of Technical Publications at Etec Systems, a subsidiary of Applied Materials Corp (NASDAQ); Manager of Documentation and Training at DocuPro Inc., a leading provider of document solutions; and Production Manager at Inpsych, a technical publications company. Ms. Pennell has also been an instructor in France, Germany, and California.
Ms. Pennell holds a BA in History from Schiller International University in Berlin and London and an MA in English from San Francisco State University.
Mr. Holt is an environmental and urban planner with a particular interest in the intersection of conservation and community development. He considers himself fortunate to have been able to live, work, and study in the most spectacular natural environments across California, having grown up on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, studied in the redwoods along the North Coast, and worked amongst the vineyards, oak woodlands, and rolling grasslands of the San Francisco Bay Area. He currently works as a Senior Planner for the East Bay Regional Park District, where he works with cities, developers, conservationists, and stakeholders in planning, acquiring, and restoring an interconnected natural landscape of wildlife and recreation corridors.
Mr. Holt has a BS in Natural Resources Planning from Humboldt State University, a Masters of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and is a registered certified planner through the American Planning Associations American Institute of Certified Planners. He volunteers regularly with Environmental Traveling Companions, a nonprofit dedicated to providing outdoor experiences to underserved youth and disabled adults; is a member of the American Planning Association; and served as president of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Association of Environmental Professionals.
Since 2004, Mr. Braude has been the Director of Finance and Administration for the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks, a nonprofit organization that provides 100,000 meals each day to those in need in San Francisco and Marin counties. Mr. Braude manages the organization’s HR, IS, Volunteer Services, and Finance departments. During his tenure, the number of Food Bank volunteer hours has doubled to over 120,000 per year, the number of staff has tripled to 125, and the budget has more than quadrupled to $18M. His team has driven the adoption and implementation of modern technology systems that have streamlined the Food Bank’s operations, allowing the organization to distribute food more efficiently and equitably.
Mr. Braude has been a docent at Año Nuevo State Park since 1997. He joined the board in 2008. In addition to serving on CSPA’s board, Mr. Braude is the Board Chair for both the San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center (an organization focused on habitat preservation and restoration in the San Gregorio Creek watershed) and San Francisco Community Agencies Responding to Disaster (an organization that provides disaster preparedness, response, and recovery support to human service agencies in San Francisco). Mr. Braude received his bachelor's degree in philosophy with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He considers any day a success if he's seen at least one of the following: a marine mammal, a lighthouse, a redwood tree, or a waterfall.
Darlene Hobie is an executive assistant at Rockwood Capital, LLC, in San Francisco. Previously, Ms. Hobie worked for Ernst & Young, LLP, in their technology and audit practices; she was also a budget supervisor at Pacific Bell Directory, a program manager at Western Digital Corporation, and a client services manager at McGraw-Hill’s Sweet’s Catalog Division. Ms. Hobie was a founding member of the San Francisco Community School and served as treasurer of its parent group.
Darlene Hobie holds a BS in Management from San Francisco’s Golden Gate University
Mr. Chait is the founding CEO of EoPlex Corp., a producer of “green” semiconductor packages with improved performance and lower cost. EoPlex was funded by venture capital firms including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Labrador Ventures and ATA Ventures. The company was acquired in 2012 by ASTI Inc.
Mr. Chait’s career includes: Sr. VP at Solectron Corp (NYSE), a leading electronics manufacturer where he was responsible for $7 billion revenue; Sr. VP at Stanford Research Institute (SRI), where he had P&L responsibility for 700 staff in the USA, Europe and Asia; Zitel Corp. (NASDAQ), where he was GM of the software division; Booz Allen & Hamilton (NYSE), a major consulting firm where he was the senior director in the New York City strategy practice; and Dresser Industries (NYSE), where he was R&D director.
Mr. Chait holds a BS in Engineering from Rutgers University and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a recipient of the Steinmetz Medal from GE Corp. Mr. Chait served on the Boards of Blue Iguana Networks and MatriDigm Corp. and EoPlex. He is a past Chair of the Challenge Learning Center, a non-profit organization that assisted “at risk” young people in the Bay Area.
John has been a member of CSPA since 2006. He has been a docent at Año Nuevo since 1995, a mentor to new docents at Año Nuevo since 1997, and a Filoli Nature Education docent from 2000-2003.
Interested in Joining the Board?
We welcome people interested in joining the CSPA board of directors. Please see the links below for information on what it means to be on the board, including the responsibilities and expectations, as well as for an application form (MS-Word or pdf format).