Meet the Board Members of Action For Nature, a 501(3)(c) nonprofit based in San Francisco, California, USA. Learn more about our story.
Beryl Kay, President
Beryl Kay is Executive Director of the San Francisco Family Foundation which provides support for senior citizens in the Bay Area. She recently retired as Human Resources Director of of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. In the private sector, she has held positions in business relations and administrative management. She was a 20-year board member, president and volunteer with American Youth Hostels.
Nonprofit fundraiser and former lobbyist. Pervious nonprofits include Sacramento Nuclear Weapons Freeze (board member), Students United for Peace, California Public Interest Research, Neighbor to Neighbor, San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Opera, American Conservatory Theater. As a paralegal, worked for plaintiff law firms on asbestos and breast implant claim litigation. B.A. California State University, English and Political Science.
Dr. Judith Schiff, EdD USF, MS CW POST has been a K-12 California teacher for over 40 years. Her philosophy of student development consists of the creative collaboration of school staff, parents, and community. Her educational focus is on moral and environmental issues, embodying students with values of compassion, peace, justice, and respect. She utilizes the Reggio Emelio approach in environmental projects and is also a creative environmental artist and nature photographer. For the past 7 years, she has managed the Nob Hill Community Garden, a large certified wildlife community garden attracting songbirds, butterflies, and bees with roses, lilacs, peonies, succulents, pine trees and much more.
Chris, or "Mr. Science" founded Tree Frog Treks in 1999. He received his undergraduate degree in Zoology from UC Berkeley and his Master's degree in Biology from San Francisco State University. He has been active in the area of education since 1989, teaching science at the kindergarten through adult level. Working as a professional biologist, Chris has had the opportunity to study lizards in the Dominican Republic, coral reef fish off of Lizard Island n Australia, and amphibians and reptiles in many areas throughout California. He has worked with Gary Fellars on the Global Amphibian decline task force, studied San Francisco garter snakes in San Mateo County state parks, and is presently involved in local amphibian restoration projects. Born and raised in San Francisco, Chris has always been fascinated with animal life and never missed an opportunity to go camping or fishing. Chris teaches Tree Frog Treks and classes all over the Bay Area, in addition to leading company and family adventure treks. He currently serves as chairman of the Board for Endangered Species International.
Barbara is recently retired from a lifetime career in education and non-profit services. From teaching, she had various educational and administrative positions at community based organizations in San Francisco, and worked for Northern California Grantmakers as program staff. She then served as Executive Director of the Children's Council of San Francisco, and subsequently as Executive Director of the Golden Gate Council of Hostelling International USA. There she developed four hostels and created an environmental and outdoor education program targeted to inner city youth, which is now in its 30th year. After 25 years at the regional helm, Barbara completed her career at the national HI-USA organization as Senior Advisor, working on special projects and fund development. In her spare time she enjoys travel, cooking, photography, and piano.
Shimon Schwarzschild founded Action for Nature in 1984 after a successful campaign to halt the decimation of songbirds in Assisi, Italy. He is an electronic engineer who changed careers in 1978 to become a lifelong nature protection advocate. Shimon served for 13 years on the World Conservation Union's (IUCN) Commission on Education and Communication, was President of the Whale Center, a whale and ocean conservation organization, co-founded the Native Yew Conservation Council (YewCon), leading the successful effort to protect wild yew trees from decimation through wasteful harvesting techniques He retired from the USDA Forest Service where he served as Technical Publication Editor-Biosciences at the FS's Pacific SW Research Station. Shimon also represented the Forest Service at the IUCN's 50th Anniversary Celebration in Fountainebleau, France.
Andrew Leonard is a former Eco-Hero award winner for his project on getting two schools in the Bay Area and Beijing to collaborate on environmental issues.
After winning the award he studied at Columbia University and received a degree in Political Science.
Andrew has since moved back to the Bay Area to work for Google on their Agency Development team.
In his spare time, Andrew likes to hangout with his dog and play as much basketball as possible.
Molly Mitoma is a marketing and communications professional currently specializing in hospitality. She has worked with a number of nonprofit organizations including Hostelling International, Film Arts Foundation, Other Minds, the Center for Asian American Media, Frameline, and the San Francisco Film Society, and is a former board member of National Radio Project.
Laila fostered a deep love for Nature from a young age growing up on the Big Island of Hawaii. After graduating from the University of California Berkeley with a B.A. in Media Studies and Anthropology, she honed her communications and photography skills to market early-childhood environmental education and strategize with earth-friendly brands. Laila is thrilled to be apart of the Action For Nature team and is in charge of social media and online content. Feel free to email her updates or stories of interest for our social channels and/or blog.