Administration & Board of Directors

Honorary Chairperson
Katie Rice
Supervisor, 2nd District
County of Marin

Katie was raised in Mill Valley and graduated from Tamalpais High School in 1978. She attended Sonoma State University, receiving degrees in Liberal Studies and English. For the past 20 years, Katie has lived in San Anselmo. Katie’s engagement in public service long predates her tenure with County government and is the foundation of her understanding of the depth of residents’ concerns for their neighborhoods, schools, community benefit organizations and open space.  Protection of Marin’s environmental resources is a core, long-standing value for Katie, and shows in her commitment to the protection of our natural resources.  She is a proud graduate of the 31st class of the Marin Environmental Forum, a renowned environmental leadership training program.

Fire Safe Council Coordinator
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CWMSLogoTodd is a Marin native and has worked 28 years in the fire service, including 19 years as a wildland and municipal firefighter.  He studied Forestry and Wildfire Management at the University of Montana, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Urban Planning from Sonoma State University.  He is the Wildfire Hazard and Vegetation Management Specialist for several Marin fire agencies, and has worked as a fire inspector, an urban forester specializing in community wildfire protection, and served as Executive Director of Fire Safe San Mateo County, the nation's first Fire Safe Council. Todd is an NFPA Certified Wildfire Mitigation Specialist.  Todd lives in west Marin with his wife and two children.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee


President

Rich Shortall
Asst. Deputy Chief, San Francisco Fire Department, Retired 
President, Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District.   (2020)

Richard Shortall is a retired San Francisco Fire Department Assistant Deputy Chief. He has also served as the SFFD EMS Chief, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services and General Manager of the Bay Area SUASI Homeland Security Program. Rich is currently a member of the Board of the Ross Valley Fire Department and is an elected Director of the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District. He joined FIRESafe MARIN as a Director in 2015 and currently resides in San Anselmo with his wife Diana.

Vice President

Jim Chayka
Marin County Parks (2020)
Jim Chayka is a Superintendent at Marin County Parks and Open Space.  Jim served as Director of Natural Resources at Conservation Corps North Bay, and has been working in the field of Natural Resources & Watershed Management for the last 17 years.  Jim started his career in environmental stewardship in 1999 as an AmeriCorps member at the CivicCorps (formerly the East Bay Conservation Corps), and subsequently managed education and restoration programs with Student Conservation Association, Watershed Sciences, Urban Creeks Council, and Sonoma Ecology Center.  Jim holds an MS degree in Applied Geosciences from San Francisco State University and joined FIRESafe MARIN in 2015.  He currently resides in Novato with his wife and two children.

Treasurer

Roger Meagor
Fire Chief, Retired
Ross Valley Fire Department (2020)

Roger began his fire service career as a volunteer firefighter with the San Anselmo Fire Department in 1979, and in 1981, he was the last firefighter hired by the San Anselmo Fire Department before the Department consolidated with Fairfax in 1982, creating the Ross Valley Fire Department JPA. He rose through the ranks and was appointed Fire Chief in 2005. Under his leadership, the Ross Valley Fire Department JPA expanded to include the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District in 2010, and the Town of Ross in 2012. Chief Meagor retired in 2013. Roger is long-time Board Member for FIRESafe Marin, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ross Valley Paramedic Authority. A third-generation Ross Valley native, he resides with his wife in the unincorporated area of Fairfax.

Secretary

Eva Denegri Baker
Emergency Services Specialist, Retired (2020)

Eva retired in 2018 from a long career in Emergency Services with the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.  She received her B.A. from Dominican University in Humanities before settling into several careers in Editing and Program Management for Book and Electronic Publishers.  She was an active member for twenty years of the Larkspur Association of Volunteer Firefighters.  There, she served for most of her years as an Officer on the Executive Committee. She was awarded Volunteer Firefighter of the Year and also received several service awards from her fellow volunteer firefighters.  Eva joined FIRESafe MARIN as a Director in 2003, and has served continuously as a member of the Executive Committee. She and her husband, Bruce, also retired from the Sheriff’s Office, have dedicated their retirement to volunteering for Canine Companions for Independence in Santa Rosa.  Bruce and Eva have three adult sons, and currently reside in West Petaluma as empty nesters with their cat, Hank, retired service dog “Nino,” and “Wilbur,” a golden lab/retriever puppy they are raising to be a Service dog.

 

Directors


Pete Martin
Retired Fire Captain
Marin County Fire Department (2018)

Pete retired as a Senior Fire Captain for Marin County Fire Department where he served as the department's de-facto wildfire historian. As a Fire Captain, Pete responded to the 1991 Oakland Hills "Tunnel" Fire, and later was instrumental in the founding of FIRESafe MARIN. After retirement, Pete worked as the Vegetation Management Specialist for Sonoma County Department of Emergency Services, Fire Division, where he authored the Fountaingrove II CWPP and Wildfire Mitigation recommendations.

Scott Barnes
Battalion Chief
Mill Valley Fire Department (2018)
Scott Barnes is a Battalion Chief with the Mill Valley Fire Department with 28 years of firefighting experience.  He has an A.A degree in Fire Service Technology and is an accredited Fire Officer and Chief Fire Officer with the State of California.  In addition to his assignment as an operational chief officer with Mill Valley Fire, he coordinates the City’s multi-faceted Vegetation Management Program.  He joined FIREsafe MARIN as a Board Member in 2010, and currently resides in Corte Madera with his wife and three children.

Stephen L. Quarles, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist for Wildfire and Durability (retired)
Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
Steve served 26 years with the University of California, and 8 years as Chief Scientist for Wildfire and Durability with the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). His research and outreach focuses on wildfire protection for residential and light commercial buildings and improving the moisture-related durability and resilience of buildings following hurricane/high-wind events.  Steve earned a bachelor’s in wood science from Virginia Tech, and a master’s and a doctorate in wood science from the University of Minnesota. Steve is a member of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) where he is secretary for and task group chair in the Subcommittee on Exterior Fire; the Forest Products Society, where he is Editor in Chief of the Forest Products Journal; the Society of Wood Science and Technology; the National Fire Protection Association, where he is a member of the Technical Committee on Forest and Rural Fire Protection; the International Association of Wildland Fire and the American Wood Protection Association.  Steve joined the FIRESafe MARIN Board of Directors in 2019.  He lives in Mill Valley.

Bill Tyler
Fire Chief
Novato Fire Protection District (2020)
Bill was appointed Fire Chief of Novato Fire Protection District in 2018, after 22 years on the job.  Tyler has a bachelor's degree in English from Cal State Hayward. He completed his paramedic training at the Stanford Pre-Hospital Paramedic Program in Palo Alto. He also holds a professional credential as a designated chief fire officer from the Center of Public Safety Excellence and is a certified chief officer through the California State Board of Fire Services.  Bill has served on the FIRESafe MARIN board at various points since 2002.  Chief

Craig Knowlton
Indian Valley Associates (2020)
Craig Knowlton serves on the board of Directors of the Indian Valley Associates in Novato, and has served on the board at FIRESAfe MARIN since 2015.

Skip Kniesche
Kent Woodlands Property Owners Association (2020)
Skip Kniesche retired as the Principal at Kent Middle School in Kentfield in 2018.  He has been a resident of Kentfield for almost 40 years and he and his wife, Nancy, have been living in Kent Woodlands since 2007.  He is a member of the KWPOA fire safety committee.  He joined FIRESafe Marin as a Board Member in 2018.

Anthony "Tony" Walls
Vegetation Program Manager, North Bay Division 
Pacific Gas and Electric (2019)

Anthony Walls is the Vegetation Program Manager for Pacific Gas and Electric in Marin and Napa Counties.  He received his bachelor degree from Sonoma State University.  He is a Certified Arborist, a Utility Specialist and a member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and Utility Arborist Association (UAA).  He joined FIRESafe MARIN as a Board Member in 2016. 

Christie Neill
VMP Battalion Chief
Marin County Fire Department (2020)
Christie started her career in 1984 as a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service.  She worked her way up through the ranks working on engines, helitack, and hotshot and fuels crews, including Fuels Battalion, Forest Division Chief positions until moving to the USFS Regional Office as Regional Fuels and Fire Use Specialist.  Christie has an A.S. in Forestry and Technical Fire Management Certification from Colorado State University.  She promoted to the National Park Service Pacific West Regional Office 2004 -2014 where she held both the Deputy Regional Fire Management Officer Fuels and Operations positions.  Christie retired with 30 years of federal service and moved to Marin County Fire after accepting the position of Vegetation Management Program Battalion Chief in November 2014.

John Hansen
MVEST, Marin Valley, Novato (2020)
John was elected to the FIRESafe MARIN Board of Directors in 2019.  John began his career in 1961 as a third-generation fireman in the Central Valley, specializing in Forest and Range Management. Six years later, John headed to Monterey County to complete his Bachelors and Masters in Marine Biology, Chemistry, and Geology, and doctoral work in Medical Physiology. Before his retirement in 2012, John was serially occupied with several diverse careers including Environmental Consulting, Education, Publishing, and Functional Medicine. John has been a Marin resident since 2006, and has focused his efforts on emergency preparedness throughout the County, including DC3 member, San Rafael CERT instructor, Marin Medical Reserve Corps, and Get Ready Marin presenter. John is currently a Marin Valley community leader and heads up MVEST, the Marin Valley Emergency Safety Team, and the MVEST Firewise Team.

Larry Pasero
Fire Inspector, Liaison to Marin County Fire Prevention Officers
Kentfield Fire Protection District (2020)
Larry started his fire service career in 2006, serving with the City of South San Francisco and Napa Fire Departments before joining Kentfield Fire Protection District in 2018.  During his time in Napa, Larry was part of the city’s emergency response and management of the 2014 South Napa Earthquake and the 2017 North Bay/Wine Country Fires. Throughout his career, Larry has excelled at the development and administration of fire prevention, inspection and investigation related programs. He holds professional certifications from California’s Office of the State Fire Marshal for Fire Prevention Officer, Fire Protection Specialist, Fire Plans Examiner and Fire Investigator.  Larry resides in Novato with his wife and son.

Shaun Home
Watershed Resources Manager
Marin Municipal Water District (2021)

Shaun Horne, MMWD’s new Natural Resource Program Manager. Shaun comes to us from Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District where he managed natural resources focused on flood control, habitat restoration, and  invasive species management. Shaun has a bachelor’s degree from SF State in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice, and a Master’s from Sonoma State in International Water Resources Management. He holds certificates in GIS from SF State and Water Conflict Management from Oregon State.  His work experience includes a stint as a Stream Biologist with Sonoma County Water Agency and as an arborist for a tree company. Shaun is running MMWD’s watershed vegetation management program and will shepherd our Biodiversity, Fire and Fuels Integrated Plan EIR to its conclusion.

Mike Meszaros
Retired Fire Chief
Inverness Utility District (2018)

Catherine Way
City Councilmember
Larkspur (2021) 

FIRESafe MARIN   |   P.O. Box 2831  |   San Anselmo, CA 94979   |   info@firesafemarin.org

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