Fort Ross
FRC’s Board of Directors, Advisory Committee, and Staff

FRC’s Board of Directors, Advisory Committee, and Staff

FRC’s Board of Directors -The board meets on the third Saturday of February, April, June, August, October, and second Saturday of December.
Fort Ross Conservancy Directors Meetings Schedule

Timothy Kelly

Timothy Kelly has been an educator for over 13 years. He loves to help students ignite their love of learning and embrace education as an adventure. He has taught many subjects, secured educational grants, built libraries and gardens, and led clubs in chess, poetry and and rock-climbing. His favorite part of teaching is facilitating youth access to nature and his work with Ft. Ross has focused on expanding educational programming. Tim Kelly is an attorney with his own practice and is also an author of a number of books aimed at young readers. He grew up in the Ft. Ross region and is devoted to using his professional career to protect and promote the incredible natural beauty of the region and the unique history of the park.

Sarah Sweedler

 Sarah volunteered on the FRC board of directors for eight years before joining its staff. Prior to her transition to not-for-profit work, she worked for several decades as a high-tech independent consultant and as a freelance journalist focusing on natural and cultural history. Sarah serves on the Advisory Council of the Eurasia Foundation and as a NOAA Greater Farallones Beach Watch volunteer. She is co-author of Fort Ross and the Sonoma Coast. 

Sandra Curtis

Sandra Curtis has been committed to environmental action as a volunteer and a professional for over 30 years.  She’s focused on four areas: environmental toxins from the fossil fuel industry, renewal energy, redwood preservation and ocean protection.  She has created and managed innovative behavioral research, media projects, and programs in health, space sciences and environmental education.  She’s currently a Principal Investigator/Program Director at the Public Health Institute focused on reducing exposure to environmental toxins.  As Director of Innovative Projects at Plastic Pollution Coalition, she expanded the focus on environmental hazards of single use plastic to health concerns from exposure to the toxic chemicals in plastics. She serves as a Zero Waste Commissioner in the City of Berkeley.

Robert J. Spjut

president, West Beach Mutual Water Company; lawyer; part-time Sonoma Coast resident.

Rich Panter

Rich Panter’s work in film and TV production has been defined by a passion for historical documentary filmmaking. His B.A in the Humanities and a Master’s in Education with the U.S. Teacher Corps in Massachusetts, along with a teaching fellowship at Boston University and a post-masters program at the University of Hawaii, spurred an interest in cross-cultural education. He’s worked as an editor, writer, director and producer on many projects, culminating as the creator of a dozen public television documentaries, many on international themes, which received over twenty awards, including a CINE Gold Eagle, the Tokyo Prize at the Japan Film Festival, and an Emmy nomination. One of those, In Siberia, about an international scientific drilling project on Russia’s Lake Baikal, put him on a path that two decades later led him to join the Fort Ross Conservancy board of directors.

Sabrena Rosenberg

Sabrena Rosenberg is a Sonoma County native with Alaska Native and Northern European ancestors, enrolled with the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska and related through her grandfather to Dushkins of Aleutian descent. Her family history spans over 500 miles of the Aleutian Islands with heritage in many abandoned villages and islands. Sabrena's grandfather was schooled at the Jesse Lee home in Unalaska, was born and subsisted in the Fox Islands of the Aleutians and then served in the US Navy where he gained citizenship and settled in Northern California logging redwoods and later employed at Mare Island Naval Base. Sabrena is a shareholder of the Aleut Corporation. 

Sabrena serves FRC as an Alaska Native representative. She came to Ft Ross seeking the history of her people and found family ties in the cemetery. Alaska Native Day allows Sabrena to connect with cousins and learn about her culture and other Alaska Native tribes. 

Sabrena has been employed as an operating engineer for 34 years, building the infrastructure of California. She is the proud mother of two children and three grandchildren.  

John Benitz

Descendant of William Benitz of Fort Ross pioneering ranch era in the mid-1800s; Founder; Canoe Group; CEO, Producer – Wildhorse; filmmaker, conservationist.

Deborah C Gordon

Ms. Gordon is Retired Executive Director of the Preventive Defense Project, co-founded and directed by William J. Perry and Ashton B. Carter. She is curently an independent advisor and consultant to several high technology companies and has over 40 years of experience in algorithm design, signal processing, network design, and network security. Former Mayor of Woodside, California.

Corinna Welzenbach

Corinna Welzenbach is a Historical Landscape Architect. She is author of the Fort Ross Orchard Management Plan, Yosemite National Park Orchard Management Plan, and several Cultural Landscape Inventories including the Russian Bishop’s House Cultural Landscape Inventory for Sitka National Historical Park. She has lived and worked in Russia. Corinna resides in Seattle, WA.

Jonathan Tiemann

Jonathan Tiemann is Founder and President of Tiemann Investment Advisors, LLC, an investment management firm in Menlo Park, California. He has served in investment and finance roles in several Bay Area nonprofit organizations. He is also active as a researcher into the economic history of California and the Pacific Basin. He is an associated researcher with the Global History of Capitalism Project at the University of Oxford for which he has written, among other things, a brief history of the Russian-American Company. He has taught classes based on his research at Oxford, and has presented portions of it at the Fort Ross Dialogue.

Directors Emeritus

Prof. Kent Lightfoot

(University of California, Berkeley)

FRC’s Advisory Committee

Jan Kalicki
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Sergey Litvinenko
Outreach and Community Development Advisor

FRC Staff