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, FRC President; Attorney, Public School teacher, Alumni of Fort Ross Elementary School.
  • Sarah Sweedler, CEO; 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 writing consultant and as a freelance journalist focusing on natural and cultural history. Sarah serves on the Advisory Council of the Eurasia Foundation, as a director of CALPA (California League of Park Associations), and as a NOAA Beach Watch volunteer.
  • Michael Dewees, FRC Treasurer; retired database and large system expert for State Insurance Compensation Fund.
  • Sandra Curtis, Principal Investigator/Program Director at the Public Health Institute.
  • Robert J. Spjut, Secretary; president, West Beach Mutual Water Company; lawyer; part-time Sonoma Coast resident.
  • Jan Phelps, financial & organization expert for non-profits. Retired CFO of a family-owned winery.
  • Rich Panter, Bodega Bay resident, filmmaker, editor, writer, and producer.
  • Sabrena Rosenberg, Alaska Native representative.
  • 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 Gordon, Retired Executive Director of the Preventive Defense Project co-founded and directed by William J. Perry and Ashton B. Carter. She is currently 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.
  • Sylvia Murphy, retired teacher, local celebrity.
  • Corinna Welzenbach, Historical Landscape Architect.
  • Jerry Pinola, Kashia Band of Pomo Indian representative

Directors Emeritus:

  • Prof. Kent Lightfoot (University of California, Berkeley)

FRC’s Advisory Committee

  • Jan Kalicki, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Irina Dyatlovskaya, Russian language translator
  • Lauren Peters, Alaska Native community builder
  • Sergey Litvinenko, Outreach and Community Development Advisor
  • Mikhail Pashkov, San Francisco Public Library, International Center, librarian; member of Kennan Institute

FRC Staff