Restore The Delta Steering Committee
Wendy Stokes, President
Wendy Buckley-Stokes is a 3rd generation California farmer that grew up on a pear ranch in the heart of the Sacramento River Delta. Her love for agriculture started at a young age and continues to this day. In high school, Wendy got involved in Future Farmers of America (FFA) where her love, knowledge and appreciation for agriculture grew to benefit her and those around her. In recognition of her personal commitment to Ag and the leadership qualities she displayed along the way she received the American Farmer Degree- the highest form of recognition from the organization. Wendy continued her education at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Science and Education with a concentration in Animal Science. After completing her formal education Wendy began a career in the produce industry focusing on sales and marketing, and has been doing so successfully for the past 20 years. During this time, she served on the Marketing Board for the California Pear Advisory Board. Today, she continues to be involved in marketing her family’s cherries and apples. Wendy is married to 4th generation Wine Grape Grower, Mike Stokes and they have 2 children that carry on their family’s passion for agriculture. Their daughter Elainee is a member of Lodi High School FFA and plans to take her first animal to the fair this year. Their son Jake keeps a watchful eye on his father as they spend summers together working on the ranch.
Besides Agriculture, Philanthropy is another major area of focus in the Stokes Family way of life. Wendy is a member of the Junior League of Sacramento and has served on their Board of Directors. She also is involved in the Lodi Boys and Girls Club.
“Restore the Delta is such an important part of continuing Agriculture in Northern California. The products grown in this area are shipped to all parts of the world. From Pears to Wine Grapes, the farmers in our region help to feed the world. It is critical that as a state we distribute our resources in an equitable manner- especially water, and that does not mean subsidizing or sustaining one region at the expense or complete detriment of another. We need farms in California. We need Agriculture to survive.”
Michael Frost, Vice President
Michael Frost was born in Redding and grew up fishing the Sacramento River and Pacific Ocean. He settled in the Bay Area after graduating from the University of Oregon in 1998. Michael works in sales in the Silicon Valley and lives with his wife and daughter in San Carlos. Michael is an advocate for the taxpayers of California and promotes the use of 21st century technology, such as data analytics and the smart grid, to help solve some of today’s most pressing problems.
As a member of the engaged philanthropy group, Full Circle Fund, Michael donates his time and money to non-profit organizations benefiting education, the environment, and global economic opportunity.
Fishing has been a lifelong passion for Michael. The California Delta and San Francisco Bay have provided the perfect playground in the Bay Area’s backyard. He has become involved with Restore the Delta after witnessing the rapid decline of the west coast salmon fishery during his short lifetime. The economic value of the Delta’s environment is something that Michael would like to highlight and promote to all Calfornians. This renewable resource is a gift that will keep on giving with proper care.
John Herrick, Vice President
Attorney for South Delta Water Agency.
Mark Croce, Treasurer
Mark J. Croce, CPA, is a shareholder with Croce & Company and works both with business entities and with individuals to assist them in any way he can with their income tax or financial accounting/financial reporting needs. Mark graduated from Santa Clara University in 1990, received his CPA certification in 1993 while working for an international public accounting firm in the Bay Area and joined Croce & Company in 1994. Mark enjoys the time he spends working with clients, getting to know the people and understanding the individual needs in each relationship.
In addition to the above, Mark works with a number of governmental and not-for-profit entities in connection with their annual financial statement attestation needs as well as tax compliance. Again, his focus is on the individual needs of each organization and on working with both the board of directors and staff in improving systems and internal controls and on education relative to the constantly evolving regulatory requirements.
Mark is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, where he is a Past-President of the San Joaquin chapter and is a member of the Accounting Principles and Audit Services state committee. He is also active in the local community and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities for the Stockton Diocese and the Children’s Home of Stockton Foundation. In addition, Mark serves as an officer of the Downtown Stockton Enterprise Loan Fund.
Roger S. Mammon, Secretary
Roger Mammon was born in San Francisco and grew up in the East Bay. He has resided in Oakley since 1983. A former police officer and manager in the automobile finance industry, Mr. Mammon has fished all his life and took up hunting as a young adult. Mr. Mammon loves both sports as they allow him to be outside and on the water. He is serving in his third two year term as President of the Lower Sherman Island Duck Hunters Association — a group of local sportsmen and women who enjoy hunting in State Wildlife Management Areas. He is also a Board Member of the West Delta Chapter of the California Striped Bass Association, and is a member of the Committee to Save Our Shoreline in Oakley. The City of Oakley has appointed him their unofficial liaison on Delta matters. He has seen a number of changes in the Delta over the past two and a half decades that are disturbing, and he looks forward to helping restore the Delta.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Committee at Large
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla is the Executive Director for Restore the Delta. Prior to joining the campaign, Ms. Barrigan-Parrilla served as the Business Development Manager for the Planning and Conservation League in Sacramento. Ms. Barrigan-Parrilla has also taught English in the California community college system, served as a field representative for the Oakland local of the California Federation of Teachers, worked in marketing and customer service for The Disney Channel, and served as Executive Director for Manifest Press and Literary Arts Center also in Oakland.
Over the last seven years, Ms. Barrigan-Parrilla has worked to give Delta residents a voice in the myriad of government processes leading to the proposed peripheral tunnels project, or Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Ms. Barrigan-Parrilla maintains that the health of the Delta is directly tied to the environmental and economic health of California
Bill Jennings, Executive Committee at Large
Fighting to protect fisheries and water quality for over 25 years, Bill is the Executive Director and Chairman of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and a Board Member of the California Water Impact Network. Between 1995 and 2005 he served as Deltakeeper. He was a founder and Chairman of the Committee to Save the Mokelumne. Bill has received numerous acknowledgments including the International Conservation Award from the Federation of Fly Fishers, the Director’s Achievement Award from the Department of Fish and Game, the Conservation Achievement Award from the California-Nevada Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, the Quality of Life Award from the Land Utilization Alliance and the Delta Advocate Award from Restore the Delta. The Outdoor Writers Association of California recognized him as Outdoor Californian of the Year and the Delta Fly Fishers selected him as Fly Fisherman of the Year. His efforts in obtaining an historic cleanup of Penn Mine on the Banks of the Mokelumne River led to awards to both the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance and Committee to Save the Mokelumne by the California Water Policy IX Conference.
Bob Gutierrez, Executive Committee at Large
Government Affairs, Food 4 Less
Natalia Orfanos, Executive Committee at Large
Director of Public Relations, A.G. Spanos Companies.
Robert K. Ferguson, Executive Committee at Large
Robert Ferguson is President of Ferguson Farms Inc., a family owned and operated farming operation on Union Island in the South Delta. The Ferguson Family has farmed on Union Island for more than 102 years, growing asparagus, alfalfa, corn, tomatoes and wheat. As a trustee of the island’s reclamation district, Mr. Ferguson is familiar with levee maintenance, restoration and flood watch. In addition, he is actively involved with the South Delta Water Agency and the Delta Protection Commission.
David (Chicken) Nesmith, Board Member
David (Chicken) Nesmith was born in Chicago, and grew up in Santa Maria, California. He studied Agriculture at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo. After two years of service in Vietnam, Mr. Nesmith came home to a life of political activity and advocacy. He was a local Sierra Club conservation staff person for 17 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also been a water person, leading ocean kayak trips for people challenging cancer, and he has been a white water rafting guide for 20 years, and leads rafting trips for inner city outings. He currently facilitates communications for almost 30 environmental and fishing groups, and a native American tribe, all of which advocate for California water policies that lead to sustainable water use and ecosystem restoration
Emily Pappalardo, Board Member
Emily Papplardo is Project Manager at DCC Engineering in Walnut Grove. She works on projects related to levee repair and improvement. She also has a special love for the Delta, as she grew up on Steamboat Slough.
Mike Robinson, Board Member
Mike Robinson is president of Robinson Farms Feed Co., and diversified farming and feed manufacturing business in the south Delta. The farm has been in the family for over 120 years raising alfalfa, wheat, safflower, oat hay and triticale. The feed manufacturing business makes alfalfa meal products, principally for the pleasure horse industry. Mike has been active in farming industry organizations, and active in water issues since the last ‘peripheral canal’ attempted water grab in 1982. A graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and member of the RD17 governing board of directors.
Rogene Reynolds, Board Member
Rogene Reynolds is a life-long resident of Roberts Island in the South San Joaquin -Sacramento Delta. Her family has farmed Roberts Island since 1889. A recent graduate of Sacramento State University (BA Religious Studies), Rogene has had two careers (bank operations and real estate sales), and is now focusing on Delta issues and family. She is a past Director of the San Joaquin County Resource Conservation District . Involved in Delta issues since 1979, she was an active opponent of the Peripheral Canal. Husband Bill says: “I just follow her around with the bail money!”
E. Robert Wright, Board Member
Bob is an AV Martindale-Hubbell rated lawyer and Senior Counsel for Friends of the River. His legal career in Fresno and Sacramento started in 1972 and has ranged from being a law firm partner in private practice including representation of groups seeking enforcement of environmental laws to public practice prosecuting environmental and white collar crime. He was Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law at San Joaquin College of Law in Fresno from 1990 to 2003.
When Friends of the River challenged the Army Corps of Engineers’ rule prohibiting any vegetation other than grass on all of the nation’s levees and the Corps moved to dismiss, Bob won the decision denying that motion. Other victories include the decision in the national class action that school buildings are damaged by the mere presence of asbestos; and the decision finding that the nationwide U.S. Forest Service anti-wilderness land management planning known as RARE II (roadless area review and evaluation) violated the National Environmental Policy Act. Bob also led the inter-disciplinary planning team that developed the Regional Plan adopted by the California Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in 1975.
Bob obtained a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley in 1966, and after serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army, obtained a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1971. He has been a member of the California Bar since 1972. Bob began representing Friends of the River in 2011.
Joy Baker, Board Member
Past Restore the Delta President, Delta resident, rancher and former Delta School District Board President.