Land Conservancy Board of Trustees


Gary Felsman,
BK Richard,
Vice President
Ed Carson,

Members at Large:

Valerie Endres

Beverly Gingg

Herb Kandel

Penny Rappa

Herb Stroh

Alex Rothenberg

Gary Felsman
President, Board of Trustees

Arroyo Grande

Gary has been resident of San Luis Obispo County for more than 20 years. He has a passion for working to protect and enjoy many special places on the California Central Coast and elsewhere. Graduating from Cal Poly in 1978, he moved to San Diego for three years, then was off to Colorado to live in Nederland, CO while employed at Storage Technology Corporation for three years. In 1984 he returned to the Central Coast to work for Comtel, TRW, Ziatech, and Intel. He currently is employed with Performance Technologies as a principal hardware engineer designing complex computer systems.

Gary enjoys hiking, cycling, backpacking, photography and trail work. On any given weekend you will find him exploring the Central Coast and other areas throughout California. With the help of others, Gary authored the Sierra Club Trail Guide for San Luis Obispo County.

As a former Chapter Chair of the Sierra Club, he worked hard to protect Bishop Peak, creating the Bishop Peak Natural Reserve. In honor of that work and his dedication, the City of San Luis Obispo named the “Felsman Loop Trail” after him. He has continued to work to protect many other special places along the Central Coast. Gary has been able build bridges among many different groups, finding that we have more in common than is often perceived. Gary believes working together allows us all to accomplish much more than if we work against each other.

BK Richard
Vice-President, Board of Trustees

San Luis Obispo

B.K. grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania and moved around the U.S. for education (Georgia Tech, Caltech). He enjoyed a 29-year career working on and leading advanced technology projects at TRW Inc. in California, Colorado, and Maryland, before retiring and moving to San Luis Obispo in 2003. His project experience covered numerous branches of the federal government, including a 4-year stint with NASA on an Earth observation satellite information system. He’s served on two National Academy of Science panels, dealing with scientific data. His primary goal in retirement is to contribute to this community through application of the skills and experience from his career, and from his broad interests in the environment, business, and technology. 

B.K. is dedicated hiker, road biker, and photographer. He’s traveled widely and hiked/climbed in Asia, South America, Australia, and Europe as well as across the U.S. and in his beloved California. He volunteers time for the Morro Bay National Estuary Program and has co-taught a graduate seminar in energy issues and solutions at Cal Poly. He’s been awarded prizes for his photographs and keeps and informal showcase of San Luis Obispo County’s beauty on a personal web site

You will likely bump into him hiking or biking out in the County somewhere.

Ed Carson
Treasurer, Board of Trustees

Shell Beach

Ed was raised on a small farm in Indiana. He served in the Air Force and later obtained his BS, MS and a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. From 1955 to 1983, when he retired, Ed served as a Farm Management Extension Specialist for Purdue University. After moving from Indiana to California in 1984, Ed worked both as a driver for the handicap service Runabout, and as a Williamson Act property appraiser for the San Luis Obispo County Assessor’s office. 

Since his “second retirement” in 1997, Ed has managed to narrow down his activities to serving on the Board of Directors for Achievement House, volunteering for the South County Library and tutoring for the Literacy Council. Ed has served on the Land Conservancy Board of Trustees since 1996 and has been a great advocate for restoration of the historic Octagon Barn.

Val Endres

San Luis Obispo

Valerie Endres has been a member of the Board of Trustees for more than 15 years.  Her specialty has been membership events, including Barn Day, Creek Day, and Family Day on the Bob Jones Trail. 

Growing up in Westchester County, New York, Valerie lived in a house that overlooked a property that was being held by the county for a future highway. Because of timing and funding difficulties, the highway was never built, and the land finally became a permanent swath of open space, a valuable community separator and peaceful hiking path. Valerie is delighted that the land trust movement takes a pro-active stance to create similar green spaces throughout the country without waiting for highways not to happen. 

Valerie has lived in San Luis Obispo since 1969 and is a member of the Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters, the Central Coast Recorder Society, and the San Luis Obispo Association of Realtors. She is a past president of the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, has chaired the city’s Planning Commission and was involved with youth activities in the community for many years. She enjoys gardening, reading, traveling and skiing and hikes Cerro San Luis or Bishop’s Peak at least twice a week. She lives with her husband Leland in the Old Town neighborhood of San Luis Obispo.

Bev Gingg

San Luis Obispo

Beverly is one of five Delwiche sisters who grew up on a Paso Robles area cattle ranch. She studied biological sciences in school, earning a bachelor’s degree in Montana along with a secondary teaching credential, and an M.S. degree in biological sciences at Cal Poly. She enjoyed teaching jr. high science in Boise, ID between degrees and also spent years working at the San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture. In 1996, she worked with others to establish the Santa Margarita Community Forestry (, now a Chapter of the Land Conservancy, and continues to serve as coordinator. She divides her time between numerous community activities including SMCF, 4-H, the Native Tree Committee of SLO County, the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden and co-chairing an endowment fund (promoting accessibility for people with disabilities) held at the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation. She lives in San Luis Obispo with her husband Bryan and tries to save time for gardening, tennis, walks with her dogs, and attending Cal Poly sporting events.

Penny Rappa

 Penny Rappa comes to us with a great deal of enthusiasm and experience. With her husband, Joe and their three daughters, Penny moved to San Luis Obispo County in 1974.  She currently lives in Avila Valley, adjacent to the Bob Jones Bike Trail. Penny believes in actively participating in her community. As both a City of San Luis Obispo and County Planning commissioner and a member of the City’s City Council from 1985 through 1994 she has gained a great deal of knowledge and experience. Currently she works for Habitat for Humanity for San Luis Obispo County as both the Executive Director and the ReStore Manager. Recently appointed to the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission for the 3rd District, she continues her community involvement.  In her “spare time” she enjoys her family, grandchildren and gardening.  Penny joined the Land Conservancy Board of Directors in 2002 and has served on both the Executive Committee and Finance Committee.

Herb Kandel

Nipomo Herb Kandel is a California native and a 20-year resident of Nipomo with his wife, Donna and two daughters, Anya and Zosha. He joined the board of the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County in 2002, and initiated the Nipomo Chapter of the Land Conservancy in 2003. He has assisted the Land Conservancy staff with the initiation of several projects including the Nipomo Watershed Project, acquisitions in Black Lake Canyon, and yearly creek cleanups. Prior to his service with the Land Conservancy, In 1999 Kandel founded the Nipomo Creek Committee of the Nipomo Community Advisory Council (NCAC), which provided a community forum for   habitat protection and addressed issues of flooding and erosion control. He was also served on numerous other NCAC committees such as the Transfer of Development committee, as well as SLO County committees such as an Air Pollution Control District funding committee. Kandel is a frequent volunteer in local elementary schools on topics of local natural and cultural history. He likes to sing songs and tell stories with his programs. Kandel currently is the President of the Board of the Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos (D.A.N.A.), a State historic landmark with the goal to create a 140-acre living history park. He is also chair of the D.A.N.A. acquisition committee that is successfully partnering with the Land Conservancy protecting the historic agricultural landscape and the natural resources along Nipomo Creek. In 2004 he wrote a play about Captain Dana, which was produced and performed by PCPA Outreach Program and toured central coast schools in 2005. Herb Kandel earns his living as a State Licensed Acupuncturist and has a private practice in Santa Maria since 1986. His undergraduate degree is in Cultural Anthropology from University of California at Santa Barbara, with field studies at the University of Accra, Ghana West Africa. He earned a masters degree in Chinese Medicine at the Santa Barbara College of Oriental Medicine with postgraduate studies at the Nanjing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He earned a doctorate in Chinese Medicine at the Samra University in Los Angeles 1989. His passions are hiking after rainstorms, exploring California history, and riding horses with his wife. He also enjoys writing and quiet card games with his daughters.

Herb Stroh

Herb is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1981, and his J.D. degree from Loyola Law School in 1985.  He obtained an LLM in tax from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2000.In 1988 Herb became a partner in the law firm of Whitesell & Stroh, and practiced in Glendale until joining the firm of Sinsheimer Juhnke Lebens & McIvor in 2005.

Herb was on the Los Angeles County Probate Mediation Panel, and has been appointed by the court in numerous conservatorship cases.  He taught in the UCLA Attorney Assistant Program for over 10 years.  His article on conservation easements entitled “To Protect and to Conserve” was published in the Los Angeles Lawyer. Herb has served the Los Angeles Superior Court as Judge Pro Tem, has volunteered as a settlement officer and arbitrator for both superior and limited court cases.

Regarding community activities, Herb served as President of the Sierra Madre Mountains Conservancy, and was on its board for 13 years. He is currently on the Board of Hospice of San Luis and the Cambria Sunrise Centennial Rotary. He is a past Member and past President of the West Glendale Gateway Kiwanis, past Member of the California Parks Ministry, and Past Member/Treasurer/Trustee of the Glendale Bar Association.Herb also served as a lay minister until his move to the Central Coast. 

Herb enjoys hiking, mountain biking and backpacking. He resides in Cambria with his wife, Patti, and children, Kelly and Brian.

Alex Rothenberg
San Luis Obispo

Alex was born and raised in Tiburon, in Marin County.  He attended undergrad at Cal Poly and earned his BS in Business Administration with a double concentration in Accounting and Finance, and a Minor in Environmental Economics.  He began his professional life with KPMG LLP as an accountant and financial statement auditor in their San Francisco practice.  After achieving sign off of all his audit hours required for the CPA license, he applied for and was hired to KPMG’s Silicon Valley consulting practice and worked with a small practice specializing in acting as a company’s interim executive management for company start up or dismantling.  He still wasn’t satisfied with life and career and asked himself what he would do if he won the lottery.  That was simple, come back to San Luis Obispo, attend graduate school at Cal Poly to earn his MBA, acquire his real estate broker’s license to pursue a career in real estate, get his pilot’s and skydiver’s license (71 jumps and counting), and enjoy beautiful San Luis Obispo.  Still not satisfied with his life after three years of building his own real estate company, he decided again to re-asses his life’s work.  During these years, Alex found that most of his satisfaction came from volunteering and substantial community involvement.  His decision was to scrap the pursuit of income and look for a job with a non-profit to spend his time pursuing his life’s true passion, promoting sustainable energy/growth on this planet.  In the process, folks from Coast National Bank approached Alex to offer him the opportunity to employ all his education and experience to be a loan officer as well as afford him the time and flexibility to pursue all his volunteer/non-profit activities.  So far, he couldn’t be more pleased and fulfilled with his career and pursuits.  Being involved with The Land Conservancy is paramount to his satisfaction and pursuit of happiness.

Alex’s other volunteer activities include:  Graduate of Leadership SLO class XIV, SLO Chamber of Commerce,Ambassador, Board Member & membership/fundraising chair for SLO Green Build, government liaison for SLO Green Build, steering committee member for  the Strategic Energy Alliance for Change, real estate advisory committee member for 33rd District Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, Battle of the CEOs founding member and annual participant of local annual fundraiser, community division leader for the YMCA’s Annual Campaign.

 Alex’s other interests include flying, skydiving,  hiking, yoga, triathlons, backpacking, bartending, rock climbing, traveling, surfing, acting, singing, current events and politics.