Meet the Regeneration Advisory Board!
Director of Development, Western Region, Climate Central
Anne was most recently a Director of Development at UC Santa Cruz, where her portfolio was focused on donors to the Environmental Studies Department and the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. She recently led a campaign to endow the Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History at UCSC, raising more than $3M. Earlier, she served the Institute of Marine Sciences, Earth and Planetary Sciences, the Science Communication program, and the UCSC Natural Reserves.
Prior to her ten years at UCSC, Anne led programs and development efforts for environmental education organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Throughout her career, Anne has also been a freelance writer and editor, primarily in the areas of ecology and natural history.
Anne is married and lives in rural Santa Cruz County.
Vice President of Community Programs, Ecology Action
Kirsten is grateful to serve as the Vice President of Community Programs at Ecology Action, a kind, innovative nonprofit making the world a better place by helping people take action to reverse climate change and address water shortages. She lives and works in Santa Cruz, California, a seaside redwood haven that she could not leave after graduating with honors from UCSC, a college renowned for having the nation’s coolest mascot, the banana slug.
During Kirsten’s tenure at Ecology Action of Santa Cruz, the organization has experienced significant growth in size and breadth of program expertise, growing from a staff of 9 and a budget of $591,000 to a current staff of almost 100 and a budget $16 million. Kirsten’s contributions to Ecology Action are her ability to grow and establish new programs, build successful collaboratives, and manage high-performance teams. Kirsten enjoys taking long walks up big hills with heavy packs, diving in alpine lakes and playing with her nieces and nephews anywhere they want to play.
Public Water Now
Adam Scow resides in Watsonville and is currently a Senior Strategist for Public Water Now, a community-based organization working to win public ownership of the water system on the Monterey Peninsula. Adam was previously a Senior Consumer Advocate for Consumer Watchdog, where he worked on energy, privacy, and security issues.
For over 12 years Adam worked at Food & Water Watch where as California Director he oversaw successful campaigns to promote clean energy and protect California's water. During his tenure his team helped pass legislation to establish a human right to water in California and helped pass a bill led by the United Farm Workers to win overtime pay for farmworkers. Adam has worked for over a decade on the Central Coast and has supported and helped lead campaigns to ban fracking and stop water privatization in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties.
President, Pájaro Valley Federation of Teachers
Nelly grew up in Northern California, at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where she gained a deep appreciation for the environment. She moved to Santa Cruz County to teach for Pajaro Valley Unified after receiving a Bilingual Teaching Credential in 2007and is grateful to live within reach of the beauty of the forest and the ocean.
Nelly incorporated the respect and appreciation of the environment into her lessons. She organized field trips for beach clean-ups and tide pool explorations with various local organizations for her students; the first beach experience for some students. Nelly has also participated in teacher training through the Monterey Bay Aquarium to bring ocean learning, plastic pollution awareness, and prevention into her classroom. She has participated in Safe Ag Safe Schools and spoken at a public hearing asking for pesticide reform.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, and learning new ways to help combat climate change.
Associate Organizer, Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action (COPA)
Mayra is a native of Watsonville, born into an agriculture working family. She attended San Jose State University where she studied Sociology with an emphasis in Community Change. While at SJSU, she served as President of the Student Homeless Alliance (SHA), an SJSU student-led organization that advocates for unhoused and housing insecure students. Her work there led to a deal that helped produce $3M in student housing aid, a centralized student resource center, a pilot program of 12 emergency beds, and a rental assistance program for students. Mayra is a recipient of 2020 Women of the Year Senate District 15.
In her current role, as an Associate Organizer at Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action (COPA), a broad-based organization of 27 institutions in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, she trains leaders to develop their capacity to work on issues affecting their families. COPA is part of the Industrial Areas Foundation, the nation’s largest and oldest broad-based organizing network. Through her work in COPA, she is able to continue making meaningful lasting positive changes in the Central Coast and beyond.
Mayra’s passions include being of service and protecting mother earth, amongst other things. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, visiting the local beaches and nature spots, and learning or picking up a new skill.
City Council Member
Vanessa Quiroz-Carter was born and raised in Watsonville. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. in English Literature in 2009. Vanessa received a Master's Degree from the California State University, East Bay in 2018. She currently works as an Adjunct Professor at Hartnell Community College in Salinas where she helps students develop public speaking skills to advocate for the causes they care about. Vanessa is passionate about social justice issues, fighting climate change, protecting our water, and marine conservation.
In addition to serving on the Advisory Board for Regeneracion, Vanessa also currently serves as a Co-Chair of the Santa Cruz County Women's Commission, is Board Vice President of Families in Transition, and serves on the Watsonville City Council, representing District 2.
Amy M. Ross
Director of Patient Services, Salud Para La Gente
Amy serves as Director of Patient Services with Salud Para La Gente (Salud), the largest
community health center in Santa Cruz County. Salud provides medical, dental, behavioral
health, optometry, specialty care, and supportive services to 30,000 Pajaro Valley residents-
46% of those being from agriculture working families. Amy sees how climate change directly
affects Salud’s patients’ livelihoods and health.
She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of
International Studies at Monterey and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Paraguay. In
her free time, she can be found enjoying life’s simple pleasures - live music, cooking and
sharing meals with others, outdoor adventuring, and spending time with her partner and two
Past and Founding Members of the Advisory Board
Maria Elena De La Garza
Executive Director, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County
Retired Principal and City Councilmember, Watsonville
Reverend Florentino Cordova
First Christian Church, Watsonville
Watsonville City Councilmember
Former Director of Programs, Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust
Patricia Ladron de Guevara
Senior Department Manager, (Retired 2015) Baskin School of Engineering, UCSC
Past President, Pajaro Valley
Federation of Teachers