Malissa Hathaway McKeith is a recognized expert in international water disputes, groundwater hydrology and remediation, and environmental regulations. She clerked for several judges before beginning her law practice including Justice Stanley Mosk of the California Supreme Court. Malissa spent 30 years practicing at several major Los Angeles firms including O’Melveny & Myers, Loeb & Loeb and LEWIS Brisbois. Much of her career has focused on environmental justice at the United States/Mexico border where she participated in negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement Environmental Side Agreements and several amendments to the 1944 Water Treaty between the United States and Mexico.
Malissa’s family founded CURE in 1997 to fight the removal of food infrastructure built during the Roosevelt Administration and intended not only for public safety but groundwater recharge. She also spent over a decade challenging the transfer of water from the Imperial Valley to San Diego, the largest ag to urban transfer in history. This transfer greatly accelerated the demise of the Salton Sea and ultimately will substantially reduce agricultural land in Southern California. She also represented several environmental and civic organizations in Mexico’s challenge to the concrete lining of the All American Canal.
Malissa now devotes her time to pro bono work as President of CURE. CURE continues to question the efficacy of allowing for development in unsafe areas, the mismanagement of water allocation, and programs focused on promoting urban agriculture for food sustainability and health. She has served on many boards and commissions including the Colorado River Board of California, the State Bar of California, the Governor’s Military Base Reuse Commission, California Women Lawyers, and the Riverside Food Systems Alliance.
John Paul Gamlin
John Gamlin has had a career spanning almost 30 years in real estate development as a planner, development manager and principal. He is President of Sofia Investments, Inc., a California corporation that provides land use and development management expertise to a variety of clients in real estate development and financial sectors. He is also managing principal of Premier Land Advisors, LLC, which provides a development management platform for Sofia.
A 27-year resident of the Coachella Valley, John graduated from the School of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo. His current projects include the subdivision of land holdings in Rancho Mirage, re-positioning of a golf master plan in Simi Valley, and a development partnership with the City of La Quinta for the build-out of SilverRock Resort, a large master plan. Past project experience includes managing the development of the Hideaway and Madison Clubs in La Quinta, the Canyon View Estates at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert for Discovery Land Company, and re-positioning and sale of Coral Mountain at La Quinta, a 1,320-acre planned community.
Throughout a career devoted to developing “lifestyle-oriented” master planned communities, John has worked to balance development objectives with environmental concerns, taking a pro-active approach to solving land use conflicts.
John grew up with a love of the outdoors inspired by family camping trips to National Parks across the country. His first awareness of worldwide environmental issues came in elementary school, precipitated by classroom discussions about the “greenhouse effect.” As a high schooler in the Tahoe basin, John became an avid hiker, and his affinity for nature grew, as did his interest in the world-famous alpine lake’s ecosystem. Later, as a student at Cal Poly, teachings on the philosophy of sensitive environmental design underscored by architects like Ian McHarg, resonated with him.
Over the years, John has embraced an array of concerns expressed in the non-profit sector, including CURE, the Desert Cahuilla Wetlands (a pilot project for Salton Sea mitigation / stabilization), and as a board member of the La Quinta Arts Foundation. He has also been involved in outreach to an orphanage in Baja, California, raised funds for pediatric cancer research for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation with his daughter, and supported start-up community theatre programs for challenged youth. For John, the thread connecting most of these pursuits is his belief that a fundamental quality of life – beginning with breathable air and potable water – should never be for sale, and is inseparable from values of fairness, equality and justice. For lack of these elements, John firmly believes, all other things are naught, and no seed of hope can germinate
With 30 years of experience in energy market design, product development, and commodity portfolio management, Seth brings a unique perspective to urban food system development. The water-energy-food nexus sits within a social-environmental and economic context that requires good public policy and stewardship for sustainable, just and equitable outcomes for all communities. Seth left the Lasalle Street Canyon (Chicago’s Wall Street) in 2013 to become a social entrepreneur. He is a cofounder of GC-Solutions, a startup water treatment company based in Durango, CO. He consults on securities crowdfunding. Seth also serves as executive director of the Riverside Food Systems Alliance, a nonprofit focused on building healthy and sustainable communities in and around Riverside, California. Seth is married with two adult kids and two amazing granddaughters.
Jim Weiner founded Collaborative Project Consulting as the natural progression of a thirty-year career as a design architect & educator. He is a recognized thought leader in architecture & sustainable building in the U.S. & internationally.Green building policy has been shaped by his hands-on work with the U.S. Green Building Council, major utilities, universities and local governments. Jim is an educator & speaker for groups including the American Library Association, Community College Facilities Coalition, UCLA, USC, UCSB, SCIARC, Association of Energy Engineers, American Solar Energy Society, AIA, ASHRAE, Energy Resource Center & the U.S. Green Building Council.
Melissa Banales -Junior Advocate
Melissa is a Riverside resident and senior at Pitzer College. Melissa is the Robert Redford Fellow at Pitzer College and will focus on advancing urban farming and Salton Sea Restoration
Kanak Daga- Junior Advocate
Kanak studies in Mumbai India and focuses on the economic impacts of international water disputes.