Board Chair Malissa McKeith is the founder and president of CURE. After 33 years, in some of the largest firms in the world, Malissa has formed Environmental Infrastructure Consultants, LLC (” EnIC)” a multi-disciplinary group of seasoned professionals to tackle complicated land use, water and energy issues.
In addition to her professional expertise in water, land development and energy law, she is an expert on the Colorado River, and on the environmental, public health and economic consequences of diverting and transferring its flow.
Both in her professional work as an environmental attorney, and in her role as founder and president of CURE, Malissa has litigated or participated in numerous cases relating to management of Colorado River water, development in flood prone areas, and the protection of wildlife habitats.
In 2002, a unique California alliance called Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform (P.O.W.E.R.) paid tribute to Malissa McKeith, awarding her the prestigious Carla Bard Award, in honor of her outstanding environmental advocacy work around Deer Creek and Colorado River issues.
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.