The Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) is a nonprofit organization working to protect and steward agricultural land in Marin County. Since 1980, we have safeguarded 58,739 acres of farm and ranchland, bolstering our region’s agricultural economy and ecological resilience.

Our team is comprised of professionals specialized in land management, fundraising, and community engagement. As a place and community-based organization, we take pride in our relationships and in our commitment to MALT’s mission of preserving agricultural land for agricultural use.

Looking for a rewarding career? Visit our careers page to learn about working at MALT.

StaffPartnersBoard of DirectorsAdvisory CommitteeEmeritus Positions


Kirsten Arnett - MALT

Kirsten Arnett

Development Coordinator

(415) 663-1158 ext. 306 | Email

Kirsten joined MALT’s team as a development associate in 2022. She was born in the Midwest, but grew up in Alaska hiking, fishing, and camping. After over a decade of working in the wine industry, Kirsten attended Sonoma State University and earned her bachelor’s degree in geography, environment, and planning. It was through this academic program and an internship with The Wildlands Conservancy at the Jenner Headlands Preserve that she learned about MALT. In her spare time, Kirsten can be found trail running, spending time with her son, Milo, and enjoying local wineries. Kirsten and her son currently live in Sebastopol.


Courtney Biryukov

Associate Director of Events

(415) 663-1158 ext. 321 | Email

Courtney was born and raised in Petaluma and grew up frequently visiting West Marin. Her family were avid hikers in Point Reyes and she even got engaged at the Cowgirl Creamery! She has a love and passion for open land inspired by her father and grandmother who both grew up on farms, the latter of which she has the delight of owning. Courtney comes to MALT after 12 years in nonprofit work and a decade as an event specialist. She specializes in thoughtfully curated spaces, joy-filled events and genuine connections. Courtney studied at the University of California San Diego for a degree in psychology. She is incredibly excited to be on this talented team and cannot wait to meet the entire MALT community!


Tristan Brenner

Stewardship Program Manager – Easements

(415) 663-1158 ext. 317 | Email

Tristan joined MALT’s stewardship team as the stewardship associate in 2021. He was born and raised in Marin County and is proud to be from a family of long-time MALT supporters. Tristan spent three years working as the herd manager at Toluma Farms, tending to over 200 sheep and goats and supervising several staff. He also has interned in the Point Reyes National Seashore monitoring, mapping and doing various plant surveys. Tristan has worked in natural resource and land management for close to 10 years and received a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Prescott College. Tristan, his wife and two daughters currently live in San Rafael.


Jennifer Maude Carlin - MALT

Jennifer Maude Carlin

Deputy Director

(415) 663-1158 ext. 315 | Email

Jennifer joined MALT in 2019 to lead its strategic fundraising, communications and outreach programs. Prior to joining MALT, Jennifer served as the director of development at Ten Strands, an environmental education organization committed to bringing environmental literacy to all of California’s K–12 students. Jennifer has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 25 years with a focus on development, engagement, philanthropic partnerships and organizational capacity building. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from DePauw University.


Matt Dolkas - MALT

Matt Dolkas

Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications

(415) 663-1158 ext. 308 | Email

Matt has spent the past ten years helping communicate messages of conservation and garnering support for the protection of the planet. Prior to joining MALT, Matt coordinated marketing efforts for the Peninsula Open Space Trust, a similar organization working to protect open spaces on the San Francisco Peninsula and in the South Bay. When not at work, he’s tending to his kids, goats and chickens. He holds a Masters of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho.


Portrait of Amber Driscoll

Amber Driscoll

Director of Development

(415) 663-1158 Ext. 318 | Email

Amber joined MALT in February 2024 to create, implement, and lead the strategic development program. Prior to joining MALT, Amber was the Director of Development for ExtraFood, a Marin-based food rescue nonprofit increasing equity in our local food system and alleviating food-insecurity throughout the Bay Area. She has worked in fundraising and communications for over 10 years, supporting organizations focused on environmental justice, food security, sustainable food systems, animal welfare, and domestic violence. Amber also owned and operated restaurants in Sonoma and Marin counties and is a volunteer Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver with UCCE. She holds a Bachelor of Science in regional development from the University of Arizona and an MBA from UC Irvine.


Scott Dunbar

Stewardship Program Manager — Sustainable Agriculture

(415) 663-1158 ext. 313 | Email

Scott joined MALT’s stewardship team in 2021 after years working in an array of agricultural systems including market gardens, orchards and dryland and irrigated pastures. Born and raised just outside of Mill Valley, Scott holds an undergraduate degree in sustainable agriculture and food systems from the University of California, Davis and a masters in rangeland ecology from Colorado State University. In his free time, Scott enjoys hanging out with his partner and friends in Petaluma and is an active, avid musician performing all over the region.


Bronte Edwards - portrait - MALT

Bronte Edwards

Land Stewardship Associate

(415) 663-1158 ext: 320 | Email

Bronte joined the MALT team in 2023 as a stewardship associate. She was born and raised in Sonoma County and at the age of 15 began her career in food as a young chef studying farm to table cuisine under some of the best chefs from Sonoma to Seattle, WA. In 2017, Bronte returned to Sonoma County to study Animal Science at SRJC Shone Farm eventually becoming their livestock technician expert helping manage their commercial sheep, cattle, and goat programs. In 2019, Bronte and her wife started their own ranching company grazing sheep in vineyards and cattle on grasslands for fire protection. She was the winner of the James Beard Foundation Culinary Education Grant for her passion in combating food insecurity and was awarded a Herd Fellow at the International Grass Fed Exchange Conference for her community work around agriculture and climate activism. Bronte and her wife live in Sebastopol on their farm with their beloved flock of commercial Dorset sheep.


Lauren Faccinto - MALT

Lauren Faccinto

Acquisitions Program Manager

(415) 663-1158 ext. 302 | Email

Lauren Faccinto joined MALT in 2022 to support the management and closing of MALT’s acquisition transactions, and act as liaison between MALT’s acquisition team, property owners, and funding partners. Lauren grew up in Marin County and attended Kenyon College in Gambier, OH where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and environmental studies. She then worked as a fellow at the Piedmont Environmental Council in Virginia, a project manager at the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council in Northern California, and as Land Resources Specialist for Cargill’s real estate and land conservation projects in the South San Francisco Bay Area.


Peter Fugazzotto

Director of Communications

(415) 663-1158 ext. 323 | Email

Peter joined the MALT team in 2018 and currently leads communications and marketing efforts. Before coming to MALT, Peter led online and offline individual donor efforts and coordinated online advocacy programs at Turtle Island Restoration Network, a marine conservation organization. Prior to that, he provided fundraising and communications consulting for a range of environmentally-focused nonprofits. Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Stanford University.


Colleen Hogan

Operations Manager

(415) 663-1158 ext. 300 | Email

Colleen joined the MALT team in 2014. Her responsibilities include maintaining and improving the MALT office and technologies, assisting with recruiting and training, providing support to the executive director and board of directors and general operational management. Colleen has more than 25 years of operations experience, including 16 years as director of administration and coaching operations for E-Myth Worldwide, a small business training organization. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Whittier College.


Kathie Kearley-Green, MALT

Kathie Kearley-Green

Director of Finance

415-663-1158 ext.316 | Email

Kathie joined MALT in 2022 as the accounting manager. Prior to joining MALT, she spent seventeen yearsin nonprofit organizations, including the Finance & Treasury Department at the University of SanFrancisco, the director of administration & finance at Canal Alliance, and the business &finance manager at Ritter Center. In addition, she has many years of experience in for-profitorganizations that provides additional perspective. Kathie grew up in California’s San Joaquin Valley in a family with agricultural roots going back to southern Idaho. She holds a bachelor of science degree inaccounting from the University of San Francisco and a master of business administration in financefrom Golden Gate University.


Harriet Lehmann

Data Services Manager

(415) 663-1158 ext. 309 | Email

Harriet joined MALT in 2022 as Development Coordinator. Prior to joining MALT, she ran her own fundraising database and auction consultancy company with clients such as The American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, and The Marine Mammal Center. Harriet grew up in Petaluma and spent the last 20 years living in Marin County. She is proud to join MALT and help them protect the land in the community she was raised.


Liam McNally - MALT

Liam McNally

Acquisitions Project Manager

(415) 663-1158 ext. 303 | Email

Liam joined the Conservation Team as Acquisitions Project Manager in 2022. Prior to MALT, he spent three years managing acquisitions, entitlements, and land trust partnerships at Better Place Forests, a Bay Area based company that creates memorial forests nationwide. Liam grew up in Utah and moved to California to attend Stanford University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2012. He currently lives in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood with his wife and dog. Outside of work, you will usually find Liam surfing Ocean Beach, biking through Golden Gate Park, and trying his best to learn to play the pedal steel guitar. 


Zach Mendes

Director of Land Protection

(415) 663-1158 ext. 304 | Email

Zach joined MALT in 2014 and has over a decade of land trust experience, previously working with the Northern California Regional Land Trust. In his current role as Director of Land Protection, he is responsible for all aspects of ongoing and new land protection efforts, including compliance of MALT’s agricultural conservation easements. He comes from a dairy farming family in Glenn County and holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and planning from the University of California, San Diego. 


Anne Nowlin - MALT

Anne Nowlin

Annual Giving Manager

(415) 663-1158 ext. 312 | Email

Anne works with MALT’s core group of donors whose annual contributions help protect Marin’s farmland forever. Prior to joining the team at MALT, Anne worked at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and the West Marin Fund after spending a decade working for social impact organizations in San Francisco, CA, Washington, DC, and Portland, OR. She grew up in a small rural community in the Pacific Northwest and graduated from the University of Oregon where she studied journalism and nonprofit administration. She and her wife live in Novato with their two young kids.


Hilary Pollaro, MALT staff

Hillary Pollaro

Major Gift Manager

(415) 663-1158 ext. 314 | Email

Hillary joined MALT in 2023 to help build out the organization’s major gift program and support the broader development team. Directly prior to joining MALT, Hillary worked as a grants manager at an international nonprofit and has held previous roles in individual fundraising, operations, and program management. She has worked in the social impact sector domestically and internationally for over 8 years supporting projects related to maternal health, agroecology, and nutrition. She holds a Master of Science in Global Health from the University of Copenhagen and a Bachelors in Social Sciences & Environmental Studies from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. 


Eric Rubenstahl

Associate Director, Stewardship

(415) 663-1158 ext. 319 | Email

Eric joined MALT in 2016 to assist in monitoring existing conservation easements, help evaluate future agriculture conservation easements and facilitate best management practices on MALT’s working landscapes. Prior to joining the MALT team, Eric worked with the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department and with the South Yuba River Citizens League in Nevada City, California. Eric holds a master’s degree in conservation leadership from Colorado State University, where his thesis research consisted of creating a management plan for a 22,000-acre protected area in southern Belize.


Portrait of Lily Verdone - MALT

Lily Verdone

Executive Director

(415) 663-1158 Ext: 301 | Email

Lily joined MALT in August of 2022, the first woman to officially lead the organization since its founding. Prior to joining MALT, Lily was senior director of Coastal Quest, an Oakland-based nonprofit building climate resilience for vulnerable coastal communities. In her more than 20-year career, she has led many initiatives to protect agricultural land, open space and fresh water — working within global organizations such as The Nature Conservancy as well as small, community-based land trusts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a masters of science in biology from Sonoma State University.


Sydney Weisbach - MALT

Sydney Weisbach

Individual Giving Manager

(415) 663-1158 ext. 305 | Email

Sydney came to MALT in 2019 to support the major gifts team in achieving fundraising objectives. Sydney grew up in Marin County where she developed a passion for cooking and sustainability. Her two passions combined into a degree in agriculture and environmental science at McGill University. Prior to joining the MALT team, Sydney worked in a variety of farm and food businesses around the West and East coasts.


Portrait of Karisma Wilson, MALT Staff

Karisma Wilson

Digital Communications Manager

(415) 663-1158 Ext: 307 | Email

Karisma was born in Ojai and grew up splitting her time between California’s coast and the Great Lakes of the Midwest. Her family has been in Petaluma for the last decade, where she fell in love with the views and valleys of Marin. Karisma brings several years of nonprofit experience to MALT after working internationally in Italy and China, and domestically in the Chicago area. She holds degrees in International Business, Anthropology, and Asian Studies from Loyola University Chicago, and loves learning about the agricultural links between Marin and the Italian countryside. You can usually find her by the water or tending to her garden. 



Paula Gorman, MALT

Paula Gorman

Operations & Events Specialist

| Email

Paula grew up in Marin and spent weekends driving through the rolling hills of West Marin, enjoying the beautiful scenery offered by MALT-protected ranches. Paula has been a consultant with MALT since 2022 and her work with MALT has centered around operational improvements and digital transformation. She also supports MALT events. Previously, Paula built and led teams at a number of tech start-ups, but has always been involved with and volunteered for impact organizations. When she isn’t working, Paula spends her time mountain biking, road cycling, and hiking with her two dogs.


Dena Grunt - MALT

Dena Grunt

Human Resources Specialist

| Email

Dena Grunt, founder of Destination HR Consulting, brings over 25 years’ experience in human resources, organization development, coaching and conflict resolution. With clients from West Marin to Lake Tahoe, her background in banking, legal and hospitality allows her to bring big business strategy to small businesses. Living in Petaluma and having a deep connection to West Marin, she is excited to work with MALT as their HR Consultant. 


Denise Rocco Zilber - MALT

Denise Rocco-Zilber

Community Engagement Specialist

415-233-0998 | Email

Denise has created and produced award-winning programs that engage, enrich, document, and inspire as a photographer, content producer, and event specialist. Her work has taken her around the globe, from the dairy farms of Pt Reyes Station to the peaks of the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia, working for print and digital magazines and book publishers. She has the keen ability to move audiences from engagement and inspiration to knowledge and action.


Board of Directors



Tamara and her husband, David Jablons, own MALT-protected Toluma Farms, a goat and sheep dairy in Tomales. In 2013 they added cheesemaking to the farm’s business, marketing their artisan cheeses under the Tomales Farmstead Creamery label. In addition to managing the farm, Tamara is a clinical psychologist and serves on the boards of the California Artisan Cheese Guild and Agricultural Institute of Marin.



Diana is the CFO and co-owner of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., a Marin agricultural business with a deep 100-year history. Previously, she was a senior vice president (SVP) at MacFarlane Partners, SVP at Wells Fargo, and VP at Union Bank. The Giacomini family garnered the prestigious 2013 national Leopold Conservation Award for sustainability efforts on their farm.



Dave is a partner at Ohana Advisors, a multifamily financial office for a small group of ultra-high-net-worth families. Dave provides expertise in portfolio strategy, asset allocation, investment selection, estate plan implementation, philanthropy and next generation education and involvement. He also serves on the University of San Francisco Board of Trustees and is chairman of the university’s investment committee. Dave and his wife, Brett Robertson, are longtime supporters of MALT.



Lisa and her husband, Loren, a fourth-generation rancher, operate Stemple Creek Ranch in Tomales, one of the first ranches in the country to pioneer carbon farming practices. Lisa’s business acumen and customer relations skills have helped develop the operation into one of the area’s most well-known grass-fed organic meat producers, with herds on multiple MALT-protected ranches. Lisa is also an accomplished attorney and practices in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, elder law and special needs. She is a certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.



Kristine worked in nonprofit fundraising for fifteen years, the last nine as MALT’s Director of Development. She is an avid supporter of Marin agriculture and agricultural land protection. Prior to nonprofits, she worked in investment banking in San Francisco.  She lives in Mill Valley and enjoys mushroom hunting and hiking.



Marcia is co-owner of MALT-protected Barinaga Ranch in Marshall, where she raises sheep. With a degree in biology and a diverse career that includes working as a journalist for Science magazine, Marcia now applies her expertise to responsible land management and caring for her East Friesian sheep and Great Pyrenees guardian dogs.



Barbara was director of development for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and was instrumental in the building of the de Young Museum. A fifth-generation Northern Californian, she is a founding member of the Marin Environmental Forum and a director of the Stinson Beach County Water District.



Guido is the owner/operator of True Grass Farms in Tomales, CA, a diversified agricultural operation rooted in regenerative practices, leader in carbon farm planning and the integration of livestock in ecosystem health management. Having grown up in Italy, Guido brings a multicultural perspective to his work and seeks to cultivate a deeper connection between local consumers and community and the food they eat — fostering a more resilient food system and culture around land care.



Andrew runs Giaco’s, a farm to table restaurant in San Geronimo featuring many of the wonderful food products generated from Marin farms and ranches. In addition to MALT, he has served on various non-profit boards, including Legal Aid of Marin, the Buck Family Fund at the Marin Community Foundation, the Bay Area Council, and the Bar Association of San Francisco, and supported many local projects building ballfields, playgrounds and a gym. He is passionate about agriculture in general and improving housing for agricultural workers and their families.



Lynne is a senior consultant and principal at Marts & Lundy, a full-service consulting firm serving the nonprofit sector. She provides counsel on strategic planning, campaigns, fundraising programs and board governance. She is a professor at the Haas School of Business, where she teaches nonprofit board governance. Prior to consulting, Lynne held senior positions with the Stern Grove Festival, San Francisco Opera and the Exploratorium. Lynne serves on the boards of Cal Performances and the Center for Social Sector Leadership.


Rancher and Land Steward, Tomales

Jim currently works for Audubon Canyon Ranch supporting land stewardship and facilities on their Tomales Bay parcels and Cypress Grove Research Center. Prior to this position, Jim served in a number of roles as a stewardship staff member at MALT, and before that he worked in wildland fire management with the National Park Service. Jim also helps manage his family’s sixth generation Tomales sheep and cattle ranch. He carries deep personal connections to this working landscape, enjoys time with his family here, and is hoping to make it a better place for future generations.



Tim and his two brothers, Tom and Mike, operate an organic dairy on the historic J Ranch in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Tim and his wife, Janice, have three children, Anne, Jillian and TJ. TJ works on the dairy as the head calf raiser. The Kehoes have been ranching on the Point Reyes peninsula since the 1920s and received the North Bay “Outstanding Dairy of the Year” award at the Sonoma County Fair in 2009. Tim has been on the Shoreline Unified School District Board for many years and has served on many other industry boards in the past, including the Dairy Herd Improvement Association board.



Caitlin Landesberg was the founder and CEO of Certified B Corporation, Sufferfest Beer Company, which was fully acquired by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in 2019. Caitlin is an angel investor at This Is Water, a fund focused on mission-driven consumer brands. She is an avid hiker and trail runner, and lives in Mill Valley with her husband and two children. Caitlin currently serves as the Fundraising Committee co-chair for the Agricultural Institute of Marin’s future Center for Food and Agriculture.



Paul is a third-generation dairyman, now retired. After dairying for 30 years, he worked on behalf of dairy producers at Western United Dairymen. He recently served as a deputy director in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.



Robert is president of Straus Family Creamery, which he originally joined as COO/CFO. With over two decades of executive experience, he brings to the MALT board expertise in operations, finance, strategic planning and leadership development.


Environmental Attorney and Policy Consultant

Kristina Emanuels Phipps is a legal and policy consultant on environmental issues. Over the past two decades, her work has ranged from advising on federal regulatory policy at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, to managing the municipal approval process of a local school expansion. Currently, she works to advance global, federal and state policies and projects that protect and restore our oceans. Kristina is a member of the Stanford Habitat Conservation Board, and serves as a trustee of the Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA. She graduated order of the coif from Stanford Law School. Kristina lives with her husband, George, part-time in Inverness where she often can be found running West Marin trails.



Andrew began his connection to MALT in 2014 when he volunteered and served as Tour de MALT marshal, which he continued for several years. Andrew believes in order to lead, one must first learn to serve. Andrew currently holds a senior leadership position at ZoomInfo. Andrew is an avid trail runner and lives in Larkspur with his wife, Lily, and their two children.



Iris is a senior product leader at Collective, a tech startup that supports small businesses with company formation, taxes, accounting and compliance. She has been at the intersection of technology and agriculture for the last decade, with experience spanning commercial row crop production, specialty coffee and sesame supply chains, domestic and international markets, and farm management software. She currently lives in Mill Valley with her husband and son.



The daughter of MALT co-founder Ellen Straus, Vivien Straus manages Straus Home Ranch, her family’s 166-acre homestead in Marshall. She was head of sales and marketing for Straus Family Creamery in its early years, and has also worked at Cowgirl Creamery. Vivien created and manages, a resource which advocates for California cheesemakers. A long-time actor, Vivien also writes stories and performs one-woman comedic shows of farm life.

Advisory Committee

The purpose of MALT’s Advisory Committee is for mission-aligned representatives from our community to share their connections and experience outside the formal scope of the Board of Directors. In addition, this committee enables MALT to continue to actively engage long-standing volunteers who bring a wealth of knowledge to the organization and add value to our work.

Current Advisory Committee members:

Jonathan Barajas, Bill Barboni, Bob Berner, Amanda Moretti Boggs, Marcella Brawley, Janet Brown, Rebecca Burgess, Sue Conley, Jenna Coughlin, Kathleen Gaines, Morgan Giammona, Ralph Grossi, Janine Guillot, Marcel Houtzager, Rick LaFranchi, Paul Lightfoot, Magali Limeta, Dewey Livingston, Peter Martinelli, Gary Naja-Reise, Liebe Patterson, Regina Pozzi, Neil Rudolph, Marissa Thornton Silva

Emeritus Positions



As MALT’s first executive director, Bob helped translate our founders’ vision of a farmland trust, of which there was no precedent, into a national model. Bob retired in 2012 after 28 years of dutiful service, leaving a legacy of 68 family farms and ranches and more than 40,000 of Marin County’s agricultural landscape protected forever.



A third-generation Marin County rancher and one of the nation’s most prominent advocates of farmland preservation, Ralph has been instrumental in conservation efforts both locally and nationwide. As the first chair of MALT’s board of directors and later as the president of the American Farmland Trust, Ralph brings invaluable expertise in the complexities of both local farmland conservation as well as public policy.