About Us

Board of Directors

The members of the Conservancy’s Board of Directors are drawn from a broad cross-section of Santa Monica and Westside residents.  Working through its committee structure, and with limited contract administrative support, the Board and a cadre of dedicated volunteers are responsible for conceiving and executing all Conservancy programs.

Carol Lemlein – President

Chair, Steering Committee of the 2011 California Preservation Foundation Annual Conference in Santa Monica. Co-developer of the Conservancy’s Downtown Walking Tour. Retired marketing and product development manager at Teradyne, Inc.

Sherrill Kushner* – Vice President

Attorney, fundraiser, writer. Board member, Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City. Former Board member, Santa Monica Public Library; chair of its bond campaign. Former Board member of Friends of the Library.

John Zinner – Vice President

Principal of Zinner Consultants, specializing in green building, LEED certification and sustainable development. Former Board member, US Green Building Council Los Angeles Chapter. Former Chair of the Santa Monica Planning and Housing Commissions.

Tom Cleys* – Treasurer

Vice President of Mesa West Capital. Founding President of the Conservancy. Former board member, Friends of Sunset Park.

Kaitlin Drisko – Secretary

Founder and Principal of Drisko Studio Architects, specializing in historic preservation and architectural stewardship of historic and cultural properties.

Michael W. Folonis, FAIA

Founding Principle of Michael W. Folonis, Architects a Santa Monica based firm since 1983.  Also teaches at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Former Chair of the Santa Monica Architectural Review Board.

Mario Fonda-Bonardi, AIA

Principal of Fonda-Bonardi & Hohman Architects, specializing in residential design. Member of the Third Street Historic District Community Participation Committee.

Nina Fresco

Santa Monica Landmarks Commissioner. Former costume designer. Graphic designer for many of the Conservancy’s printed materials.

Chris Gray

Director of Business Development, Mollenhauer Group. President of the Association for Preservation Technology, West Coast Chapter. Lecturer, USC School of Architecture Programs in Historic Preservation. Prior positions at The Getty Conservation Institute and English Heritage.

David Kaplan

Principal of Kaplan, Chen, Kaplan Architects. Specialist in historic preservation. Former Chair, Santa Monica Airports Commission.

Ruthann Lehrer

Architectural historian. Santa Monica Landmarks Commissioner. First Executive Director of the Los Angeles Conservancy. Former President, California Preservation Foundation.

Meighan Maguire, PhD

Education Director at Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach.  Earned a doctorate’s degree in communication from the University of California, San Diego.

Libby Motika

Journalist specializing in arts and culture. Program Committee volunteer. Enrolled in USC School of Architecture’s Master of Heritage Conservation degree program.

Libby Pachares

Head of the Docent Council and a part of the inaugural group of Beach House docents in 2009. Served as Symphonian president in 2006-2007. Former business affairs lawyer at MGM.

Laurel Schmidt

Educator and author. Former teacher, principal and director in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Past Santa Monica Landmarks Commissioner.  Works with museums in Los Angeles and New York on docent education.

Doris Sosin, Emeritus*

Co-founder of the Conservancy. Founder and past chair of the North of Montana Association. Former Curator of Textiles at the Skirball Museum. Former Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commissioner.

Ken Breisch, PhD, Emeritus*

Assistant Professor, University of Southern California School of Architecture and former Director, Graduate Programs in Historic Preservation. Board Member, Santa Monica Public Library. Former Santa Monica Planning Commissioner.

* Founding board members