Roberta Highland, president and long time Board Member is now serving on the Issues and Comment Committee with Penelope Haas. Roberta was presented with the prestigious Celia Hunter Award for Outstanding Volunteer Contributions in 2013. She has been involved in conservation since 1986. Roberta has served on many boards since then — the longest being The Kachemak Bay Conservation Society. Roberta has worked on signiﬁcant issues that have required statewide coordination for success. These include the creation of the Fritz Creek Anchor River Critical Habitat Area, for which she received an award from the Governor for her efforts, and the Kachemak Bay State Park buyback. She served as the Director of Home Health for seven years after she and an associate lobbied to bring a home health department to South Peninsula Hospital. Her involvement in local campaigns helped instigate a jet ski ban in Kachemak Bay, halt coal bed methane development, temporarily shut down the Drift River oil terminal, and purchase property for the local ski trail system in Homer. Roberta is civically engaged through her seats on the Homer Advisory Planning Commission and the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board. She serves as President of the Kachemak Bay Equestrian Association. Roberta weighs in regularly on issues being discussed on local radio including KBBI’s Coffee Table or the statewide Talk of Alaska. Her guiding principles embrace the Four E's: Environment, Economy, Energy, and Ethics. Using this approach, inspired by former Governor Jay Hammond, she strives to elevate important conservation issues and influence decision makers. “We are all in this together.” Roberta said, “So be respectful and nice to all-including those who disagree with us. . . I find that a sense of humor and talking about the weather is a good icebreaker, especially in Alaska. . . I make it a point to frequently talk to the 'other side,' if you will, because it does little good to just talk to each other.” Her humor and optimism shine through all of her work. She believes we can all be a force for the change we want to see in the world. Her indomitable spirit is nourished by the belief that everything is connected and that protecting the earth and the life it sustains is the worthiest of causes.
Martie replaces Linda Gorman as treasurer with an appointment to the board in March, 2016. As a resident of Homer since 1984, Martie has been involved in many civic and environmental endeavors through teaching and 4-H. She taught at The Learning Place, a parent’s cooperative educational venture prior to starting Smoky Bay School which operated from 1986 to 2006. Through the school, Martie worked with children from grades one through twelve on academics as well as stewardship of the earth through many science projects and wilderness education programs. Other endeavors include playing with the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, Inlet Winds Band, and the Krohn Family Band; activities with Pier One Theatre, and stage management for Dance Theatre North. In 2014, Martie was named Woman of Distinction by Haven House. Martie brings an extensive background in accounting to the position of treasurer through self-employment, working as a bookkeeper for Kachemak Port Services and serving as treasurer for the Kenai Peninsula Fair Board between stints as president.
Penelope Haas has worked in Alaska's commercial salmon fisheries as a deckhand in the Prince William Sound and as a technician for ADF&G in Prince William Sound, Haines, and on the Alaska Peninsula. She has also participated in research with ADF&G and the Prince William Sound Science Center, collecting data on straying of hatchery salmon and genetic impacts of hatchery pink salmon to wild stocks. She currently lives a seasaonal life researching wolves for the Yellowstone Wolf Project, collecting birch sap for Bridge Creek Birch Syrup, hanging gillnets for Bristol Bay, fishing the Bay, trying to spend most of the fall hunting and camping, and winter is for skiing and ice fishing. She believes a strong economy and community need conservation-based management; that good management needs good data, and good data takes money. Her work with KBCS is focused on local conservation issues, including local climate change education and promotion of alternative energy solutions; good planning and management of Kenai Peninsula, Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet to ensure protection of fish, wildlife and their habitat.
Jim is president of the Kenai Peninsula Fair Board, a member of the Homer Little League Board and is the producer of Salmonfest. Prior to moving to Alaska 7 years ago, Jim was involved in producing many fundraisers and brought his restaurant and catering experience to Hurricane Katrina and, with a revolving team, served 75,000 meals to evacuees over 2 months. He was also a founding member and leader of Friends of the River in California, founding member and board president of the Central Sierra Watershed Coalition, and past board president of the Mother Lode Women’s Center.
Bjørn Olson is a life-long Alaskan, adventurer, photographer, videographer and storyteller. Bjørn attempts to educate and advocate for leaving Alaska better than when he came into it — a task more formidable than climbing Denali, kayaking to Kodiak or cycling a 1,100-mile snow trail above the Arctic Circle.
Alisa Mooy was appointed in October 2014. She is married to Jim Stearns and has lived in Homer for 6 years since moving from California. In California, she was involved with the Avery Ranch collective that utilized the Nature Conservancy model to purchase private lands within the Stanislaus National Forest boundaries and provide stewardship and habitat preservation for the flora and fauna of the region. In 2005 she went to Houston, Texas and set up a Katrina relief kitchen to serve meals to thousands of New Orleans residents who had evacuated to Houston. She remained in Houston for nearly 3 months and raised funds and co-managed the kitchen that ended up serving nearly 75,000 meals. In 2007 Alisa started a soup kitchen for the homeless and underprivileged residents of Calaveras County, California. She has very good computer skills and will be working on Salmonfest. This will be a 1-year term to get her on the regular 2-year election cycle.
Elisa Russ has lived in Alaska since 1992 and in Homer since 1996, give or take a few forays to other parts of the state for job opportunities. During that time Elisa has volunteered for many non-profit organizations including KBCS, Cook Inletkeeper, and Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park. Environmental advocacy has long been an important part of Elisa's life, beginning with her days at the Citizens for Social Responsibility in Northern California, fighting to phase out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and advocating for the development of technologies utilizing sustainable energy, before moving to Alaska. In 1997 she co-founded KARE, Kachemak Advocates for REcycling, and in 1998 she held the first Earth Day celebration at Big E's Eatery, her Homer business at the time. Most recently she served on the Board of Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges (Friends) for 5 years where she was the Outreach Coordinator and coordinated several large photography exhibits of Refuge lands in Homer, Anchorage, Juneau, and Cold Bay. Elisa enjoys exploring the connections between art and nature and nurturing those relationships through partnerships, including several collaborative events with Friends and Bunnell Street Arts Center. Currently, Elisa is employed as a fisheries biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) working with commercial groundfish and shellfish fisheries in Cook Inlet, the North Gulf Coast, and Prince William Sound. Ensuring that Alaska's renewable fish and wildlife resources and their habitats are conserved and managed on the sustained yield principle is a tenet of ADF&G's mission statement that Elisa holds dear and advocates for in her work. In Elisa's free time she enjoys skiing, hiking, biking, yoga, dancing to live music including attending Salmonfest (every year since its inception as Salmonstock) and simply appreciating the natural beauty of this great state, particularly the landscape of Kachemak Bay.
Susan Kaplan has called Homer home since 1995 and has walked the beach since arriving. Kaplan joined the board on May 19th after helping with the annual earth day events. Kaplan has enjoyed many endeavors while in Homer from food service to the arts, advertising to journalism and always an interest in real estate. Kaplan now finds herself at Cornerstone Home Lending helping good people get into good homes. And during the summers Kaplan lends a hand with Salmonfest.
Patricia (Pat) Cue has joined the KBCS Board. Her passion for conservation and all things wild have been an integral part of the Homer community for many years. As an elected official on the Homer City Council, she worked to establish the Beach Policy Task Force in collaboration with many city, state and private citizens. Pat was one of the first water quality monitors for Cook Inlet Keeper which provided the impetus to create the City of Homer Beach Policy. She has worked to keep jet skis out of Kachemak Bay State Park and billboards off of Alaska roadways and scenic places. Pat’s interests include stopping the Pebble Mine, reducing global warming and limiting plastics in our oceans. Another keen interest is developing a greater understanding of how noise pollution impacts our lives and how to minimize all types of noise in our environment. She is happy to be back in Homer and grateful to serve on the KBCS Board.