Directors, Officers & Staff
President, Executive Director
Deborah moved to the Ojai Valley in 2000 as a newlywed. Along with her work as the Coalition’s Executive Director since 2008, she offers administrative/bookkeeping services, and runs a home-based wholesale retractable screens business with her husband, Wayne.
Deborah’s 15 years in the restaurant industry, 15 years as a business owner, and an A.S. degree in accounting gives her many of the needed skills for public speaking, engaging with people, and helping the Coalition develop its infrastructure as a young organization. As time allows, she is taking classes in fundraising and nonprofit management.
Deborah hopes to be at ‘net zero’ with her own carbon footprint when she leaves this Earth, and plans to work on it, along with the whole community’s footprint, until that time. .
The Ojai Valley Green Coalition sincerely appreciates Deborah for her service!
Treasurer, Director - Budget, Finance & Resource Committee
Ched has worked in social change movements for almost 40 years, with a variety of organizations including the American Friends Service Committee. With degrees in theology and philosophy, he is a popular educator who animates issues of faith-based peace and justice. He is a co-founder of the Sabbath Economics Collaborative (www.sabbatheconomics.org) and the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice (http://clbsj.org/). Ched has authored over 100 articles and more than a half-dozen books, including volumes on alternative economics, restorative justice and immigrant rights (www.ChedMyers.org). He and his partner Elaine Enns run a small nonprofit organization (www.bcm-net.org) and a sustainable living demonstration site in Oak View in the Ventura River watershed.
Secretary, Director, Watershed Council Liaison
David White has a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a Ph.D. in Medicine from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He has been involved in numerous environmental groups in Ventura County since 1987, including the Keep the Sespe Wild committee, Food for Thought Ojai, the Ojai Valley Green Coalition, and the Center for Regenerative Agriculture. David has also worked as the science teacher and environmental coordinator at Happy Valley and Ojai Valley Schools. He currently wears many hats as the Executive Director of Ojai’s Center for Regenerative Agriculture, Director of Oak Grove School’s Once Upon a Watershed program, and is active at ten schools in the Ventura River Watershed. David is also the garden coordinator for Food for Thought's Ojai Healthy Schools program, managing and coordinating the garden based learning programs at the five OUSD elementary schools. As a Coalition board member, he is the acting watershed program liaison. One of his favorite things to do is to plant trees with kids.
Director, Governance Committee
Joanie Blaxter is the Ventura area chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation, past member of the Ventura County Ag Futures Alliance, health educator, speaker and author of the weekly nutrition newsletter Follow Your Gut.
Joanie has enjoyed over thirty years in the natural foods and products industry in sales and education at the manufacturing, retail and distributor levels. She is also a certified mediator and trained group facilitator.
After raising her daughter solo in a small town in Vermont, Joanie moved to Ojai in 2009 where she daily enjoys a year-round growing season and local farmers market, a snow-free driveway and the chickens in her neighbor’s yard.
Director, Governance Committee
Chris, of Chris Cohen Law (www.chriscohenlaw.com), has a modern, nontraditional law practice that provides business law and estate planning services to clients in Ojai and throughout California. He is a graduate of UC San Diego and Ventura College of Law. Prior to opening his practice, Chris was a government relations professional at Scripps Institution of Oceanography for nearly 10 years.
Environmental responsibility is a core value in his personal and professional life. Chris also serves on the Legal Advisory Committee for the Ojai Valley Defense Fund. He and his wife Nellie live in Meiners Oaks. In his off time, Chris enjoys fly fishing and snow skiing.
Director, Food Council Liaison, Volunteer Coordinator and Executive Director Assistant
Noel Douglas-Roth is a musician, minister, teacher and entrepreneur. During the '70s, Noel combined his stage talents of acting and singing with that of teaching, and became one of Silicon Valley's foremost instructors in the area of Stress Reduction. His years of experience qualified him for a California State Teaching Credential. Noel went on to become a trainer in the motivational industry with Sage Seminars, Inc. In his mid-twenties, Noel founded a non-profit community service agency that opened The Soupline Natural Foods Restaurant and Food Co-op. The Soupline Restaurant continued as The Peasant Chef for over 15 years.
Noel's purpose in life is to empower us all to be more our creative selves by sharing experiences which encourage productive thinking, open communication, close friendships, supportive environments and humanitarian services which can prosper everyone. Noel's years of entrepreneurial experience have given birth to The AIM Game (AIM: Advanced Idea Management) which he conducts as a productivity seminar or consultation for business teams and individuals. He is currently preparing a multi-media educational version of The AIM Game for publication.
Today Noel resides in Ojai, California, where he is a live-in property manager and caregiver. The birth of his first grandchild in 2009 has reinvigorated Noel's sense of community.
Director, Budget, Finance & Resource Committee
Cynthia Louise Grier has been a proponent of environmental causes for many years. She received her degree in Interior Environmental Design and has worked as an Interior Designer and a manufacturer's marketing representative for a variety of building materials and finishes providing design, technical, and sustainability consulting.
In 2008, Cynthia founded EcoLogic Life Style Design in Ojai, after recognizing the strong desire of the people to shift their lifestyle to a much more sustainable way of living. Cynthia is a "Build It Green" Certified Building Professional, and offers design consultations and building materials, working with clients who often have chemical sensitivities or simply want to create interiors that are good for their health and the health of the planet. Cynthia is also founder/writer for EcoLogic LifeStyle Travel Guide, has served as an Editorial Advisor for Natural Home Magazine, and as a judge for the USGBC C-4 2011 Green Awards.
Cynthia sits on the Board of Directors as a Community Business Liaison. As a member, she helped organize a "Green Building & Beyond" Forum in 2008, assisted in designing and procuring donated materials for a mock green home in the Ojai Valley Museum in 2009, and participated in an Ecotourism Forum steering committee in 2012. Her goal as a Business Liaison is to enlist businesses as members to support the OVGC's mission and to create programs that will assist the businesses in lowering their environmental footprint.
Director, Budget, Finance & Resource Committee
Margaret moved to Ojai from southeastern Vermont in 2012. In Vermont she was a member of the Initiating Group of Transition Town Putney and a member of the Board of the Putney Historical Society. She received a Master’s degree in Conflict Transformation from the SIT Graduate Institute in 2011. Margaret has a strong focus on community-building and greatly values activities that strengthen community connection, resilience, and health. In Vermont she was involved in the creation of a community garden and a Farmer’s Market, and for several years organized a yearly chicken coop tour. Her interest in wholesome, locally sourced food continues with her work as a member of the steering committee of the Ojai Food Co-op. She is thrilled to now live in Ojai and finds her work with the Coalition to be extremely rewarding.