Directors, Officers & Staff

Russell SydneyRussell Sydney
Executive Director   

Deborah PendreyDeborah Pendrey
Treasurer, Program 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!

ChedMyers_headshot.jpgChed Myers
President, Director, Governance 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 ( and the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice ( Ched has authored over 100 articles and more than a half-dozen books, including volumes on alternative economics, restorative justice and immigrant rights ( He and his partner Elaine Enns run a small nonprofit organization ( and a sustainable living demonstration site in Oak View in the Ventura River watershed.

Joanie Blaxter
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.

Chris Cohen Chris Cohen
Director, Governance Committee

Chris, of Chris Cohen Law (, 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.

Noel DouglasNoel Douglas
Secretary, Director, Staff

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.

Check this EPA site out!
Ojai and Ventura County's
environmental conditions ...

EPA My Environment: Ojai, CA

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Ojai Valley Green Coalition
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© Rich Reid,Oak View CA