Board Members and Advisors
Elizabeth Toro, M.D., M.P.H.
Elizabeth is a Board certified Obstetrician/ Gynecologist who has volunteered her expertise in Maternal and Child Health in Latin America, Southeast Asia and East Africa. She spent her last rotation in medical school at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi and returned as an OB/GYN resident to Kenya, volunteering at Tumu Tumu Hospital in 1986. Her humanitarian interest has taken her to work in maternity wards in war zones, cervical cancer screening programs in Central America and educational training programs in other developing countries. She has done projects for her master thesis in female circumcision and symphysiotomy practices in areas that lack surgical capabilities.
Mary Ellen Kanoff
Ms. Kanoff is a Partner and General Counsel at Peninsula Pacific Strategic Partners LLC. Prior to joining Peninsula Pacific, Ms. Kanoff was a Partner at the law firm of Latham & Watkins where she specialized in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and general company representations. She was an active leader in the Hospitality, Gaming and Leisure, Retail and Consumer Products and Media Industry Groups. In the corporate finance area, Ms. Kanoff handled public and private securities offerings and other complex financing transactions. Ms. Kanoff’s M&A practice included the representation of targets, bidders, private equity firms and investors in strategic acquisitions and joint ventures in a variety of industries.
Tim Melesi is one of the top safari guides in Kenya. Born in Mombasa, a remote coastal town on the Kenya/Tanzania border. He was educated at boarding school in the Usambara Mountains of Tanzania and later in England. Tim traveled extensively throughout Africa and led many varied safaris such as camel walks, fishing safaris, and tracking gorillas and chimpanzees in Rwanda and Tanzania. Tim began his career with Ker & Downey Safaris over 20 years ago when he first managed the on-location camp for the film, Gorillas in the Mist.
Holly Sherwin is a free-lance writer and public speaker specializing in environmental issues and natural history topics. Always involved in nature education in one form or another, Holly has worked as an education specialist for the Southwest Florida Conservancy, a diving guide for Newfound Harbor Marine Institute and a screen-writer/narrator for the PBS series, “Tennessee`s Wildside”. Holly was the founder and owner of “Up the Creek Boat & Canoe Tours” while living in Naples, Florida. Since moving to Santa Barbara she has served on the boards of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper and Santa Barbara Outrigger Canoe Club.
Nancy Walker Koppelman
Nancy sits on committees and advisory boards for several International organizations including Direct Relief International, Women for Women International and Human Rights Watch. She is an Ambassador for Arts and Lectures at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Nancy served on the National Finance committee for President Obama and continues to be active in political causes in the US and worldwide.
Heather and Tom Sturgess