Armando Quintero, Director of California State Parks
Armando Quintero was named director for the California Department of Parks and Recreation on Aug. 18, 2020. An experienced parks professional with expertise in park operations, outdoor education, equity and access, and diversity and inclusion in hiring and retention, Quintero is an environmental scientist by training. Since 2015, he has been executive director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at the University of California, Merced, where he was also director of development from 2008 to 2014. He has also served as a member of the California Water Commission since 2014.
Quintero held multiple positions at the National Park Service from 1976 to 1998, including chief of the Special Park Uses Group and district ranger at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, personnel staffing specialist for the National Park Service, park ranger and supervisory park ranger at the Point Reyes National Seashore and park ranger at the Sequoia National Park and at the John Muir National Historic Site.
Following his career at the National Park Service, he was an independent environmental educator for a decade, from 1998 to 2008. He has also served as member of the Marin Municipal Water District Board of Directors since 2009.
Kindley Walsh Lawlor, President and CEO of Parks California
A champion of social justice, environmental sustainability, and tripartite solutions to address complex issues, Kindley is driving Park California’s core mission to make California parks more welcoming, accessible, and relevant to all visitors.
Kindley spent over 25 years as a Sustainability and Foundation leader specializing in fair and productive global apparel supply chains, with a focus on women’s education, worker rights and environmental impact. She is known as an innovative creator of public/private partnerships that address human and environmental issues and has earned a reputation as a respected collaborator. Kindley has experience working in urban, peri-urban and rural locations in over 20 countries.
Kindley’s role as the President and CEO of Parks California is focused on expanding resources for parks from philanthropic and corporate partners and leveraging public dollars to tackle projects that improve parks for all visitors. Collaborating with California State Parks and other partners, Parks California will ensure protected lands remain resilient while meeting the evolving, lifelong needs of all Californians. With expanded programs, amenities, and resources, Kindley and the team she is building will bring younger and more diverse visitors to parks and public lands.
Kindley served as the U.S. buyer representative on the International Labour Organization’s Better Work Advisory Committee for 8 years and also regularly advises smaller, artisan companies. In 2015 she was recognized as one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential Women by the San Francisco Business Times, and as one of the National Retail Federation’s list of people shaping retail’s future in the Giver category. Kindley graduated with a degree in Apparel Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, NY, and resides in San Francisco.
Sam Hodder, President and CEO of Save the Redwoods League
Under Sam Hodder’s leadership, Save the Redwoods League has permanently protected over 20,000 acres of redwoods and launched ambitious forest restoration projects. Hodder guided the League’s 100th anniversary celebrations in 2018 and the development of its Centennial Vision for Redwoods Conservation. The League’s vision is a bold 100-year plan to accelerate land protection and the regeneration of coast redwood and giant sequoia forests across their natural ranges, and to reimagine visitor experiences in redwood parks. Hodder has further advanced the League’s Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative, a project that led to pioneering research on the unique ecosystems thriving in the old-growth redwood canopy. He has also sharpened the League’s focus on investing in educational programs and enhancing redwood park experiences. Hodder is a graduate of Princeton University with nearly 30 years of conservation experience. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Kendra and four sons.
Rachel Norton, Executive Director of California State Parks Foundation
Rachel Norton started her career as a reporter for Reuters, later working at The New York Times and CNET:The Computer Network. A passionate advocate for parks and outdoor education, Rachel worked for the San Francisco Parks Alliance from July 2013 through April 2017, most recently serving as Director of External Affairs and interim Chief Executive Officer. She joined the California State Parks Foundation in May 2017.
In November 2008, Rachel was elected to the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education, chairing the Budget, Student Assignment and Legislative committees and serving as Vice President and President during her three terms on the Board. She left office in January 2021.
Rachel was born and raised in Berkeley, Calif., and spent most summers as a child camping and hiking in California’s state and national parks. As a high school student she was fortunate enough to spend several spring vacations learning about the biology of the Mojave Desert, thanks to the efforts of a dedicated teacher. As an adult, Rachel has enjoyed paying that gift forward to her two daughters and the diverse students of the San Francisco Unified School district. California’s deserts, beaches, mountains and redwoods remain her favorite places to spend time.