Jill Bays - President
Jill Bays was born in Glendale, California, in 1957, and has lived in the high desert of San Bernardino County since 1989. Jill holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Relations and Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco. She worked as an International Product Marketing Manager for DuPont for 15 years in the Electronic Materials Division where she was responsible for a product line with $150 million/year in sales. She and her husband now own and operate a successful language services business that they started in 1989. Jill was a founding Director of THC and has helped the organization achieve its current conservation status of preserving 7,000 acres of land in the West Mojave with Endowments of just over seven million dollars. She is a member of the California Council of Land Trusts, Land Trust Alliance, Resource Center, High Desert Community Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, Alliance for Responsible Recreation, and Backcountry Horseman. Jill represented the California Council of Land Trusts on the DRECP as a Stakeholder. She participated in the San Bernardino County General Plan Update as member of the Phelan/Pinon Hills Community Plan. Jill serves as a volunteer director and volunteer officer.
Wendie Marriott - Vice-President
Wendie Marriott was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska. She obtained her Bachelor Degree in Recreation and Parks, with an emphasis in Industrial Recreation from Western Washington University. She has one year toward's a Masters of Public Administration and was one of two people in the state of Alaska with a Certified Park and Recreation Professional credential. Her first job in the field was Recreation Programmer/Sports Coordinator in Ketchikan, Alaska, before being hired by the Juneau Parks and Recreation Department. There, she managed a teen center, gymnasium, hike program, after school and summer programs, and conducted special events. Most recently, she managed the local Convention and Civic Center. Her favorite job was as Parks, Culture and Recreation Director for the City of Unalaska (Dutch Harbor) for three years. In Unalaska, Wendie had oversight of a community center, library, swimming pool, and seven parks. Her board involvement is extensive, including oversight of the Historic Preservation Commission, PCR Advisory Board, Library Committee, and service on the Alaska Recreation and Park Association (President), National Recreation and Park Association, and the American Parks and Recreation Association. Over the years, she has supported many environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Rails to Trails, and Audubon Society. Wendie’s love and appreciation for the outdoors is evident as she is an avid hiker, biker, cross-country, and downhill skier. For fun, she travels extensively and belongs to a book club and a women’s socially responsible investment club.
Steve Olney - Treasurer
Steve Olney was born in Torrance, California in 1957. After obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Geology, with emphasis in Marine Biology/Paleontology, at Humboldt State University, Steve and wife, Rosemary moved to the high desert in 1984. For ten years, Steve sold building materials, managed customer service departments and remodeled homes for suppliers, developers and home builders throughout California and West Yellowstone, Montana. During that time, with the family immersed in horse activities, he researched and trained for a career as a Farrier, beginning full time in 1991. His father was a Flight Engineer and mother a Dental Hygienist. He grew up in a very out-of-doors family; spending much time in the mountains and deserts of the western states. He maintains memberships in North American Trail Ride Conference, American Endurance Ride Conference, as well as helping to manage rides and support Back Country Horseman of California. It was all of this which brought him together with founding and future members of Transition Habitat Conservancy. Steve sees the need for land
preservation along with trail networks. This is the underlying theme and foundation for the Conservancy. Steve serves as a volunteer director and Treasurer for Transition Habitat.
Carol Hill - Secretary
Carol Hill was born in Long Beach California where she practiced as a Licensed Cosmetologist from 1981-1996.
She worked in language translations from 1997 until present.
Carol spent most of her childhood in Orange County, CA when there were a lot of orange groves and strawberry fields and much less traffic. As Orange County became more crowded, Carol and her family moved to the mountain community of Lake Arrowhead, CA located in San Bernardino County. It was there that she spent summers enjoying the beautiful lake surrounded by pine forest and winters were spent snow skiing at the local resorts. Carol moved to the High Desert in 1997 and enjoyed teaching her children the beauty and importance of wildlife and nature on their many hikes. For many years, Carol was very involved with community activities that involved her children. She was a Girl Scout leader, a Cub Scout leader, PTA member and volunteered for the school. Carol has volunteered for Transition Habitat Conservancy since its beginning and has taken advantage of the many educational opportunities offered through the years.
Bertrand Bays - Director
Bertrand Bays was born in Switzerland. Bert holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland. He worked as Product and Business Manager for DuPont for 8 years. Bert and his spouse now own and operate a successful language services business since 1989. He has climbed mountains all over Europe and visited many countries. Bert lived five years in Colombia, South America, where he often camped in very remote places. He always loved the wilderness and liked to photograph wildlife and the magnificent landscapes in Europe, South America, and the US (including Alaska and Hawaii). Bert is a member of many organizations, including the Sierra Club, Land Trust Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife, Mojave Desert Land Trust and others. Bert has worked as a volunteer for the Transition Habitat Conservancy since its foundation, and joins THC now as a director.
Curly Moran - Director
Curtis “Curly” Moran was born in in Los Angeles and was raised in Glendale, California. In 1974, he earned a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Arts at Cal State University, Los Angeles. He is a retired member of Sheet Metal Local 105, Los Angeles. Curly has made the Antelope Valley his home since 1987. He has explored much of the Valley and California on many bicycle trips throughout the Western United States. Curly, and his wife Jill, are very interested in promoting the preservation of open space in Portal Ridge and portions of the Antelope Valley. They are founding members of Concerned Citizens of Western Antelope Valley and are also members of the Audubon Society. Curly and Jill have three adult children and five grandchildren with whom they enjoy sharing the importance of conservation and wildlife on their many walks. When they retired in 2010, they built a home on 20 acres in Kings Canyon below Portal Ridge. It is common to see mule deer, bobcats, coyotes, hawks, vultures, among the majestic Grey Pines.
Gina Charpentier - Director
Gina Charpentier was born in Redondo Beach, California in 1965. She grew up in Torrance and Corona, California on a 5-acre citrus ranch with a variety of the usual pets. She loved hiking, horseback riding, swimming, photography, painting and drawing. She currently resides in Oak Hills, California, with her husband and two children. In 2011, her interest in nature and conservation lead to the installation of a Monarch Waystation at her home which was inspired by a childhood experience. As a young girl in Corona she discovered a roadside milkweed plant covered with caterpillars, and was completely amazed by their transformation into the beautiful Monarch butterfly. She wanted her children to experience this thrill as well. Word of her Waystation spread quickly and before long, friends, family, teachers and garden clubs wanted to see these butterflies. She began speaking about and teaching the importance of Monarch conservation to local K-12 students, museums, bug fairs, senior centers, garden clubs and teaching workshops at retail garden centers. It was this conservation work and Girl Scout volunteering that led her to become a board member for Transition Habitat Conservancy.
Jeff Olesh – Director
Jeff Olesh was born in Burbank, California and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He worked as an Operating Engineer and is now retired. Jeff became interested in conservation for the first time as a Boy Scout. Later in life, Jeff started taking backpacking trips and became interested in endurance riding and horse packing. That's when he started to become involved in trail preservation. Jeff has worked on trial restoration projects on the Pacific Crest Trail, the Cuesta Sespe Trail, and the California Riding and Hiking Trail. His interests have always supported passive recreation and land conservation. In the 80's, Jeff moved to the beautiful area of Lake Elizabeth where he is on the Lakes Town Council and participates extensively in Land Use issues on the Land Use Committee. Jeff feels fortunate that he gets to see diverse and healthy habitats as well as rare groups of flora and fauna in the town that has, "Where Nature is Your Neighbor," as its motto. Jeff is the Chairman for the Desert and Mountains Conservation Authority.
Justine Curcio - Director
Justine Curcio was born in Sydney, Australia in 1951 and moved to New Zealand at the age of 3 where she lived until she graduated from Sacred Heart College. She then moved to Australia where she worked on a Sheep Station and occasionally for the National Forestry Service. Justine moved to Sydney to become an Enrolled Nurse at Prince Henry Hospital. A few years later she moved again working in the UK and travelled extensively throughout Europe. Canada was next on her agenda and then to the San Diego in 1979 working as a Buyer for Vanguard Electronics. In 1984 she married and moved to the High Desert and worked as a Printer, Notary and then Managed Blue Prints Unlimited for Frick, Frick, & Jette Architects in Victorville for 12 years’ while helping raise her stepchildren. Afterwards, her husband’s work moved them throughout the USA some of which were Roseburg OR, Portland OR, Fairfield CA, Las Vegas NV, Bowling Green KY, St Louis MO and Castle Rock, CO before moving back to the High Desert in 2013. In 2015, Justine became an Alumni of Sunburst Sanctuary in Santa Barbara. Justine spends time camping on the more than 4K acres with Sunburst members, working and learning all aspects of the geographic area, organic gardening and the latest project the building of a Cob house. She and her husband enjoy traveling overseas and/or around the States.
Kenneth Holbrook - Director
Ken Holbrook is a Native Californian, from the Maidu Tribe of the northern Sierra Nevada. The Executive Director and a founding member of the Maidu Summit Consortium (MSC,) Ken is passionate and committed to serving conservation from a traditional and place-based ecology perspective. Working in the Feather River watershed, MSC works to preserve and enhance places of cultural and spiritual significance to the Maidu People, and to conserve lands that are threatened by overuse. Ken grew up as an outdoorsman in northern California, splitting time between Red Bluff and the forests of his tribal homeland, in what is now Plumas County. An alum of University of California at Santa Cruz, where he received an alumni scholarship, Ken studied film, philosophy, politics and majored in American History. The Yale University’s Endangered Language Fund honored Holbrook with a grant in 2001 for his work with the Maidu language. As part of his studies, Ken also received honors during his graduate level studies at St. Charles University in Prague in the Global Leadership Program in 2003. An enthusiast of music, photography, and filmmaking, Ken now lives in Roseville, California with his family of six.