Originally from Tennessee, Debra attended school in Sacramento, then traveled extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest before finally settling on a small farm in Northern California with her husband Dave. Debra became an ardent volunteer in the 1970s and 80s and has over twenty-five years of experience in the non-profit industry. Honored in 2009 by the California Legislature and the Yolo County Women's History Committee as a "Woman Taking the Lead to Save the Planet," she has held senior positions with organizations that focus on building environmental literacy, conservation ethics, conserving wildlife habitat, land preservation as well as advocating for science, health and social justice. Her strengths lie in fostering change and meeting environmental, social and community needs through strategic planning, community education, fundraising and organizational development - assisting nonprofit organizations in realizing their full potential by connecting their vision to community impacts. She and her husband Dave consider their ongoing passion for environmental activism as part of their responsibility to make sure that future generations will enjoy the wildlife of today, especially the majesty of the mountain lion.
Debra was appointed to serve as CEO in November 2019.
Denise Peterson is our Western Region Coordinator and GIS Analyst. Denise has a strong background in wildlife science with a focus on mountain lions, is a talented photographer and videographer trained in the Adobe graphics suite, and is a certified GIS Analyst. She also has her Wildlife Chemical Immobilization certification and has worked in the Peruvian Amazon tracking radio-collared ocelots for a study in predator-prey interactions. As we met Denise, she was working to map mountain lion mortalities across South Dakota, and readying herself to testify before the Utah Wildlife Board, asking them to reduce their lion hunt. Located near Salt Lake City, Utah, Denise will represent us in the Rockies and Southwest. Denise has been employed with the Mountain Lion Foundation since 2017.
Administrative assistant Chelsea Robinson has studied music business and culinary arts before finally receiving her BS in business management in 2013. Since graduating, she has worked in administration with various nonprofits within the last 5 years.
When she is not performing clerical duties, she is singing karaoke all over Sacramento and spending time with her lab mix dog Jack.
Fred started his environmental career in the mid 80's with Californians Against Waste working on the Bottle Bill. After a few detours, which included writing software for Viacom/Paramount, a law practice and developing business processes and software for three startup companies that were all acquired by LexisNexis, Fred returned to environmental work with the Mountain Lion Foundation in 2004.
Membership Liaison Julie Wolfenden joins the Mountain Lion Foundation with an impressive background in organizational administration. When she is not assisting our wonderful members with their needs, she is enjoying her family and Papillion mix dog Bella. Notable accomplishments are; a career as a former ballerina with the Sacramento Ballet, a bachelor's degree in Organizational Communications, and the distinction of LEED AP.