Board of Directors
Deborah Gregory, President
Deborah Gregory grew up with a creek in her back yard and now lives on the Sepulveda Channel, which feeds into the Ballona Creek. She has many fond memories of hours spent enjoying the water and is proud to be a part of BCR to help spread the word about this great natural resource right in the middle of our large metropolis.
Deborah is the Director of Design and partner at DIGBAR, an Interior Design and Architecture firm in Del Rey, which incorporates art and sustainability into its projects.
Sandrine Cassidy, Vice President
Sandrine Cassidy is a Sustainability Specialist working directly with cities, businesses, non-profits and schools to create and implement programs in waste reduction, recycling maximization, energy and water conservation, pollution control and green purchasing.
Sandrine’s philosophy has always been to help bring positive change in very concrete ways. She created a sustainable reusable bag company and advocated for the plastic bag ban in Los Angeles County. She is an active board member of Ballona Creek Renaissance, responsible for the regular creek clean up events and community outreach.
Helping improve our functional relationship with our environment is not just a professional mission for Sandrine, it is a personal passion.
Amy Rosenstein, Secretary
Having been the BCR President from 2014-2021, Amy stepped down so the next president could bring their fresh ideas and approaches to BCR’s future. Amy became interested in the environment of Ballona Creek after frequent bicycle rides along the bike path to the beach. Although it’s a functioning flood channel, she wondered why the experience could not be more pleasant, as in some other communities. She has a strong interest in bringing nature back to the Creek and worked on the Native Plant Learning Garden along the bike path at the CC Middle School. She believes that if everyone pitches in a little, a lot can get done. Amy is a practicing architect who has lived in Culver City for over 20 years.
Rich Hibbs, Treasurer
Rich has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1987. He is a past chair of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce, and is currently involved in numerous nonprofit boards. Voted Culver City’s Best Accountant by the Culver City News readers numerous times. Proud parent (with wife Paula) of two Culver City Unified School District graduates. As a board member of the Ballona Lagoon Marine Preserve, Rich was involved in the development of the walking path and interpretative signage at the Lagoon, which was featured in an article in our April 2010 newsletter.
Nora Jung grew up in Culver City and has lived near the creek most of her life. Because of her proximity to the creek and her goal to become zero-waste, she gained an interest in helping during our cleanups and raising awareness to others about refusing and reducing waste. She is currently a chemistry major at West Los Angeles College and works alongside BCR members to make Los Angeles a greener place to live.
A long-time resident of Culver City, Irene taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for more than 30 years. She is a member of several environmental groups and is dedicated to safeguarding our environment.
A Midwestern transplant to Culver City, David always loved the outdoors and exercise, and upon finding the Ballona Creek Bike Path, recognized it as a hidden treasure in Los Angeles. By day, David is a marketing professional in the game and entertainment industry, with expertise in Brand, Digital, CRM, and Social Media Marketing.
Mia Cassidy- President of Culver City High School BCR Club
Mia is a student at the Culver City High School and the current club president of Ballona Creek Renaissance CCHS club. She speaks fluent French and English and has been learning Spanish! She lives across from Ballona Creek and cares about helping the environment.
Michele joins our advisory council with a long history of volunteering and working for local environmental organizations. Michele is also an avid bicyclist and interested in improving the creek and watershed bikeways.
Lucy Blake-Elahi is a visual artist. She paints and draws, and has done public art pieces in Culver City. Her work includes the equatorial sundial in Culver City Park and two murals along Ballona Creek. She is also an artist-in-residence of the County of Los Angeles.
Steven is a Certified Financial Planner and owns and operates a Tax, Accounting & Property Mgmt. practice in West Los Angeles. A past President and Life Member of the Culver City Garden Club, in 2003 he and his wildflower “guerrilla garden” on the side of the Santa Monica freeway were featured in an article in the Los Angeles Times. In 2019 that section of highway embankment officially became part of Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway program for Wildflower Planting (believed to be the only active adoption in that category in all of Southern California.) He previously served as a board member and Treasurer of the So. Robertson Neighborhood Council, and was on its Land Use and Green Team Committees.
“I’m thrilled to participate on BCR’s Advisory Council because as a CivicSpark fellow working on the Ballona Creek Revitalization Project, I have admiration for Ballona Creek and the groups serving to protect and restore the creek. As a fellow, I have greatly enjoyed working directly with Ballona Creek Renaissance and have enjoyed participating in events and meetings. Although I am continuing my education at UC Davis, I look forward to participating in the creek from afar.” Casandra is earning a MS degree in Environmental Policy and Management and has a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from UC Santa Cruz.
Shea became a Ballona Creek lover in 2004 when she moved a few doors down from it in Mid-City Los Angeles. Soon after she became the Mid-City Neighborhood Council’s inaugural “Ballona Creek Revitalization Project” Chair and thus began her now long-time support of BCR. A resident of Culver City since 2011 and still in close proximity to the Ballona Creek, she is an avid bicyclist and especially cherishes the bike path along the precious waterway. Shea is also a Sustainability Planning and Policy Professional and the Chief Executive Strategist of Balanced Approach Strategic Sustainability Services. She was the inaugural Director/Manager of Culver City Unified School District’s Sustainability Program, and is currently developing a Sustainable Business Certification Program for the City of Culver City, among other related projects.
David Dumas is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and conducting research for the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
David has been a long-time Culver City resident and grew up attending Farragut Elementary School, Culver City Middle School and Culver City High School. It was his involvement in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and daily walks to school that introduced him to La Ballona Creek. Having grown up on the BSA principle of “Leave No Trace,” David has always been passionate about community service and environmentalism. It is through his degree and involvement in BCR that he hopes to incorporate more sustainability into the Culver City community.
Bobbi is one of the founding members of BCR, dating back to a meeting in December, 1994. She has been a boardmember ever since, serving in various capacities. She comes from a background of computer programming in the aerospace industry and later in commercial computer applications. Her involvement in Ballona Creek arises from her enjoyment of running and riding her bike along the creek.
Blake Hottle is a freelance documentary cameraman with a love of nature and photography. His credits include work for 60 Minutes, Nova, Frontline, CNBC Long Form Documentaries, and BCR’s own introductory video. He believes that incremental improvements to the Ballona Creek ecosystem will one day lead to a better creek and estuary for both people and wildlife.
Jim Lamm, President Emeritus
BCR’s President 1998-2014. Current volunteer church board member and community activist for and with the homeless, housing challenged, hungry, sick, imprisoned, poor, people of color, immigrants, asylum seekers, and the earth. Retired architect, university ecology instructor, city planning commissioner, and Peace Corps Volunteer in Iran. Married to Cathi, with two grown children and four grandchildren, Jim enjoys, family, friends, walking, reading, and working in their mostly native plant yard.
Dino Parks is a cinematographer for film and television, most recently as a Director of Photography on the series Yellowstone. Other credits include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Beauty and the Beast, Dreamgirls, and Friday Night Lights. Various dramatic and documentary projects have taken him across North America, Asia, Europe and Africa.
Dino is an avid urban cyclist and became involved with BCR while advocating for improvements to biking infrastructure along Ballona Creek and throughout Culver City. He likes to believe he prompted the creation of the original Culver City Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. Representing BCR in a partnership with Friends of Ballona Wetlands, he helped secure grant funding for the Native Restoration Garden at Mar Vista Family Center.
Professional Background: Engineer/Attorney Community Involvement: Past President, Culver City Homeowners Association; Past President, Culver-Marina Bar Association. “I am concerned about the environment, aesthetics and watershed issues.”
Author and photographer of the field guide to Southern California shore wildlife “Beyond the Beach Blanket” (Mountain Press Publishers, 2005), Marina has lived in Culver City for nearly 40 years, graduated from USC School of Cinema-Television, and was a Contributing Editor of Birding Business Magazine for 10 years. Marina’s wildlife photographs have appeared in many online publications. She is a dedicated birdwatcher and beachbum.
David is a practicing attorney advocating on behalf of consumers in Solar Panel Fraud and Car Dealer Fraud cases and is a former Director of the Culver Marina Bar Association. David has also coached baseball for Culver City High School’s Winter Program and for Venice High School. He frequently runs and bikes on the Ballona Creek Bike Path and comes to BCR with a special interest in water use and conservation.
Dan Venti is an East Coast transplant and long time resident of the west side of LA, with a home very close to Ballona Creek. “I just couldn’t stand around watching the trash in the streets without doing something! One day when I rode past a Ballona Creek Renaissance clean up event and I knew I had found my cause! (It was not fun doing the clean ups alone!)”. You can often see Dan in his beautifully designed wagon-bike mobile repurposed from a discarded Toys-R-Us shopping cart as he follows us through the streets on our important mission of stopping trash before it goes into the ocean. By day, Dan is a cameraman in the motion picture and film industry – he is credited with some of the best photos on our site and in our promotional materials.”
Sunny began attending Ballona Creek Renaissance meetings and creek cleanups during her time as an Americorps CivicSpark Fellow for the City of Culver City. As a Fellow she was involved with the Ballona Creek Revitalization Project and Polystyrene Ordinance 2.0 research, developing her interest in community access to green corridors and the circular economy. She loves biking and learning from the creek!