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Speakers Bureau

Learn more about Marin farming and ranching and what makes our region unique and precious. Our staff, board members and agricultural community leaders are available to speak at your event. We invite interested business, civic groups and community organizations to contact MALT's Marketing and Communications Manager, Marisa Walker, at 415.663.1158 ext. 311 or mwalker@malt.org to get more information or to schedule a speaker. 

Available Speakers

Jamison Watts, Executive Director

Jamison Watts has led MALT as its Executive Director since January of 2013. Prior to joining MALT, Jamison served as the Executive Director of the Northern California Regional Land Trust for six years, and as a wildlife biologist and environmental consultant for more than a decade. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Biology with an emphasis in Conservation Biology from the University of California at Davis and a master’s degree in Biological Sciences from California State University at Chico. He is a recipient of the Jack Rawlins Ecology and Conservation Award and the Research and Creativity Award, both from California State University at Chico.

Jamison Watts

Sue Conley, artisan cheese producer

As immediate past board chair of MALT, Sue Conley has been an integral member of the MALT board since 2007. Together with her business partner, Peggy Smith, Sue launched Tomales Bay Foods in 1993 as a marketing vehicle for the local dairy farms. Today it is a popular artisanal market and tourist destination in Pt. Reyes and home to Sue and Peggy's own Cowgirl Creamery. Cowgirl Creamery uses organic milk from the Straus Dairy to create a small collection of award-winning artisan cheeses.

 

 

Sam Dolcini, Rancher

As past Board Chair and inagural, second generation MALT Board Member, Sam Dolcini has a rich history with MALT and ranching in West Marin. Sam grew up working on his family's cattle ranch and dairy and today serves as a leader in the agriculture community. He is a charter member of the California Cattlemen’s Young Cattlemen’s committee and helped start the statewide committee. Sam is an award-winning public speaker and poet.

 

 Sam Dolcini

Mike Gale, Rancher

Mike Gale did not come to ranching naturally, although you could say that ranching is in his wife Sally's blood, as her family has been ranching in Marin County for five generations. Before moving from Hawaii to Marin, Mike was the administrator of a federal agency and Sally was a pediatric social worker. The couple quickly learned and now run Chileno Valley Ranch: a natural beef operation and organic u-pick orchard featuring 16 varieties of organic apples, such as Mutsu, Goldrush, Arkansas Black, and Wolf River.

 

 

Patricia Hickey, Stewardship Director

Patricia joined MALT in 2009 and is responsible for working with landowners in the stewardship of MALT protected farmland. She currently sits on the steering committee for the Marin Carbon Project and is an active member of the Tomales Bay Watershed Council and the Marin-Sonoma Weed Management Area Committee.

 

 

 Patricia Hickey

Rick Lafranchi, artisan cheese maker

The current president of the MALT Board of Directors, Rick Lafranchi is also co-owner of Nicasio Valley Cheese Company.  Rick grew up in Nicasio on the family dairy (founded by his Italian-Swiss grandparents in 1919) and worked at the dairy from the time he was eight years old. Doors to the Nicasio Valley Cheese Company opened in 2010 to rave reviews for their cheeses such as Foggy Morning, Nicasio Square and San Geronimo.

 

 

 Rick Lafranchi

Peter Martinelli, farmer

Peter Martinelli farms 22.5 acres of certified organic crop land located on the Paradise Valley Ranch on the Bolinas Peninsula. Fresh Run Farm grows just about every type of row-crop vegetable except peppers and tomatoes, ranging from spring greens to summer potatoes to fall squash and winter artichokes. In addition, Peter was a founding board member of Marin Organic in 2001 and recently has been instrumental helping to create the country's first apprenticeship program for organic farming and gardening.

 

 

Loren Poncia, rancher

A past chairman of the MALT Board of Directors, Loren Poncia is a partner in Stemple Creek Ranch, a family owned and operated ranch in Tomales, California that has been in operation for over 100 years. Stemple Creek raises their grass-fed natural beef and lamb on their own pasture land just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. 

 

 

 Loren Poncia

Lynn Giacomini Stray, artisan cheese producer

Lynn Giacomini Stray is part-owner and managing partner of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. After growing up on her family’s dairy ranch overlooking Tomales Bay, Lynn pursued a career in sales and marketing until returning to West Marin with her husband and two children. She and two of her sisters helped diversify the business from a traditional dairy operation to a farmstead cheese company making California’s only table blue cheese; Point Reyes Original Blue. 

 

 Lynn Giacomini Stray

Jeff Stump, Easement Program Director

Jeff joined MALT in 2006 and is responsible for the acquisition of agricultural conservation easements and public agency fundraising. He has worked in land conservation and policy at the local, state and national level for the past 18 years. Prior to joining MALT, Jeff served as the Vice President and Director of Coastal Programs for the American Land Conservancy and Legislative Coordinator for the California Coastal Commission. 



 Jeff Stump