For international women's day, we're celebrating the women of Greenbelt Alliance
Picture of Jessie Brennan

Jessie Brennan

The Women of Greenbelt Alliance

This International Women’s Day we’re celebrating the women who have championed what Greenbelt Alliance stands for. Each in their own way, the following women have helped us shape the rules that govern growth to protect the region’s open spaces and ensure neighborhoods within our cities and towns are amazing places for everyone. Whether they’re still directly involved with our work in the Bay Area today or have moved on, they have made a lasting impact on our organization and region.


A Business Time’s Forever Influential Women of the Bay Area, Alicia Esterkamp Allbin is a Board member at Greenbelt Alliance. She’s also the founder and Principal of AEA Development with deep expertise in development in our region.


Amie Fleming is a Greenbelt Alliance alumna and active supporter. Now pursuing her MBA at Georgetown University, she has worked with the National Parks Service & Mondelēz International to protect our world’s environment.


Amy Hartman leads our efforts to protect open space and encourage smart growth in Solano County. She was called to this field while working for the League of Conservation Voters in Reno.


For over a decade Amy Henson has driven growth strategies for nonprofits. At Greenbelt Alliance, Amy fosters unified, creative, and data-backed marketing, program, and fundraising efforts.


As the Board Vice Chair, Anne Halsted brings decades of open space and urban planning experience to Greenbelt Alliance. Her service shines in her community and on the environment.


Anu Natarajan was Greenbelt Alliance’s previous Board Chair and has been on the Board since 2014. She served on Fremont’s City Council for ten years and is deeply ingrained in Bay Area policy.


Barbara Pierce is a Board member at Greenbelt Alliance, offering her expertise in local government. Elected in 1999, Barbara served as Redwood City Mayor, Vice Mayor and Council Member.


Daisy Pistey-Lyhne led our North Bay office for four years. She has worked nationwide to build the movement for action on climate change and is now Executive Director at Sonoma County Conservation Action.


Dee Swanhuyser is a founder of the Sonoma Co. Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District. She sits on the boards of Greenbelt Alliance and Western Sonoma Co. Rural Alliance.

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“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

– Jane Goodall –
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Former Contra Costa County Supervisor Donna Gerber has fought sprawl for decades. Now an active member of our Board, she strives to create a better Bay Area.


Dorothy is Greenbelt Alliance’s courageous founder (and Graceful Crusader). Dorothy’s environmental activism and influence can be seen in every open space area in our region.


Hayley Currier uses her experience to support smart development and protect open space in the East Bay. She has an impressive background and education in policy and planning.


Heather Wooten is an active Board member. She is also the senior vice president of program strategy at ChangeLab Solutions, where she builds the capacity of local leaders to make lasting change.


Jean McCown serves on the boards of the Greenbelt Alliance and the Palo Alto Housing Corp. She received the John Gardner Leadership Award in 1994 and the Athena Award in 2004.


As a fourth-generation descendant of San Jose ranchers and sharecroppers, Kiyomi Honda Yamamoto is committed to protecting the South Bay’s rich agriculture and open space.


Laurel Prevetti sits on our Board and is the Town Manager for Los Gatos. She supports the Town Council in budgetary, land-use, and other needs and is dedicated to serving her community.


Linda Lezotte sits on our Board. She is a local attorney to the South Bay, with 30 years of practice specializing in the areas of land use, environmental and municipal law, and corporate development.


As Executive Assistant and Office Manager, Lilibeth Gonzalez ensures operations run smoothly at Greenbelt Alliance. She brings a passion for advocacy in creating more equitable communities.


As our Board Chair, Lynne McGraw offers years of business, nonprofit, and environmental leadership. She is dedicated to ensuring the Bay Area grows in a sustainable way for all to thrive.


After more than 20 years on our Board of Directors, Margaret Spaulding made Greenbelt Alliance one of the main beneficiaries of her estate. Today, she stays in touch in the North Bay and tends to her stunning Glen Ellen garden knowing our work will continue into the future.


Alumna Melissa Hippard is living Leslie Knope’s dream at the Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department. From renewing the Park Charter Fund to stepping up the volunteer program, Melissa brings people together to support our region’s parks.


A native of San Mateo County, Michele Beasley spent almost 11 years guiding growth in the Bay Area with Greenbelt Alliance. Today she serves as Executive Director of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation.


Michelle Yesney has served as Board Chair and a keen advisor for the organization. A professional planner in San Jose, she provided on-the-ground knowledge and leadership during a period of growth and major changes at Greenbelt Alliance.


Michele Stratton

Michele Stratton joined our Board in 2002. After an early career in city and regional planning, she practiced law for 30 years. Now, she dedicates her time to Greenbelt Alliance and Sequoia Living.


As the Advancement Associate, Nadia Benafghoul works to advance our fundraising programs. She is driven by her passion to enhance communities—improving inclusivity and sustainability.


Nancy Adler

Board member Nancy Adler is a Professor of Medical Psychology at UCSF where she directs the Center for Health and Community. She brings expertise in community design and health.


A Bay Area native, Nora Cullinen is passionate about conservation and smart growth. Nora is our Advancement Manager, connecting donors to our work through events and stewardship.


Stephanie Reyes dedicated her expertise in affordable housing and policy to Greenbelt Alliance for nearly a decade. She now shares her skills with the nation at Grounded Solutions Network.


Teri Shore leads our efforts to protect open space and encourage good growth in the North Bay. She is known by many as a fearless advocate for the lands she loves.

Join Us

Did we miss you or another phenomenal Greenbelt Alliance alumna? Get in touch or comment below and we’ll add her to the list! To join this amazing group of women, check out our open positions or reach out about Board membership.

Help us further the work these women have accomplished.

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