Board of Directors
Shiloh Ballard, Chair
Shiloh Ballard is the Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. SVBC works to improve the community, economy and environment through the every day use of the bicycle. Prior to her role at SVBC, she was Vice President of Housing and Community Development for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), a public policy trade group founded in 1978 that represents the business community. In her role with the Leadership Group, Shiloh directed the activities of SVLG's Land Use & Housing committee and worked with industry, civic, and community leaders to develop innovative solutions to the region's housing, land use and transportation challenges. In 2008, Shiloh was selected as one of Silicon Valley's 40 under 40 up-and-comers. In 2010, she was a YWCA Twin Award Recipient honoring executive women and in 2011, Shiloh was selected by the San Jose Business Journal as a Women of Influence. Shiloh holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz.
Rod Diridon, Sr., Immediate Past Chair
Rod Diridon is the Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute. He is best known as the “father” of modern transit service in Silicon Valley and has chaired more than 100 international, national, state and local programs most related to transit and the environment. Rod has chaired the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters Board since 1995 and is a Life Member of the Sierra Club. He has driven electric cars since 1996 and his home’s photovoltaic array is a net contributor to the grid. Rod received a B.S. in Accounting and a MSBA in Statistics from San Jose State University. He served two combat tours as a naval officer in Vietnam, has 2 successful children, 4 grandchildren and is married to Dr. Gloria Duffy, the current President and CEO of the Commonwealth Club of California. His political career began in 1971 where he served as the youngest person ever elected to the Saratoga City Council. He completed 6 terms as Chair of both the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the Transit Board and has chaired 9 successful rail system development project boards including CalTrain, Guadalupe Light Rail, Fremont/ South Bay BART. Rod was appointed in 2001 and 2005 by then Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger to the California High Speed Rail Authority Board. He helped found and is chair emeritus of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) High Speed and Intercity Rail Committee and National High Speed Rail Corridors´ Coalition and is frequently asked to provide legislative testimony on sustainable transportation issues.
Terry Trumbull, Vice-Chair
Terry Trumbull is Co-Founder of the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters. He has served as its Endorsement Chair since 1992. Terry has been an environmental attorney since 1971 and served on a number of public service appointments. Most notably, Terry served as the full-time Chair of the California Waste Management Board. He was also instrumental in the development of the nation’s first air and water pollution control regulations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C. Terry teaches Environmental Law and Policy at San Jose State University and currently serves on 3 government commissions. Terry has an Economics degree from UC Davis and a J.D. from Georgetown.
Ruth Merino, Secretary
Ruth Merino retired in 2010 from the City of San Jose's Office of the City Auditor where she was a Senior Program Performance Auditor. As a performance auditor she performed economy, efficiency and effectiveness audits of City departments and programs including many related to public safety. Ruth's primary environmental interest is in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by using more renewable energy, electric/hybrid vehicles and electric home appliances. In 2012, Ruth attended training given by Al Gore at the Climate Reality Leadership Corp Training Conference on how to present an updated slideshow similar to that shown in the documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth". In 2013, she completed with distinction an online course, Climate Literacy: Navigating Climate Change Conversations. She is the Chair of San Jose Community Energy Advocates, which successfully advocated for the San Jose City Council to establish the San Jose Clean Energy program in May 2016. Ruth holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley and has been a member of the Sierra Club since 1992. Ruth drives a 2017 Volt!
Marc serves as the External Affairs Manager at the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority and in that role, leads their Community Engagement Team. He has worked in the land conservation field for over 14 years, including three years at the Trust for Public Land and seven years at Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST). As Director of External Affairs at POST, Marc built a broad range of traditional and nontraditional partnerships and also played a strong leadership role in the passing of Measure AA and Measure Q. Prior to working in conservation, Marc was a design engineering manager at Intel Corporation. Marc loves spending time with his family outdoors – hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. He is also an opera fan.
Bob Levy served as the founding president of the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters.
Bob is a life-long environmentalist. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from UCSB and a Masters in Urban Planning from SJSU. Bob has a long history of community engagement. He currently serves as a member of the Santa Clara County Planning Commission, the Valley Water's Water and Resources Advisory Committee, the City of San Jose's General Plan advisory committee, and co-chairs the Steven's Creek Advisory Group. Previously he served on and chaired the San Jose Planning Commission, the Santa Clara County Park and Recreation Commission, and the San Jose Parks Commission. Professionally, Bob is a PMP certified project manager and senior business analyst utilizing his IT and parks experience as a project manager for the Santa Clara County's Parks Department.
As Director of Labor & Government Relations for the Santa Clara & San Benito Building & Construction Trades Council, Joseph helps lead the organization in representing 23 construction trades and over 30 thousand members. In his role, Joseph is instrumental in negotiating and managing all construction agreements in conjunction with government agencies, contractors, and developers increasing the organization’s market share within the South Bay. Joseph has helped position the Building Trades Council as a leader in improving the health, jobs safety and economic conditions of all working men and women in the construction industry. Additionally, Joseph spearheads local and state legislation pertinent to the construction industry and is an advocate for smart and sustainable urban development. Previously, Joseph worked as the Land Use Policy Analyst for a San Jose councilman where he examined and initiated policies of land use, housing, transportation, and economic development.
Joseph is a graduate of Santa Clara University and holds a degree in Political Science with an emphasis in local government and economy.
Melissa Hippard is a well-regarded and innovative conservation leader who has worked in the Bay Area for over a decade to ensure our natural resources are protected for current and future generations. Melissa led the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club for 6 years contributing to important conservation outcomes such as the protection of Coyote Valley, mobilizing Cool Cities Teams to address municipal GHG emissions, and stopping the high speed rail project from destroying habitat in the Mount Hamilton range. As Program Director for Greenbelt Alliance Melissa focused her attention on passing urban growth boundaries, creating new funding sources for open space protection, and building connections between environmentalists and housing advocates. In 2015 Melissa became the Strategic Partnership Manager for Santa Clara County Parks where her job is to create a resilient community of support for the county's regional park system. She feels blessed to have grown up in the Bay Area and have the opportunity to express her passion for solving environmental and social challenges with creativity and compassion.
Lena Eyen is the Client Services Coordinator at West Valley Community Services, a local nonprofit agency providing support services for low-income individuals and families in Santa Clara County. Lena works as a Case Manager and coordinates the Financial Empowerment Program and the agency’s Homelessness Prevention Systems Program. Her passion for working alongside marginalized community members was sparked during her time at Santa Clara University where she double majored in Psychology and Studio Art and minored in Environmental Studies. During her time at SCU, she participated in and led an immersion program in West Virginia which examined the social and economic impacts of coal mining in Appalachia. She also served as an Environmental Ethics Fellow at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, which enabled her to study the psychological factors that shape environmental perspectives and how those views translate into behavior. After SCU, Lena volunteered through Americorps in Grays Harbor County, WA, where she lived and worked alongside community members who face high unemployment rates largely due to the changing demands in the logging industry. Lena has lived in Northern and Southern California, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin and enjoys drawing and painting the new environments she explores.
Matthew currently works as the Senior Associate for Housing, Transportation and Community Development. In his role, Matthew works with the Directors of Housing and Transportation to shape decision-making related to transportation infrastructure and community development. Matthew also leads our Student Leaders Council which was created during the successful 2016 Measure B traffic relief campaign.
Before the Leadership Group, Matthew worked for many local campaigns such as the Santa Clara County Yes on Measure B campaign and led an effort as the Field Director for Mayor Liccardo’s Mayoral campaign. Beyond working on campaigns, Matthew was a part of the Human Rights Commission (Now Human Services Commission) of San Jose, worked for the Santa Clara Valley Water District and for the City of San Jose for former Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen.
Matthew holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from San Jose State University. He is currently studying for a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from San Jose State. Matthew with his wife A’Dreana, enjoy spending time with their young son James and exploring the many happenings of the South Bay.
Maria Begiebing is an Environmental Inspector for the City of San Jose in the Environmental Services Department, Watershed Protection Division. Maria’s environmental focus is with issues concerning water.
Maria has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Restoration and a focus on water policy. Maria also has a Master of Public Administration from San Jose State University.
Maria loves art in any form (music, painting, writing, dance, etc), loves to read, and enjoys working out. Maria has been the joint business owner of CrossFit Milpitas for the past decade.
Maria has assisted with the League of Conservation endorsement process since 2012 and joined the board in 2017.