SJPT Archive2015 Volunteer of the Year: MARILYNN FINDLEY

In any organization, it’s often those working quietly behind the scenes that play an essential role in keeping the wheels turning.

Before Marilynn Findley began volunteering weekly at the San Juan Preservation Trust office, staff were grappling with an ever-increasing mass of mailing and filing projects as the breadth and scope of conservation efforts continued to expand. A phone call one day from Marilynn with an offer to help turned into a 140-hour contribution of priceless volunteer time over the past year—time that has made a critical difference in our operations.

Packed into her tiny five-foot frame, Marilynn is a bundle of cheerful efficiency and focused attention. Before retiring she had several careers with the state of California, most recently in creating community programs for the mentally ill. A fiber artist, Marilynn displays her handmade bags at a local retail shop in Friday Harbor.

Marilynn and her husband Greg moved to San Juan Island in 2008 and built their home overlooking an expansive view of SJPT-protected land in San Juan Valley. “Every day I appreciate the work of the Preservation Trust from my window,” says Marilynn. And we appreciate our 2015 Volunteer of the Year!

“Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
— Elizabeth Andrew

2014 Volunteer of the Year: HARVEY HIMELFARB


We are extremely grateful to Harvey Himelfarb for his volunteer service to the Preservation Trust over the last 10 years. With humility and his articulate manner, Harvey served on the SJPT Board of Trustees from 2003-2011, contributing his intelligent insights and leadership skills to the growth of the organization. Among many accomplishments during his board tenure, Harvey organized our successful Photography Internship program and provided invaluable leadership during the Preservation Trust’s very first land trust accreditation process.

Two years after stepping down from the board, Harvey returned as a non-trustee volunteer in 2013 to serve as chairman of an ad-hoc Governance Committee. Convened to improve our approach to selecting, educating and engaging board members, this committee – under Harvey’s leadership – advanced a number of recommendations that will help shape the future of the Preservation Trust for years to come.

Originally from the Bronx, Harvey has been a West Coast transplant for decades. An accomplished artist, Harvey taught photography and printmaking for more than 20 years at UC Davis before accepting a position there of Vice Provost for Academic Personnel and Programs.

In 1991, Harvey, his wife, Alice Swan, and their son purchased property on Orcas Island and built a small house. They moved to Orcas full time in 1998. After observing dramatic changes due to growth in Arizona and California during the past 30 years, Harvey is convinced that the San Juan Islands remain a special place where those who care can still save its pristine qualities.

“It has been an honor to help the Trust in protecting our beautiful islands. I need no recognition as I believe so much in the mission and the wonderful staff of the Trust,” said Harvey.

Harvey, you are much too humble. You have made a positive and lasting contribution to future of the Preservation Trust!


Previous San Juan Preservation Trust “Volunteers Of The Year”

 Peter Willing, 2013

Peter Willing (thumbnail

Jan Helsell, 2012

Keith Jones, 2011

Rick Machin, 2010

Rick Machin, 2010

Julian "Pete" Dewell, 2009

Julian “Pete” Dewell, 2009

Jack Lanning, 2008

Jack Lanning, 2008

Jane Ward, 2007

Jane Ward, 2007

Dave and Cherill Perera, 2006

Dave and Cherill Perera, 2006

Mat and Katherine Mottola, 2005

Mat and Katherine Mottola, 2005

Thank You To Our 2013 San Juan Preservation Trust Volunteers!

Audra Adelberger
Jon Avent
Linda Barton
Thomas Bayley*
Charles Bodenstab*
Patricia Bolding
Paulette Brunner
Sheryl Bryner
Ferdi Businger
Margie & Dan Carper *
Lynn Caton
Steve Clarke
Joan Crosby
Crow Valley String Band
Ken Culver
Norm Culver
Jennifer deGroot
Geoff Dunbar*
Louise Dustrude
Brian Eslick
Cyrus Field
Ingrid Gabriel
Mark Gardner
Keith Gerrard** Trustee
** Volunteer of the Year
Charles & Nancy Givens*
Mary Gropp
Thor Hanson*
Carolyn Haugen*
Pete Helsell
Harvey Himelfarb**
Alice Hurd*
Ann & Keith Jones
Ellen Jones
Steven Jung*
Todd Kaden
Michael Lazzari
April Logan
Rick Machin
Sarka & Anthony Martinez
Bob & Holiday Matchett
Doug McCutchen
Steve McKeon*
Judith Meyer*
Wendolyn Michnay*
Mary Miller*
Vicky Miller
Raylee Miniken
David Ortland
Thom Pence
David & Cherill Perera*
James Pinkham
David & Norma Priebe
Scott Raun
Sally Reeve
Jeff Remington
Steve Richards
Amy Schmidt
Barbara & Randy Schnabel
Kim Secunda
Eva Seifert
Todd Shaner
Margot Shaw
Steve Simpson*
Allen Smith*
Samantha Sprenger*
Robert Stavers*
Mike and Matthew Stepita
Patti Sterk
Margaret Sullivan
Sally Todd
Steve Ulvi
Robert Walker
Richard & Jane Ward
Peter Ways*
Monika Wieland
Peter Willing
Ron Woodard*
Bahman Zahraie
Beverly Zapalac