News & Advocacy

Santa Monica Conservancy Welcomes New Board Members

May 20, 2019

At the Santa Monica Conservancy’s Annual Meeting on May 18, 2019, new Board members Catherine Conkle and Ann Graham Ehringer, PhD, were elected to three-year terms. Mario Fonda-Bonardi, Nina Fresco and Ruthann Lehrer were re-elected to the Board. Continuing members of the Board are Tom Cleys, Liz Coughlin, David Kaplan, Carol Lemlein, Libby Motika, Libby Pachares and John Zinner.

The volunteer Board of Directors meets monthly to set policies, track programs and projects and govern the organization.  Directors and Officers play an active role in fundraising and many chair the Conservancy’s committees, which are responsible for the majority of the work of the organization.

The 2019 Nominating Committee was co-chaired by Ruthann Lehrer and Carol Lemlein, and included Chantal Prunier and Leslie Lambert.

Catherine Conkle is Chair of the Preservation Resource Center Operations Committee and a Shotgun House docent. She is completing the UCLA Extension Architecture + Interior Design certificate program and plans to begin the Master of Interior Architecture program at Cal Poly Pomona this fall. Before beginning her design education, she was an event producer in the entertainment industry, most recently at DreamWorks Animation.


Ann Graham Ehringer, Ph.D., has been a Conservancy member since 2013. She has been a director on the boards of a wide range of public, private and non-profit organizations. Ann has extensive experience as a strategic consultant/coach to company owners and was as an associate professor of entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business. Ann purchased and revitalized Saddle Peak Lodge in 1992 and sold it to new owners in late 2016.


Mario Fonda-Bonardi has served on the Board since 2010. He is a principal of Fonda-Bonardi & Hohman Architects, specializing in residential design, and serves on the Santa Monica Planning Commission. In 2008, Mario received the Conservancy’s David G. Cameron Preservation Award in recognition of his outstanding dedication to the preservation of Santa Monica’s landmark Shotgun House.


Nina Fresco has served on the Board since 2004. She built the scale model of the Shotgun House in the Preservation Resource Center and developed its display boards and the detailed map of the City’s historic sites. She also authored the Building a Neighborhood curriculum for schoolchildren. Nina serves on the Santa Monica Planning Commission, chaired the Civic Auditorium Working Group and previously served three terms on the Landmarks Commission.


Ruthann Lehrer has served on the Board since 2004 and co-chairs the Advocacy Committee. She leads the docent program at the Annenberg Community Beach House and was for many years Chair of the Program Committee. Ruthann was the designated architectural historian on the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission from 1999-2014. She was the first Executive Director of the L.A. Conservancy, afterward serving on its Board of Directors, and is a former President of the California Preservation Foundation.


Expiring in 2020: David Kaplan, Carol Lemlein, Libby Pachares, and John Zinner.

Emeritus Board Members:  Ken Breisch, Ph.D., and Doris Sosin

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