Connie Gannon, Executive Director
Connie Gannon joined Greenspace as Executive Director in December 2014. She has more than 25 years’ experience in the world of non-profits and higher education.
With a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, she taught in a combined cultural and environmental studies program at Prescott College in Arizona and in the American Studies program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She lived for several years in northern New Mexico, where she was project director for the Hispanic Arts Council of Taos and taught at the College of Santa Fe and Institute of American Indian Art. She moved to the Central Coast in 2001 and was the founding director of the grants program at Cuesta College.
Connie’s involvement in environmental issues and her concern for the quality of life in California began in her childhood, when she spent summer months on her family’s ranch in San Diego County. This vast tract of grazing land, bean fields and an organic orange orchard was later lost to development, since there was no land trust system in southern California at the time. She is committed to the preservation of California’s remaining rural and wild land heritage.
When she is not at the Greenspace office, where you can find her Monday through Friday, Connie loves to hike the local trails and venture up into the Big Sur. She is an avid gardener and weaver and has published both prose works and poetry.
Richard Hawley, Project Director
Richard Hawley is the former executive director and has provided leadership for the organization throughout its history in land acquisition, forest management, creek restoration and monitoring, and environmental education. Rick has taken the lead in developing relationships with other organizations and develops opportunities for program partnerships for Greenspace.
Rick has been on the cutting edge of the fights against pitch canker and sudden oak death (SOD) and their devastating effects in California. As one of the founding members of the State Pitch Canker Task Force, Rick has been working with task force members from government agencies. public agencies,universities and private organizations to find ways to prevent the spread of this deadly disease. Mr. Hawley toured the state as a representative of Greenspace during 1999 and 2000 giving presentations on the status of pitch canker in California and its resulting greenwaste to city councils in San Luis Obispo County, to the CCSD, and to the Boards of Supervisors and decision making agencies in the 21 counties in the pitch canker zone of infestation. Rick is on the Biomass and FireSafe Subcomittees of Statewide Oak Mortality Syndrome Task Force.
In addition, he is also a founding Board member of both the San luis Obispo FireSafe Council and the Cambria Forest Management Committee. He is a former board member of the Planning and Conservation League, the Land Ethic Action Foundation and has been a member of the San Luis Obispo County Water Resources Advisory Council. Rick represents Greenspace in the California ReLeaf Network, the Central Coast Regional Fish Advisory Group and the Regional Water Quality Control Board TAC for Surface Water degradation by Surface Metal Mines. He has also has served as an elected member of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Commission. Rick has a background in construction and project management.