OFFICERS

PRESIDENT

Ken Hower

ken.hower@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Ken has been a Rubicon user since 1979. The Rubicon Trail has been a family affair since the late 1950's when his Dad built a 1953 Willys and put a V-8 in it. His Grandfather ran the Jeepers Jamboree in a 1969 Ford Bronco that got into 4Wheel Magazine on V Rock in Big Sluice. His Uncle Ernie and Cousin Jim Hower got the Rubicon in his blood in their 1944 Willys named High O'l Silver, and 1941 Ford MB, respectively. So it was only natural that the first vehicle that he purchased in 1982 was a 1947 Willys CJ-2A that he still owns today.

Ken started his path to RTF in 2004 by volunteering with the Rubicon Trail Patrol ran by Big Rich. In 2006 when Big Rich stepped aside to focus on WeRock, Ken and Scott Emmons co-directed Trail Patrol program from 2006 to 2011 and focused on the educational aspects. Trail Patrol eventually became the Mid-Trail staff program that users know today.

In 2011, Ken was elected to the Rubicon Trail Foundation board, 2017 he was elected Vice-President, and in 2021 he was elected President after the resignation of Chris Cowan. His primary interests are the political aspects of the trail and the Rubicon Trail Property that was purchased in 2010. He is a member of the Political Action, Property and IT Committee.

He has 2 children, Monica and Kenan who both grew up on the Rubicon. His day job is a Field Readiness Architect for Workday.
Trail Rigs: 1947 CJ-2A and 2017 Jeep Rubicon Recon

Ken was elected President: 2021

VICE PRESIDENT

Jeff Blewett

jeff.blewett@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Jeff was born and raised in Lodi California, he started off-roading right after High School in his 1967 CJ5. He joined the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs and the Joaquin Jeepers in 1982. In 1989 bought a 1979 CJ7 after he rolled his CJ5 off V Rock on Cadillac Hill. He currently lives in Valley Springs and owns a 2004 Jeep Rubicon on 37” tires.

Over the years he has been very active in the California 4 Wheel Drive Association, holding many positions on their Board of Directors including North District VP and the California 4 Wheel Drive Association President in 1999-2000. He has also enjoyed being an event chairman for quite a few the California 4 Wheel Drive Association events over the past 30 years. He chaired Sierra Trek 4 times, Winter Fun festival 2 times and the Win-a-Jeep program for 2 more years.

He previously served on the Board of Directors for the Rubicon Trail Foundation, Cal4 Safety and Education Foundation, Friends of the High Lakes, the Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance and as the Norther Natural Resource Consultant for Cal4 Wheel. All of these organizations are 501c3 groups dedicated to keeping public lands open to the public.

This is Jeff's second tour as Director on the Rubicon Trail Foundation.

Jeff was elected Vice-President January 2022

TREASURER

Sherry Hawk

sherry.hawk@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Sherry has over 30 years experience as a CPA and Tax Preparer. She is currently the Treasurer for Madhatters4x4 and Fire Safety Council.

Sherry was elected Treasurer: 2022

SECRETARY

Randy Burleson

randy.burleson@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Randy is a founding member of the Rubicon Trail Foundation board. Randy was also the first official Secretary and was a former President of the Foundation.

He was elected Secretary in January 2022

DIRECTORS

Alan Johnson

alan.johnson@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2021

Amy Wessels-Sagraves

amy.sagraves@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2022

Amy has been heavily involved with Cal4 and has been attending RTF meeting for over 10 years.

Chris Bassett

chris.bassett@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2021

Chris has been a Rubicon frequenter since 1999. “Help out” and “Leave it better than you found it” are two values Chris takes to the trail, never passing a stopped rig without checking whether assistance is needed, and always keeping an eye out for trash as well as participating in official clean-up events. Chris's favorite time of year on the Rubicon is the dead of winter. All three of his daughters have cut their off-road driving teeth on the Rubicon, each as soon as they were tall enough to see out the windshield. Chris’s wife, Alison, is new to the world of off-roading, but one trip to the Rubicon and she was hooked.

Chris is a licensed amateur radio operator, and is an active member of ultra marathon radio support teams, including the Western States 100.

Chris’s other outdoor passions include motorcycling, snow shoeing, camping with his family, and competing in ultra marathons.

As a passionate advocate for keeping public land open to the public, and with the Rubicon holding a special place in his heart, Chris joined the Rubicon Trail Foundation to help preserve access to the Rubicon Trail, for everyone and for generations to come.

Primary rigs: 2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, with sprinkles

Diane Hawks

diane.hawks@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Treasurer 2021-2022
Board Elected: 2020

Diane was born and raised in the Bay Area and has always had an interest in vehicles since her family owns an automotive repair shop in San Francisco. Diane used to build and show muscle cars in Northern California. Her 1969 El Camino won a trophy at the Oakland Roadster show and her 1968 SS Chevelle won the best burnout contests at the Western Street Machine Association or WSMA events. Her early off-roading experiences were with her 1973 F-250 and her 1993 Toyota pickup, where she would frequent Hollister Hills SVRA and Frank Raines OHV Park. She also enjoyed riding her Yamaha Banshee with friends at Pismo Dunes.

In 2004, Diane and Scott bought horse property in Somerset where they raise Arabian horses.

Diane was a volunteer with the El Dorado County Search and Rescue OHV Team for 11 years. She has also done events on the Rubicon Trail such as organized trail staff for the Hi-Lander’s Annual Poker Run, driven female Veterans for Wheelers for the Wounded, attended Rubicon Scramble, Jeep Jamboree, Cantina on the Con, driven for several OHMVR tours, and attended other various trips.

Diane has been the VP of the Hi-Lander’s 4wd Club for four years helping with conservation and maintenance work parties on the Barrett Lake Jeep Trail and Southfork Campground. She also attends meetings and trail runs with other 4wd clubs, and is the admin of three Facebook off-road groups building relationships within the off-road community.

Diane brings many years of off-roading experience and looks forward to being a part of the Rubicon Trail Foundation team.

Primary rigs: 2015 JKU Rubicon, 2003 TJ Rubicon, 1981 CJ8 Scrambler

Greg Castro

greg.castro@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2021

Greg's first-time off-roading after he lifted his Jeep was the Rubicon Trail. Once Arabias Overkill completed the lift, rims, tires, and skids, he went straight from the shop to Hollister Hills to check the articulation and get a feel for the rig. The next day he headed to the Rubicon Trail for the Cantina For The Con 2017 for its true maiden voyage. Greg fell in love with the Rubicon that weekend and upon return ordered his personalized plates: RBKNTRL.

While Greg is relatively new to wheeling, he's not new to Jeeps or fast cars. Greg's brother, Gary, has been into Jeeps for 20+ years starting with a CJ5, currently with a JLUR, and a TJ, LJR, CJ7, and a TJR in between. Gary's wheeled the Rubicon and other local trails over the years and was Greg's spotter for his maiden voyage.

Prior to off-roading, Greg spent ~15 years in the drag racing scene. He raced a 1988 Ford Mustang powered with a 434 cubic inch small block Chevy motor that ran a best of 8.0 @ 170+MPH in the quarter mile. Greg's last time down the racetrack was in 2010 back in Valdosta, Georgia. He spent the next few years building another race car and then decided to hang up his racing boots and decided to get into off-roading with his brother. He ordered his Jeep directly from the dealer, but there's not many stock parts left on it today.

Greg has two sons, Will and Tommy, who always wheel with him (as well as their puppy, Arlo) - including two trips for work parties on the RTF property. Greg was introduced to Ken and the RTF through Jack Tagart from Arabias Overkill.

Greg has worked in tech for most of his career - working at consumer-based businesses that are familiar to many including Yahoo! and Aol. Since then, he's worked in B2B focused companies and is currently the SVP, Sales & Business Development at an advertising company, Celtra.

JC Jenkins

jc.jenkins@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2016

John Arenz

john.arenz@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Past President 2017-2019
Board Elected: 2007

John is married to a frequent Rubicon user, and spends about a hundred days a year on the trail. He lives in Pollock Pines, California. He is retired Fire Captain. His first time on the trail was in the late seventies and he has been on the trail every year since 1983. He started working for FOTR in 2005 and joined the board in 2007. His responsibilities include the Political Action Committee, the Bylaws Committee, and the Grants Committee as well as coordinating and teaching Ham radio classes. John is a past Vice President and President of RTF (2017-2019)

Affiliations: ROC, Jeepers Jamboree volunteer, Rubicon Trail Partnership
Primary rig: 1977 CJ7 on 40” tires

Jon Larson

jon.larson@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2021

Ron Cannon

ron.cannon@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2020

Ron was born and raised in Placerville. He graduated from El Dorado High School in 1985. In 1991, married his first love “Tami” after dating for 5 years. He attended the police academy in 1995, served with the Placerville Police Department for 24 years, and retired in September 2020. Ron was also a volunteer firefighter for Diamond Springs/ El Dorado Fire for 10 years where he was a member of the volunteer firefighters association. He served as the President of the Union Mine Junior Rattlers youth football and cheer and served as the inaugural president for the merger of Hangtown and Timber Little League in 2009. He has always considered himself a public servant.
Ron became interested in off-roading relatively recently. His love for the Jeep developed after renting two of the JKU’s while in Hawaii on vacation in 2012. Upon return he found himself regularly having coffee with members of Jeepers Jamboree spending hours listening to jeeping stories (sorting through the BS), watching jeeping videos, and falling in love with the idea of owning a Jeep. In 2015 he purchased a used 2013 JKUR with the intent of building it for the 2016 Jeepers Jamboree. He built it with a basic lift, bead lock wheels, and all the steel he could find to protect it! The 2016 Jeepers Jamboree was "go big or go home" introduction to rock crawling that he and his wife both loved. Afterward he began volunteering at Jeepers Jamboree and he joined the Hangtown Crawlers. His newest goal is to Jeep the entire country, but the Rubicon Trail is his first love.
The Rubicon Trail Foundation became a source of information, so he began attending meetings, donating to Black Tie & Boots, volunteering at Cantina, and donating directly to RTF. Ron's past experience serving the community makes him very familiar with the demands of organizational service. Being recently retired, Ron can now dedicate time to serve the greater good of the Rubicon Trail. He believes in private property rights and year round access to public lands with reasonable limitations for responsible conservation. Service to that end is his honor.

Ron was appointed Vice President in 2021

Sal Sunzeri

sal.sunzeri@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2021

Tim Owen

tim.owen@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2021

 

RTF Presidents

Del Albright - 2004-2008 (Founding)
Randy Burleson - 2008-2009
Doug Barr (Interim) - 2009
Scott Johnston - 2009-2013
Rusty Folena - 2013-2015
Sean Russell - 2015-2017
John Arenz - 2017-2019
Dave Thomas - 2019-2021
Chris Cowan - 2021

Past Board Members

Aaron Beckstead
Aaron Nunley
Bob Reed: Founding Member (Cal4)
Chris Cowan: Past President 2021
Cole Sweatt
Dan Mainwaring
Dan DeWolf
Dave Beam
Dave Gross
David Thomas: Past President 2019-2021

Del Albright: Founding President: 2004-2008
Dennis Mayer*: Founding Treasurer
Don Spuhler

Doug Barr: Founding Director, Interim President: 2009
Frank Funk
Jack Sweeney: Founding Member
Jason Warden
Jeff Nilluka*
Jeff Spellman: Founding Vice-President
Jen Lillund
Kevin Carey: Founding Director
Kevin Arnold
Laura Blake
Lori Warden

Mark Langford
Mark Smith*: Founding Director
Matt Farley
Matt Warden

Mike Gerondakis
Mike Overmeyer: Founding Director
Randy Burleson: Founding Secretary, Past President: 2008-2009
Rich Mainwaring: Founding Director
Ryan Mohondro
Ryan Wallace

Rusty Folena: Founding Director, Past President 2013-2015
Sean Russell: Past President 2015-2017
Scott Johnston: Founding Director, Past President 2009-2013
Ted Gaines: Non-Voting Placer County
Tom Allgaier
Troy McClintock
Tyler Hovelsrud
Vicki Sanders: Non-Voting El Dorado County

*Deceased