OFFICERS

PRESIDENT

Christine Cowan

chris.cowan@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Chris is married to an avid dirt bike rider, and discovered the love of four wheeling with best friends. She lives in Somerset, CA. Her day job is a Practice Coordinator at Jackson Creek Dental. Her first time on the trail was 20 years ago, and has been on the trail every year since. Chris’ responsibilities in addition to serving as the Secretary include, Grants Committee, Co-Chair of Black Tie & Boots Dinner and Auction, and Jeepers Jamboree Wine Tasting. Primary Rig- 1952 Willy’s- CJ-3B on 37”. Chris served as Secretary from 2010 to 2021.

Chris was elected President in 2021.

VICE 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 my 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 however got the Rubicon in his blood in their 1944 Willys named High O'l Silver, and 1941 Willys, 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 and in 2017 he was elected Vice-President, the position he currently holds. 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 Vice President: 2017

TREASURER

Jonathan Carlos

jonathan.carlos@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Jonathan was elected Treasurer: 2019

SECRETARY

Laura Blake

laura.blake@rubicontrailfoundation.org



Laura was elected Secretary in 2021. Since moving to El Dorado County in 1991, Laura has been a Rubicon user since her first trip on a motorcycle. Laura wants to pass onto the future generations the beautiful Rubicon Trail and all it has to offer. Laura accepted an appointment on the RTF board to help educate the younger users of the Trail as well. Keeping it natural, and open to all, is a priority. Laura is married with a daughter. She loves driving their 2006 LJ Rubicon Unlimited on 35’s. She is also involved with the Jeepers Jamboree Cook Crew since 2012, and a proud member of the Hangtown Crawlers.

DIRECTORS

Dan DeWolf

dan.dewolf@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2009

David Thomas

david.thomas@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2011

Dave was born and raised in Placerville, grew up with a love for the outdoors and a stepfather (Gary Bjork) that was active with the El Dorado Jeepherders and then in the Toys on the Rocks Off Road Club. Dave first ran the Rubicon Trail in 1980 and has not missed but a year or two since that he can remember. Active member in the Toys on the Rocks club and the Hangtown Crawlers also enjoys being a Jamboree Cook Crew volunteer. One of his other hobbies is pit crew for KOH and Baja teams. Dave and his wife Terri own and operate the Placerville Pizza Factory, His son and daughter are also trail users and love the Sierra Nevada's.
Trail rig is a 1972 Land Cruiser FJ40 aka Nightlite and 2001 Jeep TJ.
David served as President from 2019 to 2021.

Diane Hawks

diane.hawks@rubicontrailfoundation.org

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

JC Jenkins

jc.jenkins@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2016

Jeff Blewett

jeff.blewett@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2021

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.

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

Matt Warden

matt.warden@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2015

Matt Warden comes to RTF with over a decade of non-profit experience specializing in finance, publicrelations, marketing and fund-raising. Matt was born and raised in El Dorado County and except for moving while in the military has lived here most of his life. He is an avid trail user and runs two Rubicon cook crews, the first being for Cantina on the Con and the second for the American Legion Jeepers Jamboree Cook Crew which is one of the American Legion Post’s larger fund raisers. He is the present Vice President for the Hangtown Crawlers and is fortunate enough to volunteer for Wheelers for the Wounded of CA a non-profit dedicated to helping Combat Veterans though Off-Road recreation.

Matt is married to a supporting wife Angela and has to wonderful children Bryce and Brianna who both have a love for the outdoors.

Matt believes in supporting the people and places that make our country great and is proud to be a director on this board.

Primary Rig: 1980 CJ-5 stretched 20” on 37’s

Mike Gerondakis

mike.gerondakis@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Board Elected: 2018

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.

Rusty Folena

rusty.folena@rubicontrailfoundation.org

Past President 2013-2015
Board Elected: 2004

Rusty is married to a very patient and understanding Rubicon Trail user and has 1 son. His history dates back to his mom and Dad being on the Rubicon Trail since the late 1950’s, and also a El Dorado County Native, for the past 29 years he has been making wine in the Shenandoah Valley. He helped start Friends of the Rubicon in 2001 and has been involved with the Rubicon since then, becoming a founding member of The Rubicon Trail Foundation in 2004. His responsibilities, in addition to serving as President, include the property committee, Quarter Master, and helping out in any other way that can help.

Affiliations: Friends Of The Rubicon, Rubicon Trail Foundation, Independent Trail user

Primary Rig What’s left of a 1980 CJ-7 stretched out and on 38”s

Tyler Hovelsrud

tyler.hovelsrud@rubicontrailfoundation.org

 

Board Elected: 2018

Tyler's interest with the Rubicon Trail started in the early 2000s when he attended a TLCA Rubithon event, it was his first trip to the Rubicon. He had a great time and instantly felt a deep connection to the area. Since then, he has been to the Rubicon Trail every year at least once, while most years he makes it down two or three times.

In 2007 he and his wife jokingly mentioned that we should get married at Rubicon Springs. It was originally laughed it off as a logistical nightmare, but the next day they decided they were up to the challenge. In July 2008 they hauled 19 friends and family members along with their dog from Loon to Rubicon Springs for their wedding. It was an epic trip, they had some incredible memories. In addition, we were able to give many guests their first Rubicon Trail experience.

Over the next few years he would further cement his life into the off-road community when he started Total Metal Innovations LLC, a small off-road company based in Albany, Oregon. Since the inception of Total Metal Innovations he has donated to the Marlin Crawler Round-up, TLCA Rubithon, Sierra Trek, RTF along with a number of other events both on and off the Rubicon Trail.

Through the years he kept finding himself interested in the fight to keep the Rubicon (along with other trails) open to the public. He started attending RTF board meetings remotely and now serves as a board of directors as of 2019. His primary focus is increasing public access to the RTF property.

Primary rig: 2013 Total Metal Innovations built buggy.

NON-VOTING MEMBERS

Since the inception of the Rubicon Trail Foundation, there have been 2 Non-Voting positions that are assigned to El Dorado and Placer County in order to build a cohesive and positive relationship with trail stakeholders.

El Dorado County

Seat Open

Placer County

Seat Open

 

Past Board Members

Aaron Beckstead
Aaron Nunley
Bob Reed: Founding Member (Cal4)
Cole Sweatt
Dan Mainwaring
Dave Beam
Dave Gross
Del Albright: Founding President: 2004-2007

Dennis Mayer: Founding Treasurer
Don Spuhler
Doug Barr: Founding Director, Interim President: 2009
Frank Funk
Jack Sweeney: Founding Member
Jason Warden
Jeff Blewett
Jeff Nilluka
Jeff Spellman: Founding Vice-President

Jen Lillund
Kevin Carey: Founding Director
Kevin Arnold
Lori Warden

Mark Langford
Mark Smith: Founding Director
Matt Farley
Mike Overmeyer: Founding Director
Randy Burleson: Founding Secretary, Past President: 2008-2009

Rich Mainwaring: Founding Director
Ryan Mohondro
Ryan Wallace
Sean Russell: Past President 2015-2017
Scott Johnston: Founding Director
Ted Gaines: Non-Voting Placer County
Tom Allgaier
Troy McClintock
Vicki Sanders: Non-Voting El Dorado County