David Thomas

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.

Dave was elected President in 2019.


Ken Hower

Ken has been a Rubicon user since 1979. His father ran the Jeepers Jamboree in his 1953 Willys, his Grandfather ran the Jeepers Jamboree in a Willys and his 1969 Ford Bronco, his Uncle ran the trail in a 1944 Willys names High Ol Silver and his cousin ran the trail in a Bronco (The blue Submarine) and 1941 Willys. So it was only natural, that the first vehicle that he bought was a 1947 Willys CJ-2A that he still owns today. Between his Willys, Polaris RZR or JK, there are plenty of ways for him to However, he is often seen on the trail in his RZR, as he represents the Green Sticker users on the trail. He began participating in saving the trail in 2004, by volunteering with the Rubicon Trail Patrol. He was then co-director of the Trail Patrol program from 2006 to 2011. In 2011, he was elected to the Rubicon Trail Foundation board. His primary interests are the political aspects of the trail and the Rubicon Trail Property that was purchased in 2010. Ken is on the Property, IT and Political Action Committees. 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, 2017 Jeep Rubicon Recon, RZR XP 1000.

Ken was elected Vice President: 2017


Jonathan Carlos

Jonathan was elected Treasurer: 2019


Christine Cowan

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 was elected Secretary: 2010


Dan DeWolf

Board Elected: 2009

JC Jenkins

Board Elected: 2016

John Arenz

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, in addition to serving as Vice President, include the Political Action Committee, the Bylaws Committee, and the Grants Committee as well as coordinating and teaching Ham radio classes.

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

Laura Blake

Board Elected: 2019

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.

Matt Warden

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

Board Elected: 2018

Rusty Folena

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

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.

Open Seat

Board Elected:

Contact David Thomas if interested

Open Seat

Board Elected:

Contact David Thomas if interested

Open Seat

Board Elected:


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