818-597-8627 INFO@RCDSMM.ORG

Board of Directors


R.C. Brody, President

Mr. Brody is a native Angelino, raising his family in Topanga Canyon. He currently works as a land manager for the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife specializing in ecological restoration and enhancement, particularly the protection, restoration, creation, and management of riparian and wetland systems.  As a regulatory specialist he has conducted jurisdictional delineations and written restoration plans for riparian and wetland systems per California Coastal Commission, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and US Army Corps of Engineers protocols for projects throughout Southern California.  He is a Certified Professional Wetland Scientist.

Mr. Brody’s educational background includes a Master’s degree from the UCLA in Environmental Hydrology and a Bachelor of Science from UC Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.

His past lives’ include a private employment business, residential and commercial construction, teaching English abroad, and open ocean sailboat delivery. He is still trying to get his young daughters to go surfing with him more.

Nancy Helsley
, Treasurer

Bio Coming Soon.

Mary Ellen Strote, Director

Mary Ellen Strote lives in Cold Creek, an unincorporated area of the Santa Monica Mountains near the city of Calabasas. After returning from Peace Corps service in Chile (1963-1965), Strote received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. For many years she worked as an editor for Weider Publications and other magazine publishers. She has also been a book editor and freelance writer; her articles and op-eds have been published in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and many magazines. Now semi-retired, she continues to edit for Ms.

Strote did public relations for Susan Nelson, president of the Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains, Parks and Seashore, during the run-up to the establishment of the SMMNRA. Strote’s enduring interest in natural ecosystems has also inspired her efforts to remove invasive plants from public and private lands. She volunteers in the Mountain Restoration Trust’s native-plant greenhouse and recently installed a native-grass meadow on a disturbed portion of her property in Cold Creek.

Strote has been active with the Cold Creek Community Council for more than 15 years and previously served as vice president of the Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation. She has worked closely with Operation Safe Canyons—a County-led Santa Monica Mountains traffic safety initiative—since its inception eight years ago.

Steve Rosentsweig, Vice President

Steven Rosentsweig joined the board in January 2007. Steve was born and raised in Los Angeles where he lives with his wife Nikki. His son Paul, daughter Rachel, & son-in-law Michael also live in Los Angeles County.

He has a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) and master’s degree in mathematics from UCLA. He served 40 years in education. He has been a math resource teacher in Compton; a math, science , and computer teacher in Las Virgenes Unified ( A. E. Wright and Lindero Canyon middle schools); assistant principal at Calabasas High School; and principal at A. E. Wright Middle School.

His many awards include Las Virgenes Unified teacher of the year, and Association of California School Administrators Region 13 Middle School principal of the year. Because of his lifelong interest in education and the environment he is proud to be on the board of the RCD.

Beth Burnam, Director

Bio coming soon.


Associate Directors


Glenn Bailey, Associate Director

Glenn Bailey was appointed as a RCDSMM Associate Director in 2007 after serving four terms as Director from 1990-2006.  He currently represents the RCD on the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Areas Steering Committee and has served as its chairperson for several terms (2,150 acres within the RCD).

Glenn was the RCDSMM representative to the South Coast Resource Conservation & Development Council, and served as a vice-president until 2013.

He is a board member and vice-president of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Santa Susana Mountains (FPSSM), the cooperating association designated by the California Department of Parks and Recreation for the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park in Chatsworth (670 acres within the RCD).  www.fpssm.org

Dennis Washburn, Associate Director

Dennis Washburn has made a career of advertising, marketing and communications programs at agencies representing organizations of renown in manufacturing, technology, information management, sophisticated aerospace and electronic systems, healthcare and consumer products — large and small, and numerous business-to-business enterprises.  He has managed advertising and sales programs, brand development, corporate identity and image campaigns, investor relations and public information/PR for local, regional, national and international businesses and governments.

Skilled in strategic planning, negotiations, team building and productivity, presentations, campaign development, writing, public speaking and protocol, Dennis is also a certificated mediator with experience in public sector mediation and negotiations.  He holds a UC Berkeley BA in International Relations/Political Science and taught management as an Associate Professor during his two-year MBA Program in Marketing and Finance at San Diego State University.

Dennis is a popular elected official, successful in electioneering, organizational development, public affairs, community building, intergovernmental relations amongst municipal, county, regional, state, federal and international entities.  He is a founder, 5-term Council Member and 4-time Mayor of the City of Calabasas.  He also is a Director, current Vice President, and past President of the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains, a three-term Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commissioner, a 7-term Regional Councilmember of the Southern California Association of Governments, Founder and 3-time President of the Las Virgenes-Malibu Council of Governments, and Division Representative to the State Board and Past President of the 88-city LA County Division of the League of California Cities.