Board Officers:

  • Jim Cassio – President
  • Ken McKowen – Vice President
  • Luana Gohl – Treasurer
  • Cate Murphy – Secretary
  • Karen Shaffer – Membership Coordinator

Board Directors:

  • Eric Buell – Webmaster, Content Team Coordinator
  • Sally Cullen – Photography Coordinator, Social Media Coordinator
  • Jeannie Dial – Event Coordinator
  • Don Rose – Trails Coordinator
  • Kathy Shurtleff – Youth Advocate
  • Eric Webb – Historian, Fundraising Coordinator


  • Maryellen Blackburn – Event Coordinator
  • David Haskell – Outreach Coordinator
  • Kathy Kayner – Lead Bald Eagle Docent
  • Johanna Miller – Bookkeeper
  • Crystal Tobias – Event Coordinator, FOLFAN Co-founder


Jim Cassio, President
When not leading FOLFAN, Jim is a workforce development professional, planning and managing programs that train individuals to do conservation, fire prevention and eco restoration related work. He is an author, nature enthusiast, and a former park ranger. He lives in Folsom with his wife, Deb, a professor of history and heritage interpretation. They enjoy travel as well as frequent hiking, kayaking and bicycling.




Ken McKowen, Vice President
Ken is retired after 30 years with California State Parks. The Vietnam vet worked as a ranger at Folsom, Lake Perris, Lake Tahoe, and the State Railroad Museum. He was head writer in the PR Office, a planner in Monterey, managed the department’s  Volunteer In Parks (VIP) program and the Statewide Trails program. Ken was an early FOLFAN board member and once a board member on the Monterey County Film Commission and worked with Vice President Gore’s team during the Year of The Ocean celebration.  His professional writing experience includes speeches for a governor and Park Directors along with hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles (with photos), co-author with wife Dahlynn of several Chicken Soup for the Soul titles, plus winning national awards for their travel books. Ken also wrote jokes for Joan Rivers. For three years Ken was the California State Parks Foundation’s NorCal volunteer program consultant and worked eight years as a substitute teacher. Born in Sacramento, he has lived in Orangevale for the past 20-plus years, hiking, biking and kayaking around Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma. Ken spends his leftover time woodworking, making everything from cutting boards and furniture to kayaks and guitars.


Luana Gohl, Treasurer
Luana is a CPA, and owns a local accounting consulting firm. She has lived near and enjoyed lakes Folsom and Natomas  for the past 40+ years. Luana is very grateful for her family which includes two sons, a daughter, two daughters-in-law and also, seven grandchildren who are teenagers and young adults. As a child, Luana grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was actively involved in youth groups – cycling, hiking and boating. As a young adult, she enjoyed white water rafting with a group of friends. Then when her children were young, the family lived very close to Granite Bay SP, where they regularly enjoyed the water, trails and exploration of the area. Currently, Luana is a participating member of Awake in the Wild, an outdoor daily meditation group. This practice is a connection to nature and the calming qualities it brings. Nature has always been an important part of Luana’s life. Luana will be retiring from business in a few years, and she looks forward to taking on more volunteering opportunities with FOLFAN. She also plans to travel to State and National Parks, enjoying the spectacular experiences that nature provides. As a director for FOLFAN, she is currently assisting with the design and integration of a new accounting system, and updating processes. She also helps out with special projects. In Luana’s spare time she enjoys nature photography, walking / hiking particularly in the numerous state parks around lakes Folsom and Natomas, kayaking, and snowshoeing. Sharing her love of nature with family, friends and our community is her passion. 



Cate Murphy, Secretary
Cate Murphy joined the Board of Directors in 2022 and was promptly recruited as Board secretary. She has been a FOLFAN member for several years and a bald eagle docent since 2019. Cate retired from California State Parks as the publications editor for the Interpretation and Education Division. She learned about FOLFAN when working on the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area free brochure with the group’s co-founders. Intrigued by FOLFAN’s commitment to the park’s environment by keeping it as pristine as possible for all visitors, Cate’s favorite group events are the annual Spring Kayak Kleanup and the Great American River Cleanup in the Fall. Cate earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing from the University of California at Davis, as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing and Literature from Bennington College. Cate has a special fondness for Folsom Lake State Recreation Area as an avid kayaker and birder. Cate’s other avocations are jewelry-making, reading, collecting Native American jewelry and fine art, and playing mindless games. Her two dogs get plenty of walks and treats, but they are still ill-mannered.


Karen Shaffer, Membership Coordinator
Karen is a retired biologist who spent her 30-year career implementing the Clean Water Act while with the federal government, and as a consultant helping the public comply with various federal and state environmental regulations. Living in Folsom at the doorstep of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Karen and her husband Bruce spend their time cycling, paddling, hiking, and dog walking in and around Lake Natoma and Folsom Lake (usually picking up trash as they go!). Karen also enjoys travel, reading, movies, and board games with her family, including her two sons, a transportation engineer focusing on
bike and pedestrian corridors, and a field biologist who has tried in vain to teach her how to take a picture through a spotting scope!





Eric Buell, Webmaster, Content Team Coordinator
Eric is an avid park user and conservation photographer. He spends much of his time hiking on the trails of Folsom Lake SRA with his camera in hand. His work focuses on highlighting the beauty of biodiversity. Eric is a UC Certified California Naturalist with a focus on interpretation. Eric has a degree from Folsom Lake College where he studied Art and Photography. Eric loves to use his interpretive skills to educate park users about the amazing amount of biodiversity that exists in the park.









Sally Cullen, Photography Coordinator, Social Media Coordinator
Sally is a retired pediatrician and former chief of pediatrics at the Kaiser Permanente Folsom Medical Offices. She and her husband Chad have lived in El Dorado Hills since 1990 and are the proud parents/grandparents of a son and daughter and five wonderful grandchildren (ages 2-12.) Since retirement, Sally has been a passionate traveler and photographer, enjoying trips to many State and National Parks and destinations worldwide. She has won several awards for her photographs of nature and wildlife. Sally became an active volunteer for FOLFAN several years ago and has participated in the Adopt-the-Parkway Program, the guided hikes, the kayak clean-ups, the photography contests, and the eagle’s nest monitoring. She enjoys running, hiking, biking, golfing and photographing in and around the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area in her spare time.


Jeannie Dial, Event Coordinator

Jeannie is a small animal veterinarian originally from Los Alamitos in Southern California. She and her
husband, who is also a small animal vet, moved to the area after graduating from UC Davis and fell in
love with Lake Natoma and the American River Parkway. Jeannie enjoys cycling along the parkway and
admiring how the landscape changes throughout the seasons – something they really don’t have in
Southern California! In addition to volunteering with FOLFAN, Jeannie enjoys watching Jeopardy!,
reading, visiting other state parks, and tending to her California native plant garden.


Don Rose, Trails Coordinator
Don is an avid hiker, road biker, and mountain biker, and he’s a dedicated open space and trails advocate. When he’s not enjoying recreational activities on trails at Folsom Lake SRA and other locations, he’s often doing volunteer trail maintenance and construction with organizations such as Friends of the El Dorado Trail, Friends of Folsom Parkways, FATRAC, and the American River Conservancy. He currently serves as board member and Treasurer of the Sacramento Valley Conservancy, an accredited land trust involved in preservation of open space in the Sacramento area. Don has over 35 years of experience in chief financial officer and similar positions with a variety of companies in the Sacramento area. He is currently a business financial consultant. He lives in Carmichael with his wife Beth, and they have two grown daughters.


Kathy Shurtleff, Youth Advocate

Kathy retired after 38 years as a Sacramento Deputy County Counsel, representing Children’s
Protective Services, where she prosecuted child abuse and neglect cases. She and her husband,
Michael Smith, have lived in their quirky home near the bike trail for over thirty-five years
(since 1987). Kathy and Mike were among the first participants/stewards in the Adopt-a-Trail
program and were original members of FOLFAN. She became a FOLFAN Board member in
January 2022.
Kathy grew up in Medford Oregon and Tracy California and graduated from UC Davis (History
‘77) and UOP McGeorge School of Law (’80).
Kathy has travelled the world extensively and is always looking for the next travel adventure, be
it in the U.S. or abroad; the more remote, historical, unusual, beautiful, or exotic, the better.
When not travelling, Kathy enjoys attending local events (including plays, lectures, concerts,
festivals, special events etc.), gardening, planning the next landscape or home project, and
entertaining. She is a member of the Sacramento Valley Conservancy, S.A.R.A., Sacramento
Historical Society, Folsom Historical Society, and Preservation Sacramento and is a supporter of


Eric Webb, Historian, Fundraising Coordinator

Descended from Norwegian and Swedish immigrants straight out of Giants in the Earth, Eric moved from the upper Midwest to California as a preteen,
subsequently graduating from Bella Vista High School. Upon arrival, he quickly became enamored with the unique and important cultural and natural history of Sacramento and its region. After finishing a B.A. and M.A. in history with an emphasis in Humanities from Sacramento State, Eric joined the Sacramento Public Library where he currently serves as a supervisor. Eric has reclaimed his interests in Sacramento history highlighted by the recent release of World War II Sacramento and is currently working on another book tentatively entitled Historic Townships of the Sacramento Region. Eric also has an abiding passion for California wildflowers and vernal pool ecology.
He is a certified University of California Naturalist and currently serves as a docent at Jepson Prairie and with FOLFAN’s Bald Eagle program. You will find Eric hiking the myriad trails throughout Northern California.


Maryellen Blackburn, Event Coordinator


David Haskell, Outreach Coordinator


Kathy Kayner, Lead Bald Eagle Docent


Johanna Miller, Bookkeeper


Crystal Tobias, Event Coordinator, FOLFAN Co-founder