FOLFAN Board of Directors for 2021
Jim Cassio - president
Linda McDonald - vice president and membership coordinator
Maryellen Blackburn – secretary
Paula David - treasurer
Jim Cassio, President
Jim is a labor market analyst/planner in the fields of workforce development and economic development. He is an author, sustainability professional, nature enthusiast, and a former park ranger. He lives in Folsom with his wife, Deb, a professor of history and heritage interpretation at Folsom Lake College. They have two daughters, one an attorney and one a recent graduate in environmental science and anthropology. Jim and Deb enjoy daily hiking, kayaking and bicycling in the Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma areas.
Linda McDonald, Vice President and Membership Coordinator
Linda spent 22 years at California State Parks – in jobs ranging from park aid and tour guide to publications editor and State Park System planner. She has enjoyed Folsom Lake SRA and the American River Parkway for over 50 years. Past President and Co-Founder of FOLFAN, Linda helped start the Adopt-the-Parkway and Kids Don’t Float programs. Once an avid water-skier – Linda’s favorite activities today include walking her dog, skiing, hiking and dancing. She enjoys guiding hikes for FOLFAN, most often from Rattlesnake Bar to Avery’s Pond (and back).
Maryellen Blackburn, Secretary
Maryellen is happily retired after a 37-year career in the insurance industry. An outdoor enthusiast, she loves, supports, and volunteers in our national and state parks, and loves visiting national parks abroad. Active for many years with the California State Parks Foundation ‘Park Champions’ volunteer program, Maryellen joined FOLFAN after she moved to Folsom in 2011. She joined the Board in 2017. She is one of the parkway stewards along Lake Natoma where she lives, and can be found most days walking along the trail with a trash bag in hand.
Paula David, Treasurer
Paula has been a fan of California parks since moving to California in 1989. She worked 20 years for the State, protecting resources, consumers, and the environment. Her former positions at California State Parks included Statewide Trails Coordinator and supervisor in Grants and Local Services. Paula is certified in State Parks’ Trails Management and Maintenance. Paula was a founding Board member for a non-profit pre-school and served in several key volunteer positions. She enjoys camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing, snow- and water-skiing.
Eric Buell, Director
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. His work can be seen on his website (https://www.ericbuellphotography.com/)and in his published book "Through the Seasons: A Photographic Journey Along the Lower American River." Eric plans on using his photographic and interpretive skills to educate park users about the amazing amount of biodiversity that exists in the park.
Sally Cullen, Director
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.
Cindy Freeman, Director
Cindy has lived in Folsom, California for over 20 years, having moved here with her husband and two children from San Antonio, Texas in 2000. A native of Temple, Texas, Cindy attended Texas Women’s University and pursued a career in banking. She left banking to focus on raising her family and charitable work. Over the years, Cindy maintained a close affiliation with the Junior League, serving in chapters in Texas and Sacramento where she served as League President from 2005-2006. The Junior League is a national organization made up of local chapters across the world committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities. Cindy also served on the board of the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento from 2006-2012. She and her husband, Jay, have two adult children living in the Pacific Northwest. Cindy loves her adopted home in Folsom and particularly the natural beauty and enjoys biking and hiking in her spare time.
Muffet McCleneghan, Director
Muffet has lived on the bluffs above Lake Natoma for 42 years, using the trails for running, bird watching and enjoying nature, and the lake for kayaking. Along with her two daughters, they have logged countless miles on the local trails and hours on the water. She taught school at Twin Lakes for 23 years and used the trail for the annual 6-mile bird walk her second graders looked forward to as a culminating activity after studying the local birds. It was after one of those bird walks that her class of 2009 gifted her with the prize of being a trail steward on one of those bird-walking miles. Her friends were aghast that she would be gifted with the privilege of spending 80 hours per year picking up trash, but it was the perfect year-end gift for her. Thus her interest in and affiliation with FOLFAN began. She is also a board member for the Sacramento Running Association. Retired in 2010, her two daughters began giving her grandchildren - now numbering seven (ages 3-10) and, during the pandemic, she has returned to teaching via Portal and Zoom, supporting the education of the eldest four in reading, math, and language arts. She believes that our beautiful natural resources need care and protection and that education of the public is key to this.
Don Rose, Director
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.
Crystal Tobias, Director
A Sacramento native, Crystal retired from UC Davis in 2017, where she worked since 1977. She is a self-taught naturalist, has years of experience with animal and non-profit organizations, is concerned about the environment, and believes the world is a better place when people get involved. She has been enjoying the entire American River Parkway since she was 5 years old. After working with the American River Parkway Foundation and Save the American River Association, she began an informal partnership with California State Parks Folsom Lake SRA in 2001 and co-founded FOLFAN in 2008. She was involved in the Folsom Lake SRA Long Range Planning Process, the Folsom Historic District Redevelopment Process, was on the board of the Gold Discovery Park Association in Coloma, and was invited to provide testimony to the legislature on AB951 (banning alcohol on the American River on holiday weekends).