Whidbey Camano Land TrustBoard of Directors Whidbey Camano Land TrustBoard of Directors

Board of Directors

The Whidbey Camano Land Trust has an all-volunteer Board of Directors made up of members who are committed to the mission of the Land Trust and have a genuine desire to learn, understand, and follow land trust standards and practices. They actively work to advance the Land Trust’s mission, help recruit new members, raise funds to ensure financial stability of the organization, and serve as ambassadors for the Land Trust at functions, events, and in the larger community.

Directors of the Board are elected for three-year terms and can serve a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms before taking at least 12 months off before becoming eligible to serve again. Each Board Member makes a considerable time commitment to the Land Trust by dedicating a minimum of 15 hours per month to the organization, including attending monthly board meetings and working on committee and/or project work.


DEBORA VALISDebora Valis, President

Debora Valis joined the Board in 2015. She is retired from her career as a Physical Therapist. Debora worked at hospitals in Seattle, Everett, and Whidbey Island before starting a private practice in Freeland and Langley, Washington. She received a B.A. from Pomona College and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Physical Therapy. As a second career, she and her husband, Steve, built Island Athletic Club, where Debora served as the CEO for many years.

Debora was a founding member of Save The Trees and was instrumental in adding the large tract of land known as Classic U to South Whidbey State Park. She is committed to preserving the natural beauty of the environment and works actively to make our community a better place to live, work, and play.


Dan Matlock, Vice President

Dan Matlock joined the Board in 2016. He is a Professor Emeritus of Biology at Seattle University. Although he did his graduate work in cell biology, his research almost always involved marine organisms. Dan first visited Whidbey as a child in 1952. Over the years, he has seen many changes on our islands and is happy to be part of the effort to preserve some of the things about them that first captured his interest many years ago.

Michael StansburyMichael Stansbury, Treasurer

Michael Stansbury joined the Board in 2014. He retired from the private practice of law in 2007. Michael was a corporate finance lawyer with Foster Pepper & Sheffelman from 1968 to 1988 and with Perkins Coie until his retirement. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Washington and an L.L.M. from Harvard Law School. On Whidbey Island, Michael served on the board of the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts from 2006 to 2012 and also served as the board president of the Greenbank Farm Management Group for many years.

JIM SOMERSJim Somers, Secretary

Jim Somers joined the Board in 2015. He retired to North Whidbey in 2003 following a career as an orthodontist in Duluth, Minnesota. Jim received his Dental and Orthodontic degrees at the University of Michigan. He has been an active volunteer with several environmental groups, including Beach Watchers and Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group. Jim co-chaired the Sound Waters Conference in 2007 and 2008. His major focus has been juvenile salmon research with various federal, tribal, and local entities. In 2008, Jim received a national “Environmental Hero Award” for his volunteer work with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He and his wife, Melissa, enjoy cycling, traveling, and their home on North Whidbey.


Sandy Barney

Sandy Barney joined the Board in 2017 for the second time after originally serving from 2010 to 2015. She attended Central Methodist University and worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines for 37 years. Sandy and her husband, John, moved to Freeland from Seattle in 2007 and immediately became Land Trust supporters and volunteers. She has been a long time active member of the League of Women Voters of Seattle, where she served on the Board of Directors for four years, two of them as co-president. Sandy also volunteers at the M Bar C Ranch, a south Whidbey Island nonprofit program serving mentally and physically challenged children and adults. She and John enjoy travelling and exploring new places, near and far.

Cathy Darracott

Cathy Darracott joined the Board in 2018. An outdoor enthusiast, she became aware of the Land Trust during the “Save the Trillium Forest” campaign and got involved in fundraising for the project. Cathy is a former CPA and retired business owner. She also served in the Air Force and National Guard. Once a weekend getaway, Whidbey Island is now home for Cathy, her spouse and their two dogs, Bella and Buddy. They live in Freeland.

Duane FulghamDuane Fulgham

Duane Fulgham joined the Board in 2014. He retired to Whidbey Island in 1998 after a career in finance, accounting, internal auditing, and administration with Shell Oil Company, Burlington Northern, and United Way of King County. Duane graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in business administration. Since moving to Whidbey Island, he has served on two nonprofit boards for youth services organizations and has served on the finance committee of the Land Trust for several years.  He and his wife, Marti, live near Clinton and enjoy sharing the beauty of Whidbey Island with family and friends.

Grant Heiken

Grant Heiken joined the Board in 2017 for the second time, originally serving from 2010 to 2015. He worked for NASA during the Apollo Program, in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory, as a geology instructor and researcher. In 1975, he and his wife moved to the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico, where he was a researcher in the geological sciences. Grant has written, co-written, or edited 11 books. Retired in 2003, he lives on Whidbey Island, with his wife, Jody, who is a scientific editor. Grant was on Island County’s Water Resources Advisory Committee for eight years.


Jennifer Muzzall Jones joined the Board in 2016. She was born and raised on her family farm on Penn Cove, near Coupeville, Washington where she developed a natural love of farming. Jennifer’s passion for protecting farmland and positively impacting the community was a perfect match for a position on the Land Trust’s board. After receiving a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Great Falls, Montana, she returned home to continue farming. Her love for animals and the land was overpowering, and her desire to provide quality products for consumers became her goal. Jennifer, along with her two sisters, operates a local specialty market. Known as the 3 Sisters Market, they sell their farm’s meat products, along with a wide selection of other locally grown foods and locally made products.


Scott Price joined the Board in 2016. He loves the natural beauty of Whidbey Island, which led him to join the Land Trust’s efforts in preserving it. Scott oversees his company Bonvolo Real Estate Investments. His professional background includes real estate, team management, marketing, high tech, and business process improvement. Scott earned a Human Factors Engineering degree from Tufts University and has Board and volunteer experience with other environmental organizations in the Seattle area. He lives in Coupeville with his wife and daughter.

William Stelle

Will Stelle, who joined the Land Trust in 2018, has been involved with natural resource issues throughout his career. He specialized in marine resource law, then spent more than a decade in Washington D.C. in a variety of roles, serving as staff counsel for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and then with the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee. Will later served as special assistant to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to work on the Northwest Forest Plan, and then moved to the White House to referee interdepartmental issues and priorities for natural resources policy and budgets.

Will moved to the Puget Sound region in the mid-1990s and served two tours of duty as Regional Administrator of NOAA Fisheries. Will lives on an old farming homestead on the north shore of Penn Cove. He’s married to Claudia Stelle. They have had four sons.