MALISSA HATHAWAY MCKEITH
is an accomplished international environmental lawyer, policy influencer and civic advocate in California. She is the president of Citizens United for Resources and the Environment (CURE), a public non-profit, founded by her family over 20 years ago to ensure accountability in government decision making affecting natural resource and land use planning (www.curegroup.org). She also is the Managing Agent of Environmental Infrastructure Consultants, LLC (EnvInC), a certified women-owned business, and a licensed real estate broker. Her legal career included chairing the real estate and environmental departments of several national firms including Baker & Mckenzie, Loeb & Loeb, and Lewis Brisbois. She has represented numerous Fortune 500 and private sector companies with environmental compliance and remediation, transfers and development of Brownfield properties, and permitting of energy and water infrastructure projects. Malissa has spent decades working in Washington D.C. with the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, State, EPA and Pentagon on complicated environmental matters. She has a particular expertise in negotiations at the U.S./Mexico border on infrastructure development and water transfers. She increasingly focuses on promoting urban agriculture and conserving lands in the urban/forest interface.
Malissa is on the Board of the Robert Redford Conservancy, the Urban Water Institute, and the Partnership for Conservation (P4C), as well as a visiting lecturer at Pitzer College. She is a former Governor of the State Bar of California and was the Governor’s appointee to the Colorado River Board of California, Fish & Game Commission, and Military Base Reuse Commission. Malissa also served on the board of the American Lung Association of California. Before practicing law, she was clerk to Justice Stanley California Supreme Court; Justice Harry Low, Court of Appeal; and Judge John Cole, Presiding Judge of Los Angeles Superior Court.
Malissa graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Juris Doctor Degree, with honors, from the University of San Francisco where she was an editor of the Law Review. She holds a certificate in Hazardous Waste Management from the University of California, Riverside, and a law and real estate license from the State of California. She is admitted in the United States Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, federal Central District Court, and California Supreme Court. Malissa is active in her community on a wide range of civic and social justice issues and is particularly interested in retaining 5,000 acres of urban agriculture to train young farmers and veterans to ensure local food security while reducing the effects of climate change.
She can be reached at or 213-300-3550.
John Paul Gamlin
John Gamlin has had a career spanning almost 30 years in real estate development as a planner, development manager and principal. He is President of Sofia Investments, Inc., a California corporation that provides land use and development management expertise to a variety of clients in real estate development and financial sectors. He is also managing principal of Premier Land Advisors, LLC, which provides a development management platform for Sofia.
A 27-year resident of the Coachella Valley, John graduated from the School of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo. His current projects include the subdivision of land holdings in Rancho Mirage, re-positioning of a golf master plan in Simi Valley, and a development partnership with the City of La Quinta for the build-out of SilverRock Resort, a large master plan. Past project experience includes managing the development of the Hideaway and Madison Clubs in La Quinta, the Canyon View Estates at Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert for Discovery Land Company, and re-positioning and sale of Coral Mountain at La Quinta, a 1,320-acre planned community.
Throughout a career devoted to developing “lifestyle-oriented” master planned communities, John has worked to balance development objectives with environmental concerns, taking a pro-active approach to solving land use conflicts.
John grew up with a love of the outdoors inspired by family camping trips to National Parks across the country. His first awareness of worldwide environmental issues came in elementary school, precipitated by classroom discussions about the “greenhouse effect.” As a high school student in the Tahoe basin, John became an avid hiker, and his affinity for nature grew, as did his interest in the world-famous alpine lake’s ecosystem. Later, as a student at Cal Poly, teachings on the philosophy of sensitive environmental design underscored by architects like Ian McHarg, resonated with him.
Over the years, John has embraced an array of concerns expressed in the non-profit sector, including CURE, the Desert Cahuilla Wetlands (a pilot project for Salton Sea mitigation / stabilization), and as a board member of the La Quinta Arts Foundation. He has also been involved in outreach to an orphanage in Baja, California, raised funds for pediatric cancer research for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation with his daughter, and supported start-up community theatre programs for challenged youth. For John, the thread connecting most of these pursuits is his belief that a fundamental quality of life – beginning with breathable air and potable water – should never be for sale, and is inseparable from values of fairness, equality and justice. For lack of these elements, John firmly believes, all other things are naught, and no seed of hope can germinate
With 30 years of experience in energy market design, product development, and commodity portfolio management, Seth brings a unique perspective to urban food system development. The water-energy-food nexus sits within a social-environmental and economic context that requires good public policy and stewardship for sustainable, just and equitable outcomes for all communities. Seth left the Lasalle Street Canyon (Chicago’s Wall Street) in 2013 to become a social entrepreneur. He is a cofounder of GC-Solutions, a startup water treatment company based in Durango, CO. He consults on securities crowdfunding. Seth also serves as executive director of the Riverside Food Systems Alliance, a nonprofit focused on building healthy and sustainable communities in and around Riverside, California. Seth is married with two adult kids and two amazing granddaughters.
Jim Weiner founded Collaborative Project Consulting as the natural progression of a thirty-year career as a design architect & educator. He is a recognized thought leader in architecture & sustainable building in the U.S. & internationally.Green building policy has been shaped by his hands-on work with the U.S. Green Building Council, major utilities, universities and local governments. Jim is an educator & speaker for groups including the American Library Association, Community College Facilities Coalition, UCLA, USC, UCSB, SCIARC, Association of Energy Engineers, American Solar Energy Society, AIA, ASHRAE, Energy Resource Center & the U.S. Green Building Council.
Kerry F. Morrison
Kerry grew up in Southern California, with a deep appreciation for the natural environment. He shares a background in non-profit management, community leadership, creative activism, outreach, event planning, marketing, social media & award winning multimedia production, coupled with extensive environmental studies. Honorary Mayor of 4 towns in the West Shores of the Salton Sea for two consecutive terms. He has a degree in multimedia communications/public relations from California State Universities Fullerton and San Marcos. Mr. Morrison also did college coursework in environment, psychology, multimedia & video production.
In 2011 Mr. Morrison a group of volunteers and scientists founded The EcoMedia Compass and the Save Our Sea! Campaign at the Salton Sea, to bring awareness and education for environmental solutions through music, art, science and community. He has been a consultant or partnered with: Greenpeace, Surfrider (Canada), CURE, California Natural Resources Agency, Imperial Irrigation District, Imperial County, West Shores Chamber of Commerce (President), Salton Sea State Recreation Area, West Shores Lion’s Association, West Shores Artists Association, and the San Diego Yacht Club. He has been interviewed or published in The LA Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Vice News, Wired, Desert Sun, Imperial Valley Press, Press Enterprise, Borrego Sun, plus other local news outlets. He has also appeared in environmental documentaries and publications overseas in England, France, Germany, Mexico, Luxembourg, Australia and South Korea. Mr. Morrison is passionate about creative science education through the arts and sustainable community development. He can be reached at
Collin Walcker is a 5th generation City of Riverside resident, growing up in the historic Green Belt area. He graduated June 2018 from Ramona High School as the Salutatorian and Magna Cum Laude status.
While attending high school, he interned in his junior year in Senator Richard Roth’s (Senate District 31) office. In this capacity he was able to interact with citizens and work on some of the impactful issues in the region. During his senior year Collin interned for the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. In his capacity there, he reviewed legislation coming out of Sacramento and participated in a multitude in chamber events, and learned the ins and outs of non-profit work.
Collin also was a member on Ramona’s Mock Trial Team and finished the season in 3rd place. In addition, he has learned to give back internationally by participating in two trips to construct buildings in Alajuela, Costa Rica. Collin selected UCLA and is enrolled for Fall of 2018. He is pursuing a degree in Economics and Finance.
Melissa is a Riverside resident and graduate from Pitzer College. She was the Robert Redford Fellow at Pitzer College and focuses on advancing urban farming and Salton Sea Restoration.
Kanak studies in Mumbai India and focuses on the economic impacts of international water disputes.