CWC Board Biographies

Meg Mathies

After 40 years of teaching biology, Meg retired in 2002 from the Joint Science Department of Scripps, Pitzer, and Claremont McKenna Colleges.  She and her husband Ed Copeland have spent many sabbaticals, summers, and years since retirement in London, where she has carried out research in  immunology with a team at Cancer Research UK.

Meg moved to Claremont in 1964.  As a nature lover (which she credits to growing up in Colorado), she was especially happy to settle in a community that has easy access to the mountains, beach, and desert.  She has enjoyed hiking, camping, and nature photography, as well as various travels abroad.  She joined the CWC Board about 10 years ago and has been especially involved in helping write the CHWP Master Plan, organizing visitor surveys, and aiding in the establishment of the Friends of the Wilderness Park.

Other volunteer activities since her retirement have included tutoring at CLASP (Claremont After School Program), working with CHAP (Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program), miscellaneous political activism, and working with Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) to push for legislation to combat global warming.

Ali Martinez

Ali Martinez is passionate about the outdoors, staying active, and encouraging families to engage in their communities.  As a longtime resident of Claremont and as a Recreational Professional for more than 20 years, Ali knows what a special gem the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is to Claremont and what a treasure it is to the surrounding communities. She and her husband Eric are very involved with their three young sons, supporting them in sports, school, and extra curricular activities.  Ali is enthusiastic about educating people about healthy lifestyles, natural resources, and community engagement.    

Arlene Andrew

Arlene Andrew has been a CWC Board member since 2013.  Originally from Boston, Mass., she has lived in Claremont for most of her adult life.   Arlene has a Master of Urban Planning degree from Cal Poly Pomona and served for nearly a decade on the Claremont Planning Commission. Retired from work as a planner for the City of La Verne, Arlene is involved with several organizations including the Claremont Committee on Aging and the Mt. San Antonio Gardens Board. She has two adult children who mostly live on other continents and wonders if they’re trying to tell her something.

Vicki Salazar

     Vicki Salazar lives and works in Claremont.  As an advocate for the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, Vicki serves on the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy Board and on the Leadership team for the Friends of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park.  She is the volunteer coordinator for the Friends group and active in their invasive species mapping project.   

     Vicki is a certified naturalist through the UC California Naturalist Program at Pasadena City College and a regular contributor to the iNaturalist and Calflora online apps.   Vicki’s love for the outdoors came from growing up in Colorado where her passion for hiking, photography and the environment began. 

Terry Grill

Terry has worked for 11 years at Sealed Air Corporation, currently as the director of sustainability with responsibility for the Americas. She is also the President and CEO of Industrial Insulations Incorporated, a 67 year old family business. She has a MS in Biology from UC Riverside where she met Larry, her husband of 42 years. Terry has been running and hiking in the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park since the late 1990s and is passionate about historic preservation and preservation of open space. She has served on the board of Claremont Wildlands Conservancy since 2012, currently serving as president. She believes that the CHWP serves as a stepping stone to appreciation of the San Gabriel National Monument and the High Sierra beyond.

John Norvell

John Norvell is an avid hiker and watcher of birds and flowers in the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park. He especially loves to hike in the late afternoons in Johnson’s Pasture and the newly acquired Evey Canyon/Potato Mountain parcel of the Park. He paid close attention to acquisition and management of the Park since moving to Claremont in 2005, and weighed in on policy decisions with letters to the editor and communications to City Council members. John joined the Board of the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy in 2017, and has served as Vice President since 2018. He teaches anthropology at Mt. San Antonio College and brings a passion for outreach and education to the CWC.

Lissa Petersen

Lissa Petersen has hiked Johnsons Pasture since she moved to Claremont in 1974. She joined CWC in 2003, when she discovered that it was trying to save the pasture from development. As a Pitzer faculty member, she helped organize college students to support the 2006 campaign that passed a bond to do just that. Since then she has been an active board member, serving as president from 2011 to 2017 and currently serving as chair of the committee to expand the Wilderness Park.

James Van Cleve

James Van Cleve became a member of the board after working on Measure S, which added Johnson’s Pasture to the Wilderness Park in 2008.  He lives in Claremont and rides the Metrolink to work at the University of Southern California, where he is a member of the philosophy faculty.  He enjoys hiking, tennis, and other outdoor activities.

Dave Bedell

Dave Bedell is a retired high school teacher who has lived in Claremont for 40 years. An outdoor enthusiast, Dave is a frequent hiker in the Wilderness Park and was on the CWC Master Plan committee before becoming a Board member. Dave is also a past president of Community Friends of International Students in Claremont and is a member of the Pomona Valley Audubon Society. 

Jill Benton

Jill Benton has been hiking in the hillsides above Claremont since 1989.  She participated in the successful city-wide campaigns to add Johnsons Pasture to the Wilderness Park and since 2007 has been the treasurer of the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy board. She taught literature at Pitzer College and is now retired along with her husband Al Schwartz, also retired from Pitzer. She has produced two literary biographies of what she calls “little known” twentieth-century British women writers. Before moving to Claremont in the mid-1980s, while finishing her doctorate at the University of California San Diego, she organized environmental groups to secure open land around and including the Torrey Pines State Park Extension. She views our hillsides analogous to California’s beaches–public treasures for all to enjoy.