Staff and Board of Directors

Dave Matthews
Executive Director
Dave Matthews began working in the parks and recreation field in 1985, served with the National Park Service for four seasons and worked as a ranger, supervisor and superintendent for the California State Parks for 27 years. Graduated from California State University, Chico with a BA in Recreation Administration, Parks and Resource Management.

Retired in 2014 moved to Grass Valley and began working at the Placer Nature Center in January 2017.

Michele Vincelli                                                                                                           Staff Naturalist                                                                                                   Employment Date: February 2015  Michele has spent most of her life outdoors. She has a B.S. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology from Sacramento State. She has an A.S in Natural Sciences and an A.S in Biological Sciences from Sierra College. Her past job experience includes working with the Auburn State Recreation area as a Whitewater Park Aid. She is certified in river and flood rescue. She has worked on creek restoration projects. She taught snowboarding for 3 seasons at Sugar Bowl in Soda Springs, CA. She worked as a teacher in training for a year in a second grade class. She started a the Placer Nature Center in 2015 as a summer camp director.

Barbara Leak
Barbara is an experienced and outstanding bookkeeper who works with the Foothills Farmers Market and other clients. She brings her positive attitude and team spirit as well as her efficiency and attention to detail to her role as bookkeeper for Placer Nature Center.


Placer Nature Center Board of Directors

Richard Huntley,                                                                                                    Board member since 2014 (President beginning 2015)                    Richard is retired from Pacific Telephone and a former US Navy man. He currently resides in Auburn, CA where he has dedicated his time to give back to the community. He currently sits on the Board of Telephone Pioneers, Auburn Garden Club, and Klown Alley of Sacramento. He is also a Master Gardener with Placer County Master Gardeners where he is the current composting co-chair. His hobbies include: gardening, teaching, traveling, and repairing “Talking Books for the Blind”. He joined the Board to help facilitate connections with the local community.  H – (530) 823-8087 or C – (530) 613-9119

Neeshant Desai,                                                                                                       Board member since 2010 (Secretary beginning 2014)                               Neeshant is a software engineer for Hewlett Packard in Roseville, CA.  He has a special interest in the outdoors being an avid fisherman but also on the Placer Nature Center because he has watched it grow into the community resource that it is since his youth.  He has interest in its continued growth and reach into the community.   (530) 878-0147

Linda Desai,                                                                                                                Board Member since August 2016, (Treasurer beginning March 2017)                                                                                                                                 Linda is an instructor at Sierra College and the former Education Director of the Placer Nature Center and one of its founding members. (H) 530-878-8347

Kevin Marini,                                                                                                             Board member since 2014                                                                                   Kevin is currently the Program Manager for the UCCE Placer and Nevada County Master Gardeners. He has worked in collaboration with various community organizations to raise awareness of who and what a Master Gardener is and does. His interests include: gardening, composting, hiking, camping, and fishing. He joined the Board to help raise Placer Nature Center’s visibility within the local communities. W – (530) 889-7399 or C (916) 276-8151

Teresa Hallada                                                                                                          Board Member since Jan. 2017                                                                     Teresa is currently the Education Director for the California Conservation Corps, Placer Campus and has been involved with conservationfor over 15 years. She began in San Luis Obispo and has managed many projects through the state with the California Conservation Corps. Projects included  building trails and planting native plants and trees.  Teresa now lives in in the foothills of the Sierras in El Dorado County  a long time dream. Her passion for the wilderness and teaching others to learn and enjoy continues. (w) 530-823-4900, (c)  530-919-6785

 Joe McInerney, JD, Board Member since March 2017, Deputy District Attorney Placer County California.                                                  Joe is a Litigator/Senior Counsel with the Placer County District Attorney’s office. Joe is licensed to practice through the State Bar of California, California Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court. Joe enjoys hiking, golf tennis and biking

Many more wonderful Volunteers and Docents insure the operation of PNC and all of the school programs.

Providing Environmental Education since 1991