Climate First: Replacing Oil & Gas

”Your climate watchfrog on the Central Coast”

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

icon box image

Merrill Berge

Board Chair

As a Board Member of SOAR (Save Open Space & Agricultural Resources), Merrill helped coordinate the SOAR initiative signature drive and subsequent SOAR renewal campaign for Camarillo – which passed Nov. 2016 with 72% voter approval. 

Merrill has been on the Ventura County Resource Conservation Board since 2014, and helped to lead a financial turnaround and implement strategic planning for this special district whose mission is to facilitate the conservation and restoration of Ventura County’s natural resources for current and future generations. Merrill has been on the CFROG Board since 2016.

icon box image

Karina Kaye

Board Vice Chair

Karina is a researcher, organizer and activist with a particular interest in youth climate activism and green alliances with labor. 

She holds a B.A. in Gender Studies from UCLA and an MSc in Global Environment, Politics and Society from the University of Edinburgh. 

While in Scotland, Karina became involved in the Just Transition moment that promotes sustainable, regenerative economies that create good-paying jobs, and she brings that expertise to CFROG as we move towards promoting a sustainable future.

icon box image

Helen Conly

Board Secretary

Helen Conly is a retired teacher and a progressive political activist. She is the Treasurer of the Ventura County Democratic Club and serves on the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee.

Throughout her career, Helen has been involved in politics at the local, state, and national level.

icon box image

Suzanne Harvey

Board Treasurer

Now retired, Suzanne closed out her professional career as partner and co-founder of a Washington D.C. based investment advisory and private equity firm. Prior to that she served as a Managing Director of Thomson Financial Services (now Thomson Reuters) where she ran the firm’s Social Investment Research Service (SIRS), an ethical investment screening service for large institutional equity investors. Suzanne originally established SIRS in 1983, as a division of Prudential Securities’ Institutional Equity Research Department where she served as Director and Senior Analyst. Upon retiring she moved back to her home county of Ventura and has been involved with local organizations working to preserve and defend our unique environmental and diverse cultural environments.

icon box image

John Brooks

Board Member, Founder

John Brooks is a retired CBS radio journalist. Brooks was a News Director ,editor , reporter and news anchor in Southern California from 1974 to 2013 with 34 continuous years in Los Angeles at KFWB and KNX news radio. Prior to his employment in Los Angeles in 1979 Brooks was a reporter and News Director at KVEN/KHAY in Ventura. 

After retirement Brooks became a founding member of CFROG – Climate First:Replacing Oil & Gas. He was president from the group’s inception in 2013 until 2016, served on its Board of Directors until re-elected President in 2020. 

He has been married to Frances since 1971 and they have a daughter April.

icon box image

Gladys Limón

Board Member

Gladys Limón is an environmental justice and civil rights attorney with over 20 years of experience in legal, policy, and community-based work. She most recently served as Executive Director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), a coalition of ten community-based organizations across California working to advance environmental justice in state policy. Under Gladys’ direction, CEJA achieved substantial growth and significant policy and political victories.

Gladys’ legal career has centered on social justice impact litigation. As a senior staff attorney at Communities for a Better Environment, she brought an unprecedented environmental and civil rights lawsuit on behalf of youth of color groups against the City of Los Angeles challenging the rubber-stamping of oil drilling projects in neighborhoods, resulting in the City’s issuance of a robust administrative guidance policy that provides environmental and anti-discrimination protections. Gladys represented CEJA as lead attorney in a challenge to a proposed fourth gas-fired power plant in the EJ community of Oxnard – her hometown. Through deep community coalition work, the power plant proposal was defeated and was replaced with the construction of one of the largest battery energy storage facilities in the nation. Gladys has extensive experience working on behalf of immigrant communities, including as a staff attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF), where she litigated cases concerning anti-immigrant lawsracial discrimination, and the rights of low-income immigrant workers. Gladys’ social justice work is deeply rooted in her personal experiences as a daughter of Mexican immigrants and growing up in an environmental justice community.

Gladys received her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2003 and served as a law clerk to the late Hon. Lawrence K. Karlton in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

icon box image

Tomás Morales Rebecchi

Board Member

Tomás Morales Rebecchi is a Senior Central Coast Organizer for Food & Water Watch. Based in Oxnard and Ventura, California, he works with local communities and statewide organizations to ban fracking.

His background is in civic engagement, running voter registration drives and managing political campaigns. Immediately prior to joining Food & Water Watch, Tomás worked in his home county of San Benito as Field Director and Co-Campaign Manager for Measure J, the first successful voter initiative in California to ban fracking, cyclic steam injection, and acidizing at the county level. In 2016, he supported and was co-campaign manager for Measure Z in Monterey. He graduated from San Diego State University with bachelor’s degrees in political science and Spanish.

icon box image

Robert Ornstein

Board Member

Bob is a long time attorney whose career focused on complex business and corporate crime litigation. He also served as a Superior Court Judge Pro Tem in the Santa Barbara Superior Court, and a Hearing Officer/Judge in the Santa Barbara Psychiatric Health Facility where he conducted required hearings for involuntarily detained  patients.  Shortly after he moved to California, he became involved in the advocacy, and litigation efforts of Pacific Palisades based No Oil, Inc, and SEA, Seashore Environmental Alliance, Inc.  to prevent seashore oil exploration/development projects sought by major international oil companies.  Upon moving to Santa Barbara, he joined the Board of  EDC, the Environmental Defense Center, a public interest litigation centric  nonprofit that provides environmental defense advocacy and  litigation support to communities throughout the California Central Coast and has remained involved with the EDC for the past 35 years. Shortly after moving to Ojai, he became involved with Santa Clara Valley Together, a coalition of several community groups in Santa Paula in successfully advocating for Ventura  County to require the preparation of a full EIR for the application to reinstate   the Conditional Use Permit for the Santa Clara Waste Water Treatment Facility, which was suspended after its massive explosion in 2014.  He is excited about joining CFROG’s Board and continuing his involvement and commitment to work to preserve and defend the environment in all of its broadest and multi-dimensional aspects.