Karen Baxter
Chief Executive Officer Santa Lucia Preserve

This land is a living time capsule, rewinding all the way back to the indigenous Rumsen people that first settled here. I’m receptive to the deep spiritual root here. I was recruited to work on The Preserve and after visiting I could see the difference I could make. When learning that there is a Conservancy connected to The Preserve that stewards the 18,000 acres of serene wilderness, I was sold. I feel a deep loyalty to the people who have been loyal to this community and giving them the tools to succeed is of the utmost importance to me.

I’ve seen this community band together in good times and through rough patches and the generosity of spirit here creates a culture of caring that’s unparalleled. My whole existence is forward thinking, to ensure the vision and business decisions made today will be relevant in 50 – 100 – 200 years from now. Being a part of an environmentally mindful community is honoring the legacy of this land and its forbearers.

Jen Anello
Director of Membership

I can vividly remember my first drive into The Preserve 15 years ago and how I felt adventuring along the road to the Hacienda. I was amazed and intrigued, in awe of the beauty of this place, and I had this enamored feeling one can't quite explain. It truly was love at first sight! As my roles have changed throughout the years from concierge, to managing events and hospitality, to the membership department and community relations, I realize that I have that same bright-eyed excitement about the place – but in a new way. Through the eyes of those that I'm able to introduce to The Preserve, I get to see it for the first time again and again. To be part of this community is to find home, there’s nothing more special than sharing in the memories and experiences of members here.

Forrest Arthur
Community Services District General Manager

My greatest experiences are working with new homeowners who are in the beginning stages of living within The Preserve. Typically, this is a very passionate time and the real beginning of exploring the vast and incredible opportunities the land, people and history of this place has to offer.  

I’ve been the General Manager of the Community Services District (CSD) since 2002 but joined the team in 1998 to facilitate the construction and planning of the Preserve Golf Club. My team plays a vital role in the prudent management of fragile resources, like water, in order to protect the future of The Preserve for future generations. The CSD provides our community with essential services related to water, wastewater treatment and collection, road and drainage maintenance, security, transportation and advanced communications. Additionally, we take the lead in Emergency Response in coordination with the Monterey County Regional Fire District.

Chelsea Barney
Equestrian Manager

The Preserve has helped mold me into the person I am today, and I feel privileged to work in this amazing environment with nice horses and this lovely community. I was hired in 2011 as an Equestrian Wrangler and later promoted to my current position. It didn’t take long for me to realize what a special place this is.

A few summers ago, I gave weekly lessons to a 12-year-old girl that was just discovering her passion for horses. One day, she showed me her homework assignment, she had to write about someone who had influenced her life. She wrote how I had influenced her to be a strong and graceful young lady. She shared how she learned valuable horsemanship skills through me, but also gained confidence in herself and an appreciation for others. Knowing that I’ve done something to positively influence this young girl is priceless.

When working so closely with members and their horses, it’s only a matter of time until you begin connecting and developing friendships. I’m so blessed to call some of the members at The Preserve my extended family. Horses tend to do that though – they bring people together.

Kelly Dyer
Director of Facilities and Design Construction Services

Biking the old ranch roads and cattle trails back in the spring of 2000 is when I began to appreciate the extent of The Preserve and the diversity within. Today, I work hard to maintain and improve Ranch Club facilities but my favorite part of this job is overseeing the same trail system which I explored nineteen years ago. It stretches nearly 100 miles, across 20,000 acres and connects people to this land.

As Director of Design Construction Services, I work with the Design Review Board to help connect homes to the land. My team is privileged to guide owners through the entire building process from conception to completion. Our approach to design reflects the belief that the value of The Preserve lies primarily in the beauty and vastness of the land. We serve as a source of support to understand site-specific conditions on each lot, as well as the unique challenges and opportunities each site presents. My role is to ensure owners and their design teams are heard, respected and led to design solutions which integrate the owner’s requirements with the values of our community

Jennifer O’Hara
Resident Services Senior Director

Resident Services make leaving or arriving back at your home as easy as walking out the door. Our team manages a variety of daily and annual maintenance from housekeeping and gardening, to whole house and property management across The Preserve. Being part of the growth of the community, from welcoming new owners to contributing to the daily management of members homes and working with our staff allows me to continue to grow personally and professionally alongside those I call family. I light up when hearing the relief or excitement in a member's voice after assuring them that their problem is not a problem at all, and that Resident Services exists to help in times just like this.

Julie Selby-Lara
Outdoor Pursuits, Fitness and Trail Manager

As a child, I grew up navigating and playing on The Preserve beginning in the late 1960’s. It was a special place where my family could explore and rejuvenate in awe inspiring nature. I rediscovered The Preserve after having moved away from the area for several years. My career here began in 2008, connecting children to the land through summer camp. Just last summer on a group hike I had a young boy hold a horned lizard for the first time with his father’s help. Seeing the ‘aha’ moment on his face as he was connecting with this gentle animal was infinitely rewarding.

Through the years, my role has  expanded to include outdoor pursuits for the entire community. To be surrounded by 20,000 acres of wilderness that envelop multiple ecosystems, provides endless opportunities for families to connect with each other and nature, while improving their health and wellbeing. Whether it’s giving swim lessons or developing tailored fitness programs, leading hikes on The Preserve or taking members river rafting through the Grand Canyon, my team is eager to inspire our members and their children through this unique natural paradise one hike, one rock and one tree at a time.

Brian Sleeman
Head Golf Professional

To enjoy an endlessly-engaging golf course in a tranquil setting fully enveloped by nature is an increasingly rare treat, and it’s refreshing to know that it will always be that way at The Preserve. There’s nothing like starting your morning with the low angles of the sun splashing over the course through the Santa Lucia Mountains, delaying your tee shot to take in the sight of a family of bobcats prowling the savannah, breaking for lunch mid-round in the majesty of a redwood grove, or sharing the fairways with friends and countless deer in the waning hours of the day. It is truly special.

My wife and I honeymooned in Carmel Valley in 2006 and immediately fell in love with the area. Over the course of my career as a golf professional, I’ve been fortunate to serve at many of the game’s great clubs, and The Preserve is at the top of the list of places that seamlessly blend an incredible golf course full of character, variety and fun with an overall atmosphere of understated elegance.

I fell in love with golf at the age of 14 when I first picked up a club and at the same time began work in the bag room and on the practice range at Marquette Golf Club. I’ve long been inspired by the way golf brings people together, and the community at The Preserve is bonded through their shared appreciation of the game, the venue and one another’s company.

Christy Fischer
Santa Lucia Conservancy Executive Director

What I love about The Preserve is the passion and commitment that the landowners and staff bring to care for this land. Growing up in California's Central Coast and spending the past 25 years working in conservation and habitat restoration, I find the beauty and diversity of The Preserve strikingly fresh every day. It is a privilege to be part of this unique conservation model, with over 18,000 acres of fragile natural lands actively cared for by the families who live here.

My favorite times are those spent on The Preserve with the residents, seeing those ‘ah-ha’ moments when people learn something new about their land that makes them feel even more connected to this special place. Whether helping restore grasslands, providing homes for owls, or learning to identify a new wildflower, I love the excitement and pride that our members share when they see something new or surprising. Preserve members share pictures and stories of their wildlife encounters with the Conservancy all the time – and I never tire of it!

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