About: Our Board
The Ruth Bancroft Garden Board (RBG) of Directors and Affiliations, 2017


Ruth Bancroft: Ruth is the Garden Founder: Through research and a keen eye for design, she has developed this exceptional three acre “dry” garden, which has been heralded by horticulturists all over the world. Chosen as the first garden for preservation by the Garden Conservancy, it has become a teaching center for professionals, children and the general public, promoting the doctrine of beauty with less water. She graduated from The University of California. Her course work was in architecture and education. In addition to her garden, she has been a supporter of The San Francisco Opera and the California Symphony. Ruth is the widow of Phillip Bancroft, Jr., the grandson of Hubert Howe Bancroft, who compiled a collection and wrote his own collection of the great histories of the West.

Nina Bancroft Dickerson: Vice-president of the board. Ruth Bancroft’s daughter and representative of the Bancroft family on the RBG board. Long-time community volunteer, currently on board of Festival Opera and Treasurer for Equestrian Center of Walnut Creek.

Kathleen Blackman: Founder and CEO of Sequoia Investments, a local real estate investment company. Retired after 30+ years of creating and managing the business.

Chris Codding: Secretary of the board. Retired communications manager. Active volunteer also with California Horticultural Society and the Gardens at Alcatraz.

Karen Ferriere: Masters in Library Science with 17 years experience in enterprise content management, formerly with LexisNexis. Currently in nonprofit management for Save Mt. Diablo.

Jane Freeman: Appointed permanent representative of the Garden Conservancy. Retired CFO of Scientific Learning Company, enthusiastic gardener and member of the Clausen House finance committee. Currently serves as an Independent Trustee of the Wells Fargo Funds.

Gail Giffen: Treasurer of the board. Real estate investor and owner of two Bay Area pizza restaurants. Art collector, serving on annual Sculpture in the Gardens Committee.

Richard C. Hansen: President of the board. Retired telecommunications industry engineering and operations Director. and project manager. Past chair of Food Bank of Contra Costa, and Exec. Director of San Ramon Chamber of Commerce.

Susan Hewett Chapman: Former elementary school teacher, and business administrator in human resources. Extensive past volunteer experience with AAUW, board of directors of The Seven Hills School, and parent board at The Athenian School.

David Mitchell: Senior project manager and engineer at the global construction company AECOM, San Francisco. Project manager for the Visitor and Education Center project at RBG. Forty years of experience in construction project management.

Arthur Neudek MAI: Vice President of Institutional Client Services for Property Sciences in Pleasanton, CA. Arthur works with national accounting firms providing real estate valuation services, primarily for large, institutional grade multi‐tenant properties. He has also specialized in hospitality properties, and has considerable experience in finance and lending services.

Gerriann Smith : Retired Senior Vice President and Regional Manager, Heritage Bank of Commerce.   Over 20 years of experience in lending to small business and mid-sized corporations.  In addition to her Ruth Bancroft Garden affiliation, currently holding committee and board member positions for  two other local non-profit organizations.

Mary Walker: Worked in telecommunications industry with MCI for 15 years.  Current co-owner operator of Daily Digital Imaging, an all digital print company, specializing in direct mail marketing through the use of variable data printing (VDP), and a Bay Area Certified Green business. Founding member of the Pleasant Hill Green Committee, established in 2005. Serves on the boards of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and Mt. Diablo Business Women.

Richard Watson: Retired architect and consultant to real estate industry. Over 50 years experience in design of hotels and entertainment facilities, litigation support, and expert witness services. Former peer reviewer for the American Counsel of Consulting Engineers, and former president of the American Institute of Architects.

Monique Young: Residential real estate broker in Walnut Creek since 1987. Long-time Tribunal Chair and mediator for Contra Costa Association of Realtors’ Professional Standards Committee. Diablo Valley College real estate instructor and mentor.

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Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy