Meet the amazing board members and executive team overseeing the Presidio Trust.
Under the provisions of the Presidio Trust Act, six members of the Presidio Trust Board are appointed by the President of the United States. The seventh member is the U.S. Secretary of the Interior or her designee.
Presidentially appointed Board members serve a set term, then are either re-appointed or replaced by whomever is President when their terms expire. The Board acts only as a body, taking actions by vote. All the actions of the Trust Board are reported publicly when we publish the minutes of each meeting.
Mark W. Buell, chair of the Presidio Trust board, is a native San Franciscan who has spent 35 years in public and private real estate development. He served as San Francisco’s first Director of Economic Development and later as the first Director of the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency. Mr. Buell is a former board president of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and currently co-chairs the Presidio Tunnel Tops Campaign Committee with Presidio Trust board chair Lynne Benioff. He has also served on the boards of the Bolinas Museum, the Chez Panisse Foundation, and the California Academy of Sciences. He is president of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission and president of the Marin Community Foundation. A graduate of the University of San Francisco, he also sits on their Board of Trustees. Mr. Buell is a decorated Vietnam War veteran. He was appointed to the Presidio Trust board in June 2021.
Nicola Miner, vice-chair of the Presidio Trust board, is founder of the Miner Anderson Family Foundation, a non-profit organization that advances social justice and access to equal opportunity in San Francisco and throughout the United States. She is an instructor of English composition at several Bay Area community colleges. Ms. Miner is also on the California Arts Council and is a member of Earthjustice Action’s board of directors. She has a degree in History from Brown University, a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a master’s degree in English literature from Mills College. She was appointed to the Presidio Trust board in June 2021.
Lynne Benioff is the former Presidio Trust board chair, current co-chair of TIME, and is active on the boards of several organizations. She is a Distinguished Director of the Board of Overseers of the University of California San Francisco Foundation and serves on the board of directors of The Rise Fund, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, and the Benioff Ocean Initiative. Ms. Benioff co-chairs the Presidio Tunnel Tops Campaign Committee, which has successfully raised over $100 million to create 14-acres of new parkland with a youth learning campus. In 2020, Ms. Benioff was honored by the AFP Golden Gate Chapter on National Philanthropy Day with an “Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer Award” for her work as the co-chair of the Presidio Tunnel Tops campaign. She formerly chaired the Presidio Trust board Governance Committee and served as a director of Common Sense Media. In 2014, Ms. Benioff was honored by Mayor Ed Lee as one of San Francisco’s “Women of the Year.” In 2020, she and her husband, Marc, received a George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award for their civic engagement. Ms. Benioff received a B.S. from the University of Washington. She was appointed to the Presidio Trust board in 2015 and reappointed in 2019.
Lenore “Leni” Eccles began her career in education in various roles including high school principal, counselor, and advisor for a university graduate school. She later served as director of a healthcare organization, working also with its national affiliates. Over the past two decades, her focus has been public service, working on governance, resource optimization, collaboration, and strategic planning. Ms. Eccles has served on the board of North Bay Summer Search, as chair of the Board of Trustees of a college preparatory high school, and most recently as chair of the Board of Trustees for the Belvedere Community Foundation. She was appointed to the Presidio Trust board in June 2021.
Carole McNeil, a San Francisco Bay Area native, is Chairman and Strategic Director of McNeil Capital, which invests in a wide range of real estate, venture capital, and biotech interests. She is also a member of the Policy Advisory Board at the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. Additionally, she endowed a joint chair between the Hoover Institution and the Economics Department at Stanford University, a first-ever creative association. She is also on the Overseers Board at the Hoover Institution. Ms. McNeil resides in San Francisco. She was appointed to the Presidio Trust board in 2019.
Jean S. Fraser, Chief Executive Officer, has dedicated her career to fostering healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities. Under her leadership, the Presidio Trust has restored dozens of acres of park land, opened the award-winning Presidio Tunnel Tops, and run profitable real estate and hospitality businesses that fund the park. Previously, Jean was Chief of the San Mateo County Health System and CEO of the San Francisco Health Plan, which developed a first-in-the-nation program providing affordable health care to all uninsured San Franciscans. She also served as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. Jean serves on the boards of KQED, SPUR (San Francisco Planning + Urban Research), and The Climate Center. She is a graduate of Yale University, and Yale Law School, and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
Michael Boland, Chief Park Officer, joined the Presidio Trust in 2001 and has played a key role in transforming the Presidio from a historic Army post to a world class national park site. Under his leadership, his team created a comprehensive trail and overlooks network, restored the Presidio’s rich mosaic of natural and cultural landscapes, and established national park experiences that serve urban youth. The Presidio’s transformation reached a high point with the 2022 opening of Presidio Tunnel Tops, 14 acres of trails, gardens, overlooks, and youth play spaces built atop a reclaimed highway tunnel. Michael has also played a role in the transformation of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, America’s largest and most heavily visited urban national park. Between 1990 and 1997, was Director of Park Projects for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. His projects included the transformation of Crissy Field, the Alcatraz Island Master Plan, the National AIDS Memorial Grove, and planning the Presidio’s initial transition from Army post to national park. Michael holds a bachelor of arts in architecture, a master’s degree in landscape architecture, and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California at Berkeley.
Catherine (Cathy) Langridge, Chief Financial Officer, joined the Presidio Trust in 2022. She brings more than 25 years of financial experience in companies large and small. She was Levi Strauss’s Global Retail Division Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance for Sephora, Vice President of Finance during the Initial Public Offering for Stitch Fix, and the Chief Financial Officer for Recology, a 100% employee-owned environmental services organization. Cathy is recognized for building superior relationships with her business partners through a shared vision of an organization’s future. Respected for her direct and honest approach, she inspires action while being grounded in data. Cathy has a deep commitment to science and conservation. She serves on the board of the Oakland Zoo, spent eleven years on the Board/Advisory Committee for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and lectured on astronomy with the California Academy of Sciences. Cathy holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley and undergraduate degrees in music and physics.
Rich Rusnack, Chief Business Officer, is a seasoned real estate and financial leader who had driven success in a variety of sectors. He spent 10 years as a retail and real estate development entrepreneur in the Midwest, including sent five years as an asset manager for The Habitat Company in Chicago, supporting the acquisition, development, and management of high-rise multifamily residential properties. Beginning in 2009, he managed Rudd Properties, Inc. for the Leslie Rudd Investment Company (LRICO). Over seven years, he was active in managing LRICO’s operating companies, including Dean + Deluca and Standard Beverage Corporation. After serving as CFO, COO, and then President of Standard Beverage Corporation, Rich become a contract CFO for distribution and real estate technology companies. Rich has served multiple Bay Area companies — as interim President/COO at MacPherson’s, interim CFO at Guideboat Co., and full-time CFO at Flux (acquired by Density.io), a construction technology company founded by Google X. At the Presidio Trust, he oversees the park’s commercial, residential, and hospitality real estate assets. Rich holds a B.A. from Colby College and an M.B.A from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
George K. H. Schell, General Counsel, began his career in 1984 as a Staff Attorney for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. He was a litigation associate at Steinhart + Falconer, a Deputy City Attorney and Chief of General Litigation for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, and General Counsel for the Oakland Athletics. In 1996, he began a two-decade career as a business manager and legal counsel at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, ultimately serving as Chief Marketing Counsel for Coca-Cola North America. George’s public service background includes serving as Chairman of the Board of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council and as a Director and Chairman of the Board of the Council of Better Businesses Bureaus. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Smithsonian Institute’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. In 2016, he received the first-ever Diversity Legacy Award from the California Minority Counsel Program and Villanova Law School’s Charles Widger Award for Outstanding Public Service and Professional Excellence. He holds a B.A. in political science from U.C. Santa Barbara and a law degree from UCLA.
Diana Simmons, Chief Operating Officer, was born and raised in northern California and has spent her career focused on purpose-driven organizations. She began working in non-profit environmental policy and consulting in air quality, land use, and transportation technology in both California and Boston. She spent 15 years at Clif Bar + Company where she drove brand management, launched new products, led the sustainability team to assess impacts from the field to the final product, and built and led the company’s cross-functional new product commercialization launch process. As Chief Operating Officer, she leads marketing communications, government affairs, administration + procurement, IT, and the Project Management Office. She holds an undergraduate degree in human biology and an M.B.A from Stanford University and is an Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow (class of 2011-12).