Board of Directors

JIM COVEL, President

Home: Seaside
Degrees:  Bachelor of Science in Environmental Planning and Management from University of California Davis (UCD); Masters degree in Community Development from UCD
Background: Jim grew up in a naturalist family—his father was a collector for several museums and later worked as one of the first park naturalists in the west. Much of his childhood included time in museums, and no visit to the Monterey Peninsula was complete without a visit to the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. He learned from first-hand experience how powerful the museum experience can be in feeding a child’s curiosity and sense of wonder, how those collections and exhibits can challenge a child’s imagination to envision a world beyond his or her day-to-day experience. Now, decades later, when he walks into the museum he recalls those fond memories of family visits there. Moreover, he renews that sense of wonder and curiosity that can be all-to-easily left behind as an adult. When he was invited to join the board, he saw an opportunity to support this remarkable gift to the community.  In particular, he views the museum as a gift we can all give to future curious minds, helping them discover the remarkable variety of life and culture that is part of their world.

STEVE DENNIS, Vice President

Home: Carmel
Degrees: Bachelor of Science, Management Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Background: Steve was born in New York City where frequent visits to the American Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium instilled a lifelong love of our planet and the universe. Steve was involved in the study that led to the Museum Foundation of Pacific Grove.The process, and the community's love for the Museum and their desire to keep it open, inspired him. Steve believes Museums must be more than places where people go, but also places where services flow out to the Community.



TAMA OLVER, Vice President

Home: Pacific Grove
Background:  Tama was raised near Washington, D.C. and experienced the wonder museums can instill in children as well as the expanded horizons of time and space they provide people of all ages. After retiring to live in Pacific Grove, she volunteered at the Museum and served on the city's museum board for five years. She brings not only experience as a business leader and member of other not-for-profit boards, but also a deep appreciation of the value the Museum creates for the community it serves.



Background: Eric was born in Los Angeles and had the good fortune of growing up near the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Griffith Park Observatory. Many weekends were spent exploring those wonderful institutions, and those visits instilled in him an appreciation for the natural world. His love and curiosity only grew when the California Science Center reopened in 1998, allowing him to explore the sciences in a whole new way. He also spent many years working as a camp counselor in the San Bernardino Mountains where he helped introduce inner-city youth to a world foreign to them through hikes, camp fires, and Olympic-style activities. After moving to the Monterey area in 2012, Eric enrolled in the California Naturalist course offered at the Museum, which reignited his passion for the natural world. Since then, he has been actively involved in Museum activities, including those that require him to wake up at 4:30 a.m. Eric's experience as an educator and youth developer will help contribute to the Museum's efforts of inspiring tomorrow's curious minds. 



Home: Pacific Grove
Degrees: Bachelor of Arts, College of Letters and Science, Organizational Studies/Economics, University of California at Davis. Chartered Financial Analyst
Business Background: Associate Wealth Advisor & Fund Analyst at Hayashi Wayland Investment Services. Provide financial solutions for individuals and fund analysis & selection for 401(k) retirement plan solutions. Nine years as an Underwriter for CNA Financial in San Francisco & New York. Fundamental analysis and corporate governance analysis for fortune 500 companies. Providing fiduciary solutions for company board of directors and C suite executives.  



Home: Pebble Beach
Degrees: Doctorate degree and Master of Science degree in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Business Background: Member of the California State Park and Recreation Commission since 2013, managing director at KPMG Consulting and BearingPoint Inc. from 2001 to 2009, multiple positions at the Chevron Corporation from 1979 to 2001, including principal consultant, general manager, business development manager, area business development manager and technology research and development manager. Commissioner Chung formerly served as chairperson of Friends of China Camp, which operates China Camp State Park, and was a board member of the Marin State Parks Association, which operates Olompali State Historic Park and Tomales Bay State Park.



Home: Monterey
Degree: Bachelor of Architecture, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 
Business Background:  Paul has been in the field of architecture for over 25 years, first as a project architect for Davis, Jacoubowsky, Hawkins and Walker Associates, Inc. and now as a partner of The Paul Davis Partnership. Currently serves as a member of the Planning Commission for the City of Monterey, Chair of the Design Review Board for Sand City and Consulting Architect for California State University, Monterey Bay.



Home: Pacific Grove 

Degrees: B.A. and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, Stanford University/Hopkins Marine Station. Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences

Background: Vicki grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, walking distance from the Carnegie Museum. Her first job, as a college freshman, was working for the curator of molluscs there. Free to prowl the galleries over many enchanted days, she developed a life-long affection for natural history museums and a deep appreciation of their influence. She pursued her graduate research in the extraordinary intertidal habitat of Pacific Grove while at Hopkins. Now, after a half century on the shores of Monterey Bay, she tries to use all her experiences to enhance the potential of the natural history tradition in our own treasured Museum. 



Home: Carmel 

Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Photography from Art Center College of Design

Background: Julie worked as a sports, travel and underwater photographer, and had the good fortune to travel throughout our beautiful world to photograph some of the most spectacular places both underwater and on land. This is where her love of sharing and protecting the natural world started. Julie believes this museum is a place to introduce children and adults to the natural world both inside the museum and outside. A place where people can discover a passion and love for the natural world. Jacques Cousteau's belief that means so much to her, "People protect what they love." 



Home: Carmel
Degrees: Bachelor of Arts from California State University Stanislaus (Political Science and Business)
Business Background: More than 30 years experience as an International Insurance Broker and Risk Management Consultant. Experience in workers compensation, disability management, health and safety, and risk assessment. President of Carmel Knolls Property Owners Association and Vice President of Del Rey Chateaux Owners Association. Volunteer guide for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, advisor to the Teen Conservation Leaders and shift captain. Currently CEO of Exclusive Home/Estate Management located in Carmel-by-the Sea.



Home: Pacific Grove

Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Dartmouth College, and a MESM in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Background: For Erin, museums play an important role in defining a place; they tell the story of what has come before and set the trajectory for where we are headed. In this way, museums are as much about the people they convene, the conversations they catalyze, and the programs they run in the community as they are about the collection. Erin is the co-director of The Nature Conservancy’s global program on Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. Her family's roots are in coastal Maine.