Three of Laguna Canyon Foundation’s long-time board members, Elisabeth Brown, Scott Ferguson, and Peter Kote, termed off of our Board of Directors this year. Combined, they have over 70 years of dedicated service to Laguna Canyon Foundation, and they will be dearly missed by the remaining board and staff.
Elisabeth Brown, PhD
Elisabeth, being the last remaining founding member of our board, is the longest-serving board member in LCF history. She became LCF’s first Vice President in 1990. Her nearly 30 years of service have helped shape the organization Laguna Canyon Foundation is today, and LCF wasn’t the only organization to benefit from her efforts. Elisabeth has dedicated her life to protecting the South Coast Wilderness and educating people on its habitat value. Some of her work and accomplishments include 40 years on Laguna Greenbelt, Inc.’s board; helping establish the Nature Reserve of Orange County (now Natural Communities Coalition) and the Coastal Greenbelt Authority; holding a science column in the local newspaper for 20 years; teaching science and naturalist courses at UCI and local colleges; and writing trail guides, field guides, and other educational brochures. Even though Elisabeth is stepping down from LCF’s board, we know that the environmental community will continue to benefit from her dedication and expertise.
Scott joined Laguna Canyon Foundation’s Board of Directors in 1999 and immediately became indispensable in our land acquisition efforts. His extensive background in open space acquisition with The Trust for Public Land made him the perfect board member to help LCF navigate land transfers with everyone from private landowners to the Irvine Company. In the end, his 20 years of leadership helped LCF acquire and protect thousands of acres of land for generations to come.
Peter Kote, J.D.
Peter found Laguna Canyon Foundation while he was serving on the City of Laguna Beach’s Environmental Committee, and with his background in nonprofit gift planning and fiduciary services, he knew he could make a difference in helping LCF further its mission of preserving and protecting the open space. After being elected in 1999, Pete joined and revitalized LCF’s Estate Planning and Gifts Committee, which helped lead to many organization-altering gifts, including the creation of the James and Rosemary Nix Nature Center. Impassioned by the planned-giving arena, Pete went on to create a not-for-profit community resource to help educate individuals about estate and financial literacy (itsyourmoneyandestate.org), which is still thriving today. He continues to consult nationally in the planned giving area and has assisted people in giving millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations located all over the country.
As Elisabeth, Scott, and Peter move on to new challenges and opportunities, we’re confident they’ll continue to benefit the community for years to come. Thank you, Elisabeth, Scott, and Peter, for all your hard work, dedication, and service in helping Laguna Canyon Foundation preserve, protect, and enhance the South Coast Wilderness.