Board of Directors


Betty Peabody

Community Volunteerism has played a large role in the life of Betty Peabody. Although a native Oregonian, since moving to San Diego in 1969, she has been a volunteer in Balboa Park for 45 years. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Museum of Man, Central Balboa Park Association, Balboa Park Expo 2000, San Diego County Crime Stoppers, The Wednesday Club, The Thursday Club, and the Youth Tennis San Diego Foundation.

She is former President of Caridad Internacional, the Klee Wyk Society, House of Hospitality, and Friends of Balboa Park (formerly the Balboa Park Millennium Society). Betty is co-founder of P.L.A.N. (Point Loma Acts Now).

Her chairmanships have included Mercy Ball, the Grand Reopening of the House of Hospitality, and co-chair with her husband, Homer, of the U.S. Medical Tennis National Convention, the World Medical Tennis Society Convention, and the Magic Lantern Society of the U.S. and Canada Convention.

Awards include being named Woman of Dedication, The Betty Peabody Perpetual Award of San Diego County Crime Stoppers, the Blue Knight Award by the San Diego Crime Commission, the District Three Community Spirit Award, and Resolutions from the California State Assembly and the City and County of San Diego.

Betty is author of “Woman Physicians in Early San Diego.” Homer and Betty Peabody enjoyed traveling extensively and she states the most exciting travel experience was a sabbatical to do pulmonary function studies on the cannibals in the Solomon Islands – where she was the first white woman to enter many of the villages.

Betty was widowed in December 2005, but together with Homer they have four children, five terrific grandchildren and seven special great grands.

Ann Wilson

Ann grew up in Point Loma.  Her parents took her to Balboa Park from a very young age.   During her elementary school years, she took ballet class through San Diego Park & Rec in Balboa Park every Saturday morning.  In junior high school, Ann’s mother took her to a performance at the Old Globe’s Shakespeare Festival and Ann fell in love with Shakespeare and the Old Globe.  She remembers purchasing student tickets for Saturday matinees for 50 cents!

Ann  served on the Millennium Awards Luncheon Committee for the past several years and was chair of  the Awards Luncheon in 2010.  For the past 4 years, Ann and friends have decorated the Friends holiday tree for the Festival of Trees during December Nights.  She joined the Board in 2009.  She looks forward to helping  protect, preserve and enhance the Park for future generations of San Diegans and visitors.

Ann received an AB degree from UC Berkeley and an MBA from UCLA.  A CPA and CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), Ann has had her own forensic accounting and litigation support practice since 1993.  She has served in leadership positions in both the California Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs, including chair of the AICPA National Conference of Advanced Litigation Services in 2002.

Ann currently resides in Pacific Beach.  In addition to the Friends, Ann is a member of Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO), and a former board member of Classics For Kids.  She is active at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Encinitas, serving on the Finance Committee and in several other ministries.  Ann enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, quilting and entertaining friends and family.  She has four adult children and four grandchildren.


Elizabeth H. Carson

A community volunteer, Elizabeth “Libby” Carson has extensive experience with non-profit organizations. She served as president of the Junior League of San Diego and the La Jolla Civic Center Corporation and on the board of the La Jolla Country Day School and Francis Parker School. She was a member of the Committee for Equity in Student Placement, the Task Force to Raise Graduation requirements for the San Diego Unified School District, and the Board of Visitors of USD Law School.

Mrs. Carson is a founding director of LEAD San Diego and has served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Community Foundation, Children’s Hospital, and the Red Cross. She is the recipient of the Salvation Army Women of Dedication award and the Junior League Spirit of Volunteerism award and has been listed in Who’s Who of American Women.

Mrs. Carson is a graduate of Vassar Collage and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


Kenneth C. Tranbarger

Ken has been visiting San Diego since the 1970’s and has been a resident since early 2001. For the last forty-eight years, since Ken and Mary were married, city parks have been important to his family. Their children and grandchildren enjoy many aspects of Balboa Park every time they visit.
As an Electrical Engineering graduate of Columbia University, Ken had a thirty-seven year career in Finance and Business Planning with IBM. That career took his family to New York City, Paris, Hong Kong, Chapel Hill and Beijing. He retired in 2002 and set a goal to give back to the institutions that provided his family with enrichment and enjoyment throughout his career.  St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, located on the west side of Balboa Park, was the first institution for which Ken volunteered. For the last several years, Ken has been President of the LLC that is developing the property adjacent to the Cathedral. The LLC has installed the Columbarium on the west wall of the nave. He also has served on Chapter and was active with the Finance and Endowment Committees. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Torrey Pines and is a member of the Zoological Society, the USS Midway, and uses his Balboa Park Explorer pass frequently. In his spare time, Ken enjoys pursuing genealogy and photography, following sports car and F1 racing and traveling with Mary.

Since joining the Friends Board in 2005, Ken has served as the chair of Kiosk Committee (since 2006) and Project Committee (since 2013).


Barbara J. Brown

Barbara J. Brown has been a full-time volunteer since 1978. Prior to that she was a school nurse for 21 years. Barbara’s volunteer efforts primarily benefit children. She serves on the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees, the Vista Hill Advisory Board, the Sharp Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees, the Senior Community Center’s Board of Directors, the Board of Directors of Crime Stoppers, and is active on committees at San Diego State University. Barbara also serves as the chairman of the Circle of Care Committee at Children’s Hospital and is Director of Patrons on The Prado.

Barbara was born at Battle Creek Michigan, graduated form Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing Education and her R.N. diploma. She obtained her general education teaching credential from Cal Western College and her Masters of Art degree in Special Education from San Diego State University.

Barbara lives in Point Loma.

Immediate Past Chairman

Jim Hughes

Jim, a San Diego Rotarian since 1991, has been a stalwart of the Friends’ luncheon committee for the past decade, helping us produce the program for many successful Millennium Awards luncheons!

Jim was born and raised in Pasadena, a city rich in architecture, parks, and community beautification.  He initially came to San Diego to attend law school, presuming to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and become a career FBI agent.  He took a job during his first year in law school in the legal support industry, and consequently founded his own company providing services to lawyers.  He went on to graduate from law school, never took the bar exam or practiced law, but followed his natural “seat of the pants business man instincts” to grow Hughes Attorney Service to a company with 98 full-time employees.  Jim retired from his company after 28 years, and has been managing Hughes Heritage Plaza and the RTC, commercial complexes that he owns, leases, and maintains.  Notes Jim of his interest in Balboa Park: “ I have come to know Balboa Park deeper than its stunning beauty, and I know the park can use all the TLC that the community can muster. I look forward to being on the Friends’ board and being part of the leadership that looks out for the entire park.”  Jim served as Chairman of the Board from 2011-2013.

Jack Carpenter FAIA

jackcarpenter-WEBA retired Architect practicing with fellow Rotarian Neil Larson for 25 years. Jack is a Past Board member and President of San Diego American Institute of Architects; past Board member and Chair of St Paul’s Senior Homes and Services; founder of and 10 year Chair of the San Diego Council of Design Professionals and long time consulting architect to the San Diego Zoo. Jack organized the 2012 public workshop on the Plaza de Panama where the plan and the alternatives were presented to an audience of 100. He instigated and supported the San Diego AIA Balboa Park Entry Design Competition.

His family has lived in San Diego since 1964 and has been coming to the Park and the Zoo all those years.

Pat Caughey

PatCaugheyAs President and Principal Owner of Wimmer Yamada and Caughey (WYAC), Pat Caughey has over 30 years’ experience in landscape architecture. He has been the National President for the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 2007, and is the immediate past Chair of the ASLA Council of Fellows. In 2013, Pat was awarded the ASLA President’s medal for his service to society.

Pat continues to give back to the community by serving as a director on the La Colonia De Eden Gardens Foundation, as a member of the San Diego Rotary Club 33, and as past director for the National ACE Mentoring organization which focuses on educating youth to career opportunities in the design and construction professions.
Recent projects under his direction include the historic police headquarters, Alga Norte Community Park in Carlsbad, the Unconditional Surrender sculpture next to the Midway, Mesa College Math and Sciences classroom building, and the new NOAA-Southwest Fisheries laboratory in La Jolla.

Dean M. Crowder

Dean Crowder has served as a professional and a volunteer in San Diego nonprofit organizations for over four decades.  He has been a member of the Friends Board of Directors in various capacities since 2001.  He currently serves as chairman of the Board Development Committee.

A fourth generation Californian, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University.  He is an emeritus member of San Diego Rotary Club and a member of the Museum of Art, the Japanese Friendship Garden, and the Zoo.  He enjoys the frequent use of his Balboa Park Explorers Card.

Patricia “Pat” Fleming

PatFlemingCroppedPat Fleming retired in 2002 after 26 years with San Diego Gas & Electric and 7 years with the Harvard Business School where she was employed in Public Relations, Governmental Affairs and Regulatory Affairs. She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Among her activities with PRSA, she chaired the committee which developed the annual Eva Irving Community Service Award to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts for non-profit, philanthropic or public service organizations. She has worked on several Special Award Committees as part of PRSA’s annual Bernays Awards and has also advised the Public Relations Student Society at San Diego State University.

Among her other volunteer activities she has served on the public relations and the curriculum committees for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and has also been a tour leader for UCSD’s visitor’s program.  She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Louisiana State University in New Orleans where she majored in Business Administration. Ever since she moved to San Diego in 1976 and discovered Balboa Park, she has considered it “my park”.

Todd Kinnear

We’re pleased to Attorney Todd Kinnear join our Board.  He currently works at the law firm of Gordon &  Reed, LLP.  He grew up in Calgary, Canada, but moved to San Diego in 1994 to complete his undergraduate studies at San Diego State University.  He went to law school at the University of San Diego, graduating with honors in 2000.   Todd  now lives in Point Loma with his wife Andria and two children, all of whom regularly visit the park.


Maureen Lamberti

Maureen Lamberti, who brings a fresh perspective to the Friends Board of Directors, joined us in March of 2007 after having chaired the Friend’s 2006 Millennium Awards Luncheon.

Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Pittsburgh, Maureen attended Seton Hill University where she graduated with a B.A. degree in English Literature. She taught English and History in Pittsburgh and Boston, where she started her family. After a move to Chicago where Maureen volunteered in her children’s schools, her family moved to San Diego in 1980. Inspired by meeting film directors at the Telluride Film Festival, Maureen attended SDSU where she received her Masters Degree in Telecommunications and Film. Her strong interest in documentaries led her to work as a video and documentary producer. She received an award from the ITVA (Independent Television Association of San Diego) for a medical documentary and received acclaim at the Breckenridge Film Festival in the 1990’s.

Many organizations have benefited from Maureen’s civic and volunteer activities on behalf of children’s health and education. Maureen supports the arts and theater in San Diego and served on the San Diego Visual Arts Foundation Board where she worked on several fundraisers and served as a judge for the student film selections from local area colleges. Maureen enjoys skiing, tennis, swimming, and travels frequently to visit her two adult daughters who live and work in New York City.

Tom Scott

TomScottphotoTom Scott has loved Balboa Park since arriving on this coast in 2000 – its natural beauty, its fanciful ornateness, its enthusiastic use by locals and tourists alike. It is a treasure to be protected and maintained. Tom and wife Bonnie moved to San Diego from Delaware, where they had been professors of Psychology and English, respectively, at the University of Delaware for three decades Tom was recruited by SDSU to serve as Dean of the College of Sciences, a position he held from 2000 – 2005. Since that time he also served as Vice-President for Research and Graduate Dean before retiring from the faculty in 2013. He has served on the Boards of California’s Tobacco Research Program, the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology, the San Diego Science and Engineering Festival, and CleanTECH San Diego. He also broadcast a weekly commentary on KPBS entitled San Diego Science in which he explored a range of scientific topics. Tom and Bonnie have three grown children and five grandsons.

Marvin Spira

Marvin Spira is a member of the Board of Directors of The San Diego Shakespeare Society, The Food Policy Institute of Rutgers University, and serves on several committees related to the Arts in the San Diego Area. He is president of Marketing Consultants, International and continues his career in marketing with clients from the United States, Europe and the Far East. He has worked extensively with not for profit associations and has received his certification in Association Management from The American Society Of Association Executives in Washington , D.C.


William Virchis

BillVirchisBill Virchis has loved Balboa Park since he was in an Old Globe performance as a boy.  His interest in Education and the Arts is kept alive through his professional affiliations with many Arts and Advocacy groups including the San Diego Foundation, the San Diego Shakespeare Society, the Screen Actor’s Guild, and the San Diego Arts network. He is the current CEO of Virco Enterprises, and is the Artisitc Director of Teatro Mascara Magica at The Old Globe.  He has been involved as an Actor, Director and Producer for productions at state, local, and international theaters.


Ray Waite

Ray Waite Pic-croppedRay retired to San Diego in 2001. He owned and operated Qualex, Inc., a specialized construction business in Chicago for 40 years with projects in most of the States, including 10 buildings for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He has served as a member of the board and then as vice-president of Habitat for Humanity in Arizona for several years and has 40 years of experience as an officer and president of several large condominium homeowners associations. He is a long-time donor to the San Diego Zoo and Fleet Science Center and recently was a donor to the Balboa Park Centennial Entry Design Awards Program. Ray has long been interested in seeing the conservation and preservation of the facilities at Balboa Park and the zoo. He feels they are great assets to the city and would like to make a contribution to making them even greater assets in the future.

Lucy A. Warren

LucyWarrenLucy has recently co-authored a book on California native plants, The California Native Landscape. Long fascinated with plants and horticulture, she is a former editor of California Garden magazine.  She wrote a gardening column on edible plants for the San Diego Union Tribune, as well as for other gardening publications.  A long time UCCE Master Gardener, she is a member of the boards of San Diego Horticultural Society and Pacific Horticulture Society. She participates in many  horticultural organizations and is now particularly interested in the replanting of Bird Park in Balboa Park with native plants.  We’re pleased to have Lucy now serving as our chairperson of the Friends of Balboa Park Horticulture Committee.

Heather H. Xitco, CPA, MBA

Heather Xitco holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Southern California, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of San Diego. She is also a practicing Certified Public Accountant. Ms.Xitco operates her own accounting and consulting firm, Dolan Xitco. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the National Association of Forensic Economists and the American Academy of Economic and Financial Experts. Ms. Xitco was born and raised in San Diego. She is a third generation Point Loman, currently living there with her husband, Tom, and four children. She and her husband are supporters of the San Diego Historical Society and the San Diego Model Train Museum. She is a current member and Treasurer of the Thursday Club Professionals, a member of the San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club, and a past board member of Rotaract (an affiliate of Rotary).

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