Below is our committed staff. Feel free to contact us!

  • Howard Penn

    Howard Penn

    Executive Director

    Howard is a Philanthropreneur combining his for-profit experiences of 30+ years in the financial, technology, and hospitality fields with his non-profit consulting and board experiences.  Between starting businesses and co-founding non-profits, he has helped develop pathways for private sector businesses to integrate with value-based strategies and partner with NGO’s of all types to promote sustainable economic, cultural and environmental solutions.

    After founding his first business in college, he went on to develop an international economic development company that used micro-enterprise, sustainable and cultural tourism, and in-country training workshops to promote local businesses and services in over 50 countries on six continents. These efforts strived to replace destructive resource extraction programs, unfair labor practices, and culturally harmful policies.  This dynamic work across the globe encouraged Howard to continue the work at home with California NGO’s focusing on water policy, land use, local community planning, and economic development.

    Howard is honored to have the opportunity to lead PCL, with its diverse and successful history, into another decade of accomplishments.

    See more information about Howard.

  • Jonas Minton

    Senior Water Policy Advisor

    Jonas Minton was hired in March 2004 to work on issues surrounding water use and water policy issues. Jonas is the former Deputy Director of the California Department of Water Resources where he was responsible for overseeing the Divisions of Planning, Local Assistance, Flood Management, Dam Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Transfers. Mr. Minton managed the update to the State Water Plan, the Floodplain Management Task Force, the Recycled Water Task Force, and the Desalination Task Force.

    He previously has served as Executive Director of the Sacramento Water Forum and General Manager of the El Dorado County Water Agency. In the 1980’s, Jonas served on the team that secured Federal Wild and Scenic River protection for more than 1,200 miles of California rivers.

  • Johnnie Carlson

    Operations & Campaigns Manager

    Johnnie joined the PCL staff in 2016. Johnnie supports the League’s staff, board, and affiliates in organization operations and communications and manages our federal Renewal Fuel Standards Reform Campaign to protect native grasslands, wetlands, and forests from unsustainable conversion into agricultural lands for corn-soybean bio-fuels. He also plays a key role in advancing the League’s organizational management systems, including fund development and communications programs. Prior to joining PCL’s staff Johnnie was the Operations Director for Friends of the River for 12 years where he managed communications, operations, and coordinated the California Rivers Day. Johnnie has almost two decades of experience in nonprofit administration, program management, and environmental policy. Johnnie studied government at Sacramento State, is an avid flat-water kayaker, and can often be found kayaking the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Mono Lake, and the many rivers of Northern California.

  • Dr. Monica Hunter

    Monica Hunter

    Water Policy Analyst

    Dr. Monica Hunter is a social science researcher who works with community planning and program implementation processes from small to large scale projects. Her reputation for gaining important insights and strategies through ethnographic methods garnered her an appointment by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2005 to the California Central Coast Regional Water Quality Board, on which she continues to serve under Governor Jerry Brown. See more about Dr. Hunter (PAST). See more about Dr. Hunter (LinkedIn).

  • Sage Sweetwood

    Legislative Director

    Sage Sweetwood is a retired Healthcare entrepreneur who founded one of the nation’s first PPOs and was a key executive in a five-person health care start-up that grew into a BusinessWeek Top 1000 company. Earlier in his career, he was a management consultant and a medical researcher with several published journal articles.

    Sage has been active in community affairs for over 40 years. He has served as a mayor, a California Coastal Commissioner, and a regional council of governments board member. Sage also chaired a California Assembly Blue Ribbon Task force on Regional Government. He founded COOL, a business and community alliance, that stopped attempts to drill near shore oil wells off the coast of San Diego. Sage has been a long time board member of the Planning and Conservation League.

    Sage received his BA degree in Engineering from University of California at San Diego and his MS degree in Management from MIT.

  • Julie Snyder

    Julie Snyder

    Senior Legislative Advocate

    Julie Snyder joined PCL as a contract lobbyist in May 2015, after founding the firm Equity Advocates to provide advocacy, policy development, and public affairs consulting for mission-based organizations. Julie’s work draws on 22 years of experience crafting successful legislative and administrative initiatives on a wide range of issues. She is a recognized expert in legislative strategy and process, coalition building, and housing issues ranging from local land use policy to the links between housing, climate change, health, transportation and other policy areas.

    Prior to forming Equity Advocates, Julie served for 14 years as Policy Director for Housing California. In this role, she co-founded and led the successful Sustainable Communities for All Coalition; negotiated the land use provisions of SB 375 (Steinberg, Sustainable Communities Strategies); and led the lobbying teams that put housing bonds on the ballot in 2002 and 2006. From 1993 – 2000, Julie held a variety of staff positions in California’s legislature. Julie received her bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Occidental College in Los Angeles.