Meet the Board

Ray Prag

President and Board Member
Ray Prag received a B.A. in Botany from the University of Wisconsin, followed by an M.S. in Horticulture from the University of California, Davis. The combination of botany and horticulture and a great love of plants provided Ray with an excellent basis for growing a wide variety of plants from all over the world. He and his wife developed Forestfarm Nursery, which produces over 5,000 kinds of plants and has become one of the largest mail-order offerings in the country. He has now retired from Forestfarm to work on the development of Pacifica. Ray has been the Williams observer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration since 1975 and reports a monthly summary of the Weather which is posted on the local web bulletin board Joslist. He was a member of the Williams Town Council for nineteen years.

Dr. Lee Price

Treasurer and Board Member
Dr. Lee Price retired as the managing Director of Dresdner RCM Global Investors in the year 2000. Dr. Price was with Dresdner RCM Global Investors since 1972, becoming a Partner in 1976. During his tenure he filled the positions of financial analyst, Equity portfolio manager, economist, strategist and director of MIS. Dr. Price has a B.S. from Stanford in Engineering, an M.S. from MIT in Nuclear Engineering, and a Ph.D. from Stanford in Business.

Peg Prag

Secretary and Board Member
Peg Prag received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis. In partnership with her husband, she created Forestfarm, one of the top-rated mail-order nurseries in the country. In the beginning, Peg shared every task necessary to grow plants, modeling her commitment to hands-on learning. Now retired from Forestfarm, she was instrumental in the design and development of a computer system to track inventory, orders, plant work, client base and other functions necessary to support the nursery.  She is an artist and founder of the Pacifica Arts Guild. Ray and Peg have lived in Williams, Oregon since 1974. She and Ray were co-founders of the Williams Community Scholarship Fund.

Dr. Rodger Miller

Vice-President and Board Member
Dr. Rodger Miller retired to Williams, Oregon in 1994. Prior to that, he practiced general dentistry in Vacaville, California, for 25 years. Dr. Miller graduated from the University of the Pacific School of  Dentistry in 1969. He then completed a tour of duty at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego and a year in Vietnam as a Navy dentist attached to the Marine Corps. He began his private practice in 1970 and over the years served as Ethics Chairman and later as the president of the Napa-Sonoma Dental Society.  Dr. Miller also operates Williams Valley Ranch, an organically-oriented farming operation producing row crops and grass-fed cattle. Dr. Miller has been planning and creating challenge course equipment for Pacifica.

Sylvia Branzei-Velasquez

Board Member
Sylvia has devoted her life to education. Her background ranges from formal to informal teaching, tutoring individuals to presenting to hundreds, writing curriculum to editing textbooks, supervising student teachers to evaluating programs.

Sylvia wrote the best-selling Grossology books.  Grosslogy was translated into a dozen different languages, became touring museum exhibits, a CD rom, and a fulsome movie. Sylvia is also the author of the Ickstory series and the Rebel in a Dress series. She has written curriculum guides for Project Create, NASA-SETI and the Department of Energy.

Sylvia is a Ford Family Foundation Leadership Program graduate and served as an assistant program trainer. She has served two terms on the Josephine County Library Board of Trustees.

She and her husband, Byron, have a kid’s band called Wacky Dog. Currently, they are living in and renovating an old Mormon church in downtown Grants Pass, Oregon.

Kay Johnson

Board Member

I have been a resident of Williams for 20 years and have covered many miles of trail in the surrounding mountains but nothing beats the trails through Pacifica Garden. In 2004 I obtained permission to organize a benefit ride for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital on the ranch. From that time on I was hooked on Pacifica. My goal has been to develop as many trails for both horses and hikers as I could throughout the property. To this date we have cleared and marked about 7 miles of trails. Being on the board of directors for Pacifica has given me insight as to how Pacifica is governed and what the goals are along with the needs to achieve these goals.

 

David Shiah

Board Member

David Shiah has a degree in Mathematics and an extensive history in conservation and environmental protection. A former Executive Director of a Maine non-profit, he has been a founding member as well as a board member of several conservation organizations. Having worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to help preserve millions of acres of land in Alaska, he moved to Maine and was elected to the Maine legislature, serving for a decade, including a term as House Majority Whip.  Upon first setting foot on Pacifica/ ForestFarm, he was immediately taken by the beauty, serenity and openness of this special place and vowed to become involved in stewarding this unique natural oasis. He lives in nearby Murphy, Oregon, and is active with several local issues.

Kellie Connolly

Board Member

I grew up in small town called Warren, in northwestern Pennsylvania. After high
school, I attended college at Indiana University of PA, where I
received my Bachelor degree in Rehabilitation and a minor in
Psychology.  I worked at a non-profit organization called Sharp
Visions in Pittsburgh, PA, working with children with disabilities.  
As a Therapeutic Support Staff member, I would go into homes of
children with disabilities, working with the child one-on-one,
implementing behavioral management, working with the families and
integrating social skills within society.  I had the opportunity of
working with children of all ages (5-18) with various diagnoses.  My
experience was fulfilling.
I fell in love with Oregon my first visit.  I moved across the country 14 years
ago and can comfortably call this home.  I fortunately found the
beautiful community of Williams, where I currently reside.  I love
nature, hiking, animals and gardening.  I also thoroughly enjoy
music, dancing, art and laughing.

Chas “Indigo” Schappell

Board Member

I am a recording and live sound engineer, and have been doing so for 10 years.  I am passionate about preserving nature, while trying to ensure that it is accessible for future generations.  I also believe in building strong local communities for our children to grow up into.
 

If you are interested in becoming a board member please feel free to contact us at info@pacificagarden.org

“Pacifica is important to me because I grew up in the Santa Clara Valley outside of San Jose, California. Here I enjoyed an ideal childhood, playing in the orchards, pastures and creeks that surrounded my home. I loved being close to nature every day. Sadly, none of that open country exists now. I want to do my part to make sure there will always be quality open space here to enjoy, to learn in, and to play in at Pacifica.” ~
Rodger Miller
Pacifica Board Member