MDIA Board Members

  • Steve Smith . . . . . . .  President

  • Mike Brandy. . .  Vice President

  • Staci Hobbet . . . . . . . Secretary

  • Dan Fitzgerald . . . . .  Treasurer

  • Merrik Bush

  • Leslie Contreras

  • Wally De Young

  • Linda Kwong

  • Carol Lane

  • Dick Nicoll

  • Liz Watson

Steve Smith

Steve grew up in Danville and has been an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast his whole life. He is a docent, hike leader, back-country rover, leader of the Maintenance Volunteer Group, and member of the Trash Removal Project. He began volunteering on the mountain after completing a quest to hike all 162 miles of trails within the park.


Mike Brandy

Mike is always drawn to the outdoors for inspiration and renewal.  As a Mount Diablo State Park volunteer for the last four years, he is currently engaged in co-managing the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center, always trying to enhance the docent training and the visitor experience to the park.  He also volunteers on the Trash Removal Project (TRP) team.  He usually cycles or hikes every week on the mountain.

Vice President

Dan Fitzgerald

Dan grew up in Concord with a view of the mountain and spent some time exploring it with Michael Marchiano. When he retired, Dan completed the State Parks volunteer training and became an active member of the Trash Removal Project and a visitor center and roving docent. Dan also enjoys nature photography.


Staci Hobbet

Staci is a Natural History Docent in Mount Diablo State Park, the lead of the Peregrine Team in Pine Canyon, and a graduate of the California Naturalist Program. Her focus is on natural history interpretation and outreach.


Merrik Bush

Merrik is a Bay Area science writer and editor who specializes in natural history and environmental science. She is a Certified California Naturalist, volunteer docent for Mount Diablo, and a member of the Peregrine Team in Pine Canyon. Merrik enjoys engaging with the public and is a member of the MDIA Publications Committee.

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Leslie Contreras

Living in the shadow of Mount Diablo all her life, Leslie has always had a passion for the mountain. She contributes to MDIA as the event coordinator for the hiking program and as co-manager of the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center.

Wally De Young

Wally has lived in the shadow of Mount Diablo for 50 years.  He joined the Peregrine Team after retiring and has focused his passion for natural history interpretation, photography and videography to the teams’ efforts.  He joins the MDIA Board with a focus on Outreach. 

Linda Kwong

Linda has lived in Alamo since 1997. Her connection to the mountain started after a neighbor took her on a bike ride to the Summit over 7 years ago. Now she is a regular visitor on the mountain, often riding 3-4 days per week. Photographing all four seasons and engaging with both the park visitors and staff are her favorite activities. Her goal is for all park visitors to have a safe, memorable and fun experience during their visit on Mount Diablo. 

Carol Lane

Carol is a retired Registered Nurse who loves to be active and find interesting things out in nature. She is an active trail maintenance volunteer and sees trail work as a way to give back for the enjoyment that she experienced as a trail runner.

Dick Nicoll

A long time local resident, Dick loves everything outdoors.  He coordinates publications, serves at Mitchell Canyon, works on the Trash Removal Project, and organizes road repairs.  He has completed the California Naturalist Program. 

Liz Watson

Liz has always enjoyed nature. Since moving to the Bay Area, she has had a special fondness for Mt. Diablo State Park. Liz is a special education teacher by profession and enjoys bringing her educational background into the park by providing interpretation on organized hikes. She has been a board member for six years and helps out with mail orders and membership.

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2020 MDIA Committee Members and Leads


Nancy Topp

Maintains archives and


Dick Nicoll

Develops required contracts

Corporate Governance

Staci Hobbet

Updates and maintains the documents contained within the MDIA Board of Directors’ Handbook


Dan Fitzgerald

Review financial records, bank statements

Fundraising/Grant Writing

Carol Lane

Develops fundraising strategies; obtains grants and donations


Leslie Contreras

Recruits hike leaders; advertises and leads hikes in the park


Linda Kwong

Negotiates appropriate insurance coverage and manages insurance-related matters

Interpretive Displays

Steve Smith

Designs and fabricates interpretive panels and visitor center displays

Interpretive Program Committee

Mike Brandy

Supports the development and enhancement of interpretive programs at Mount Diablo State Park

Marketing, Outreach and Publicity

Wally De Young

Develops portable displays and staffs events; furnishes material to advertise MDIA and recruit new members


Leslie Contreras, Mike Brandy

Recruits and trains docents; collects money and docent logs; cleans and maintains MCVC