Chuck Allen, born in North Monterey County, has always lived in the Pajaro Valley. His community involvement began at age 10 with his first 4-H exhibit at the Santa Cruz County Fair. Chuck graduated from Watsonville High School in 1958, and California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo in 1963 with a B.S. degree in Agricultural Business.
In 1964, Chuck began his career in real estate, with a short gap from 1965 to 1969, when he was Fair Manager. His real estate career included development of subdivisions, property sales, and management. Chuck is a committed community volunteer—positions included President of PVHA in 1972; a Director for the P.V. Chamber of Commerce; a Council Member for the Salvation Army; a current Director for the Agricultural History Project; and chaired the Watsonville Fly-In Committee for 3 years. Chuck and Ramona, his wife for 30 years, work together in real estate, and as volunteers for the betterment of the community. We are delighted to welcome Chuck back to the Board of Directors for PVHA.
Luann Lauesen was born and raised in Watsonville. She is a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments. In addition to serving as a director for the PVHA, Luann is also member and Past President of Soroptimist International of Watsonville, former Chairperson of the Board for the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce, and is currently on the Board of Watsonville Community Hospital. In her free time she enjoys cooking and baking.
Ralph Jacobs is an Illinois native. He was educated at the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, and the Navy Post Graduate School, with a M.S. in Meteorology. He is a retired Naval Officer with 26 years of service and with a second career as a CPA. Ralph has been a resident of the Pajaro Valley since 1997. We are delighted to welcome Ralph to the Board of Directors for PVHA.
Virginia Avila became one of our newest board members on May 21, 2020. She’s also been a volunteer at PVHA since November 2017 and continues to work on our house displays and preserving our clothing collection.
Virginia grew up in Watsonville and has raised her family here in the city of Watsonville, which she calls home.
John Espinoza is a Watsonville native, married with three children; two daughters and one son. He attended local schools and is a WHS graduate, Class of 1968. John has been in the real estate industry for over 37 years. He is co-owner of Casa Blanca Realty in Watsonville. Over the past 25 years, John has served on and off the Board of Directors for the Watsonville Association of Realtors, most recently as Board President in 2005. He is an active volunteer with the Relay for Life of Watsonville since 2005. He enjoys playing golf and spending time with his two grandsons. John is a member of PVHA and recently appointed to the Board of Directors.
Ken Dobler is the former Vice-President of the PVHA Board of Directors. He is co-owner of Dobler and Sons, a well-known family produce firm, in business for over 50 years. A native of Watsonville, he is married to Anne Lukrich Dobler. Ken was on the Watsonville Hospital Foundation Board and is a member of the Knights of Columbus. He has been a member of PVHA and on its Board of Directors since 1998. Ken also heads up the Property Management Team, responsible for the care and maintenance of the Bockius-Orr House, the Volck Museum, and the Borina Archive property.
Peter Navarro is a native of Watsonville and attended local schools. He has been involved in his family-run business, Navarro Farms, since high school. Peter’s family is well-known throughout the Pajaro Valley as berry growers. Peter has been a member of PVHA since 2004 and on the Board of Directors since June 2002. Peter is also on the Property Management Team overseeing the care and maintenance of the Bockius-Orr House, the Volck Museum and the Borina Archive.
Born in Watsonville, Tony has been in the insurance business since 1981 and with Scurich Insurance since 1983. Tony is married with 3 children, graduated from Watsonville High in 1977 and Santa Clara University in 1981. Current activities include running at Rio Del Mar Beach & West Cliff Drive, biking, cooking/BBQing, reading biographies and eating breakfast burritos at Pixie Deli. Past and present community activities include board member of St Francis High School, Pajaro Valley Historical Association, YMCA (board member and youth basketball coach), Boy Scouts of America and, Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce (board chair in 2004).
Phil is one of PVHA’s board members, joining in 2011. He was born and raised in Watsonville attending local schools and is a proud graduate of Watsonville High School, “Class of 76”. His career is in Real Estate Mortgages, both as originator and Manager since 1986 and is now currently working for Watsonville Mortgage. His community involvements included a Reserve Firefighter with the City of Watsonville for 15 years, Past Board Director of Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce, Watsonville Community Hospital and the Pajaro Valley Health Trust. Not only is he a current member of PVHA’s Board of Directors but a present member of Gabilan Cutters, Inc.
Cathy Mello, born in Portland, Oregon, resident of Watsonville, CA since 1950. Graduated Watsonville High School, attended Cabrillo College and Monterey Peninsula College. Currently holds the position of Branch Office Administrator (BOA) at Edward Jones Financial since 2017. Previously with Granite Construction Company as Administrator Assistant, Project Engineers/Managers and Estimators, and the Register Pajaronian.
Past member of Soroptimist Club of Watsonville and currently a member of Corralitos Women’s Club. Volunteered at Watsonville Community Hospital with the Service League and was President of the Service League for 2 years, Volunteered briefly at PVHA in the archives department, currently volunteering with the Santa Cruz County Fairground Foundation.
Cathy loves to travel, going to movies, meeting new and old friends for lunch/dinner, plays and other outings, enjoys her two cats (Gracie and Pepper), belongs to a Book club, keeping up with my yard, and loves to decorate house for all Holidays.
Retired Army Colonel Sharon Bystran, Board Member Emeritus was a house and archive volunteer, active contributor and friend to PVHA for 14 years. She moved to Oregon in July 2020 to be closer to her family. We thank her for all she has done for PVHA.