Sherry Sass making presentation

Meet the Board

Sherry Sass

Sherry Sass


Sherry Sass is a former marine fisheries biologist from the northeast who couldn’t get over the Eden the Santa Cruz River has created in Santa Cruz County when she moved here in 1988. She helped found FOSCR, and currently chairs the Groundwater Users’ Advisory Council, a governor-appointed group that advises the Santa Cruz Active Management Area—the regional arm of Arizona’s Department of Water Resources.
Lah-May Bremer

Lah-May Bremer


Besides serving as FOSCR Secretary, Lah-May publishes FOSCR’s periodic newsletter, the FLOW, and maintains our membership information.

She has been living next to the Santa Cruz River since 2008 as a member of the spiritual, intentional community, Global Community Communications Alliance, where organic gardening, water harvesting, alternative building techniques, and other sustainable practices are practiced daily. For eight years she was the editor and contributing writer for the Alternative Voice periodical, an activist periodical that addresses local, national, and worldwide issues from a spiritual perspective. She currently works in administration at the Soulistic Medical Institute.

John Szafranski

John Szafranski


John joined the Board in 2016. He’s been a resident of Tucson since 1996 upon his retirement as an executive of The Toro Company. He earned degrees in Chemical Engineering and Business Administration from the University of Minnesota. While at Toro, he was involved in the Company’s successful efforts to design industry-leading water conserving irrigation products and motorized outdoor power equipment offering reduced air pollution and improved operator safety.

For 10 years he was a member of a homeowners association board that worked closely with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to treat/control/eradicate several species of non-native plants in and around a series of three 450 acre lakes. He led a successful campaign to raise significant funds for this purpose and developed a GPS based monitoring system to track treatment effectiveness and location priorities.

He loves Arizona and the beautiful riparian areas created by the both the Santa Cruz and San Pedro Rivers and wants to help FOSCR in any he can to address and make a positive impact on the serious environmental issues facing residents along the Santa Cruz.

Marty Jakle

Marty Jakle


Marty Jakle joined the board in November 2004. He is currently FOSCR’s treasure. Marty is a biologist and retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2006 where he was working out of the Tucson office. He has been involved with FOSCR for several years through outdoor projects.

He received a M.S. of Science in Zoology degree from Eastern Illinois University and is interested in and worked with riparian habitats for many years. Marty is a former board member and president of the Arizona Riparian Council. He has worked as a biologist for the federal government for the past 25 years. Before that, he taught Life Science Olney Central College in Illinois.

Marty moved to Rio Rico in 2007 and lives in a “green” solar adobe home. He is an avid birder and is a fledgling chicken farmer. Marty is also credited with inventing the Internet.

Ben Lomeli

Ben Lomeli


Present: US BLM, Tucson Field Office – Hydrologist, Consulting Hydrologist, Certified Floodplain Manager, IBCW SEACF, SCC FCD Advisory Board.

Sustainability Teacher, Cochise College, Santa Cruz Campus
Earth Science Teacher, Nogales High School
Middle School Math and Science Teachewr, Maxicayotl Academy
Water Resources Manager, Rick Engineering Company
Chief Hydrologist, Greg Carlson Engineering, LLC
Senior Hydrologist, Collins/Piña – Tetra Tech Engineering
Water Resources Specialist, Arizona Department of Water Resources
Hydrologist, Kaibab NF, USFS
President, Friends of the Santa Cruz River (FOSCR)
Education: B.S. – Watershed Hydrology/Natural Resources Management ¬ University of Arizona

Consulting Hydrologist and Natural Resources Scientist with over 35 years working experience, both in government and in the private sector. With special emphasis on engineering, water rights, riparian ecosystems, flood control, riverine morphology, grazing systems, erosion control, site and water development, groundwater, and international issues.

Born and raised in Santa Cruz County (SCC). Volunteer in several community aspects. Volunteer for FOSCR since 1996 because he believes now is the time to address many quality-of-life issues for future generations in this area that is one of the last great areas to be discovered. It deserves our attention to insure environmentally sound and economically viable development decisions that promote sustainable land use practices.

“In order to make positive changes on the ground, there must first be positive changes in people’s hearts. We must therefore concentrate on building partnerships wherever possible!”

Cynthia Shoemaker

Cynthia Shoemaker


Cynthia was an educator in Santa Cruz County for twenty years. In addition to being a classroom teacher and reading coach, in the 1990s she was involved with the Well Head Protection program.

In her capacity as a teacher consultant for the Arizona Geographic Alliance, she development the environmental education program, The Santa Cruz River, Its People and Environment. A place based curriculum, the Santa Cruz River watershed was used as a backdrop to provide professional development to over 50 educators about the Santa Cruz River watershed. In partnership with the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent, SEAHEC, Santa Cruz County Public Health Department, Tumacacori National Historical Park, the Arizona Water Resources Research Center, and others the program focused on the history and culture of life along the Santa Cruz River, river protection, water conservation and quality issues. Over 5,000 students across the county were impacted by SCRIPE.

A recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award from the National Council for Geographic Education, Cynthia received both national, State, and local recognition for this project. Currently she resides in Tucson, working as an education consultant in the area of school improvement and is a travel photographer.

Blue Evening Star

Blue Evening Star


I have been living in Arizona since 1991. Originally from Northern California, I have been an activist all of my adult life. Issues I have been involved with include alternative education, the Farmworker’s Union, Native American issues (particularly the Big Mountain Relocation issue), protecting the planet from spraying harmful chemicals, resisting developments that serve only the purposes of greed, establishing alternative community organizations, anti-nuclear power and testing, and protection of natural water systems.

I am a community organizer and networker, educator and writer. I have focused on water issues for over ten years now and appreciate the opportunity to serve on the board of FOSCR, working together to improve the conditions of the river in my own backyard. Other current activities include a campaign to raise standards of communications on the internet so that hate speech becomes a thing of the past, and joining with others in concerned response to the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine in the Santa Rita or Patagonia Mountains.

My primary work for 20 years has been my commitment as a member of the religious order of Global Community Communications Alliance. I have always believed that the dominant culture is unsustainable and carries within it the seeds of its own destruction. My home, Avalon Organic Gardens and EcoVillage is a successful experiment in creating a sustainable culture where children, the elderly, and rivers are all respected, honored and cared for. I love Santa Cruz County because it is a place full of people who know how to take care of the land and each other.

Aaron Stover

Aaron Stover


Aaron is currently a Biological Science Technician at Tumacácori National Historical Park—a place whose very existence is a strong testament to the significance of the Santa Cruz River and its relationship with surrounding communities.

Since 2010, Aaron has worked with the National Park Service in various locations and in varying capacities, but he has called Santa Cruz County home since his arrival in October of 2015. As an avid proponent of the outdoors and the conservation of natural resources, Aaron is excited to have the opportunity to play a part in FOSCR’s immensely valuable efforts in preserving the health of the Santa Cruz River watershed and the people who deeply depend on it.

Scott Vandervoet

Scott Vandervoet


I have lived my entire life in the Santa Cruz River drainage and feel a strong connection to the land and the communities that share this space. I am very concerned about the environmental health of the river valley, especially the stretch north of the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant. I think that awareness of the importance of the river and the habitat that it provides is paramount to the betterment of the ecosystem. The communities of Ambos Nogales and Rio Rico are crucial to this betterment, due to their continued growth and dependence upon the groundwater of the river valley.

I hope to be able to work towards increased awareness of the ecological issues that affect the entire river valley—though with a priority on the river in Santa Cruz County, AZ and within Mexico.

Minutes of Board Meetings

Please check back. Minutes of the Board Meetings will be available for download soon.

OCTOBER 1991 and dated amendments through JANUARY 2006


This organization is incorporated under the state laws of Arizona and shall be known as Friends of the Santa Cruz River, hereinafter referred to as FOSCR.

These By-laws shall take the place of all previous By-laws and amendments thereto, which are hereby annulled and set aside.

The principal office and place of business of FOSCR shall be at PO Box 4275, Tubac, AZ 85646, physical address Tubac Community Center, Bridge Road, Tubac, or at such other place or places in Santa Cruz County or vicinity as the Board of Directors may from time to time designate.

FOSCR is organized to ensure a continued flow of the river’s surface
waters, promote the highest river water quality achievable, and to protect and restore the riparian ecosystem and diversity of life supported by the river’s waters, by educating the public and through other activities.

FOSCR shall be non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-political.

No official endorsements of any person or proposition shall be given by any officer, director or committee person of FOSCR, until the Board of Directors, or a committee appointed by the Board for such a purpose, has favorably passed on same.


Any individual or firm may apply for membership in FOSCR. Each membership applied for, shall stand in the name of said applicant or the company the applicant represents or designates.

Any person, association, corporation or partnership may be a member of Friends of the Santa Cruz River.

Active membership shall be any person, firm, association, organization, corporation, partnership, business, or other entity having an active interest in Nogales or Santa Cruz County, and paying the current membership fee, as adopted by the Board of Directors.

Failure to pay dues within twelve (12) months of billing date will result in automatic termination of membership. Members shall receive at least two notices to renew membership before membership is terminated for non-payment.

Membership dues shall be at such rates, schedules or formulas as prescribed by the Board of Directors, payable in advance, unless other arrangements are made.

Every active member of FOSCR in good standing is entitled to one vote in any membership meeting.

The number of votes assigned to each member for purposes of elections for the Board of Directors is determined by one single vote for each organization/business that pays membership dues yearly.


The annual meeting of FOSCR membership shall be held at such time and place as determined by the Board of Directors, advance notice shall be mailed to each member at least ten (10) days prior to the annual meeting. The annual meeting may be a banquet and/or formal meeting, at the designation of the Board of Directors.


  • General meetings of FOSCR may be called by the President at any time or upon petition in writing of any five (5) active members in good standing.
  • The BOARD OF DIRECTORS shall schedule a regular monthly meeting at a day and hour deemed to be most convenient to all concerned. A monthly meeting can be postponed or cancelled upon the consent of a majority of the Board.
  • Special meeting of the Board shall be called by the President, whenever required in order for it to fulfill its responsibility as the governing Board of Directors of FOSCR.
  • Committee meetings may be called at any time by the President or committee chairman with proper notification.


  • At all meetings of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS, at least 51% of the current members must be present for the transaction of business. All resolutions shall be passed by a majority vote. In case of a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote.
  • EXCEPTION: see ARTICLE V, section 2

In the event that any elected director is absent unexcused from three (3) consecutive meetings of the Board, his/her resignation from the Board shall be deemed to have been tendered and accepted.



  • NOMINATING COMMITTEE: The original incorporation shall become the first BOARD OF DIRECTORS and shall serve for a one (1) year term. At least once annually, the entire Board will serve as a Nominating Committee and will evaluate Board membership. Consideration for changes in Board membership can occur at any time.
  • Board membership can range from seven (7) to thirteen (13). Terms shall be two (2) years, renewable indefinitely. Each candidate must be an active member in good standing and must have agreed to accept the responsibilities of directorship.
  • At the Annual Members’ Meeting, the entire Board membership shall be confirmed by the general membership. If the general membership rejects the presented Board by a majority of those present, replacements for the Board positions with expired terms shall be nominated, discussed and elected at that Annual Meeting.
  • It is the intention of FOSCR to include a diverse representation of the community through which the river flows, as well as for all Board members to be active and fully engaged in the work of FOSCR.

The Board may vote members off of the Board for any reasonable cause including lack of attendance, by a 2/3 vote.

The affairs of FOSCR shall be governed and directed by a Board of Directors, which shall also have the management and control of its property and disposition of its funds. It shall be the duty of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS to manage the affairs of FOSCR, protect its interests and advance its purpose. It shall have power to transact any and all of FOSCR’s business and to do any and all things that may be lawfully done by a non-profit association of like character.

The President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, plus one designated member of the Board of Directors at large shall make up the Executive Board of Directors. The designated member shall be nominated and elected by the Board of Directors.


At the regular Board meeting following the Annual Members’ meeting, the validated Board shall elect the new officers for the ensuing year: a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer must be members of the Board. All officers shall hold office for one year, or until their successors shall be elected and qualified.


  • PRESIDENT: The President shall preside at all meetings of FOSCR membership and of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS, and if absent or unable to act, the Vice President shall preside. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and act as liaison between FOSCR committees and the BOARD OF DIRECTORS. The President shall set the agenda prior to each meeting. The President or President-assignee shall sign all correspondence.
  • VICE PRESIDENT: The Vice President shall be elected by the BOARD OF DIRECTORS each year and shall act in the absence of the President. In the absence or disability of both the President and Vice President, a member shall be chosen by the BOARD OF DIRECTORS to act temporarily. He/she shall be a member of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
  • SECRETARY: The Secretary shall be elected by the BOARD OF DIRECTORS each year. He/she will keep minutes of all meetings that will be approved at the next meeting and be responsible for assisting with correspondence.
  • TREASURER: The Treasurer shall be elected by the BOARD OF DIRECTORS each year and is responsible for keeping all financial records. He/she will prepare a Financial Report for each Board meeting and for the annual meeting of the membership.


  • Officers representing FOSCR on new issues or involving changes in past positions or policies of FOSCR shall not take positions without a majority vote by a quorum of the Board of Directors. In cases where timely decisions are to be made on urgent issues before a quorum of Board members can be assembled, then a vote must be taken by the Executive Board of Directors. In the absence of Executive Board members, other at large Board members can vote in their place so that a total of five Board members vote on such issues with a simple majority vote required to pass.
  • These limitations shall also apply to all non-routine aspects of operating activities involving FOSCR including pursuit of new projects and in initiating applications for and administration of grant monies.
  • Board of Director members who are also paid employees under FOSCR, regardless of funding source, shall defer their votes as a Board member or refrain from taking positions on issues that may directly involve their pay or potential sources of funding for their positions.

The BOARD OF DIRECTORS shall authorize and define the powers and duties of all standing and special committees of FOSCR. Subject to the confirmation of the Board, the President shall appoint all committee chair people. No person is eligible for appointment as a committee chairperson, unless they are a member in good standing of FOSCR.

No committee shall take or make public any formal action, make public any resolution, or in any way commit FOSCR on a question of policy without first receiving approval by the BOARD OF DIRECTORS. Special committees shall be discharged by the President when their work has been completed and their reports accepted, or when, in the opinion of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS, it is deemed wise to discontinue the committee.


All dues and other receipts of FOSCR shall be deposited to the account of FOSCR in such bank or banks as may be designated by the BOARD OF DIRECTORS, and funds at all times be under the direction and control of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS and the officers of FOSCR.

No disbursements of the funds of FOSCR shall be made unless the same shall have been approved and ordered by the BOARD OF DIRECTORS. All disbursements shall be made by check. Checks shall be signed by the Treasurer or President or Vice President or Secretary. No appropriations or disbursement of money or disposition of property of FOSCR shall be made for any purpose, other than to defray the legitimate operating expenses, except by two-thirds vote of those present at a BOARD OF DIRECTORS meeting of FOSCR.

  • Expenditures of $100 or less that are needed to further the goals of FOSCR shall be exempted from the above requirement.
  • Regular and recurring expenditures that have been previously approved by the Board (for example, phone or insurance charges) may be paid without further approval. Regular and recurring expenditures would be defined by the budget committee and ratified at each yearly Member Meeting.

The fiscal year of FOSCR shall be January 1 through December 31.


  • The newly elected President shall appoint a Budget Committee consisting of at least three (3) members of the BOARD OF DIRECTORS including the Treasurer.
  • The Budget Committee will meet with the previous year’s Budget Committee within a month after the Annual Members’ Meeting and commence working on the budget for the ensuing fiscal year.
  • Upon completion of the budget worksheets with the Budget Committee, the Treasurer will present the finalized budget to the BOARD OF DIRECTORS during the following month’s Board meeting for fiscal adoption by the Board.

The accounts of FOSCR shall be audited and/or reviewed annually by a non-officer from the general membership as soon as practical after the close of the fiscal year, commencing after the 1992 fiscal year. The audit and/or review shall at all times be available to members of the organization.


FOSCR shall use its funds only to accomplish the objectives and purposes specified in these By-laws, and no part of said funds shall inure or be distributed to the members of FOSCR. On dissolution of FOSCR, any funds remaining shall be distributed to one or more regularly organized and qualified charitable, educational, scientific or philanthropic organization governed by all state and federal applicable statutes, to be selected by the BOARD OF DIRECTORS.


The proceeding of FOSCR meetings shall be governed by and conducted according to the latest edition of Robert’s Manual of Parliamentary Rules.


These By-laws may be amended or altered by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board or by majority of the members present at any regular or special meeting, providing the notice for the meeting includes the proposals for amendment. Any proposed amendments or alterations shall be submitted to the Board or the members in writing at least ten (10) days before the meeting at which they are to be acted upon.


The By-Laws shall be reviewed at least annually by the Board to determine if changes are warranted.


In addition to the authority granted FOSCR by statute, the corporation shall have the authority to indemnify and save harmless any present or former officer, director, or agent of the corporation against any expenses reasonably incurred, including, but not limited to, legal fees, court costs, judgments, penalties, and amounts paid in compromise and settlement of any claim, which expenses arise or are incurred in connection with any legal, administrative, or investigative proceeding or action brought or threatened by any person or governmental agency or by the corporation on account of any act or failure to act by an officer, director, or agent of the corporation when such act or failure to act occurs in the course of such officer’s, director’s or agent’s scope of employment; provided, however, that the BOARD OF DIRECTORS shall first find and determine that such act or failure to act was done in good faith; that such officer, director, or agent reasonably believed that the act or failure to act was in support of the best interests of the corporation, and that the act or failure to act does not constitute willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence.

ADOPTED 4/13/92
Judy England, Mary Helen Maley, Sherry Sass, Karen Sondak, Joel Floyd, Jiff Tougas

AMENDED 1992, 5/26/94, 9/95, 1/27/00, 12/02, 12/04, 1/7/06

Click to download a .pdf copy of the FOSCR By-laws.