Benny Romero


Retired Ranch manager (Sweetwater Ranch Land and Cattle Co.) after 31 years. Benny has served on many local and regional advisory boards. Living at a former stage stop for travel during the Bodie days has given him a special connection and appreciation for the old mining towns in the vicinity such as Aurora and Silverado. He currently owns the Kirkwood Ranch in Bridgeport which was a livery stable for those traveling to and from Bodie. He feels preservation of this history is a must and it is an honor to serve on the Bodie Foundation Board.

Jessica Schneider
Vice President


Jessica comes to us by way of the Mono Lake Committee, where she is employed. Her love for all things ‘Laura Ingalls Wilder’ has led to a deep appreciation of western history. She is anxious to apply her time and energy to protect Mono Lake and other eastern Sierra gems like Bodie and Grover Hot Springs.

Dr. Dydia DeLyser

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Dydia comes to the Board with a wealth of Bodie knowledge. She was a maintenance worker in Bodie from 1988 through 1997, when she completed her doctoral dissertation on Bodie. She has volunteered at Bodie since then, continuing to do maintenance work.  She has been a Professor of Geography since 1997.

Dave Swisher

Dave Swisher

 Dave was born and raised in Southern California but has traveled to the Mono Basin and Bodie for 38 years. He was raised with a construction background and can use that experience to help at Bodie. His love for the area started with the Bodie Railroad and spread from there to the town. He retired two years ago and lives only 14 miles from Bodie. He has traveled extensively in the hills around Bodie in a 1942 Ford WW II Jeep that is still original. Dave is also a member of the Mono Basin Historical Society and he can provide history of the basin and how it involved the town of Bodie.  

Jon Elliott

Jon Elliot

Jon has resided in Bridgeport, California for 52 years. For 33 of those years he has lived and worked on the Hunewill Ranch, which has historic ties to Bodie’s early days, with his wife Betsy Hunewill Elliott and her extended family. As a child, he remembers going to Bodie on a house call with his father, a local physician. Helping to preserve and share the history of the area has always held his interest and he looks forward to continuing doing so with this Board.  

Paul Friesen

Paul Friesen

A California native, Paul is an avid volunteer focused on preserving the old west in his home state. He has spent the past decade exploring the eastern Sierra on horseback and loves riding in Bodie and the surrounding region. He owns a construction management company and has spent the past 25+ years building commercial and non-profit structures around the globe.

Douglas Urbani

Douglas Urbani

Doug retire in 2009 after 34 years as a State Trooper for the Nevada Highway Patrol and Investigator with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. He and his wife enjoy spending time with their grandchildren. Doug is thankful for the opportunity and looks forward to serving on the Board of Trustees and assisting Bodie, Mono Lake and Grover Hot Springs in as many way as possible.

Beth Olsen

Beth Olsen

An avid outdoors-woman, Beth has been fishing, camping, hiking and riding the Eastern Sierra for over 30 years. She first visited Bodie in the late 1980s and has been fascinated with the history of this area ever since. She travels to the area year-round, and delights in discovering hidden treasures off the main roads while exploring either by horseback or hiking with her Labrador — imagining the stories to be told behind an overgrown abandoned building, or wondering where a dirt road leads, keeps the area fresh and new with each visit. Beth has a B.A. in Political Science/International Relations and has worked in Tourism and Hospitality since 1988 with several resort hotels in Santa Barbara, CA. She has an extensive background in destination marketing, sales, and special event planning. 

Dick Canton


Dick is a founding member of the Friends of the Bodie Railway and Lumber Co. and is their current treasurer. He and family have been enjoying the Eastern Sierra region for over 40 years and love Bodie (and its railroad history). Dick brings extensive management experience to the Board from his time as a high-ranking Los Angeles County manager - now retired.

Brad Sturdivant
Executive Director

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For 40 years Brad has been working with non-profit and community organizations; including helping to start Friends of Bodie, a sub-chapter of the Sierra State Parks Foundation, founding Board Member Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association, and Board of Directors for the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce 6 years. He has also been a private business owner for 14 years. Brad retired after 34 years with California State Parks. He served 21 years as Supervising Ranger/Superintendent of Bodie State Historic Park, Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve and Grover Hot Springs State Park.

Betty McCunniff
Office Assistant

Betty McCunniff

Betty McCunniff, office assistant since 2016, will now be the Bodie Lead. Betty first arrived in Bodie for Friends of Bodie Day, 2011. Though she didn’t know it at the time, she was bitten by the Bodie Bug, and returned every summer, first as a volunteer, and then as a Bodie Foundation Staff member. Betty currently is leading tours, working in the museum/bookstore, scheduling photo workshops and private tours, and providing visitor services and information.

Chris Spiller
Editor & Tour Guide

Chris Spiller

Chris Spiller joined the Bodie Foundation in Fall 2015. She guides private tours for the Foundation in Bodie and Mono Lake, helps with social media and publicity, and edits the Foundation’s twice-yearly newsletter for members. She also helps produce the Bodie Foundation’s yearly photo calendar.

She worked for California State Parks from 1997 to 2015, with 15 of those years at Bodie, presenting history talks, school group programs and stamp mill tours. Many visitors know her Living History tours where she takes her group back in time as Mrs. Mildred Hoover, wife of the manager of the Standard Mining Company. Her state park career also includes interpretation at Monterey State Historic Park and Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Previously, she worked three seasons with the U.S. Forest Service, presenting natural and cultural history programs in the Mammoth Lakes and Mono Lake regions.

Tamara Woollard
Lead Clerk & Membership Coordinator

Tamara Woollard

Tamara Woollard joined the staff in spring to work at the new Bodie Mercantile. Tamara now works as the membership coordinator and lead clerk at the Mercantile. She is new to Mono County, having lived in the Fresno area her whole life. She is a Reedley College graduate and newly married. “I am so grateful to be a part of the Bodie Foundation and working alongside of Bodie State Historic Park staff,” said Tamara, “I am excited for what the future holds in my time with the Foundation.”

Terri Geissinger

Terri Geissinger

Terri has lived in the area for most of her life and worked at Bodie for the last fourteen years. Hired as a Park Aide and Interpreter at Bodie, she immediately fell into place. Terri began interviewing the last surviving residents and descendants of Bodie, which would launch the Bodie Resident Research Project. Through the years she was promoted to Senior Park Aide, Museum Manager, Event Coordinator and Lead Guide. As an author, she has written several articles on local history. In 2009 her book Bodie 1859-1962 was published. She was “boots on the ground” in helping create the Bodie Foundation and placed as Business Manager. Terri, served three years as Bodie Foundation Business Manager from 2009 to 2012. She returned in 2013 to resume her management duties. She retired as Business Manager in 2018 and returned as Historian and Tour Guide in 2019.

Mark Pupich
Web Master

Mark Pupich

Mark retired in 2007 after 30 years as a California State Park Ranger. He served in the Malibu and San Luis Obispo areas before arriving at Bodie in 1989, where he worked for 8 years. Mark subsequently served at Grover Hot Springs from 1997-2007. While at the latter two parks, he worked with cooperative association on budgeting, membership, special events, fund raising and interpretive projects. As a park ranger he was devoted to the protection of California’s unique natural and cultural resources, and enhancing the visitor’s experience. As Bodie Foundation staff he is proud to continue that effort.