The Salton Sea Action Committee exists to support efforts to effectuate the completion of the restoration of the Salton Sea and its region in order to prevent environmental collapse of necessary wildlife habitat, prevent airborne particulate disaster, create recreational and tourism opportunities, explore integrated clean energy restoration solutions, improve the regional economy and preserve this great resource for future generations.
We are a small but concerned group of citizens in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys that have decided to take action. Our vision is “to support efforts to effectuate the completion of the Restoration of the Salton Sea and its region in order to prevent environmental collapse of necessary wildlife habitat, prevent airborne particulate disaster, create recreational and tourism opportunities, explore integrated clean energy restoration solutions, improve the regional economy and preserve this great resource for future generations.”
Juan De Lara is Risk Manager in the Coachella Valley for the Federated Mutual Insurance Company. He manages over 2,700 acres of Federated Real Estate Assets in the Coachella Valley. Additionally, Juan assists with overseeing the farming operations as well as the Travertine Point project, a 5,000 acre Master Planned New Town, a project that will serve as a catalyst for sustainable development near and around the Salton Sea. Juan is a lifelong resident of the Coachella Valley and has many years of local government experience having served 17 years on the Coachella City Council, as well as 4 terms as Mayor of Coachella. Juan is a major stakeholder in Salton Sea Restoration with his position managing land in the Coachella Valley for Federated Insurance. More importantly, he and his extended family care deeply about the eastern Coachella Valley and the detrimental effects on their region that an unrestored sea will bring.
Vice President - Imperial Valley
Dennis Rieger is President of ERA Investments Group, Inc., a Real Estate Development company, and Executive Homes Inc. a residential building company in Salton City. As a General Contractor and owner Dennis has built over 200 homes in Salton City and owns or controls over 3000 lots. Dennis was owner of a full service asphalt maintenance company with sales exceeding $30 million and over 200 full time employees. He owns leases and manages thousands of square feet of commercial space including restaurants, retail, grocery, offices, a 108 space RV Park and more. Rieger lives and works in Salton City and one only need visit him in his offices at the Travertine Grille to realize his passion for restoring the Salton Sea. Dennis brings this passion, experience and expertise to the SSAC Board of Directors.
Vice President - Riverside County
Alan Pace is a Florida native who has been in southern California since 1987 and in the Coachella Valley since 2006. He received his Bachelor of Science in Geology from Colorado State University in 1987. Since moving to California he has worked consistently in the field of geology/geotechnical engineering and is registered as a State of California Professional Geologist and Certified Engineering Geologist. He is currently President of the Desert Branch of the American Public Works Association, Board Member and Programs Chair for the Desert Valley Builders Association. Alan completed the Leadership Coachella Valley Course and with his technical knowledge of soils and geology along with his significant community involvement and networking skills will be invaluable to the SSAC.
Paul Quill is a resident of La Quinta since 1980. Quill is a land development specialist and owner of Quill Enterprises LLC, a Land Development Consulting firm. Mr. Quill is now and has continually represented several large landowners in the Coachella Valley assisting them in project management, land planning and entitlement processing to enhance the long term value of their properties. Quill has headed up land development projects for such notable companies as Del Webb, Pulte Homes, Sunrise Company, Landmark Land Company and Federated Insurance. Quill has been and continues in a role of Project Manager Travertine Point. Additionally Mr. Quill serves as a commissioner on the La Quinta Planning Commission and continues to be involved in several Coachella Valley economic development efforts primarily related to Salton Sea Restoration. For Quill, Salton Sea Restoration is a lifetime goal.
Melanie Cox is a California native, a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and Azusa Pacific University and has been a Coachella Valley home owner since 1980. After retiring from a 30 year career in higher education administration Melanie became involved in the hospitality industry and has experience in a variety of roles in this field. Melanie is dedicated to supporting efforts that can sustain the Salton Sea as a healthy environment for valley residents, visitors and wildlife and as a unique natural resource for recreational enjoyment. Melanie sees her service as a Board Member of the Salton Sea Action Committee as an opportunity to pursue these objectives.
Chair - Education & Outreach Committee
Andy Vossler is president and CEO of Landmark Golf, a golf management company based in Indian Wells CA. Vossler is responsible for all business, financial, contractual and management operations of Landmark Golf. As an officer of Landmark Land Company in the 1980s and 90s Andy was instrumental in Landmark’s acquisition of Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, the planning and approval process for development of PGA West, the real estate development and operations of La Quinta Hotel Golf & Tennis Resort where he was named President and Project Director. Vossler is a former President of La Quinta’s Chamber of Commerce. In 1988, Vossler became Project Director for several Landmark master planned communities including the 7,000-acre Oak Valley project in Riverside County, large scale projects in San Bernardino County and Sacramento; his duties included overseeing all phases of design, processing, construction and sales. Vossler is well-known and active in the development community of Riverside County as well as several of the Cities within Riverside County and with matters involving the Coachella Valley Water District. Vossler is a long term resident and businessman in the Coachella Valley and brings incredible experience and expertise to the SSAC Board.
Matthew V. Johnson
Matthew V. Johnson is the founder of Johnson Commercial Real Estate. Matt studied engineering at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and started his professional career designing geothermal process equipment for Unocal Geothermal in the Imperial Valley, what is now Plant #1 for CalEnergy. In 1989, Matt changed careers from engineering to commercial real estate. He began his career with land sales in the La Quinta/Thermal area, then creatively navigated the commercial real estate cycles of foreclosures, leasing and finally development of commercial properties. Matt has developed commercial properties throughout the Coachella Valley. Johnson is the Managing Partner in charge of finance and development for Tradition Aviation at Jackie Cochran Airport and the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway near Desert Center. Matt’s business community involvement in the Coachella Valley is extensive and he brings incredible resources, energy, expertise and concern to the SSAC Board.
Robert “Bob” Wright
Bob serves as the Managing Director of the East Valley Coalition, Economic Development Specialist 3 for Riverside County and acting Assistant Director of the Coachella Valley Small Business Development Center. Bob comes from the private sector as a wholesale landscape and nursery broker for the past forty eight years, and has worked on over one hundred golf course and HOA projects throughout the US. Bob has served on Commissions for the City of La Quinta for over twenty years and now serves on the Planning Commission. Bob also serves on many local Boards such as the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition, the CV Resource Conservation Board, Growing Coachella Valley and was the founding CEO of the Desert Sands Educational Foundation. While growing up in Big Bear Lake in the 1950’s, Bob spent many summers at the Salton Sea. He is dedicated to the restoration of the Coachella and Imperial Counties most valuable economic development resource. Bob and his wife Jacqueline have lived in the Coachella Valley since 1990 moving here from Salt Lake City, where Bob worked on restoration projects for the Great Salt Lake.