The Rancho Ventura TEAM
Richard and Bonnie Atmore
Rancho Ventura’s story started over 120 years ago when Ralph B. Lloyd in 1895 purchased over 1600 acres of the Ventura hillsides. In 2016 the Lloyd family came to Richard and Bonnie to find a way to conserve the land, keep it in ranching, and be a gathering place for the community.
The longstanding relationship established in 1979 between Richard Atmore and the Lloyd family provided a gateway to stewardship that honors the land’s predecessors while providing a treasured asset to the community. The Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust (a 5013(c) was founded in 2016 by the Atmores with support from a dedicated volunteer Board of Trustees and community partners.
With reverence and a lifetime of caring for the land, Richard with his family carry on the legacy of the Lloyd Family; conserving the land while keeping it in ranching. Bonnie brings over 20 years of not for profit expertise and her deeply rooted connections in the community. Their shared passion to build alliances that open doors for cultural, scenic, and environmental resources along with recreational and inspirational experiences on the land entrusted to Rancho Ventura is felt by all. It is their family’s life time commitment to keep the land in ranching while conserving these working landscapes that provide important habitat to the abundant wildlife that have called these hillsides home for hundreds of years.
Click here for more information about how you can experience the community benefit programs and projects of Rancho Ventura.
Rancho Ventura BOARD of DIRECTORS
Rancho Ventura STAFF
Michael joined Rancho Ventura in 2016 and worked his way up to the position of Outreach Coordinator. He graduated from Humboldt State University in 2013, earning his B.A. in Geography with Emphasis in Natural Resources Management and Planning. Originally from San Jose, he has prior experience in environmental consulting and completed internships from two municipal planning agencies. Michael contributes to Rancho Ventura’s Mission by planning and hosting public events such as the Two Trees Hikes and elementary school visits, representing Rancho Ventura at outreach events, directing the volunteer core and being the main point-of-contact for general inquiries. Working at Rancho Ventura fulfills Michaels goal of connecting people to some of Ventura Counties most valuable environmental, cultural and recreational resources. When not working for Rancho Ventura, Michael can be found hiking, kayaking, fishing or enjoying time with friends and family.
Rancho Ventura CONTRIBUTORS
Chris has been volunteering as the official conservation photographer for Rancho Ventura since 2016. He discovered a hidden passion for photography during his first road trip across the Great West. What he refers to as his “Awakening”. He set out to get lost in the great outdoors but never expected to find himself.
Chris is an active member of the following organizations; Sierra Club, Yosemite Foundation, Yellowstone Association and the National Wildlife Federation. Nature is such a part of his life that he even maintains a certified Wildlife Habit in his backyard.
As a resident of Ventura County for nearly 30 years, Chris believes in the mission of Rancho Ventura to protect these beautiful hillsides in perpetuity. He hopes that his conservation photographs help further protect and bring awareness to the benefits of nature and open space.
His favorite quote “I thank God for giving me photography, so I can pray with my eyes.” – DeWitt Jones
Specner joined Rancho Ventura in the Summer of 2018. He takes pride in helping to protect and provide stewardship for the Ventura Foothills and spreading the word about all the wonderful things Rancho Ventura offers the community. You often find Spencer scouting the trails above the city we love, or chatting it up with hikers at one of our events.
Spencer was born and raised in Ventura, and after some time away, has returned to our beautiful beach community with his wife to raise his two children. In addition to his work with Rancho Ventura, he spends much of his time volunteering for Ventura's youth. He is on the Ventura Unified School District Parent Action Committee and the is a board member and coach with Foothill Little League.
If you're looking to get involved with Rancho Ventura, Spencer is happy to connect you. “Please join me in preserving our most beloved landmark that watches over all of us in Ventura County, Two Trees.”
Alexcia (Lexi) Ballinger is a California native and has always been inspired by the state’s dynamic landscape. Although she has academic and professional experience with a variety of land types and management practices, she finds Ventura County to be especially unique and diverse.
Lexi has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a concentration in Land Resource Management from CSU, Chico, and recently graduated with a Master of Agriculture degree from Colorado State University.
In her spare time, one can find her getting creative in the kitchen, playing with her pooch, Max, and partaking in an array of outdoor activities.