We see a future where ordinary citizens are motivated and mobilized to sustain the world’s greatest landscapes and cultural sites.
Conservation Volunteers International Program is dedicated to the sustainability of some of the world’s greatest landscapes and cultural sites.
We provide opportunities for ordinary citizens to perform extraordinary volunteer services. Projects include trails, archaeological sites, and critical habitats. Working and learning together, our efforts make a positive difference in our world.
Conservation Volunteers International Program is staffed entirely by volunteers, including our volunteer-led trips. Conservation VIP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible. For the protection of volunteers, Conservation VIP is also registered as a California Seller of Travel, Number 2089890-40. For additional information regarding our management, responsibilities, and cancellation policies, click here. To download a pdf of our latest financial statements, click here.
Officers & Board of Directors
Christine Braunlich, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Chris served as Director and volunteer Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer since September 2009, before taking on the responsibilities of CEO in 2011. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Masters degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in finance, from the University of California at Berkeley. She worked for thirteen years in a variety of international lending, corporate lending, treasury management and project financing functions at Bank of America. She then worked for ten years as Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of Guy F. Atkinson Company of California, a publicly held international construction, manufacturing, and pipe distribution company, as well as at DNA Plant Technology, a biotechnology company.
Chris previously volunteered as Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of Bay Area Model Mugging, a nonprofit that provides self-defense training to women and children, and she served for ten years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate with CASA of Contra Costa County. She has participated in five CVIP volunteer trips to Torres del Paine and one CVIP trip to Machu Picchu. She lives in Briones, California and spends as much of her free time as possible hiking in the mountains with her husband.
John P. Hollinrake, Executive Director and Director
John has practiced law in California for twenty-eight years. He graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 1980, and received a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University in 1977. John has provided legal services to numerous nonprofit organizations in California since his admission to the State Bar of California in 1980. He also has extensive experience in the area of travel law and travel agency operations.
John was one of the founders of Conservation Volunteers International Program in 2007. He currently serves as the volunteer Executive Director. He has participated in five Conservation VIP volunteer projects in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, and was the leader of the March 2008 and December 2011 Torres del Paine Groups.
John has been involved in parks and conservation issues throughout his life. During high school he worked as a seasonal park aide for the California State Parks in southern California. In 1976 he was hired as a seasonal Ranger Naturalist in Yosemite National Park and worked there until 1981, when he opened a law practice in Sonora, California near Yosemite. John resides in Oregon with his wife, Catherine, and daughter Julianne.
David B. Hunsaker, Director
Dave spent more than forty years managing the nation’s public lands in the western United States. He has managed a variety of cultural, paleontological, scenic and natural resources, and has held leadership positions throughout the western states including managing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. Dave served in Washington, D.C., as the Deputy Director for the National Landscape Conservation System of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). He retired from federal service as the Associate State Director for BLM-Colorado.
Dave has been actively involved in all phases of forming, managing, and collaborating with volunteer organizations for more than thirty years. He has served as federal liaison to advisory boards and has written policy documents for BLM use nationally. He has planned and implemented countless volunteer projects in the field. He currently provides guidance and counsel to several volunteer organizations.
Jeffery J. Mitchell, Chief Financial Officer and Director
In addition to serving as CFO, Jeff heads the social media initiatives for the group. He is a grants analyst with American Public Media Group in Minneapolis, MN, prior to which he spent more than eight years in the finance and investments industry. He has a Juris Doctor degree from Seattle University School of Law, an MBA from Seattle University, and a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University. Jeff has volunteered with a diverse set of organizations in the areas of sustainability, ethical leadership, animal welfare, technical editing and entrepreneur advising. He and his wife Leah are enthusiastic travelers, hikers, and cultural experience collectors who have only hit four continents so far.
William D. Sapp, Director
Bill joined the board of Conservation Volunteers International Program in March 2012. He is currently Forest Archaeologist for the USDA Forest Service in the San Bernardino National Forest, where he has worked since 2004. Bill has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has done extensive field work and led a number of research projects in Peru, where he holds a Peruvian Archaeological License. In addition to his work at the Forest Service, he has taught at California State University and at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA. Prior to his work in Archaeology, he worked at Sonnenblick-Goldman Corp, Smith Barney Real Estate Corporation, Dillingham Development Corporation, Comerica Mortgage Corporation, and Grubb and Ellis Financial Services.
Paul D. Adams, Director
Paul joined Conservation Volunteers International Program in June, 2012. After earning his B.A. in Criminal Justice/Sociology and retiring from the Air Force (1994), he completed the M.A. in philosophy of religion (1995), worked in the IT industry, served as adjunct professor of philosophy and religious studies, developed and conducted multiple leadership seminars, is an avid blogger, and active volunteer for trail restoration throughout Arizona. Paul has participated in CVIP trips to Torres del Paine and Yosemite National Park. He enjoys traveling, hiking, biking, reading, backpacking, and teaching.
Gene Zimmerman, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Gene is a founding board member of Conservation Volunteers International Program. He spent 44 years with the U.S. Forest Service, working at all levels of the organization. Notably he was a District Ranger on the Mt. Hood National Forest and retired as Forest Supervisor on the San Bernardino National Forest, probably the most complex Forest in the National Forest System. Gene spent four years as Legislative Staff for the Washington Office of the Forest Service, with responsibility for all recreation-related issues, including National Recreation Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and National Recreation Trails. Gene wrote and advocated for over 50 pieces of legislation that became law. Gene had a national reputation for his work developing partnerships, volunteer programs, and youth employment programs. While a Ranger in the Columbia River Gorge, Gene’s volunteer program averaged 100 people per day, three times the paid staff. Gene also started the National Forest Association, a non-profit chartered to support the San Bernardino National Forest. The Association is considered the model non-profit in the Forest Service. In 2003, Gene was awarded the Department of Agriculture’s Superior Service Award, the highest award in the Department. He has also been awarded the Legend Award by the American Recreation Coalition.