The Class of 2012

ANDREW BLAKE
Hello I’m a freshman at Acalanes High School in Lafayette. Before that I attended Seven Hills from kindergarten to eighth grade. I first found out about Search and Rescue through my middle school science teacher and fellow team member Matt Shargel. My brother Adam Blake joined last year, and after seeing what a good experience he had, I decided to join as well.

 

KRISTL BULURAN 
As a former self-professed “I hate nature” girl, I had little inclination for doing anything remotely close to what we do in SAR, until I got to know what CoCoSAR is all about. The teamwork, the sense of adventure, and most importantly, the mission to help people were what brought me here.

In addition to working with SAR, I am a personal trainer and running coach, and I work at UC Berkeley doing worksite wellness programs for faculty and staff. I have an 11-year-old son, Zende, who is my partner in crime for all things geeky, sci-fi, LEGO, comics, and of course, zombies. You might see him at SAR trainings as I tend to drag him to volunteer him for stuff, like medical role plays.

Training with CoCoSAR and learning important search, rescue, and survival skills has given me the confidence to do things I never thought I’d find myself doing, especially at this stage in my life. Thank you for allowing me to be part of such a dedicated and amazing organization!
 

JASON COHN
I'm 30 years old and about two years ago I decided it was my turn to help others that may notalways be able to help themselves. That's when I joined the Army Reserves, and it has fueled my fire to help out my community and those in need every day since. After some significant technical rescue training, I found the CoCoSAR team and a lightbulb lit up again for me, just one more way for me to give back to my community that I love so much.

I come from a large family rooted in the deep East Bay in a small city named Brentwood, which I've called home for nearly 20 years. The SAR family is one that I plan to stay part of for many years to come, and hopefully plan on bringing a few more family members into as well.

Outside of SAR, I enjoy fine wines, long walks on the beach, cycling the rolling hills of the greater Bay Area and I throughly enjoy dining out at the many amazing eateries in the Bay Area.
 

KATELYNN CUNNINGHAM
I'm a junior at College Park High School and I decided to join Search and Rescue because it seemed like the most interesting, hands-on volunteer activity. So far it has been, and I'm excited for my future with the team.
 

HUNTER DEUEL
I live in Alamo and I am a junior at San Ramon Valley High School. I am involved in leadership and I throw shot put and discus for our track team. I have my own photography business shooting sports, portraiture and product.

Some of my hobbies include surfing, long boarding and playing the guitar. At home I have two very loving parents and an older brother who is running at the University of Alabama.

Living where I am, I have been blessed with so much and I have felt the need to give back to such a great community. I feel like I have learned so much in the training so far, and I am looking forward to honing my skills and learning more and more each day.
 

JEFF DEUEL
I'm coming to CoCoSAR after 20-plus years with Oakland Police Department, five of them full-time, and the rest as a reserve officer. I realized I missed the service aspect of being a reserve, and wanted to find something I could do with my daughter, Hunter. We found SAR and went through the application process and Academy together. It's been awesome! Right now, I'm interested in the USAR and Metal Detector resources.

During the day, I'm a financial advisor with my own Linsco-Private Ledger practice. I'm a licensed pilot (non-current) and ham operator (KF6DBA). We spend as much time as possible at our cabin in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Along with Hunter, I also have a son, Parker, at University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) on a track and field scholarship. We live in Alamo with my wife of 21 years, Gretchen, a couple of Dobermans, a Miniature Pinscher, and a cat with no tail.
 

PATRICK (PAT) DODSON
After retiring from a career in finance and banking, I’m looking forward to getting out from behind a desk and doing something meaningful for my community. SAR seemed to be the perfect blend of community service, an opportunity for continual learning, and a way to meet some great people and spend time outdoors. I don’t yet know where I want to focus in SAR once I get through the Academy. At this point everything sounds interesting!

I live in Martinez with my wife, Linda, and our two dogs. Our daughter Christina is away at college. When not waiting for a callout, I like to backpack, ski, bicycle, support Cal sports, and travel. I look forward to serving with you and getting to know the team better.
 

JEFF DRIMMER
I'm a San Francisco native that didn't leave the city very much. So my idea for getting out meant going to concrete stadiums and gymnasiums for entertainment and activities. Now I'm looking forward to branching out into the real wilderness, or wherever SAR will take me, to help those in need.

Joining SAR and doing the things that we do is something far out of my comfort zone, so I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can and becoming as much of a contributor as possible to the team.

I live in Danville with my wife Vivienne and we have two kids, 21 and 19. Our focus was always on their activities as they grew up. Now, with much more free time, I hope to find additional volunteer opportunities in addition to SAR.
 

KEVIN GIBERTI
My background over the last 10 years consists mostly of retail management, even though I have always had an interest in public safety. At the start of this year, I finally made the choice to change my career to the public safety field. I took an accelerated course at Unitek Education and received my certification as an EMT in early April. Since then I have been working as an EMT in Pleasant Hill.

In my free time I try to learn as much as I can about emergency medicine in preparation for paramedic school, which I hope to start next year. I joined the Search and Rescue Team to further my knowledge and experience in the public safety field and have more opportunities to help people in need.
 

JOSH GOTTO
I moved here from Arizona last year and stumbled upon you orange shirts while climbing up on Mount Diablo. After speaking to a few of you about the team and its mission, I couldn't wait to join. My day job (and night job – I love what I do and I do it a lot) is as an attorney in Walnut Creek. In my free time, I like to socialize, play sports, and travel.

Since moving to the Bay Area, it seems like I get to travel somewhere new and different every week just by picking a direction and driving. This place is great! Right now my favorite place is Muir Beach with my pup splashing around in the waves, but I hope you all will tell me your other favorite spots to check out.

I’ll be on the team and in the area for years to come, so see you around!
 

RYAN GRAHAM
I am very excited to be a part of the team. My professional background is in law enforcement and more recently management at the City of Antioch. I have always been driven by public service. My beautiful wife and I have five amazing kids. Competing in triathlons, camping and anything outdoors are activities we enjoy together as a family.

I look forward to meeting and working with everyone; the people I have had a chance to meet so far are amazing.
 

KAYLA HOFSTETTER
I recently graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and am currently living with my family in the beautiful East Bay Area while I work on finding my career. My ultimate goal is to find an opportunity to use my skills in the biotechnology or agricultural modification field, but in the meantime I am privately tutoring high school students, and working as a hostess and food server at the Peasant’s Courtyard in my hometown of Alamo.

I miss the ocean and beautiful beaches of Santa Barbara, but it is so nice to be back north where the leaves change with the season and the young folks listen to HyPhy music. I absolutely love the outdoors and am excited by new challenges, and I am so happy to call myself a member of the CoCoSAR family.
 

DANNY JARAMILLO
I have lived in various cities within Contra Costa County all of my life. Currently a Concord resident, I have come to love the community where I live. I own an insurance agency based in Walnut Creek where I provide insurance solutions for the personal and commercial insurance needs of my clients.

I have always enjoyed the outdoors, including hiking, camping, bow hunting and fishing. I also have an extensive background in Japanese martial arts and tactical firearms training.

I just recently learned of CoCoSAR’s existence and jumped at the chance to join the team. I am so proud to say that I am working with such a selfless, focused, and caring group of people. Many thanks to all of the proctors involved in our Type II and III academies. You have all set a professional and self-sacrificing example that is worthy of imitation. I am honored to be among the next generation of searchers in CoCoSAR. Ab imo pectore. (That’s for you Machete.)
 

OREN KAHN
I am 16 years old, and I am a junior at Bentley High School. I play soccer for my high school and love the outdoors. I love to hike, ski, bike and go offroading. I really like to work on my car and ride dirt bikes too. And, I love SAR.
 

DON KAVANAGH
The starting event in my outdoor career was climbing Mt. Shasta with the Boy Scouts at age 12. I hiked the John Muir trail from Yosemite to Whitney (in a group) at 17. That hooked me on outdoor activities. Once out of UC Davis, we started a tradition of backpacking every summer (in the high Sierras as that is the only place I can catch fish) that still endures.

At 32, I became interested in ski patrolling at Alpine Meadows. I volunteered there for the next 16 years, fascinated by the work, and learned to deal with many medical emergencies. After my divorce, I was lost for a couple of years, with no interest in doing anything other than work. While searching genealogy sites (my mother’s side of the family has been in Contra Costa County since the 1870s farming and ranching in Pacheco and Pleasant Hill) I came across the CoCoSAR website. I was pleased to learn that I still had time for the training in 2012 and did it. I’m looking forward to working for and with CoCoSAR in the coming years.
 

MIKEL KINSER
I have been married to Sallie for 30 years (as of this writing) and have three great daughters. I currently have two part-time jobs that allow me to do all the volunteer work that I do. I have been a volunteer CFO for a small charitable foundation since 1998. I also volunteer at an adult assisted-living facility, I am a volunteer for the Sheriff's SAVES program at the Alamo station where I have a regular Wednesday afternoon shift, and now have added membership to SAR.

Out of all of them I find SAR is the most interesting and, hopefully, as I get into it more and participate in real searches, the most rewarding. I enjoy the physical nature of it, the great group of people I have met (both my academy class and those already in), and the many new skills I have learned and have yet to learn.
 

STEVE LAMB
I was born and raised in Martinez. My first adventure was joining the Navy right out of high school. I ended up stationed in Jacksonville, Fla. Four years later, after a couple hurricanes, I returned to Martinez with my wife. Two years later I joined the Navy reserve. I have now been deployed twice to the Middle East. The first time was immediately after my divorce, the second was immediately after my second marriage.

I’ve always had a strong drive to help others. My ultimate goal is to start a career in law enforcement. One day, while jogging by my house, I ran into CoCoSAR members and after a conversation with the proctor, I realized this was what I was looking for. I joined CoCoSAR because I feel I can truly help someone.
 

PHIL NOVAK
I was born in Baltimore, Md., and then moved 20 miles north to a town called Bel Air when I was 10 years old. My family still lives in the Baltimore area. I started working at the local Safeway Store in 1976 as a courtesy clerk. I moved to California in 1984 to pursue my career in Information Technology (IT) with Safeway. I’m currently an IT project manager managing multi-million dollar IT projects and have been with Safeway for 36 years. When I’m not working, you’ll find me exploring the local parks on my mountain bike or hiking with my girlfriend, Cindy, and my 7-year-old yellow lab.

There are two reasons why joining Search and Rescue interests me. The first reason is that I find it very rewarding to donate my time instead of cash donations. I have spent 12-plus years with the Big Brothers program and the last 3-plus years involved with Special Olympics as a coach (bowling and track and field). Search and Rescue is another opportunity that will allow me to volunteer my services and result in a rewarding experience.

The second reason is that I spend many hours hiking with my dog, mountain biking and adventure racing and I’m excited to share these skills with SAR. The skills obtained through working with SAR could one day benefit other aspects of my outdoor activities.
 

COURTENAY PINDER
I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Guatemala from 2009-2011 doing a Healthy Homes project. I currently channel my inner Erin Brockovich working for an environmental consulting firm in Walnut Creek doing fieldwork and Salesforce Admin. With my plentiful free time (note sarcasm), I enjoy most anything outdoors such as running, swimming, biking and yoga, though I love to read and am learning to knit. I’m a huge Giants fan and I am excited to wear bright orange year ’round.

As a child, getting lost was a constant fear and became relevant after the abduction of Polly Klaas when I was 9 from the next town over. I was inspired to join SAR after watching the news at the gym one evening and learning that after two months, the volunteer SAR crews were still searching for a lost girl in San Jose. CoCoSAR is such a humble, dedicated group and I am ecstatic to be a part of such an amazing community.
 

TERESA POINDEXTER
I am so thrilled and honored to be a new graduate of SAR. Like most everything in our lives, Roger and I chose to do SAR together. But, we have also found the things that interest us individually. I am a local girl. I have lived in CoCo County most of my life. We got married here, had our children here and run our business here.

I work at Walnut Acres Elementary School as the school's secretary! I love my job! An elementary school is one of the happiest places on earth. My family is my world; my job is a bonus! That makes SAR an added bonus! What a thrill and an honor to be a part of the SAR family.
 

ROGER POINDEXTER
I heard about SAR while sitting next to a team member at an A's game. He spoke so highly of SAR that it prompted me to talk to my wife about it. We looked into SAR online and decided to attend an orientation. Neither one of us has looked back.

I am the father of three adult children. Teresa and I have one grandson, Jackson. We spend our free time on our boat or riding our jet-ski out on the Delta. I've recently taken up duck hunting after a 30-year break. I run my own construction business and my son works with me. I’ve been a carpenter since I was in high school. I'm a California native and proud to say I have lived my entire life in CoCo County.
 

ANDREW RAMSEY
I have lived in Contra Costa County for 15 years, but had never heard of the Search and Rescue team until this year. My school, College Park, was having a job fair and SAR had a booth. I went to the orientation and six months later I’m on the team. I thought it would be a good way to serve my community and build on my outdoor skills that I have been learning as a Boy Scout.

Boy Scouts gave me my first introduction to the great outdoors in sixth grade and I have loved it ever since. I also enjoy reading, Ultimate Frisbee, disc golf, canoeing and biking. I attend College Park as a junior and plan on going to college to get my degree in computer engineering.
 

DANIEL RATHERT
I'm a varsity wrestler, I'm 16 and I play 13 different musical instruments. I joined Search and Rescue because I had a bad childhood and I didn't really have anybody to help me. So, I always want to help people so they have someone to help them, even if it's something small. Laura Hubbard (current SAR member) is a relative and she said I should join, so here I am.
 

ISABELLA ROMERO
I am a 17-year-old junior at Ygnacio Valley High School. I am so excited to be on the team, and can't wait to participate more and more. I am a huge Giants and sports fan, and run on my school's cross country and track teams. I look forward to many years on SAR.
 

ANNALISA ROMERO
I am a junior at Ygnacio Valley High School. I run cross-country and play lacrosse for my school. I am very excited to be on the team and can't wait to go on my first callout! I hope to study forensic science in college and pursue a career in law enforcement or crime scene investigation. I have an identical twin sister on the team; good luck telling us apart!
 

JACQUELINE ROSE
I am a junior attending College Park High School. I am very involved in sports. I play soccer and run both track and cross-country. I found SAR through my school's job fair. So far, I am enjoying being part of the SAR program and I hope to continue with it after I attend college.
 

RICH ROSE
I'm a married father of one who lives in Concord. My free time is mostly dedicated to family, and projects around our house and garage. I am self-employed as a sales professional. Currently my focus is pre-arranged cremation plans, but I have background in the financial ends of banking, real estate and automotive as well.

While looking for a career change, I found CoCoSAR on the Sheriff's website. It was clear SAR could offer some of the same opportunities I've been looking for in a job; such as learning new skills, helping others in need and working as part of a team, as well as honing leadership skills, all while establishing new friendships and challenging myself. I look forward to working with you all.
 

SONJA ROTH
I am recently retired from a 26-year career at UPS. Three years ago, I moved to Walnut Creek with my fiancé, three great Danes (since passed), three cats and four macaws. Outside of SAR, I enjoy shooting pistols and rifles – no hunting!

I first became interested in SAR when Michelle Le's body was found by a dog “in training.” The case interested me because she was abducted a half mile from my UPS route. I joined CARDA in January 2012, and since then decided to join my county's team.
 

TONY SGROI
I grew up and went to college in West Virginia and commissioned as an officer in the Army. I was stationed in Hawai’i for four years and, when I wasn’t deployed or training, spent most of my time scuba diving and hiking. In 2010, I left the Army and moved to the Bay Area with my wife so she could pursue her doctorate at UC Berkeley.

I manage a lighting manufacturing facility in Richmond for Cooper Industries and live in Pinole with my wife and two dogs.

I was on a SAR team in college and have wanted to get involved again as a way of helping my new community, sharpening my skills, and meeting new people. I have been extremely impressed with the level of professionalism and training of CoCoSAR; I’m looking forward to advancing to the Type 1 level in the next year or so.
 

CHRIS TOM
In eighth grade, when my former science teacher Matt Shargel told me about Search and Rescue, I knew that it sounded like something that I would be interested in. I think it is an interesting way to help others while doing something I enjoy. I am a student and swimmer at Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek. I also am a sponsored bass fisherman and California representative for a tackle company. I also enjoy snowboarding, paintballing, long-boarding and camping.

I have enjoyed my amazing experience in the Type 3 Academy and am appreciative of all of the hard work the proctors have put in, as well as my awesome coach Casey Riggs, who made my introduction to SAR great. He was there to answer questions whenever I needed an answer, and I look forward to working with him in the field as well as everybody else on the team!
 

PATRICK WALKER
I'm a 14-year-old freshman at Acalanes High School. I am in Boy Scout Troop 204 in Lafayette – rank Life. My sports are cross country and track. I also do a lot of mountain climbing, including on Mt. Whitney and Mt. Shasta. All my life I have lived right next to the Walnut Creek Open Space and have pretty much memorized the trails out there.

I joined the team because of my love for the outdoors and the satisfaction of helping people in need. I have two brothers, both in college. The oldest is a reserve deputy in Los Angeles and the middle brother is a fellow team member on the CoCoSAR Team. I am currently the only child at home with my parents and two dogs. I look forward to meeting you all and to work with you all in future missions!
 

CRYSTAL WEN
I live in Antioch. I'm a student going to Dozier-Libbey Medical High School. I play the piano. I like to read and listen to music. I have one sibling — a younger brother.
 

NATALIE ZENSIUS
I was raised in England, in a working-class culture that values hard work, integrity and down-to-earth honesty. I immigrated to the U.S. when I was 20; first living in the northeast, then settling in California. Being a mom at a young age, while going to college, taught me resilience, tenacity and humility – traits I’ve found useful in search and rescue training!

Pleasant Hill is now home where I live with my ever-patient husband, Jon, and two cranky cats. Our daughter’s a recent UC Davis graduate, currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique, and our son’s in his senior year at UC Santa Barbara, making plans for grad school.

I get out in the wilderness and travel as much as I can, make art (and trouble) with Jon, and share good food with friends regularly. The rest of the time, I run my own consulting business, helping organizations with marketing and communications. In just two months with CoCoSAR, I’ve already grown a lot as an individual. I’m very proud to be on the team, and excited to see what being part of it brings to my life.