Board Members

Chair: Marcia Faller. Marcia has held the NSD Chair position for the past two years, following a 30-year career in the healthcare staffing industry as the Chief Clinical Officer for AMN Healthcare. Retired for the last five years, she has been able to focus on gardening – a lifelong passion. Marcia is interested in soil health, water management, and learning more about the edible species of plants that can be grown in our area. She joined the NSD County CRFG chapter in 2020. Marcia earned a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Arizona, a master of science and PhD in nursing from the University of San Diego.

Quote: “I have learned so much from our chapter over the last three years and continue to learn every day….it’s what I love about this group – we are all about sharing our knowledge and expanding our understanding of our flora and fauna.”

Co-Vice Chair: Kamilia Arakelian. I am an artist with an associate degree in art. I have my own DIY workshop business called Sassy Craftz. Through my career, I gained experience in graphic design, cartoon coloring, and art teaching. I am always looking for something new to learn. I was born and raised in Syria. I got married to my wonderful husband, and then I moved to the USA in 2006. We have two boys who are now 10 and 12 years old. We have been homeschooling our children and taking on exciting adventures like traveling, camping, fishing, and gardening.

Apart from my love for art and outdoor activities, I am also an outgoing person who enjoys working with people. Throughout my life, I have volunteered in different organizations, and that has been a fulfilling experience for me. I am excited to be a part of the CRFG community and work with the experts in the field. As a co-vice chair on the board, I am eager to collaborate with the team and achieve our goals. I look forward to meeting all of you, working together, and making new friends.

Co-Vice Chair: Dan Huff. I've been living in San Marcos with my wife Charlotte in the same home for 37 years. We have a 2/3 acre lot that I always wanted to grow fruit trees but never had the time until I retired in 2021. I worked as a builder inspector for 25 years, the last 19 at UCSD. I started with a lemon tree that was existing and planted a fig tree 7 years ago. Since then I have planted 30+ trees and built raised beds for our garden. I have an active beehive that produced 7 gallons of honey in 2023. I also installed a rain collection system that currently holds 8,000 gallons.

I've been a member of CRFG for one year and looking to expand my orchard with rare fruit trees. Currently I'm working on installing off grid solar power to pump water from my rainwater system for irrigation.

Treasurer: Tim Lovenberg. Tim is a former scientist with a Bachelor's degree in chemistry from Dickinson College and a PhD in neuropharmacology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He did a postdoctoral fellowship at Scripps Research Institute and did a few years as a staff scientist at Neurocrine Biosciences. He was with Johnson & Johnson for 24 years with increasing levels of responsibility, but has been retired for almost four years.

Tim is a passionate gardener and all around hobbyist. He has a boat and loves to offshore fish and whale/dolphin watch. He is a home brewer of fine beers and decent wines. He loves CAD drawing/designing and 3D printing. Tim is also a passionate cook. He also loves to build things and fix things and is all in on renewable energy and materials and electric vehicles. Tim says “I have a beautiful wife Elizabeth who is also a passionate gardener and member of CRFG and an amazing real estate agent. I have two beautiful daughters 25 and 22 who are wonderful people. I love the outdoors and hiking and biking and camping and just enjoy the splendor of nature and I love to grow things. “I have 2 green houses and a large vegetable garden and a small orchard right here in coastal Cardiff.”

Member at Large: Peter Tashjian. I currently teach third grade at Paloma Elementary in San Marcos. I have been teaching for 20 years, and have taught everything from Kindergarten to Middle School math. I am proud of our amazing School Garden Program that provides monthly lessons to every student in the school. My passion for Horticulture was fostered by my father, who I followed to all his plant groups in the 1970s. I remember coming to CRFG meetings and being inspired by giants like Paul Thomson.

Before teaching, I worked as a Senior Gardener at the Wild Animal Park (I still can’t call it Safari Park). While there, I continued to develop my love of rare and exotic plants. Currently, I enjoy growing as much food as I can, including rare fruits. On my 1/3rd acre in Vista, I grow many different edibles such as banana, guava, papaya and jujube, to name a few.

As Member at Large, my goal is to use my communication skills to help this group continue to foster a vibrant community of fruit enthusiasts. I look forward to learning from fellow members and sharing insights, as well as the “fruits” of our labor.

Secretary: Carolee Eubanks. I have lived in San Marcos for just over 25 years with my husband, two kids, and pets, which include four hens. Our acreage has been mostly kept wild until recently. The orchard is a grand experiment, growing haphazardly as we hear of new varieties that sound interesting. We have established avocado trees, peaches, and figs, as well as new pink guava, mango, persimmon, and loquat trees, all planted within the past year, among others.

I have an MBA and I'm not quite retired yet, but time's passing plenty quickly and I'm in no hurry. I'm a voracious reader mostly of fiction, and try to have a gratitude-forward approach to life. This is my second year in the Secretary role, and I look forward to supporting the chapter again. I learn so much at the monthly meetings!

Member at Large: Linda Hargrove. Linda is an Associate Faculty instructor in the Lifelong Learning Program at Mira Costa College where she teaches body movement classes.

She enjoys sharing the wonder of nature with others as a UC California Naturalist. Her yard is an ever-changing garden filled with vegetables and fruit trees, and she finds new inspiration from the CRFG meetings and field trips.

Immediate Past Chair: Dawne Dickinson. Dawne is a retired homeowner, and has lived in Carlsbad for over 30 years. She has a BS in Biology started at SUNY and finished at SDSU. She has been a member of NSD CRFG for many years, Membership Chair for 3, Member at Large for 1, Vice Chair for 2 and Chair for 2. She trained as a Docent at the SD Botanic Gardens and takes gardening classes at all the local nurseries to keep learning.

Dawne states “My small home garden is full of fruit trees and vines (more than 40), herbs, veggies, natives, succulents and cacti, which is my daily meditation of walking the garden, picking weeds, snails or trimming overgrown vegetation. I love inviting the birds and pollinators in, feed them a small amount in the am and then watch them search around for other yummy bugs to eat for the rest of the day.”