We are guided by our mission, and work collaboratively with others who find common cause with us

We pursue our mission as an inquiry, open to all feasible pathways to the kind of future Oceano envisions for itself.

We explore land-use choices for redevelopment that are feasible and that faithfully reflect what residents say they want.

We explore design choices that reflect Oceano’s cultural diversity, historical heritage, essential character, and small-town feel.

We explore economic choices that stimulate the local economy, create jobs and affordable housing for Oceano residents, and optimize financial returns to the County.


The Council consists of nine members whose function is to provide oversight and guidance in the setting of development priorities and targets laid out in the OEDC Work Plan. The Council’s chief role is to sustain a community development process that leads to County approval of a plan to redevelop Oceano based on the land-use preferences of its residents and on regional economic benefits.

Implementation of the Work Plan is the responsibility of the four-member Task Group made up of the Council Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Communications Director. Within the Task Group, decisions on issues and opportunities are generally reached by consensus, with the Chair reserving the right to overrule.

The Chair has overall responsibility for setting direction, coordinating long-range development projects, and updating targets and tasks in the OEDC Work Plan. The Vice Chair assists the Chair and coordinates near-term development efforts. The Treasurer prepares and administers the budget and fund-raising activity including filings and reports required by the Council’s fiscal sponsor, Ecologistics, Inc. The Communications Director oversees public relations through the media, press and website.

Nick Alter, Chair & Co-Founder

Nick Alter is a retired business executive who spent most of his professional career developing and running businesses in the information industry. During his last eight years in business, he was president and CEO of a real-estate information systems company that was acquired by Norwest Mortgage (Wells Fargo) during his presidency. He had previously spent more than 20 years in business development and start-up management with a Xerox information company before leaving to start a new information company on his own. Since retiring on the Central Coast of California, he served for six years as a charter board member, vice president and head of government relations for SLO Green Build. He was also a co-founder and board member of SEA Change (Strategic Energy Alliance), a coalition of business, university and government agencies and community organizations in San Luis Obispo that introduced Community Choice Aggregation (now CCE) to local governments. Although not an Oceano resident, the Oceano Beach Community Association invited him to serve as its community development advisor in the Spring of 2018, in which capacity he undertook the Oceano redevelopment initiative with Cal Poly and has led the initiative ever since.

John Day, Treasurer

John Day is the Director of Development at People’s Self-Help Housing which is a 51-year-old, San Luis Obispo based, affordable housing developer serving San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. As Director, John oversees the development team which builds affordable housing projects serving low-income families, veterans, the homeless, youth in transition and farmworkers. Prior to that John worked for Cal Poly where he oversaw an interdisciplinary real estate program which connected students, faculty and the broad array of industries and disciplines within the real estate business. He was responsible for creating new co-curricular programs and opportunities as well as integrating studies between the Architecture, Real Estate Finance, Construction Management, Structural Engineering, City and Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture Departments. John also taught real estate finance and development courses at the University. Prior to working at Cal Poly John was a private real estate developer for more than 20 years in New York City and Baltimore. During that time he worked on acquisitions and dispositions, ground up and adaptive reuse development, debt and equity finance, as well as asset and property management. Property types included multi-family, single family, office, retail and surface and structured parking. John has a bachelor’s degree in history from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He also has a Master’s degree in Real Estate Finance and Development from New York University. John lives in Morro Bay with his wife and two daughters.

Bonnie Ernst, Communications Director

Bonnie Ernst is an Oceano business owner and homeowner who has been a professional videographer/editor for more than 20 years. She began her career as an intern at KING TV News (Seattle) and spent ten years working as a photojournalist with KSBY (San Luis Obispo) and KOMO (Seattle) As an active member of the National Press Photographer’s Association she won numerous awards from the NPPA, the Associated Press and Radio-Television News Directors Association. In 1998 Bonnie opened Pacific Coast Professional Media (PCPM), specializing in promotional-documentary productions. PCPM has produced or worked on projects for various local and national companies, local governments, chambers of commerce, advertising and media outlets, and individuals, as well as for such nonprofits as United Way, The Cal Poly Foundation and City Farm SLO. Bonnie was also a co-founder of the Oceano Beach Community Association and instrumental in sparking the Oceano redevelopment initiative that the OEDC is now championing.

Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia, Member

Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia is the Executive Director for Corazon Latino. This non-profit organization focuses on providing resources for the Latinx Community and/or most vulnerable community of the Central Coast. Erica also serves as a Commissioner for First 5, an independent public agency that focuses on health, education and family support of children for their first five years. For more than a decade Erica was a First 5 School Readiness Site Coordinator in Oceano. During this time, she worked with families struggling to meet basic needs, obtain health services and navigate the school system. Erica is a graduate of the University of Santa Barbara where she earned her BA in Spanish and Latino and Iberian Studies and her MA in Spanish. She holds an Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of Laverne.

Lynne Schlenker, Member

Lynne Schlenker has lived in SLO County for more than 40 years. She is co-owner of The Great American Melodrama in Oceano with her husband, John, and a former active member of the Board of Directors of the South County Chambers of Commerce. Lynne has been involved with many organizations supporting youth and community while raising four children. She says that owning a successful business and property in Oceano gives her “a great desire to help this special, charming, community become more vibrant and economically viable.”

Allene Villa, Member

Allene Villa is a lifelong Oceano resident. She grew up in the 1970s, graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in 1985, and received her B.A. in Political Science in 1994 from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She received a M.A. in Psychology from Chapman University in 2012. She is currently the chair of the Oceano Advisory Council and a director on the Oceano Community Services District. Allene is also a proud homecare provider, IHSS workers’ rights advocate, and former United Domestic Workers of America (UDW) District Chair for San Luis Obispo 2007-2016. She comes from a small family. Her mom—an immigrant from the state of Jalisco in Mexico—single-handedly raised her and her two siblings. As a child, Allene grew up going to the strawberry fields of Oceano helping her mother on the weekends and summers. In the 90s she helped manage her family’s farm labor contracting business, Villa-Baza Farms, from 1990 through 1998.  In 2004 her mother suffered a life-threatening fall and was diagnosed with stage four osteoporosis. Allene became her caregiver at the time to avoid putting her in a care facility. Through lots of care and rehabilitation her mother recuperated. It was this experience that motivated her to become an IHSS workers’ rights advocate. Shortly afterwards, she became UDW San Luis Obispo Chapter Chair, advocating and lobbying for homecare workers in her county and state in order to improve IHSS homecare providers workers’ rights and wages.  Allene Villa loves her beautiful beach town of Oceano and wants to see positive change and economic growth for Oceano. The desire to improve her community led her to become a founding member of the Oceano Beach Community Association and chair for the Oceano Advisory Council.


The Advisory Board’s primary purpose is to be an informal sounding board for the Council. Its members bring a broad range of knowledge, perspective, and critical thinking to the decision-making process. Advisors may be asked to review planning studies and advise on strategy. Their most important near-term function is to help regionalize support for and the advancement of Oceano’s redevelopment throughout the County, especially in South County. They also serve to bring credence to OEDC’s public outreach efforts by lending their names and reputations to these efforts.

Advisors are selected based on their knowledge and experience in community planning and public service along with their commitment to the OEDC’s stated vision, mission, and guiding principles.

Doreen Liberto, AICP, MDR

Partner, Earth Design International
Former San Luis Obispo County Planning Commissioner
Former Adjunct Professor, Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, City and Regional Planning
Board of Directors, Ecologistics
Former President of League of California Cities Planning & Community Development Department

Tom O’Malley, Former Mayor

City of Atascadero

James Papp

Chair, Cultural Heritage Committee
City of San Luis Obispo

Jim Richardson, Founder/CEO

Click-Thru Consulting

Bill Siembieda, Professor Emeritus

Former Department Head of City and Regional Planning
Former Director of the Resilient Communities Research Institute
Cal Poly University

Chuck Stevenson, AICP

Former Planning Commissioner, City of San Luis Obispo
Retired Division Manager for Long Range Planning,
County of San Luis Obispo, Dept. of Planning & Bldg.

Dan Sutton

General Manager
Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange
Member & Past President
Board of Directors
San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau

Ken Trigueiro, CEO & President

Peoples Self-Help Housing

Project Advisory Committee

The Project Advisory Committee (PAC) was formed to oversee a community-wide land-use preference study and action plan that grad students in Cal Poly’s City and Regional Planning (CRP) Program will be conducting during the 2021-22 academic year:

The study is aimed at laying a foundation for Oceano’s future development and growth, and will build on prior studies and plans done by students in Cal Poly’s City & Regional Planning Program, School of Architecture and Business School since the fall of 2018.

Made up of 22 members representing 14 stakeholder groups, plus two special advisers, the PAC will be feeding back to the CRP students on their work at four professionally facilitated meetings over the six-month duration of the study and planning process.

PAC members are asked to oversee an independent study process that follows the Guiding Principles stated above, free of any perceived influence by the OEDC. In its selection of PAC members, the OEDC has reached out to stakeholder groups and individuals that have a wide and diverse range of views on the issues. The OEDC’s role is a purely exploratory one that neither prescribes solutions nor takes positions on issues.


Doreen Liberto, AICP, MDR
Partner, Earth Design International
Former San Luis Obispo County Planning Commissioner
Former Adjunct Professor, Cal Poly University, City & Regional Planning

Bill Siembieda, Professor Emeritus
Former Department Head of City and Regional Planning
Former Director of the Resilient Communities Research Institute
Cal Poly University

John Day, Development Director
People’s Self-Help Housing

Allene Villa, Chair
Oceano Advisory Council

Charles Varni, Vice Chair
Oceano Advisory Council

Erica Ruvalcaba Heredia, Director
Promotores Collaborative

Maria Patino, Member
Promotores Collaborative

Liliana Vega,
Vice President, Latino Outreach Council
4-H Youth Development Advisor
University of California

Dan Sutton, General Manager
Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange

Lynne Schlenker, Co-owner
Great American Melodrama Theater

Nancy and Rafael Mendoza, Co-owners
Central Market

Jack Quint, Co-owner
Quintessa’s Coffee

Maria Ramos, Co-owner
Efren’s Restaurant

Max Pimental, Owner
and daughter Maxine Pimental
Chachos Mexican Takeout

Fabian Lopez, Owner
LaTapatia Markets & Deli

Mauri Tamborra

Joleane Walker, Interim Manager
Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Resort

Blanca and Aurelio Fernandez
Christina Casillas

Jim DeCecco
Five Cities Head Start and
5 Cities Boys & Girls Club

Allene Villa
Oceano Beach Community Association

Bonnie Ernst
People for the Dunes

Robyn Harris
Tierra Nueva Co-Housing

Eva Ulz
South County Historical Society

James Papp
Chair, Cultural Heritage Committee

Dr. David Duke
Friends of the Airport

Cal Poly Faculty Contributors

Pratish Patel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Finance Department

Leads the financial analysis and economic modeling of CRP concept plans for the Oceano Economic Development Council

Kelly Main, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Master’s Program Coordinator, City & Regional Planning

Will be leading the 2021-22 Fall and Winter term planning studio on a community-wide land-use preference study for the Oceano Economic Development Council

Cornelius Nuworsoo, Ph.D., AICP

Professor, City & Regional Planning

Led the 2018-19 Fall and Winter term planning studio on the Oceano Community Plan Update for the Oceano Beach Community Association

Bill Siembieda, Professor Emeritus

Former Department Head of City and Regional Planning
Former Director of the Resilient Communities Research Institute
Cal Poly University
Led the Spring 2019 planning studio that produced 14 separate plans including two specific plans for the redevelopment of Pier Avenue and the Oceano Airport.