CC Bios

Meet the Coordinating Council

Heart & Soul Team

Greg Staininger

My great-great grandmother arrived in California at age 9 in the family covered wagon in 1852, so I am a fourth generation Californian.  I was in college during the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and in the waters off Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. My career was preparing Disaster Recovery Plans and Emergency Response Plans for various business entities including the DWP and MWD.  I was behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany, by mistake, in 1968. I have worked summers in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. After seven years in Savannah, we moved to the home I had inherited in Yucca Valley. I first went to a TJT General Membership Meeting two years ago, mostly because I’m married to a social activist.  My interest was permaculture, but I had a conflict with their meeting time, so I joined my wife at the Heart & Soul Team – I couldn’t imagine what they were about.


Enterprise Team

Jennifer Jungwirth

TJT Enterprise Team Member Jennifer Jungwirth is one of three high school Spanish Teachers at Yucca Valley High School.  She is also the coordinator of the AVID program, which teaches students how to get into four year colleges. A graduate of the University of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Jennifer is an avid traveler and also speaks French.  In her spare time, (ha!) Jennifer raises chickens, gardens, is on a bowling league, crafts, cooks for the Joshua Tree Local Food Program and co-hosts a gardening class for the local 4-H group. She holds the position of Team Baker for the  E-Team. Jennifer lives with two enormous dogs,  Mobi & Bella and a normal sized husband, Brian.

Debbie Hopkins

Permaculture Team


My first experience of Joshua Tree was attending a workshop at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center and fell in love with the area. As the desert does, it pulled me back out here, and I moved to Joshua Tree from the LA area a year and a half ago.  I have always enjoyed gardening, but the desert has its unique set of challenges. The Permaculture team has been a great experience and given me valuable tools to work with as well as a great group of friends.  When I’m not practicing permaculture or swinging on my backyard swing set, I am a massage and myofascial release therapist currently working at Family Chiropractic in Yucca Valley.

Water Team

056Joseph Fairbanks moved to the deserts of Southern California in 1998, straight out of the University of Idaho. Joe has spent the last 13 years in the Renewable Energy Industry as a consultant and sales professional, with a focus on residential solar photovoltaics.   ‘As I have moved across California in my professional life, my personal life – Patricia and music – has continually brought me back to Joshua Tree which I now call home’. Joe has worked for BP Solar, Grape Solar, Costco (online), The Home Depot, Real Goods Solar, Solar Service Center and several solar contractors.  ‘The ideal of conservation, power generation, self-sufficiency, economy and society have all led me to Transition Joshua Tree.’ Joe joined the TJT Water Team in 2013 and became a representative from that group to the Coordinating Council in the spring of 2014.  ‘Working with Transition Joshua Tree, we can follow our natural instinct to act in community for our community.’

CC Administrative Team

martin photoWebmaster:

Martin Mancha has been working in the creative field since 1995 with extensive experience in the entertainment industry in both home entertainment and theatrical, while working with over a dozen design studios & advertising agencies. Martin has also worked with a wide variety of clientele & cooperatives on many forms of print, promotions & web materials, including logo design identity, web design & development and digital composition. Website



Susan's bio image-1Communications Director: 

Susan Jordan is an original member of the TJT Heart & Soul Team, has served on several special project teams, was elected to the first Coordinating Council and has now stepped into the role of Communications Director.  In real life, she has a degree in journalism from Michigan State University, runs and alternative school, practices and teaches taijiquan, hosts a meditation group, gardens and raises chickens. She also represents the H & S Team on the CC.



Our sincere thanks to past Initiating Group members, Jill Giegerich, Stacy Doolittle, Karen Tracy, Janet Tucker and Gregory Glenn, Douglas Buckley, Travis Puglisi and Ted Milson! 

And thank you to retired original Coordinating Council members Tim DeLorey & Beth St. John.

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