WRA, Inc. is excited to announce our new principals and recent staff promotions!
Matt has 21 years of experience, nearly half of those years tenured with WRA. He launched WRA’s Petaluma office in 2018 and continues to lead a multidisciplinary team focusing on a diverse range of projects in the North Bay. Matt is one of WRA’s experts on coastal ecology and mitigation banking. He is passionate about habitat conservation, restoration, resource management, and public access.
Leslie joined WRA in 2018 and has 27 years of experience working in both public and private sectors. She specializes in managing multidisciplinary teams to support clients through complex environmental permitting, mitigation, and monitoring efforts for a diverse range of projects in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Leslie leads numerous projects with complex natural resource and regulatory components, including wetland and Bay fringe restoration work, as well as her support for numerous public agencies including cities, counties, and special districts.
Rob Schell has been promoted to Wildlife & Fisheries Director. With WRA since 2007, he has more than 16 years of experience, both managing and performing key technical roles in dozens of public and private sector projects throughout California. In his new role, Rob will ensure that WRA’s work reflects the best-available science. By cultivating an innovative technical environment, Rob and his team of experts deliver practical solutions in support of WRA clients and projects.
Patricia Valcarcel has been promoted to Regulatory Program Director. She has a decade of tenure with WRA, which has given her a wealth of experience in both wildlife biology and regulations to support clients and projects with complex regulatory challenges involving special-status species and conservation planning. In her new role, Patricia ensures continued education is a priority at WRA, as well as staying informed of the latest regulations and policies, which provides our clients with the most current and efficient entitlement strategies. Through engagement with agency personnel, she also ensures WRA is involved with policy and guidance updates to encourage improvements in implementation. Patricia is committed to maintaining WRA’s standard of excellence in environmental resource permitting from the initial design and planning phase to compliance.
Virginia Mahacek has been promoted to Principal Geomorphologist. Since joining WRA in 2019, Virginia has focused on further expanding the company’s landscape and engineering restoration design team, providing geomorphic and hydrologic input to a range of habitat restoration and mitigation banking projects. She has leveraged decades of experience leading stream restoration projects through planning, design, environmental review, and construction for successful implementation of several of WRA’s design projects. Simultaneously, Virginia has been working to build WRA’s planning, technical studies, and actions that advance ecological and community resiliency. She focuses on regional scale wildfire hazard reduction and recovery work in particular, while growing the company’s climate change adaptation efforts related to wildfire, drought, flooding, and sea level rise.
In addition, we celebrate the following team members who earned promotions in 2021:
- Stewart DesMeules, Fisheries Biologist
- Brian Kearns, Biologist
- Molly Matson, Wildlife Biologist
- Rei Scampavia, Biologist
- Katie Smith, Wildlife Biologist
- Mikia Weidenbach, GIS Analyst
- Jemma Williams, Biologist
Congratulations to these individuals for their accomplishments and commitment to the company’s vision, ‘cultivating a sustainable future where people and the environment thrive’.