CA-NV Chapter Leadership
Dick Waugh was born and raised in the Oroville, CA area. He served in the U.S. Army as a military police officer. He returned to Oroville and, after attending college, became a police officer with the Oroville Police Dept. He served with the Oroville Police Dept., Butte County Sheriff’s office and finished his career as the Chief of Police in Williams, CA. He retired in 2006. He currently works part time as a Butte County District Attorney Investigator.
Mark’s trail interest developed in the mid 1990’s when he purchased abook about John C. Fremont. He was hooked. After retiring from academic life, teaching forest ecology, he started a history tour business and that was when he became involved in OCTA. One of the projects he is now coordinating is the California Trails Auto Route Sign Project. Having spent most of his professional career in education he looks forward to working with the OCTA membership in our education efforts.
Ken is a retired educator and has been actively involved with California Historic Trails since 1974, when he was hired by Lassen National Park to develop a living history program to interpret the development of the Lassen and Nobles Trails, which are closely associated with the National Park. In 2012, he published a book titled Legendary Truths, Peter Lassen and His Gold Rush Trail in Fact and Fable.
He has been active in attending California-Nevada Chapter of OCTA Board meetings, national OCTA conventions, and trail tours and outings. He also attends Trails West meetings and outings to map and preserve the trails.
Steve is a member of several historical societies and organizations. He has always enjoyed studying the history of America’s western migration. In fact, some of his ancestors came west on the California trails in the 1860’s. He is retired from many years of teaching and coaching at the high school level. An active member of a Northern California Civil War reenacting club, local schools ask him to come in each year to talk about the Civil War battles and what it is like to reenact. As a Board Member of the CA/NV Chapter of OCTA, he has set up chapter display tables and attended events to make the public aware of OCTA’s dedication to the preservation, appreciation, and enjoyment of the emigrant trails.
John has been a member of OCTA since 1995 attending all of the National Conventions since 1996. His career spanned 36 years in property valuation, serving the last 10 years, prior to his retirement in 2002, as the Elected County Assessor of El Dorado County, California. Additionally, he taught fundamental and advanced real estate appraisal at the Junior College level for 20 years. John has had the privilege of studying western history for over 50 years visiting many of the mining camps in California, Nevada and Utah. Currently he is working with an OCTA team mapping the Johnson’s Cutoff emigrant trail in California and Nevada. For therapy, he and his wife Susan own and operate a small choose and cut Christmas Tree Farm in Placerville, California.
Howdy and his wife Katrina have been members of OCTA since 2010. They live in Sacramento and have four children and four grandchildren. Howdy graduated from Sacramento High School and CSUS with a Construction Engineering Management degree. He worked for the Division of Highways (Cal Trans), El Dorado Irrigation District, a private engineering contractor, and the County of Sacramento in a construction management capacity.
He retired in 2000 and is currently a docent at Sutter’s Fort. His main duties there are maintaining and interpreting their 1840s era covered wagon. He also participates, in costume, in their Living History programs and teaches classes to parents and teachers of fourth grade students involved in the Environmental Living Program.
Other living history events held annually that he participates in are: “Trail Days” at the California Trail Museum in Elko, NV, “Diggins” at Columbia State Park, and “The River Trip” at Red Bluff and Colusa.
He is one of Frank Tortorich’s Wedge Warriors helping each year with trail maintenance and sign installation on the Carson Trail. Howdy attends OCTA chapter symposiums and is currently helping with the planning of the 2015 OCTA convention.
In 2001 Phyllis got her first taste of PITdom, repairing historic cabins, excavating 19th century logging sites and best of all, searching for remnants of emigrant trails, volunteering for more than 20 projects with the US Forest Service’s Passport in Time program. This brought her into contact with OCTA members and she joined up to see what the fuss was about, and before long she was managing the registration process for the 2015 annual convention in South Lake Tahoe. Phyllis lives in Yuba City, one-quarter mile from where she was born, but she’s been around the world and has worked in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. In her day job she’s a technology consultant.
Kathy became interested in OCTA about 3 years ago after learning about it at a conference of the California Council for the Social Studies. CCSS is an organization with which she was involved for over 20 years having served the group in a variety of capacities from holding state wide offices to working on the annual conferences. As a new member of OCTA and the CA-NV chapter, she is looking forward to becoming involved and participating in the many varied activities.
While she was teaching, she spent many summers viewing the Oregon Trail landmarks, visiting gold mining towns in Montana, seeing battle sites between the Plains Indians and the US Army, and seeing Revolutionary War and Civil War sites. Even though the purpose of each trip was to gain an awareness of these moments in history, it was also to have visuals to use in her American History classroom. Now that she is retired, after 40 years of teaching History to middle school students, she is finding new avenues to explore which will continue to stoke her passion for history. OCTA and the California-Nevada chapter will provide learning opportunities in new directions.