Friends of the Inyo Staff


Wendy Schneider, Executive Director

A native of East Tennessee, Wendy began her political work in Washington, D.C. where she participated in campaigns and lobbying efforts on behalf of Al Gore, Handgun Control and U.S. PIRG.  Environment California recruited her to run their Los Angeles fundraising office, so she moved out West, became a lawyer, founded and ran a non-profit benefiting street children in India, and discovered the Eastern Sierra. As Executive Director of Friends of the Inyo, Wendy is excited to use her political, fundraising and legal expertise to continue increasing the organization’s ability to protect the Eastern Sierra’s public lands.

Michael Cleaver, Operations Manager

Michael grew up in the Mojave Desert with dreams of escaping the big city for wild spaces.  After studying environmental science and business at the University of Oregon he worked with federal and local agencies studying hydro-ecology on Oregon’s beautiful coastline.  He returned to the desert for a field position with US Geological Survey leading botany crews through the Mojave Desert, Death Valley, and the high Sierra mountains.  Afterwards he founded a local organic produce service for the amazing communities of Bishop, Lone Pine, and Mammoth Lakes.  As a non-profit volunteer in college and direct monthly supporter of environmental non-profits Michael understands how highly donors value the work that each dollar of donations enable.  Michael is excited to work closely with each staff person to effectively manage budgets, communicate results, and analyze opportunities for the donors and our mission.


Alex Ertaud, Communications and Outreach Manager

Though he grew up in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, Alex is continually trying to repent for his original sin by doing all he can for the Eastern Sierra’s critters, ecosystems, and fellow humans. When not pounding the pavement and spreading the good word about what Friends of the Inyo has going on, you can find him running and biking around, enjoying the spectacular topographical relief the Sierra, White, and Inyo mountain ranges offer. Alex has a passion for storytelling (and listening), particularly at the intersection of the natural world, adventure, and human experience. So next time you see him, share the story of your favorite epic.


Jora Fogg, Policy Director

Jora Fogg joined Friends of the Inyo in April 2014. As the lead on public lands policy, Jora comments on public lands projects across Inyo and Mono Counties, and leads exploration outings to highlight special places in the Eastern Sierra and California Desert. Jora grew up and went to college in Washington State, moving to California in 2004. Previously she spent four years in Colorado with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies as a biologist managing state and park service bird monitoring programs. She lives in June Lake with her husband and daughter.  Jora enjoys time “naturalizing” (especially birding), skiing, hiking, and cycling.

Julia Runcie, Stewardship Director

Halfway through her first week in the Eastern Sierra, Julia decided she wanted to stay forever. She led canoe tours for the Mono Lake Committee, tracked Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and volunteered with Inyo County Search and Rescue before returning briefly to her native Vermont to earn a Master of Science in Ecological Planning. Now, Julia leads Friends of the Inyo’s on-the-ground efforts to restore and steward the Eastern Sierra’s spectacular public lands.