TCEP’s vision and management is overseen by our Board of Directors.
Board members all serve without compensation.
As a marketing communications writer/consultant with a degree in graphic design, I’m an inveterate
I-dotter and T-crosser. So when I decided to move to Topanga in 1989, the top item on my house hunting
list was a home with multiple evacuation routes in case all hell broke loose in the Canyon. Most people
focus on bedrooms and such. Not me.
Barely three years later, all hell did indeed break loose and my family evacuated in the smoke of the
1993 Topanga fire. This was the massive fire that birthed TCEP. About a decade later, I put on my TCEP
volunteer hat to help my fellow neighbors plan and prepare for fires and other emergencies.
TCEP has been my best and most rewarding volunteer experience. I get to collaborate not only with dedicated
TCEPers but also the many talented folks who run all the other Topanga volunteer groups and give back so much
to our community.
I moved to Topanga in 1994. I owned a home in the Cheney neighborhood for 14 years, then built a house and moved to my current residence off Old Canyon in 2008. Prior to my living in either, both burned to the ground. The Cheney home in '49, and my current residence in the last big Topanga Fire, the "Old Topanga Fire” of '93. Safe to say, I am very aware of the fragile fire environment we Topangans live in.
I work in the Entertainment industry as a First Assistant Director and have been a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) since 1990.
I have been a volunteer with TCEP since shortly after Y2K, active with Topanga CERT, NPS/State Parks Mountain Bike Unit (MBU) and the Sheriff’s Department Disaster Communications Service (DCS). I can often be found biking the roads and trails of Topanga and the Santa Monica Mountains both day and night.
I moved to Topanga Canyon with my wife Debra in 1993. We survived fires, floods, and an earthquake, all within about a year of moving in. It's a blessing to live in this magnificent place. All Topangans need to work together to keep it safe.
After establishing our Topanga roots, we opened Abuelitas Mexican Restaurant in 2000, then sold the local gathering place in 2007. I served as President of the Topanga Chamber of Commerce in 2004 and 2005. Our two sons, Cameron and Ben, were both born and raised in Topanga and attended Topanga Elementary.
We actively support several local causes, including Topanga Women's Circle and Topanga Community Club, where I’ve been the Games Master for Topanga Days since 2006.
Volunteering may be genetic. My mother and grandmother were both RNs and never stopped giving of themselves. Mom did nine Red Cross deployments and always came back with uplifting stories. This noble concept of helping others became part of my DNA.
My TCEP volunteering arose from my interest in ham radios. My wife and I moved to the Canyon in April, 2000 and attended a neighborhood meeting within a day or two of closing escrow. Fred Feer, one of the founders of TCEP, was at the meeting and asked, “Who has a ham license?” I raised my hand not realizing that I was volunteering to head up TCEP’s Disaster Radio Team (DRT). Even though I had limited experience with ham radios at the time, I took on the challenge (thanks for those genes Mom!) and I’m still one of the DRT leaders today.
Besides ham radios, I enjoy sailing, hiking and traveling to unusual locales.
My husband Nathan, who grew up in Old Topanga, gets credit for suggesting we move to Topanga from Santa Monica with our two children in October 2016. I love it here. The landscape is beautiful, the air is clean and I feel like I’m living in a treehouse! As soon as I turn onto Topanga Canyon Boulevard on the way home from work, the tensions of the day start to melt away. Not long after we moved in, there were fires, rainstorms and road closings – all of which reminded me of the need to have a plan and be prepared in the case of emergency.
I learned about TCEP through my neighbor and fellow board member Adam Silbar. I am honored and excited to be a part of it. I am an attorney at Robins Kaplan in Century City where I represent business and individuals in complex commercial disputes, business torts and intellectual property matters including copyright, trademark, unfair competition and false advertising.
For fun I like to hang out with my kids, go to the beach and read a good book.
John Mac Neil
I first met this wonderful place called Topanga back in 1952 when I hiked here a few times with friends. I knew right away there was something special about this canyon.
In 1957 I married Pat, built our home in Woodland Hills a few years later and started my career in land surveying. As more and more homes were built up in our neighborhood, we wanted to move to a place where we could have more open space around us. I had been working in Topanga since 1972 so I kept an eye out for property where we could build our dream home. I found the ideal Topanga parcel in 1977. We built a house, set up our home in 1979 and have loved living here ever since.
Pat has been a lifelong volunteer. She was one of the founders of TCEP in 1993 and I also became involved almost immediately. Pat continued to run TCEP until she retired in 2010.
After decades of living in this perilous paradise, I understand the need for everyone in Topanga to become disaster savvy and how communication plays such a critical role in emergency preparedness.
TOPANGA COALITION FOR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS IS A 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION (NGO)
The Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness (TCEP) is a Non-Governmental Organization comprised entirely of citizen volunteers. TCEP gathers information from Los Angeles County agencies and credible sources and disseminates this information to the public before, during and after disasters, including, but not limited to, wildfires, earthquakes, mudslides, and floods, which may occur in and around the Topanga area. While TCEP strives to provide accurate information to the public, TCEP cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy of information it disseminates. TCEP is not responsible or liable for any injuries, claims, losses, damages, and/or expenses that may befall any person, property or structure arising out of or resulting from the implementation or non-implementation of any actions based on any or all information reported by TCEP volunteers.