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Board of Directors & Ambassadors

The Moraga Citizens Network is an all-volunteer organization. If you have interest in supporting our efforts by joining the MCN Board or becoming an MCN Ambassador, please contact us.

The MCN Board focuses on policy issues and direction. MCN Ambassadors pitch in to help with specific MCN projects when they arise. Together, we work to foster community in our town.

Executive Board Members include:
President – Shari Simon
Secretary – Kathy Ranstrom
Treasurer – Dick Courtney
Executive Director – Ellen Beans

2022-2023 Board Members

Ellen Beans (Executive Director) has lived in Moraga since 1981. Trained to teach elementary school, she has spent most of her life in public service and education. In 2006, she helped launch the Chambers’s Community Faire which she coordinated for ten years. Ellen was also an active member on the Board of the Moraga Chamber of Commerce. Since helping to found Moraga Citizens Network in 2005, she has promoted transparency in town government and assisted in getting out information on public meetings to residents. She writes the bi-monthly MCN Link to keep residents informed about Council agenda items, issues, and local events. Her favorite hobby is caring for her garden and enjoying her membership in the Moraga Garden Club. Visits with her 2 daughters and young adult grandkids always brings her joy. Ellen is grateful for husband Larry’s support of her civic involvement.

Sheila Apte raised her two children in Moraga and has been living here since 1977. She worked as a Civil engineer specializing in structural engineering and was instrumental in the design of various structures, mainly bridges, in the Bay Area and around the country. She is an active member of CERT and enjoys volunteering at the Moraga Triathlon and the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival. She is actively involved with the local chapter of AAUW through which she tutors math at an elementary school in Oakland. Encouraging young women and girls to pursue careers in STEM is one of her passions. Through AAUW, she is active in the Tech Trek program for local middle school girls and she also conducts bridge-building workshops for this same demographic at St. Mary’s College during the yearly STEM conference for teens. She likes travelling and playing bridge with her husband and enjoys painting and writing memoirs.

Diane Claytor Diane Claytor, a native of Chicago, has lived in Moraga for 35-plus years. She did administrative office work, primarily for non-profit organizations, before retiring several years ago. With free time on her hands, Diane started volunteering –  she wrote a blog for Walnut Creek’s Diablo Ballet as well as worked in their office and played with kids at the Bay Area Crisis Nursery; she currently edits MCN’s newsletter and sorts books at the Moraga Library. She’s on the Board of Lamorinda Movers and writes their monthly newsletter. She also writes feature stories for the Lamorinda Weekly, focusing mostly on some of Lamorinda’s very interesting residents. Her favorite pastimes are cooking, reading, traveling, walking and playing with her two wonderful grandchildren.

Dick Courtney (MCN Treasurer) has lived in Moraga since 1987.  He was an economist with Bank of America until 1998 and then was employed as a Professor of Economics at Saint Mary’s College of California until his retirement in 2017.  He is active in the Kiwanis Club of Moraga Valley, the SIR organization, and his church.  He enjoys playing tennis and bridge, travel, reading, and hiking and appreciates the opportunity to be a member of the MCN Board as a further means of “giving back” to the Moraga community.  He serves as Treasurer of MCN.

Kathy Ranstrom (MCN Secretary) grew up in Moraga and returned with her own family in 1993. A retired attorney, she has served on the boards of the Moraga Education Foundation, the Camino Pablo and Joaquin Moraga PTAs, the Las Trampas Creek Council of PTAs, and the 32nd District PTA, and currently serves on the Moraga School District Citizens Bond Oversight Committee. She also served on the Moraga School District Governing Board from 2010 to 2014 and on the Moraga Country Club Green Committee from 2014-2019. Kathy enjoys spending time with her family, golf, and reading.

Shari Simon (MCN President) moved to Moraga in 2003. After a 15+ year career at Oracle Corp., leading sales and marketing divisions as well as company-wide strategic initiatives, she retired in 2006. Shari’s community involvement began with the Moraga Juniors’ Garden Tour. She has served on the Moraga Education Foundation Board, Miramonte Swim Club Board, and was a founding Board member of East Bay Eclipse Soccer Club. In 2012, Shari was elected to the Moraga School District Governing Board. Shari joined the MCN Board in 2018. Shari enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, discussing new ideas and ways of looking at the world, travel, and meeting new people.

Ana Zimmank moved to Moraga in 1978 with her husband and 2 sons, both of whom went through Moraga’s fine public schools. Prior to this move, Ana graduated from Dominican College with a major in Business and Finance. She loves her work as a real estate agent, working for over 30 years with Coldwell Banker of Orinda. But she also serves on two board of directors: the Women’s Guild of the Santa Maria Church, Orinda, and the San Francisco Opera East Bay Guild. She was born and raised in El Salvador. Ana loves classical music, helping to protect our fragile environment, and helping other people who are not as fortunate as she has been.

2022-2023 MCN Ambassadors

Ashley Coates

Meghan Arthurs

Marcia & David Farrar

Cheng & Cathy Liao

Richard & Cathy Harris

Susan Sperry

Larry & Carol Tessler

Maura Wolf