POST Welcomes Two Board Members
One new and one returning Board member joined the POST leadership team in January — Dennis DeBroeck of Portola Valley is new, and Robert (Bob) Kirkwood of Palo Alto returns after a “sabbatical” of two years.
The Peninsula’s open land was a powerful lifestyle magnet for Dennis DeBroeck. He moved here in 1976 after growing up in Colorado where he developed a love of the outdoors. From a rental house in Portola Valley Ranch he had a view of Windy Hill and could walk right out the door onto beautiful trails. He vowed then that if he ever could, he would live in Portola Valley. By 1989 Dennis and his wife, Nancy Heinen, became permanent Portola Valley residents. A view of Windy Hill and trails they can walk to are still as important as ever.
Now a senior partner at Fenwick & West, Dennis has entrepreneurial POST Welcomes Two Board Members and managerial experience as a lawyer. He has worked with companies through all phases of their life cycles. He has also been in leadership positions in successful law firms, beginning with his own firm, established in 1980.
“In a sense the region took shape before I arrived,” says Dennis. “The I-280 corridor divided densely developed areas from the open land— your professional life from your private, recreational life. In the 35 years since then, density has increased east of 280. Thanks to the good work of POST and other organizations, the land west of the corridor retains much of its original character.”
Maybe it’s axiomatic that if you’re highly involved in volunteer work during your professional career, you’ll continue to be so in retirement. For Bob Kirkwood of Palo Alto that is definitely the case. Bob retired in 2000 as director of government and education affairs for Hewlett-Packard. His volunteer resumé was already distinguished. After 12 years on the POST Board, Bob took a short sabbatical, returning in January.
In 1979, when POST was a fledgling organization, Bob was recruited to the first Advisory Council because of his broad experience in statewide environmental issues as well as his legal expertise in land-use planning. His first Board term began in 1998 and concluded in 2010. During that tenure, Bob was involved in developing strategies to manage POST-protected land.
What drew him back? “In addition to having a congenial group of people with whom to work, I am most happy to have a small part in the many projects on the horizon,” said Bob. “The organization has matured, and it is time now to help develop an innovative new vision for POST. I look forward to helping shape that vision and put it into practice.”
For years Bob has helped shape statewide conservation policy and promoted cooperation between government and private agencies. He formerly served as chairman of the California State Coastal Conservancy. Besides his work with POST, Bob currently holds advisory positions with the Trust for Public Land and is a member of the board of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. He is co-chair of the Santa Clara County Partnership for School Readiness and chairman of the Bella Vista Foundation, a family foundation that works to improve early childhood development.