Patty Brissenden, Emeritus Chair


Patty Brissenden, Board Chair Emeritus, lives in the incredibly beautiful Hope Valley, home to Sorensen’s Resort, which she has co-owned with her husband John for over 30 years.  Patty is credited with helping found Friends of Hope Valley, which worked with other non-profit organizations to garner $25 million in state and federal funds to put 25,000 acres of private ranch lands into public ownership.  She was a key speaker at the first “Sierra Now” conference held in Sacramento in 1992.  She is founder and former Board member/Chair of the Sierra Nevada Alliance.

Before moving to the Sierra, she and John lived in Santa Cruz County, where Patty served as the Chief of Staff to then Assemblymember Sam Farr (now a Congressman).  She also worked on Leon Panetta’s first Congressional campaign there during the 1970’s. During that time she helped with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and was a founder and board member of the local National Women’s Political Caucus. She was the first woman elected to the Santa Cruz County Port Commission. During a year-long sojourn in Washington D.C. in the early 1990’s, Patty and John volunteered for the Clinton White House.  Patty has four children and is a happy grandmother of six.