Petaluma Trolley Board of Directors
Lauren Williams, President
Lauren Williams is a founding director of Petaluma Trolley and has been involved in the museum for 13 years. He has had 18 years of experience as a vehicular designer, 15 years in public transit and 6 years in regional and community planning.
His practical, professional and mechanical experience provides guidance for community promotion, and trolley and track restoration.
Christopher Stevick, Managing Director
Christopher Stevick is a licensed contractor with a degree in art history. He has spent 14 years on the Board of Directors of Petaluma’s preservation organization, Heritage Homes, including three terms as president. He chaired the Preservation Advisory Committee for the City of Petaluma and has been a judge for Petaluma’s outstanding preservation awards for 18 years. He started the Sienna Building’s storefront restoration in downtown Petaluma. He does maintenance and restorations for many of our major commercial and residential buildings. Chris designed Petaluma’s Sesquicentennial logo and put the trestle in the center of it. He has organized some 20 tours and fundraisers for Heritage Homes and the Petaluma Trolley. He has detailed numerous downtown buildings and homes with period-correct design and fine craftsmanship.
He received an award for “Outstanding Professional Preservation” in 2003. In 2007, Chris received an award for Outstanding Preservation Leadership from Heritage Homes. Since 2002, he has spearheaded Petaluma’s trolley track and trestle movement, creating awareness of our unique history and its potential for preservation for the use and enjoyment of future generations.
Richard Fries, Coordinator/Curator
Richard Fries has spent the last 5 years as a member of the Trolley Board, and has served as the Librarian/Archivist, Special Projects Team Leader and is currently the Museum Coordinator/Curator. Richard also volunteers as a Restoration member for the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society as well as the I.T. Administrator for the N.W.P. society. Professionally, Richard has spent 30 plus years in Information Technology and is currently performing Project Management and Restoration work for Streetcar Investment Group, restoring controller electronics for antique Trolley and Streetcars for clients such as Memphis Area Transit Authority and the Municipal Railroad of San Franscisco.
Richard has been involved with local history over the 27 years he has lived in Petaluma,, specializing in Californias early railroad and gold rush history. Married for 26 years with an 16 year old son, he also has 4 cats.
Kathy Fries, Director
Kathy Fries has spent more than a few family vacations centered around trains: Gold country – specifically for a rail symposium in Jamestown, yearly Santa Cruz getaways which include watching the diesel on the boardwalk and a trip up to Roaring Camp & Big Trees to ride their mountain top stream train, and visiting the Sugar Pine Railroad after a stay in Yosemite. Did she mention the Skunk Train trip on her honeymoon? Kathy was thrilled when she found a new train museum in her own town.
Fries has been active in Petaluma’s history for many years. Working as Museum Coordinator at the local history museum, she became fascinated with artifacts, the stories they told, and the archiving process. She brings her archiving and museum management skills to the Petaluma Trolley Living History Railway Museum. She is a Leadership Petaluma 02-03 graduate and has chaired their “History Day” class each year since. Fries was awarded the “Good Egg” award in 2009 for her positively promoting Petaluma’s history. She has lived in Petaluma since 1989.
Ralph Scott, Publicity
Petaluma Trolley Board member, Ralph Scott has authored more than 1,600 children’s poems as part of his Toad Pizza collection, and developed more than 20 children’s literary properties under the Too Nuts Productions, LLC banner. He is also a Developmental Editor whose portfolio includes a wide variety of national and international writer and author clientele. His early years in entertainment included publicity at Fox Broadcasting Co., Universal Studios Florida, NBC, and more. He has a goldfish named Mary and a four-year-old daughter named LuLu, who named the goldfish. As a child as young as LuLu, Ralph was enamored with his Lionel trains. Still is apparently.
Melanie Dado-Stammler, Event Manager
Melanie was born and raised in Petaluma and is a 4th generation native. She has created a new venture called The Bus Shoppe on the heels of owning and operating a brick and mortar retail store in Petaluma for a decade. She offers chic shopping in a cool and completely converted 25 foot school bus ~ transformed into a mobile fashion boutique. In the summer, you can find Melanie in her bus at Music festivals, private parties and Galas in the greater bay area. Melanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University in Kinesiology with a minor in art studies. There is no doubt that she is a people person, always striving to connect with her clients.
Melanie is a jewelry designer at heart, working with hand wired sterling silver, precious gemstones and pearls and she is a mixed media artist who enjoys graphic design work, photography and painting. Melanie has volunteered her time as coach for Casa Grande High School JV team, the Petaluma Girls Softball Association, and still actively plays softball. She will continue to support local non-profits in their causes indefinitely. Her passion for preserving the Trolley and Trestle is simple; Petaluma has always been home to the Trolley and the great Trestle at the turning basin and they are a true landmark for Petaluma. They have been and should continue to be significant components of our rich, unique city.