Get to Know Your Current Board Members
Tahoe Donner’s board of directors is the governing body of the association and is ultimately responsible for the oversight of the affairs of the organization. Made up of five unpaid volunteers, the directors are elected by the membership and serve three-year terms.
As representatives for the property owners, the directors oversee a $20 million business with real estate values of $3.2 billion. Board members are familiar with and abide by the bylaws, rules and regulations of the governing documents of the association. They participate in annual education and training and are up to date on the laws, including the Davis-Stirling Act, which went into effect in January 2014. Current board members come from a wide variety of backgrounds and represent an impressive range of professional expertise.
But who exactly are the board members? Our board is made up of people just like you. They live in Tahoe Donner either full- or part-time, they visit and enjoy our amenities, and they want only the best for our community as whole.
Don Koenes, President
Don Koenes was elected to the board in summer 2018 after more than a dozen years as a Tahoe Donner homeowner. Koenes and his wife, Denise, spend much of their time in Roseville, but stay in Tahoe Donner for about four months each year.
“Tahoe Donner has something for everyone, no matter what the season of the year or the season of your life,” Koenes says. “For me, it is a place for my family to gather, to enjoy the outdoors, to be happy together, and it is a place to make new friends.”
Koenes isn’t new to the association’s governance. He has volunteered on the General Plan Committee Task Force and sat through countless board meetings. Congestion at Tahoe Donner amenities during peak seasons convinced him to get more involved in the association, but helping maintain the community’s quality of life, safety, value proposition and family focus is where Koenes wants to make a difference.
“One person’s suggestion is another person’s criticism,” Koenes says, noting that running a $24 million business with nearly 6,500 homes isn’t a simple proposition. “Regardless, everyone has the same motivation: making Tahoe Donner better, from whatever their perspective. Perspectives range from personal enjoyment to financial concerns, from member rights to providing good guest experiences, too.
“Our amenities must be well maintained to serve our members and guests of members well, including capacity for enjoyment. And we must do all of this in a fiscally responsible manner, with broad member input. I was not a single-issue candidate, nor will I be a single-issue board member.”
Benjamin Levine, Vice President
Born and raised in Marin County, Benjamin Levine grew up spending weekends and holidays at his family’s cabin at the west end of Donner Lake.
In the summer, the focus was on the water: fishing in the morning and windsurfing in the afternoon. In the winter, Benjamin was usually cross-country skiing with his parents and older sister at Tahoe Donner. “In the early days, it was all three-pin bindings, diagonal stride, and wool knickers!”
Shortly before he headed east to attend Haverford College near Philadelphia, Benjamin’s family decided to sell the Donner Lake cabin. “It wasn’t an easy decision. We loved the mountains, and wanted to maintain a connection to this area. I think we all knew that, one day, we’d return.”
Politics was Benjamin’s first passion, and even as a child he followed campaigns and elections the way other children followed sports. “Party conventions were my Olympics, and presidential campaigns were my World Cups. There was never any doubt about what I would study or where I’d focus professionally.”
After college, Benjamin returned to the West Coast, eventually settling in Santa Monica. With the whole family back in California, planning began to build a new family gathering place in the mountains. “We remembered Tahoe Donner. With all of its amenities and recreational opportunities, we knew it offered the complete package. We never considered any other community.”
When Benjamin’s sister gave birth to twins, the new Tahoe Donner family home became even more special. “It was important that my niece and nephew grew up having the kind of experiences my sister and I enjoyed at Donner Lake. Tahoe Donner gave them those experiences, along with so much more.”
In search of a healthier and less stressful lifestyle, in 2010 Benjamin relocated to Tahoe Donner full time. Committing himself to getting back in shape, he became a regular at Trout Creek Recreation Center, losing 50 pounds and taking up powerlifting. Wishing to get involved with the community, in 2011 he started the Friends of Tahoe Donner Trails Club to organize volunteer stewardship efforts on the Association’s trails and open spaces.
In 2017, Benjamin joined the Trout Creek Task Force, which shepherded the recent gym-side renovation and expansion project through the Tahoe Donner capital projects process. From 2018 until his election to the Board of Directors, he chaired Tahoe Donner’s Trails and Open Space Committee and its predecessor subcommittee. More recently, he co-authored Tahoe Donner’s election campaign reform package and its Director Code of Conduct.
Thinking ahead to his service on the Board of Directors, Benjamin reflected on a lesson he learned from his first passion. “If politics taught me anything, it’s how important it is to see things from other points of view. That’s something we need to remember in Tahoe Donner, because our goal shouldn’t simply be to serve the majority of our members; it should also be to serve the diversity of our members.”
Steve Mahoney, Treasurer
Steve Mahoney grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, the middle child of seven children. He attended Middlebury College in Vermont, earning an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies & Economics. Early in his professional career, and while working full-time, he earned an MBA from the University of Miami Graduate School of Business.
Shortly after graduating from college, Steve began a career in banking that would span four decades. In November 2018, he retired as a Managing Director in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Debt Capital Markets business, where he helped large US and international corporations raise financing from US institutional investors.
A work-related transfer from Chicago to San Francisco in 1995 introduced Steve and his family to the Sierra. He and his wife Carole have been Tahoe Donner homeowners since 2002. They enjoy hiking, skiing, paddleboarding and playing golf. They especially enjoy hosting family gatherings with their daughter Erin, son Brendan and daughter-in-law Aly, all of whom live in New York City. Steve, Carole and their West Highland Terrier Riley now call Tahoe Donner home full-time.
Prior to his election to the Tahoe Donner Board of Directors, Steve served as the Vice Chairman of the Association’s Finance Committee and is also on the Board of Directors of the Tahoe Donner Men’s Golf Club.
He plans to apply the following leadership principles during his time on the Tahoe Donner Board:
1. Set appropriate objectives for our staff, then empower them to do their jobs well
2. Carefully balance the Association’s financial performance and member enjoyment
3. Treat everyone with respect: homeowners, staff, committee members and fellow directors
4. Work collaboratively, listen carefully and build consensus to make decisions that are in the best interest of all Tahoe Donner owners
Courtney Murrell, Secretary
A California native, Courtney Murrell grew up in the east bay, spending winters skiing with her family around Tahoe. She ski raced throughout her childhood and, while in college, won NCAA titles and qualified for the US Diving National team for springboard & platform diving. She achieved her undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University and graduate degree at San Jose State University in exercise physiology.
Starting in Silicon Valley, she worked diligently in the health field, including at Tahoe Forest Hospital, and has managed trade shows and events. Her marketing background, communication skills, energy and enthusiasm make her a voice of the people. Involvement at Tahoe Donner includes camps, aquatics activities and countless volunteer positions in addition to 15 years as a fitness instructor at Trout Creek Recreation Center.
Following her parents, she and her husband have lived at Tahoe Donner for 17 years with their two children. A board member from 2013 to 2016, Courtney is no stranger to improving the association. Her multigenerational connection to this community provides the foundation and passion to revitalize Tahoe Donner.
Working with the new general manager and creating a collegial board will create the necessary driving force to bridge the divisions in our community. Courtney is excited to revive positive leadership, rebuild community connection and refocus Tahoe Donner’s future for generations to come.
When asked of her favorite aspect of Tahoe Donner, she looked to her children for inspiration. “My daughter summed it up by saying she felt connected to her neighborhood. My son said he loved living in a place where he could ‘do it all.’ We are all here to hold a piece of this mountain lifestyle. We are all here for the same reason.”
Jim Roth, Director
Jim Roth resides in Mill Valley with his daughters Ideleine and Annabelle. Jim has been visiting Truckee for more than 35 years.
Roth graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks before attending UC Berkley for law and business school. Roth spent more than 10 years practicing law and another 10 years in investment banking, with a focus on public finance. Jim is now self-employed in real estate investment and management.
Jim has a strong interest in Tahoe Donner’s attractive and affordable amenities. He hopes that they can be maintained, enhanced and sensibly expanded to meet membership needs and wants and to address overcrowding due to the large growth in TD membership.