Washington State Parks and Recreation Commissioners
The commission is made up of seven citizen members appointed by the governor.
Commissioners may not hold elected or full-time appointive office
during their service and receive no pay beyond legitimate travel expenses.
Rodger Schmitt, Chair
Term expires: Dec. 31, 2014
Rodger Schmitt retired in 2003 as director of the Bureau of Land Management’s National Recreation Program after a 33-year career in leadership in federal service with the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies. He served on the board of the Jefferson Land Trust in Port Townsend for eight years and currently serves on the board of the Jefferson Land Trust Resources, LLC. He also served as deputy associate director of the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors in the mid-1980s. Commissioner Schmitt has served as an officer and adviser for many park and natural resource organizations and non-profit boards. He lives in Port Townsend and has three daughters and three grandchildren. In his leisure time, he enjoys being with friends, hiking, kayaking, traveling and photography.
Lucinda S. Whaley, Vice Chair
Term expires: Dec. 31, 2014
Lucinda "Cindy" S. Whaley is an attorney in a Spokane-based law firm. Her practice focuses on complex
commercial litigation and employment law. She is active in many bar activities, advises businesses and
non-profit organizations and has been an adjunct professor of law. Prior to attending Gonzaga Law School,
she worked as Congressional staff in Washington D.C., later moving to Spokane, where she worked on Spokane's
EXPO '74. She has a longtime interest in winter skiing and also enjoys bicycling, golf and gardening. She
and her husband and teenage daughter spend time fishing and boating on the Pend Oreille River and also enjoy
touring Washington state.
Patricia T. Lantz, Secretary
Term expires: Dec. 31, 2014
Patricia T. Lantz is a retired lawyer and former legislator in the Washington House of Representatives.
She practiced law in the areas of land-use planning and environmental law, served on the House Natural
Resources Committee and chaired the Heritage Caucus, comprised of state parks, arts, cultural resources,
civics and historic preservation organizations and advocates from around the state. A current board
member of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, her many memberships also include the
Washington State Trust for Historic Preservation and Tahoma Audubon. She has received numerous awards
for her work in historic preservation, arts advocacy and promotion of criminal and civil justice. She
believes that parks are essential to people for recreation, renewal and for the preservation of the
state's history and culture. Commissioner Lantz and her husband John live on Raft Island near Gig Harbor,
where they raised their three children. They enjoy their grandchildren, as well as hiking, bicycling, kayaking
and exploring the backroads of Washington.
Mark O. Brown
Term expires: Dec. 31, 2016
Mark O. Brown is a governmental affairs professional with years of private and public-sector experience. He is
president of Connections Public Affairs, a Southwest Washington-based company with public- and private-sector
clients. He has served as mayor of Lacey and as director of the Washington Department of Labor and Industries.
He was a member of the Investment Board and currently is on several boards and commissions. For the past 15 years,
he has been a key player in efforts to preserve and reuse historic and recreational assets at the Vancouver
National Historic Reserve and also worked with the Confluence Project, which placed artworks in state parks to
commemorate the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. Mark and his wife Julie live in Lacey.
Steve S. Milner
Term expires: Dec. 31, 2017
Steve Milner is a retired chemical engineer and amateur ecologist whose interest in the out of doors has led
him to support a variety of conservation programs and organizations. He is a board member of the Chelan Douglas
Land Trust, former member of the Fox Valley Land Foundation and a friend of Wisconsin State Parks. He was raised
in Wisconsin and worked for a research and development company in Chicago for 30 years. He and his wife Jill, a
practicing clinical nurse specialist, relocated to Chelan in 2006. They live near Lake Chelan State Park. Much
of Milner's volunteer time has been spent counseling youth groups and serving as a guide in the Minnesota Boundary
Waters Canoe Wilderness Area.
Term expires: Dec. 31, 2012 (will serve until a new appointment is made)
Joe Taller has served in both public and private sectors. He joined the Boeing Company in 1957 and
retired in 1997 after having worked in engineering, industrial relations and community affairs. He
directed the company's corporate contributions and K-12 education program and managed several areas
of human resources at the corporate headquarters level. Taller has served the public as a Washington
state representative, elected three times from the 36th district and was director of the Washington
State Office of Financial Management between 1981 and 1985. He was executive director of Washington
Promise and state director of Communities in Schools. An active Washington citizen, Taller has been
board vice president of the Washington State Historical Society and was a founding board member of
the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. He also has served as a member on the American Red
Cross National Board of Governors and the Heritage College Board of Directors.
One commissioner position is vacant until a new appointment is made.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission meets in various locations around the state.