Region 9 Leadership Team

Officer roles and responsibilities


Brian Cahill, Region 9 Director

Region 9 Director: Brian Cahill –

Brian Cahill retired recently after 38 years with California State Parks. During his tenure, he served as a Park Ranger, Assistant Deputy Director of Park Operations, and the Acting Chief of the Interpretation and Education Division. He’s a graduate of Humboldt State University and served as a lecturer there.

Prior to the formation of NAI (in 1988), Brian was a member of the Western Interpreters Association where he served as Regional Treasurer as well as the co-Chair of the 1981 Annual Conference. He’s also been co-chair for regional NAI workshops.

Brian has been recognized for Meritorious Service to NAI and as Master Front-Line Interpreter. He welcomes this opportunity to serve his peers in Region 9 and looks forward to serving this organization that has given him so much.

Elise McFarland, Region 9 Deputy Director

Region 9 Deputy Director:  Elise Eagle McFarland –

Elise McFarland has been an interpreter for 17 years, serving with the National Park Service, East Bay Regional Parks District and currently at Carnegie OHV park for California State Parks. Elise is looking forward to helping shape our next regional workshops, so that others can learn about jobs in interpretation, training opportunities, and make the kinds of connections that inspired her to turn a hobby she loved into a career. A singer, actor, lace-maker, and historical re-enactor, Elise brings skills in cultural interpretation to the Board.

Debi Espinoza-Bylin
Debi Espinoza-Bylin, Region 9 Secretary

Region 9 Secretary: Debi Espinoza-Bylin –

Debi Espinoza-Bylin has served in a number of interpretive roles including Monorail Tour Guide, Ranch Tour Guide, and Aquarium Interpretive Naturalist. For the past nine years, she’s worked at the California Academy of Sciences. Debi says that serving as Region 9 Secretary is a throw back to her high school days in FFA (Future Farmers of America), where she served on Parliamentary Procedure Team. She is looking forward to inspiring others to open their hearts to the earth’s wonders and to ensure that we have a vibrant membership into the future.

Laura Drath, Region 9 Treasurer

Region 9 Treasurer: Laura Drath –   (916) 358-2884

As an Interpreter for the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Laura oversees education, outreach and public services at Nimbus Hatchery, east of Sacramento.  Prior to this she taught public school for several years and worked in interpretation for California State Parks, the Sacramento Zoo, and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.  Laura is alumni of the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation study circle program and is the Capital/Foothills Region coordinator for Project WILD. In her off time she hikes, reads, bakes, and enjoys life along the American River with her husband and son.


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