San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy welcomes new board members

The River Path provides a scenic view of the San Dieguito Lagoon and River.
(Courtesy of the SDRVC)

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy (SDRVC) recently welcomed two new board members, Mark Hennenfent of Carmel Valley and Annu Chopra of Del Mar.

Mark Hennenfent
Mark Hennenfent

Hennenfent and his wife, Susan, have participated in many SDRVC outdoor activities including the Exploring Our Sense of Place (ESP) program for the past two years.

Said Hennenfent, “Through this interaction and better understanding of the numerous programs and activities the SDRVC encompasses, I have developed an appreciation of how significant a contribution the organization provides to the public and I wanted to get involved and offer my talents and experiences to help continue their efforts.”

In addition to participating in the ESP program, Hennenfent and his wife have hiked extensively throughout the San Dieguito River Valley and other parts of the county.

As a board member Hennenfent says he hopes to support the finalization and completion of the Coast-to-Crest Trail. In addition, there are numerous ongoing programs and potential new programs for which he hopes to provide support and input.

Hennenfent grew up in Minot, ND, which has some long and brutal winters. Said Hennenfent, “Any time the weather was not extreme, we would be outside doing some kind of activity. To this day, when the weather is good, I want to be outside to enjoy the fresh air and scenery.”

Hennenfent and his wife moved to San Diego in 1984. He graduated from San Diego State University with an MBA in 1995. With an engineering degree, his professional background is in the power industry. He has held numerous technical positions including project management of large power projects. Later he transitioned into the business development and the sales side. He has his own LLC that provides project development services such as negotiating power purchases agreements, project financing, pro-forma development, and interconnection agreements in the pursuit of developing renewable power projects such as wind farms.

Annu Chopra
Annu Chopra
( Courtesy)

Annu Chopra believes that “We all have an obligation to be stewards of our environment and joining the board gives me the opportunity to directly fulfill that obligation. It also sets a good example for my two kids in that it models behavior and sets a standard for them to follow as they grow up and find their path in the world.”

As a board member, Chopra says her goal is to raise awareness and garner support within her sphere of influence to advance the mission of SDRVC.

“Additionally, I would aim to advocate for the organization through fundraising and finding avenues for increasing the penetration of SDRVC’s programs throughout the community. “

Chopra and her family have enjoyed the San Dieguito River Valley many times. “We have gone hiking, biking and animal watching. We have found the valley is the perfect place to view birds and wildflowers. This fall we are planning a camping trip and are looking forward to exploring the east end of the valley.”

Growing up in Canada, going to parks, hiking and being around nature has been important to her. Since moving to California five years ago, she and her husband have focused on exposing their two boys to nature and helping them understand the importance of preservation.

Chopra is the co-owner of Purple Arrow Properties which acquires and operates multi-family real estate. The firm targets apartment buildings with below-market rents and repositions them into competitive Class B+ buildings with focus on management. Current target markets include Seattle and Salt Lake City.

The SDRVC’s mission is to protect and preserve the San Dieguito River Valley; complete the planned 70-mile Coast-to-Crest Trail that will connect Volcan Mountain near Julian to North Beach in Del Mar; and to educate and inspire its members and the public about the recreational, historical and cultural resources within the San Dieguito River Valley. For more information, visit