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Board of Directors

Dave Scinto, C.P.A.


As a partner of Scinto Group LLP, Dave brings a wealth of experience working with not-for-profits, medical and dental multi-practitioner entities, manufacturing companies, wholesale distributors, software developers, and other concerns. Dave has over 25 years of public accounting experience, prior to which he worked in the aerospace industry. Dave is also a professor at Sierra College. That combined experience allows Dave to understand a company's operations and goals, and to provide meaningful contributions. Dave has provided consulting services to clients ranging in size from small, closely held companies to large, complex corporate structures. His experience includes working with both start-up enterprises and rapidly expanding organizations. Dave holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dave's strategy with clients and organizations is to begin with the end in mind. Planning and perseverance always pay off.

Dave serves on the board of directors and as treasurer for the Grass Valley/Nevada City Chamber of Commerce. He is treasurer for the Nevada Joint Union High School District Foundation. Dave is also active on the boards of other corporations and is an active member of the Gold Country Kiwanis, serving as the 1998-99 president.


Donna Williamson

Vice President/Director

Donna  recently retired after practicing law for almost 40 years.  She was a partner in the law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore for most of her career. Donna specialized in representing public and private schools and colleges, non-profits and public agencies on a range of issues including governance, compliance, labor and employment, student and parent, and many other issues.


Donna represented the Nevada County Board of Supervisors as their Chief Labor negotiator for over 20 years and fell in love with this area.  She has had a small organic farm in Pike since 2007 and was excited to finally move here full-time in 2020.  Donna loves to garden and take care of her farm including her goats, chickens, kitties and her beloved dogs.


She and her husband Steve are sailors who do bareboat sailing charters in far flung places around the world whenever they can.  Donna became a lifetime member of the UGMM several years ago.

Wayne Babros


Wayne Babros first came to Alleghany in 1964 and became a resident in 1969. He worked as a contract miner for the 16 to 1 in the 1970's for three years. He also worked at the Brush Creek mine for two years and at the Archaic Mine for a few years. Wayne was an MSHA certified safety instructor during this time and served on a local mine rescue team.

Wayne is an avid historian and has conducted research for California Parks & Recreation in the past. He is a member of the California Native Sons 1849 Chapter (Downieville). Wayne also was a licensed assayer for many years and has a background in Geology.

Wayne was the fire chief in Alleghany for 10 years beginning in 1970. Over the years he served on the Alleghany County Water District Board periodically. Currently he is the President of Sierra County Cemetery District #2 which includes Alleghany, Forest City and Pike City.


Thomas (Bud) DeGrio


I was raised (1948-63) in Alleghany and graduated with two others; Harriette Giles of the Gold Crown Mine and Ann Hogan of the 16 to 1 Mine. I actually worked for the 16 in my 16th summer (1961). I earned $1.63\hour--check the books!! My Dad, Mike DeGrio, of the Hub, Oriental and El Dorado mines, drug me through just about every other mine in three counties--an education in itself. Anyway, I left town for college, went to war and have spent the last 40 years wandering around the mining and heavy civil construction industries. Mining & construction work have been really good to me and my family.....I only wish it could have been accomplished in Alleghany!! Fondest of all memories are there.


Gwen Fissel


I moved from Southern California in 1965 and taught in San Jose and the Bay area. I worked for State Parks when they let women apply. I worked in the Redwoods, State Historic Parks and Off Road Vehicle areas. I have always enjoyed exploring and geology. Living in Grass Valley I joined the Nevada County Gem and Mineral Club and also am the editor for the Sacramento based Fossil for Fun (FFF) Club. I have held offices in the rock club and helped with the annual shows.

Christopher Towne Smith


I was born in Paris, France in 1951, the son of a career Foreign Service Officer. For almost 19 years, I traveled around the world living in Scotland, Indonesia, Washington DC, Spain, Nationalist China, and Australia. In fact, my first real job was on a sheep Ranch in Kalanngadoo, South Australia. During that time we visited Portugal, India, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Rarotonga, Bora Bora, Tahiti, and Egypt.

Upon my father's retirement from the State Department, we settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, during which time my friend's father took us on a camping trip to Forest City and Alleghany. We went to the 16 to 1 mine and visited with an old miner who was working the tailing piles and operating the copper shaker table. This was my first introduction to the 16 to 1 mine.

I attended the College of Marin for a short while, with an emphasis on politics, and testified for the 18-year-old vote. But, at 19, the call of the mountains brought me to Plumas County. I then moved to Sierra County where I worked for Holstrom Lumber Company in Sattley and was there when National Geographic did their articles on the Lost Sierras in 1973.

After the mill shut down in the mid-70s, I was lucky enough to find work with an contractor in Downieville who was willing to train a young man. Thanks to that contractor, Fred Tuttle Rixey, I got my own contractors license in 1986. In 1979 I married my wife Cheri. After 17 years in Sierra County, I moved to Graeagle.

I am now a general contractor in a partnership of 20 years. I am also a volunteer in the Mohawk Valley Stewardship Council which is responsible for the restoration of the White Sulphur Springs Ranch in Mohawk Valley.

From my first visit to the 16 to 1 to this day, I have had an avid interest in the gold mining era in California, with a particular interest in the contributions of the Chinese people in the building of our state. I have been a proud shareholder of the 16 to 1 mine for 10 years and support its fight to keep mining alive in California.

My early life was spent, thanks to my parents, in some of the great museums of the world. I am acutely aware of the need to pass on the knowledge of the past to the youth of today. It is important people do not forget that the mining of gold created the Golden State. It is imperative it continues as a vital part of our living history. To this end, the UGMM has a great legacy for the future; and I am excited to be a member.


Anita J. Wald-Tuttle


As a youngster in the middle of Iowa I was always picking up rocks and wondering what they were. As an art major at Iowa State University my favorite course was silver jewelry design, but the instructors were clueless as to what the gemstones were that we were setting in our jewelry.

Many years later I escaped to California and made it my mission to explore "rocks". In San Diego I belonged to the San Diego Lapidary Society and the El Cajon Gem and Mineral Society followed by the Vallejo Gem and Mineral Club. When I moved to this area I immediately became involved with the Nevada County Gem and Mineral Society, served on the Board as Secretary and President, and participated in the annual show at the fairgrounds. Along the way I discovered the 16 to 1 Mine and the Underground Gold Miners Museum. It's been a natural progression. I bring many years of board involvement of multiple organizations at most levels.


Rae Bell Arbogast 

Administrative Assistant/Secretary/Treasurer

Rae Bell was born in Southern California. Her family moved to the Ruby Mine located between Alleghany and Downieville in 1975. They  relied on skis and a snowmobile for transportation in the wintertime.  Her father worked as a miner at the Ruby and Carson Mines through the early 1990s.
She has been involved with Underground Gold Miners Museum since 1999. She was the office manager for Original Sixteen to One Mine Inc. from 1996 through 2019. She  has been an active member of the fire dept. since 1996 as  a Volunteer EMT and has held various board and officer positions with the Fire Dept. over the years. Fire services for the Alleghany and Pike area have been managed by Pliocene Ridge Community Services District since 2004. She is currently the PRCSD Secretary/Treasurer. She has been involved with the Alleghany County Water District since the year 2000 currently as General Manager.

She holds  AA degrees in Business Admin. and Accounting. She writes a weekly article for the Mountain Messenger, California's oldest weekly newspaper. Her interests include local history, geology, and gardening.

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