Board Members

Scott Turner - Chairperson

Scott Turner - Chairperson

Born and raised in Michigan, Scott completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!) and moved to Los Angeles with his partner, David White in 1995.  After 9 years in international finance with Mattel, he completed his MBA and went on to serve 10 years in career advisory roles with the University of Southern California. 

In 2015, Scott founded his own executive coaching business (FindingYourCareer.org) to help clients worldwide find what they love to do.  Scott’s desire for helping others extends to his volunteer work as well, where he devotes countless hours to nonprofit organizations focused on providing career services to ethnically diverse populations.

Scott is passionate about health and fitness; he enjoys road cycling; being outdoors.  When he’s not in the gym, cycling around our beautiful city, or coaching others, he enjoys travel, food and wine, meeting new people, and spending time with his partner, David, and their two West Highland Terriers – Henry and Madie.

Scott and David have been visiting VLP for over 10 years and fell in love with the homes and neighborhood…in 2018 they purchased a home of their own on Rose Avenue. Scott is excited to join the VLPNO Board and looks forward to working with his neighbors to help improve our quality of life and community. 

Gustav Swanson - Vice Chairperson

Gustav Swanson - Vice Chairperson

Gustav has lived in Boston, San Francisco and presently resides in San Diego. He started visiting Palm Springs in the early 90's and was drawn to the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood for its’ avante garde architecture. In 2000, he bought his Vista Las Palmas property as a vacation home.

While living in San Francisco, Gustav served on the board of his Park Hill Condominium, formerly St. Joseph's Hospital, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is perhaps best known for its cameo in Hitchcock's Vertigo (The sanatorium Scottie (James Stewart) was admitted after his nervous breakdown). Gustav shared his neighbors' passion for the site's preservation.

Recently Gustav has been serving on the Board of his San Diego neighborhood MAD (Maintenance Assessment District). His historic mid-city neighborhood has undertaken capital projects including the restoration of its historic street lights and wrought iron gates, as well a bike path and landscaped median strips.

Gustav's professional career in Finance has spanned the banking, software and education industries. He looks forward to bringing his Board experience and professional expertise to the betterment of our truly special neighborhood and in helping achieve our community objectives.

Kermit Ferrer - Secretary

Kermit Ferrer - Secretary

In 2011, Kermit drove into Palm Springs for the first time and immediately knew this was where he and his partner were meant to be.  Vista Las Palmas was their dream neighborhood and in 2012, they were lucky enough to find a home there with amazing views.  Over the course of the following season, they worked with Howard and Kevin of H3K to renovate their own mid-century paradise.  For 6 years they frequently flew in from New York City.  In 2018, Kermit and his partner were lucky enough to move to Palm Springs as full-timers.

Kermit was born in Puerto Rico, raised in Guatemala and spent 30 years enjoying life and building a great career at Macys in New York City.  Kermit is a Logistics Professional with a history of optimizing the supply chain for the retail industry.   

Kermit is excited to join the VLPNO Board to carry on the legacy of the neighborhood while creating a sense where we can all have fun in the most neighborly way.

Kevin Comer - Treasurer

Kevin Comer - Treasurer

Mr. Comer’s love affair with Palm Springs began as many do, with a visit more than three decades ago with his husband, Rick Distel.  During that visit they fell in love with the city, its people, its history and its architecture, and decided if their future ever evolved to permit having a home here they would jump at that chance.  In 2011 just that happened when they found the perfect Alexander, with one original owner, and purchased it without hesitation.  
 
Civic engagement has long been a part of Mr. Comer’s daily life.  He has served and chaired the Board of Assessment Appeals in the State of Connecticut, his city’s Democratic Town Committee, the Civic Relations Committee for the German Village Society (the largest historic district in the country on the National Register and located in Columbus, OH), and is the founder of We the People, a nonprofit focused on the study of issues of importance to voters. 
 
Since closing Beck Street Capital, the private equity firm he founded, Mr. Comer has focused his activities primarily on the exploration of better, and yet commercially viable, solutions for the problems facing the most critical - and most elemental - aspects of daily life: namely food and shelter.  
 
Mr. Comer lives in Palm Springs, CA and Washington, CT with Rick Distel, his husband and partner of over 30 years, and their two rescue pups: Cooper and Dodger. 
Patsy Marino

Patsy Marino

A native of San Diego, Patsy Marino is a graduate of the University of San Diego. After a 12 year career in communications and Internet start ups, Patsy committed to stay home, support her family and raise her children. Always having a passion for Contemporary Art, education and children, Patsy found purpose in her work as a community volunteer.  She served as a Trustee at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. Patsy devoted six years to re-opening The New Children's Museum serving served on the Board for 5 years with two terms President. During her Presidency, she co-chaired a $10mm capital campaign to get the museum out of debt.

As part of the executive committee of the La Jolla Arts Community, Patsy’s current project is The Murals of La Jolla, a privately funded outdoor public art project on private property.

Since 2015, Patsy has served on the Board of Trustees at The Francis Parker School.

She recently started a Foundation based in the Coachella Valley to support visual artists in the early stages of their career.

Patsy resides in La Jolla and Palm Springs with her husband of 19 years and their two children.

Steve Orr

Steve Orr

Steve and his husband, Malcolm, moved full time to Palm Springs from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2013 when they bought and began the restoration of their home on Rose Avenue.  In the course of their property’s renovations, they met many neighbors who generously offered advice on the restoration of an Alexander built house.  This process helped accelerate their feeling of being rooted in their new hometown and building a strong connection to Vista Las Palmas.

Steve still works full time for a large IT services firm, but despite being at his desk most of the day, he thoroughly enjoys walking their dog, Zachary, around the neighborhood and soak in the VLP’s beauty and tranquility.

Steve is happy to join the VLPNO Board in order to build and protect our community.  Steve is passionately committed to ensuring the VLP’s ongoing health, vitality and beauty.

John Vella

John Vella

John grew up in New York and Massachusetts where he attended Springfield College, earning his degree in English Literature.  Upon graduation, John spent time with the New England Patriots which led to coaching football at Boston University.  Following his coaching career, John entered the financial services sector.  In 1990, John relocated to San Diego where he currently serves as the CRO for Altisource Portfolio Solutions offering products and technology to major banks and financial institutions. 

Living in Brentwood with his lovely new bride, Samantha, the newlyweds decided to search for a second home. They looked at several prospects in the Palm Springs but it was the first showing in Vista Las Palmas that made the biggest and best impression. 

John and Samantha frequently travel to the desert with Samantha’s twins and spend time with John’s 93-year old Aunt Ida who lives in Palm Desert.  John has two boys who live in Carlsbad.  During free time, he and Samantha enjoy their dogs, Jimmy the Cheese and Bailey, cooking great Italian meals and working out. 

Being new to the neighborhood, John and family are looking forward to meeting everyone and working with the neighbors in making the community even more delightful.