Executive Committee

The Executive Committee serves as the leadership for the Board of Directors and holds the officer positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary/Treasurer as well as Member at Large positions, one of which being the Immediate Past Chairman.

This committee’s purpose is to lead the Board of Directors and membership by making recommendations and decisions which align with NBLC’s mission and regional leadership concerning major public policy issues, which are then approved by membership.

Patricia Garbarino – Executive Committee – Board Chair


Marin Sanitary Service

Patricia “Patty” Garbarino is President of Marin Sanitary Service, Marin Recycling Center and Marin Resource Recovery Center and has been since 2000. Patty began her career at Marin Sanitary Service in 1987, in Company Development and Human Resources, a combination that facilitated her learning both the operations and administration of the business.

Her background in the education field has been a major benefit to Marin Sanitary Service’s Public Education Program. In fact, Patty worked closely with her father, Joseph in establishing the company’s Environmental Classroom and its ongoing outreach to environmental organizations and public and private schools in Marin County.

Today Patty is responsible for policy development and implementation and the overall management and oversight of the operations of the company. In addition to her administrative and management responsibilities, Patty remains directly involved in all aspects of the company’s governmental and community relations as well as the Public Education Program. Patty has spoken at several national conferences regarding waste and recycling issues and has been a member to Assemblywoman Delaine Eastin’s California Waste Reduction, Refuse and Recycling Advisory Committee. She was inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame in 1999 and has been chair and co-chair to 6 different local bond measures and planning commissions.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Sciences degree, both from Dominican College.Marin Sanitary Service, Marin Recycling Center and Marin Resource Recovery Center have been lauded by the California Integrated Waste Management Board as having the highest recycling rate in California since 2002 and the Marin County Board of Supervisors rated Marin Sanitary Service, business of the year in 2006.

Alon Adani – Executive Committee – Vice Chair


Cornerstone Properties

Founded in 1985, Cornerstone is a leading North Bay commercial real estate owner and development firm. As a respected, successful real estate entrepreneur, Alon has nearly 20 years of diverse experience in shepherding ideas to viability. Alon is the founder of the North Bay Makers, 180 Studios. In this role, he establishes vital connections in the community and encourages forward progress. Alon’s goals are to make 180 Studios the premier facility of its kind, and to ensure maximum economic and interpersonal benefit to the community.

Michelle Ausburn – Executive Committee – Secretary/Treasurer



Michelle’s area of expertise is GAAP compliant financial accounting and reporting. She serves middle-market, privately-held, family owner-managed, and institutionally owned businesses and publicly held companies. She has experience working with companies in the start-up phase through ownership transition, including IPO. Over the past decade or so, she has spent more than 90% of her time working with wineries, vineyards, real estate entities, négociants, custom crush facilities, wine and spirits distribution companies, natural and organic food companies, and non-wine agriculture. As a result, she has extensive knowledge of the more common and complex accounting issues those types of businesses face. In addition to providing traditional audit and review services, she offers guidance in the areas of business combinations, consolidations, lease accounting, inventory valuation, revenue recognition, and evaluation of internal control. Michelle also has over 10 years of experience in the area of audits of employee benefit plans.

Michelle has served on several boards including as Treasurer for the Napa/Sonoma Chapter for Women for WineSense (2011-2013) and Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair for The Healdsburg School (2013-2015). Since 2009, she has served on the planning committee for the Cal CPA Wine Industry Conference where she has also presented on GAAP accounting and reporting in the wine industry. Michelle has also participated as a speaker at the Wine Industry Technology Symposium and through Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Program. She is active in the Firm’s recruiting efforts at SSU.

Barry Friedman – Executive Committee

President & CEO

Friedman’s Home Improvement

Barry is the third-generation leader of Friedman’s Home Improvement, celebrating over 70 years in business committed to delivering the human side of home improvement.  Based in Petaluma, Friedman’s employs over 600 Team Members at it stores located in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Sonoma and Ukiah.  Barry continues to honor the family’s tradition of being both a supporter and active participant in the local community. Barry and his wife Heidi live in Santa Rosa with their four children.

Pat Kendall – Executive Committee

Medical Group Administrator

Kaiser Permanente

Pat Kendall is the Medical Group Administrator for Kaiser Permanente in Marin and Southern Sonoma County. Pat’s leadership position is operational, strategic, financial, quality, care, service, people and community. Her guiding philosophies are patient, family, staff and physician focused. She often speaks of working in the Intimacy Business believing that seeking Health Care is one of the most intimate things we do in life. In addition, Pat believes in building a healthy community with an upstream emphasis focused across the spectrum of Prevention, recognizing the impact of the social determinants on health. Creating a healthy work place and engaging the leader in all levels of staff is a lifelong endeavor.

Pat holds degrees in Nursing, Business, Organizational Development, Human Resources and Leadership. She has completed post graduate work at UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Pat is presently on the boards of North Bay Leadership Council, Healthy Marin Partnership, School to Career Partnership, Marin Economic Forum, Hospice, Marin Sustainable Agriculture and Dominican University School of Natural Sciences Advisory Board. Pat is also a member of the citizen’s oversight committee of SMART, Friends of San Rafael, San Rafael City Schools Advisory Team – 114th Partnership, Marin Workforce Housing Trust and the Pickleweed Advancement Team.

Pat is the recent recipient of the North Bay Leadership Award for Leadership for 2012 and San Rafael Citizen of the Year, 2013.

Jordan Lavinsky


Hanson Bridgett

Jordan represents shopping centers, property owners, office building managers and developers in landlord-tenant, land use and bankruptcy matters.

Jordan has extensive experience in all landlord-tenant disputes involving nonpayment of rent, exclusives, tenant improvements, mechanic’s liens, tenant bankruptcies and post-lease termination collections. Jordan also represents banks enforcing commercial loan agreements. He has trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts.

Kathryn Lowell – Executive Committee

Vice President, Government Affairs & Advocacy

BioMarin Pharmaceutical

Kathryn Lowell is an executive and Board Member with more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Kathryn is the Vice President of Government Affairs & Advocacy at BioMarin. In this capacity, she oversees the development and implementation of local, national and global legislative strategy and advocacy.

Previously, she was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to develop and execute policy and strategic healthcare initiatives. During this time, she developed a partnership with the California Council on Science and Technology to create the Personalized Health Information Technology Coalition. It drew senior executives together to address the challenges of personalized medicine. She also oversaw program and policy initiatives from the California State Department of Managed Health Care and the Office of the Patient Advocate. Kathryn was a Board Member of the California Privacy and Security Advisory Board and a Board Member of the California Telehealth Network Advisory Council.

Also prior to her current position, Kathryn was the Vice President for Strategic Growth at Lumetra, a health care consulting firm that specialized in federal health care program management.  For six years, she also worked at Maximus, (NYSE:MMS), which is a national government health care services firm. Serving as the Vice President for Government Affairs, she worked with states to partner on Medicaid program management.

From 1995 to 1998, she was appointed by Governor Wilson as Assistant Secretary for Health at the California Health and Human Services Agency.  During that time, she worked to create and staff the Biotechnology Council for the State of California.  In her early years, she worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative analyst for a Member on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Kathryn received her undergraduate degree at Stanford University.  She received her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from USC, under academic scholarship.  For her time in State service, she received a career recognition award and was selected to represent California in attending Harvard University’s Program for Senior Executives in State Service at the JFK School.

Craig Nelson – Executive Committee

Chairman of the Board

Nelson Family of Companies

Craig Nelson, Chairman of the Board of the Nelson Family of Companies and author of God Left Manor Farm, was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Staffing Industry by Staffing Industry Review in 2012.

Expert in the fields of both staffing and law, Craig has been quoted by a wide variety of news organizations including National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, Staffing Industry Review and the Recorder on a wide variety of topics such as employment trends, recruiting, family businesses, the San Francisco Medical Leave law and California’s Three Strikes law.

Having most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Nelson Family of Companies, prior to that, Craig ran Nelson Technology, Nelson & Associates, Nelson Staffing, and Nelsonjobs.com. And before that, was General Counsel at Nelson with responsibility for legal, administration, safety & risk, and human resources.

Prior to joining Nelson, Craig spent seven years with the Criminal Division of the California Department of Justice and before that, three years as a litigator with the Law Offices of Bowles and Verna. He has a Masters of Law from the University of San Diego, his Juris Doctor from Hastings College of Law, and degrees in Business Administration and Economics from California State University, Chico. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1990.

Highly involved in the community, Craig is on the board of the Marin Economic Forum, the Leadership Council of the Boys & Girls Club of Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties and the executive board of the North Bay Leadership Council; he was the Chair of the Executive Leadership Committee of the 2011 North Bay Heart Walk; and he is the past Chairman of the Marin County Workforce Investment Board.

Mark Wood – Executive Committee

Chairman Emeritus

Mark Wood Consulting

Mark Wood served as Chair of the North Bay Leadership Council Board of Directors from 2012 through 2013. He is currently Consultant & Proprietor at Mark Wood Consulting, providing expertise in HR and organizational performance, as well as serving as adjunct faculty at the Dominican University School of Business and Leadership and the Sonoma State University Executive MBA Program. Previously, Mark worked at BioMarin Pharmaceutical for 9 years, serving as Senior Vice President of HR & Corporate Affairs; at AG Consulting, as Vice President of HR & Administration; at Genentech, as Manager of Compensation & Quantitative Analysis; and at Wells Fargo Bank, in various HR roles. During his tenure at BioMarin, Mark also served a term as Chair of the Marin County Workforce Investment Board. Mark earned a Master of Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Karleen Arnink-Pate

Chief Revenue Officer

Sonoma Media Investments, LLC

Karleen Arnink-Pate is the Chief Revenue Officer for locally owned Sonoma Media Investments, publishers of the Press Democrat and a variety of other brands found online and in print.

Previously Karleen served as the Vice President of Strategic Revenue at the San Francisco Chronicle and sfgate.com/Hearst, and she served the Hawaii and Nevada markets as Advertising Director for Gannett Company (publishers of USA Today and over 100 Print, Digital and Television brands nationwide).

Her expertise in helping businesses navigate their options in today’s rapidly changing world is diverse & deep. Recognized as an industry leader, Karleen was a national Folio “Top Women in Media 2019” Honoree, in the Change Maker category & described as “a woman who has successfully altered the course of their brand or the industry for the better.”  Karleen motivates and energizes organizations through collaborative, open communication and with an innovative, creative approach to marketing and sales.   She founded the popular Sonoma County Women in Conversation speaker series and also serves on the board of Sonoma County CASA and the Steering Committee for United Way, Women United.

Frank Beirne

Regional Chief Operating Officer, Northern California Region

Providence Sonoma County

Diversely experienced and uniquely qualified healthcare executive whose career profile and success has been built upon accomplishing strategic and operational change in Integrated Delivery Systems, Hospital/Health Plan sector, academic medical centers, investor owned and community not-for-profit medical centers.

Leadership style exhibits integrity, collaboration, ability to influence, motivate, and develop others, and results orientation.

Proven track record of successes in building partnerships with physicians, growing medical staffs, developing high performing management teams and organizations, growing volumes, developing and expanding clinical service lines & centers of excellence, enhancing the patient and family experience, achieving market share gains, and increasing operating margins, while meeting or exceeding quality/service, care experience, efficiency, and financial metrics.

John Costa

Government Relations Manager

PG&E Corporation

John Costa is the Manager of Government Relations & Local Public Affairs for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company in Northern California. John works with various Community Leaders/Organizations, aids the various lines of business (Gas, Electric, Renewables, etc.), oversees the day-to-day operations of various projects/company initiatives and coordinates with counterparts throughout California.

Prior to joining Pacific Gas and Electric Company, John worked as a Director of Government and Public Affairs for the North State Building Industry Association, focusing in the field of Housing and Land Use advocacy, political campaigns and non-profit leadership.

John currently serves as a Board Member for ARI, American River Parkway Foundation, Sacramento Metro Chamber, Sacramento Asian Chamber, North Bay Leadership Council, and coaches U12 girls/U14 boys’ soccer for the Elk Grove Youth Soccer League.

A graduate of CSU Sacramento, John holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications.

Aimi Dutra Krause

Public Relations Director

The Dutra Group

Aimi Dutra is the Director of Community Relations and Governmental Affairs for The Dutra Group overseeing all corporate communications, government relations and community outreach programs for the company. Recently, she successfully led the extensive efforts to secure critical land-use entitlements on behalf of the company.

Since joining the firm, Aimi has brought a proactive and hands-on approach to community involvement. As a result of her vision, The Dutra Group has become a leading contributor toward important local causes and non-profits throughout Marin. Aimi has professional memberships with the Engineering Contractors Association, San Rafael Chamber, Bay Planning Coalition and California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference (CMANC) and sits on the Heads Up Public School Foundation Board.

Aimi is married to her husband J.C. Krause and together they have 3 young children. She is a graduate of the University of the Pacific with a degree in Psychology.

Ingrid Estrada

Corporate Administration Officer

Keysight Technologies

Ingrid Estrada is the CAO at Keysight Technologies. Estrada’s responsibilities include directing Keysight’s global policies and programs for leadership and talent development, compensation, benefits, staffing and workforce planning, human resources systems, education and organization development.

Estrada joined Hewlett-Packard in 1990 where she held a number of procurement, order management and order fulfillment positions. From 1995 through 2004, she served a variety of senior management roles in manufacturing, materials, and supply chain management, at both the division and business unit levels at HP and then Agilent Technologies. In 2004, Estrada was named a senior manager of manufacturing for Agilent’s Wireless Business Unit and launched the transformation of the Electronic Measurement Group supply chain.

In 2006, Estrada was promoted to vice president and general manager of the Remarketing Solutions Division. In 2011, she was named vice president and general manager of Global Sourcing for Agilent Technologies.

Estrada holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and an Executive MBA from Stanford University.

Steve Falk

CEO Sonoma Media Investments

The Press Democrat

Falk, a former publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle, served as president and chief executive of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce from 2005 to 2012. Before joining the Chamber in 2005, Falk had extensive experience in the newspaper industry. Born in Lancaster, PA, he began his newspaper career with Lancaster Newspapers. He worked for newspapers in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before joining Gannett Westchester Rockland Newspapers, NY, in 1982 where he planned and directed the startup of USA Today in the northern suburbs of New York City. He joined the San Francisco Chronicle in 1987 and held several key positions including circulation director and vice president/sales and marketing. In 1996 he was named President/CEO of the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, associate publisher in November 2000, and publisher and president of the San Francisco Chronicle in March 2003.

Jill Gregory

EVP and General Manager

Sonoma Raceway

Creative and driven Executive Vice President with over 15 years of experience delivering innovative strategies to transform organizations and improve business performance, Natural ability to align and engage key stakeholders both internally and externally. Accessible leader with a proven track record of building people-forward operations, including establishing NASCAR as an industry that is open and welcoming to all.

Darryl Hawkins

Vice President, Field Operations, Northeast Bay Area


Darryl Hawkins works for Comcast/NBC Universal as the Vice President for the Northeast Bay area of CA. As the Area Vice President his responsibilities include providing leadership for all aspects of the market including Technical Operations, Finance and Human Resources. Prior to his current role he was the Senior Leader for Comcast “Regional Operations” in Southern Arizona, his responsibilities include P&L, External Affairs, Technical Operations, Vendor Management and Sales Performance. Previously, he spent 18 years at Verizon Wireless, most recently as the Sr. Director Customer Operations PA ($1.2B P&L).

Hawkins has more than 20 years of experience in telecommunications and has held various Executive positions with increasing responsibilities since joining Bell Atlantic in 1997. In previous roles he led teams responsible for Service Delivery, Human Resources, Marketing, Contract Management and Sales. Hawkins has a strong passion for the youth in our community. He has developed various internships within Verizon to help provide opportunities to at-risk youth across the country. Hawkins is a United States Marine and a native of Washington, DC. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in the Administration of Justice from UDC, a Masters of Business Administration (HRM) from Indiana Wesleyan University, and has completed a three year Doctorate program in Organizational Leadership from Walden (DBA – ABD).

David Klein

Chief Executive Officer

Marin Health

David Klein, MD, MBA, brings an especially informed perspective to his position as CEO of MarinHealth, having spent the first fourteen years of his career working as a general surgeon. Since leaving the operating room, Dr. Klein has built a long, successful career as a healthcare executive and hospital CEO. His open leadership style fosters communication and collaboration between the hospital staff, the administration, and the community at large. Prior to his position at MarinHealth Medical Center, Dr. Klein served as President and CEO of Dignity Health’s two San Francisco-based hospitals: Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center. At Dignity Health, he oversaw a great deal of positive change, including a turnaround to profitability, multiple Healthgrades Five Star and Excellence Awards, the development of a Transgender Health Program, the establishment 14 Bay-Area based urgent care centers, and the launch of the new Bothin Burn Center, the largest burn unit in Northern California.

Before joining Dignity Health, Dr. Klein was Chief Operating Officer and then President of the Baylor Scott & White Health All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Under his stewardship, the hospital received many accolades for service line excellence and overall quality, including top hospital rankings in US News and World Report. Prior to his role at Baylor, Dr. Klein served as Administrator of Presbyterian Hospital of Denton in Denton, Texas, and as Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Park Regional Medical Center in Austin, Texas. Dr. Klein has sat on numerous community boards, from the American Heart Association, March of Dimes, and American Cancer Society to the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. He is the current Chair of the San Francisco Section of the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California and a member of the San Francisco Marin Medical Society.

Dr. Klein received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, his medical degree from the University of New Mexico, and his master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine.

Darren LaShelle

President & CEO

Northern California Public Media

Darren LaShelle is the President and CEO of Northern California Public Media.  Previously, LaShelle was the Content Manager for NorCal Public Media, overseeing television, radio, marketing, and digital projects.  Before relocating to the Bay Area in 2015, LaShelle was the Executive Producer for WGTE, Toledo, Ohio, where he began work in 1995.  Previous to his career in public media, LaShelle worked as the Promotion/Public Affairs Producer for WUPW Fox 36 in Toledo, after serving as a Creative Services Producer and Director for WTOV NBC9 in Steubenville, Ohio.

LaShelle is an Emmy award-winning Executive Producer for the science and technology TV series “Plugged-In.”  He has written and produced documentaries, studio-based and magazine series, commercials, public service announcements, promotional material and news production.  LaShelle is the Executive Producer of seven nationally-broadcast documentary programs on public television.  He has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Media Studies from Marietta College.

Some of LaShelle’s projects that have been distributed nationwide on PBS stations include: “War of 1812 in the Old Northwest,” “Jeep: Steel Soldier,” “Reverence: Life in Ballet” and “Indus River: Journey of a Lifetime.”

Dr. Yung-Jae Lee

Dean, Andrew P. Barowsky School of Business

Dominican University of California

Lee comes to Dominican University of California from Saint Mary’s College of California, where he spent the past year serving as interim dean of the School of Economics and Business Administration. Lee, who joined Saint Mary’s in 1998 as a professor of business analytics, also has served as associate dean of Graduate Business and Global Programs, director of the Professional MBA Program, and chair of the Operations Management and Quantitative Methods Department.

At Saint Mary’s, Lee worked with faculty and staff to develop and launch several degrees and certificate programs. These include an Executive Doctorate in Business Administration (2019), a Women’s Leadership Certificate Program (2019), a Leadership Development Program for Provident Credit Union (2019), an Executive MBA Shanghai (2018), an M.S. in Management (2016), an M.S. in Business Analytics (2015), an M.S. in Accounting (2013), and a Short-Term Silicon Valley/SF Immersion Program (2013).

He was responsible for all five graduate business programs in the university’s initial AACSB accreditation in 2013 and then led the AACSB re-accreditation process in 2018.

Lee has broad experience in higher education, having taught at the University of California Irvine, Chapman University, the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, California State University Fullerton, and California State University San Marcos. Courses taught include Global Operations and Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Quantitative Methods, Data Analysis, and Business Statistics. He has also consulted with many global companies, including Roche, McKesson, OASIS International, Abbot Medical Optics, Lucky Stores, Varian, Transcept, and Walt Disney.

Lee has been published extensively in leading journals, including the International Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Decision Support Systems, Expert Systems, Decision Sciences Institute, and Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence.

Brett Martinez

President and CEO

Redwood Credit Union

Brett Martinez is President & Chief Executive Officer of Redwood Credit Union, the North Bay’s largest credit union. Mr. Martinez oversees all aspects of the Credit Union, which serves 230,000 Members with $2.2 billion in assets.

Mr. Martinez has over 28 years of credit union experience and has served as a Senior Executive for
both the California Credit Union League and a large Southern California credit union prior to
joining Redwood Credit Union in 2002. Mr. Martinez holds a Masters Degree in Business
Administration (MBA) from California State University/San Bernardino. He is also a graduate of
Western CUNA Management School.

Mr. Martinez was the fundraising coordinator for Credit Unions for Kids in the Bay Area and has
served on the Credit Union for Kids National Advisory Board. He was presented with the 2010
Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service and dedication to the
credit union community and volunteer and charitable efforts, at the California Credit Union
League’s Annual Meeting and Conference.

Mr. Martinez is an active participant in the community, serving on a variety of non‐profit,
community and industry boards. Currently, he is a Board member of RCU Services Group,
the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce and the North Bay Leadership Council, and he was the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce Board Chair in 2012. Over the past four years, Mr. Martinez has received the United Way of the Wine Country Executive Campaign Chair of the Year award, was presented with the “Caught in the Act of Leadership” award by the North Bay Leadership Council, served as co‐chair of the 2010 Start! North Bay Heart Walk and was recognized as the North Bay’s Best Community Business Leader by readers of Northbay biz magazine. Under Mr. Martinez’s leadership and direction, Redwood Credit Union has received the North Bay Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” award for eight consecutive years and has repeatedly been voted “Best Credit Union” by readers of numerous North Bay publications.

Brett Martinez and his wife Theresa reside in Santa Rosa with their two sons. He enjoys golf,
tennis, boating and spending time with his family.

Meagan Moore


Buck Institute for Age Research

Meagan Moore currently holds the position as Chief Administrative Officer at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.  She joined the Buck in January of 2016 as Director of Sponsored Programs.  In November of 2016, she was promoted to her current role.   Prior to joining the Buck, Ms. Moore spent 11 years at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco in various roles, including as the head of the Contracts & Grants Department.  Although not a scientist by training, Ms. Moore is dedicated to the mission of biomedical research.  She is thrilled at the opportunity to continue in the tradition of the Buck as a world renowned leader in the field of aging and age related diseases.  Meagan lives in San Rafael with her husband, a Marin native, and their two young children.

Erich Pearson



Erich Pearson is a renowned leader in the cannabis industry – a long-time advocate, policy adviser, dispensary operator, and cultivation expert. He has served on the board of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) since its inception in 2010 and is a founding member.

In 2010 Erich launched SPARC, San Francisco’s largest licensed operator, now four cannabis dispensaries dedicated to providing safe, consistent and affordable cannabis. SPARC is built on the mission of San Francisco Cannabis Collective, which Erich co-founded in 2001, to fill the needs of low income qualified patients whose doctors had prescribed medical marijuana to address serious illnesses.

Erich’s vision for SPARC has been realized in both its effective treatment delivery and its radiant environment. SPARC’s award winning design by Larissa Sand of renowned Sand Studios has been featured in the New York Times, Wired Magazine, and was cited by FastCompany as, “The Apple Store of Marijuana Shops”.

Since 2010, SPARC has blossomed into a vertically integrated cannabis organization totaling 4 dispensaries throughout the Bay Area. After pioneering some of the first licensed indoor cultivation facilities in the world located in San Francisco, SPARC has moved away from the indoor production of cannabis, and focused on cultivating sun-grown, biodynamic cannabis at its new estate farm in the heart of Sonoma Valley’s wine country.

In San Francisco, Erich served on the District Attorney’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Group and was instrumental in the passage of San Francisco’s historic Medical Cannabis Dispensary Act and the relegation of marijuana offenses to law enforcement’s lowest priority. As a result of Erich’s leadership, he was appointed in 2007 to sit on San Francisco’s Medical Cannabis Working Group. Erich currently sits on San Francisco State-Cannabis-Legalization Task Force where he serves as the sole dispensary owner on the Task Force.

Les Perry


Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moscowitz LLP

Mr. Perry practices in the areas of land use, real estate and business law. He represents clients before various administrative and planning agencies, including County of Sonoma, City of Santa Rosa, Town of Windsor, City of Petaluma, City of Rohnert Park, City of Sonoma, City of Cotati, City of Sebastopol, Sonoma County Airport Land Use Commission and Water Quality and Air Quality Boards.

Mr. Perry also represents clients in general real estate, environmental and contractual litigation. He has significant experience with California Environmental Quality Act compliance and litigation.Mr. Perry has practiced law in Sonoma County since 1975. He is a founding partner of Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz and previously partner with the firm of Luke & Perry. He is an AV rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell (AV: “indicates very high to preeminent legal ability and very high ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar and Judiciary.”)

Mr. Perry currently is a member of the Board of Trustees of Memorial Hospital; a member of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair (past president); a member of Santa Rosa Mainstreet Board of Directors (past president); a member of Business Advisory Assessment District (vice-chairman); and a member of the Sonoma County Volunteer Center Board of Directors (past president).

Mr. Perry was formerly a member of the Audubon Canyon Ranch Board of Directors; Sonoma County Planning Commissioner 1986-1995, Chairman 1987 and 1992; a member of the Sonoma County Emergency Medical Care Advisory Committee; Sonoma County Energy Advisory Committee; Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control Board; Sonoma County Civil Service Commission; member of the Board of Directors of Burbank Housing Development Corporation; Member of the Board of Director of the Sonoma County Fair (past president).

Mr. Perry attended the University of Nevada, Reno for two years. He received a bachelor of science degree in economics from University of California, Davis, in 1971 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis (King Hall) in 1974. Mr. Perry attended “Mediation of the Litigated Case” at Pepperdine University.

Mike Ryan

North Bay Practice Leader

InterWest Insurance Services

Mike is a life long resident of Sonoma County and attended college at California State University Chico, after college Mike moved back to Sonoma County and began a career in Insurance. Most recently Mike is responsible for growing InterWest Insurance’s North Bay Operations including merger and acquisition activity , organic growth and management of their Petaluma and Santa Rosa locations. Mike lives in Windsor with his wife Amy and two kids, Molly and Zach. Outside of work, Mike enjoys golf, skiing and attending his children’s activities.

Judy Sakaki


Sonoma State University

Dr. Judy K. Sakaki became Sonoma State University’s seventh president on July 1, 2016. She has devoted her entire career to issues of inclusion, educational opportunities and achievement for all students. As president she is responsible for envisioning, planning, managing, and delivering programs and services to ensure student and alumni success.

In keeping with her focus on inclusion and opportunity, in her first weeks as president she hosted the largest group of children in the University’s history when more than 400 elementary and middle school students from the Roberts Family Development Center in Sacramento visited Sonoma State to experience a taste of college life. The RFDC is located in the ethnically diverse, economically challenged area of North Sacramento.

Prior to Sonoma State, Dr. Sakaki served as Vice President, Student Affairs for the University of California system. She has taught university classes; managed departments/divisions ranging from 45 to 1,000 employees; and has testified before Senate and Assembly Committees regarding financial aid, academic preparation programs, and gender equity in athletics and mental health.

Dr. Sakaki has been successful in raising funds to support multiple educational initiatives. Her work in addressing sexual violence and sexual harassment is in consonance with the requirements of the Violence Against Women Act. She has a strong commitment to undocumented students, veterans, and LGBT+ students, faculty, and staff communities.

In 2009, Sakaki co-chaired a task force to award honorary degrees to approximately 700 Japanese American University of California students who were unable to complete their degree due to their internment during World War II. This marked the first time UC campuses awarded honorary degrees in nearly 40 years.

Dr. Sakaki is a former American Council on Education Fellow, an Executive Fellow of the California State University, and a senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. She has attended Harvard Management Institutes and was a member of the 2010 Japanese American Leadership Delegation to Japan.

Sakaki earned an M.A. in Educational Psychology and B.A. in Human Development from California State University, East Bay and a Ph.D. in Education from UC Berkeley.

Fred Stemmler

General Manager

Recology Sonoma Marin

The Recology business model began over 100 years ago when our founders began sorting through San Francisco’s trash to find and sell what was salvageable. This Waste Zero model continues today in Sonoma and Marin with General Manager Fred Stemmler partnering with the 470 local employee-owners servicing 155,000 customers across these two counties.  For more information on the services we provide, please visit our website at www.recology.com/SonomaMarin.

Shannon Thomas, RN, MSN

CAO/Chief Nurse Executive, Novato Community Hospital

Sutter Health

Shannon Thomas joined Novato Community Hospital (NCH), a Sutter Health Affiliate Hospital as Administrator and Chief Nurse Executive in 2019. She has worked for Sutter Health in various roles since 2007. Prior to her current role, she was responsible for leading a team of hospital administrators in opening Mission Bernal Campus at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco, a 120 bed acute care hospital located in the Mission district.

In her current role at NCH, Shannon is responsible for daily operations, quality, service, people, finances and strategy. Shannon has a strong passion for leading collaborative teams and for creating healthy and fun work cultures that help to recruit and retain employees and providers.

Shannon received her undergraduate degree at University of North Carolina, Charlotte and her Master’s degree in nursing leadership from the University of California, San Francisco.  Shannon has one child, Kai who she enjoys trying to keep up with.

Fred Vela

Regional Vice President

Wells Fargo Bank

Vela has 16 employees in an office that serves public and private companies with annual revenues of $20 million or more.

Most recently, Vela served as senior vice president and loan team manager for North Coast and San Francisco offices. Previously with Comerica Bank, Vela joined Wells Fargo in 2011 as a loan team manager. His financing knowledge made the San Francisco regional office one of the top performing teams in Wells Fargo Middle Market Commercial Banking.

Steve Page – Executive Committee – Chairman Emeritus

Former President & General Manager

Sonoma Raceway

Steve Page retired in 2021 after nearly 30 years as President and General Manager Sonoma Raceway.  Previously he spent 11 years working in marketing and special events for baseball’s Oakland Athletics where, among other responsibilities, he served as coordinator for the 1987 MLB All-Star Game. Before entering the sports arena, he spent several years on Capitol Hill as press secretary for then-U.S. Congressman Leon Panetta. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

Page was the principal advocate for Sonoma Raceway’s $100 million modernization project, which has transformed the facility into one of the premier motor racing venues in the country. Page is currently board chair of the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation and serves on the boards of directors of Speedway Children’s Charities and the North Bay Leadership Council, of which he is the past chair. He also serves on the advisory boards for 10,000 Degrees Sonoma County, the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation and Social Advocates for Youth and is former chair of the Sonoma County Tourism Council.