Board of Directors

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Dave Canny

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Senior Manager

Dave Canny is North Bay & Sonoma Divisions Senior Manager at PG&E. In this capacity, Dave has matrixed responsibility for a team of cross-functional local leaders working together to coordinate the Company’s work, drive efficiency and processes improvement, and partner with local customers and communities in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties and the communities of Vallejo and Benicia. Dave has been with PG&E since 2006; until March of 2014, his focus was on the design and implementation of a variety of customer programs, with a focus on partnerships, including those with big box retailers, water agencies, and other program implementers and utilities. In the late summer of 2014 while serving as the interim Director of Customer Impact, he led PG&E’s customer outreach response to the Napa Earthquake. He serves on the executive board of the Center for Volunteer and Non-Profit Leadership and the board of the Marin Economic Forum.

Dave received his Masters of Environmental Policy and Management from Duke University and his BA from Dartmouth College. He is also a graduate of the Utility Executive Course at the University of Idaho. He lives in San Anselmo with his wife and two daughters.

Charlie Clifford

Senior Vice President and Regional Manager, Bank of Marin

Charlie is a Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for the Bank of Marin and is responsible for managing the San Francisco commercial banking office and a middle market commercial banking group in Marin County. His banking groups focus on developing commercial lending relationships with companies that have annual revenues from $10 million to $100 million. Charlie has over 20 years of commercial banking experience where he has developed and managed relationships within many different industry segments including manufacturing, distribution, professional firms, construction, and real estate investment. He holds a B.A in international Studies from Vassar College and an M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. Charlie lives in Mill Valley with his wife and three kids.

Supervisor Damon Connolly

Marin County Supervisor, District 1

Prior to serving the people of Marin County’s District 1 as County Supervisor, Damon spent seven years on the San Rafael City Council, and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Dixie School District. Damon also was a founding member of the Marin Clean Energy Board of Directors, serving as Board Chair from June of 2011 to November of 2014.

A Bay Area native, Damon attended college and law school at UC Berkeley. He has lived in San Rafael for the past nineteen years with his wife, Dawn, and their two daughters. Before opening his own law practice in San Rafael, Damon was a Supervising Deputy California Attorney General, prosecuting the energy companies that gouged our state during the energy crisis of 2000-2001.

Damon’s priorities on the Board of Supervisors include ensuring that county agencies and government are responsive to the public, efficient and effective with their budgets. He is also dedicated to securing a healthy range of housing opportunities in Marin that fit within the character of our communities, addressing homelessness with every tool at our disposal, maximizing mobility and connectivity through effective transportation policy and planning, implementing the County’s Climate Action Plan and preserving our open space.

Mark Essman

President/CEO, Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau

essman-mark-200pxMark Essman is the President/CEO of the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau. Mark has 25 years of experience in business association, hospitality, film promotion and event development.

Mark is originally from Midwestern United States, where he was a chamber of commerce executive. He has also been the director of various convention and visitors bureaus, on-site visitors’ centers, and managed numerous large indoor and outdoor events, ranging from 50 people to 500,000.

He holds a BA degree in Journalism. He also graduated from the Institute of Organizational Management, a six-year for-profit leadership and management development program. In addition, he completed a two-year graduate program in economic development. He has numerous credit hours in hospitality education, event promotion, as well as ten years of experience in economic development and small business retention.

Mary Friedman

Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development, Marin General Hospital

As the Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development at Marin General Hospital, Mary Friedman oversees strategic planning initiatives and leads new program and service development. This includes establishing relationships with outside organizations that enable Marin General Hospital to offer a greater breadth of services, as well as increased access to cutting edge technology, and medical expertise in the community.

Prior to joining Marin General Hospital, Mary worked at UC San Diego Health System leading their reference laboratory business operations and pricing strategy efforts. Mary also spent time at Accenture in the Health and Life Sciences Consulting Practice working with payers and providers to implement health information technologies where she helped establish the Center for Technology Integration at El Camino Hospital. Mary holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in Economics and Political Science and a master’s degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Healthcare Policy and Management. Mary grew up in the Bay Area and in her free time loves to be outdoors with her family.

Nina H. Gardner, J.D.

Partner & Executive Vice President at Filice Insurance Agency

gardner-nina-200pxNina Gardner is Partner and Executive Vice President with Filice Insurance. Filice Insurance is a large California based employee benefits consultancy that has offices in San Rafael, San Jose, Moraga, Sacramento and Orange County. Nina manages the San Rafael office and focuses on relationship management, strategic benefit planning, and new client acquisition. Prior to joining Filice, Nina was an employment law attorney with Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold and Littler, Mendelson, both large, national law firms. Prior to law school, Nina worked as a manager of a broadcast union, N.A.B.E.T and as a paralegal for Wild, Carey & Fife. Nina holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature with highest honors from U.C. Berkeley and a J.D. from Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall School of Law) at U.C. Berkeley. She is also one of the co-founders and board members of Marin Business Forum.

Debi Geller

Business Development Manager, Nelson Staffing

Debi has held the role of Business Development Manager for Nelson Staffing’s Marin office for over 6 years. She works with small and large companies of all kinds to help them make good decisions regarding hiring, temporary staffing, and compliance. Debi’s years of teaching, fundraising, ad sales, and writing have led her to a successful career in staffing, which combines her passions for education, negotiating, and team-building. Debi earned her BA in French Studies and an Emergency Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University, a certificate of course completion from L’Alliance Francaise in Paris, and is a graduate of the San Rafael Chamber Leadership Institute. She holds numerous volunteer positions including Board of Directors for the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce, Board Liaison for the San Rafael Chamber Leadership Institute, BNI Membership Team, San Rafael Chamber Women of Industry Co-Chair, past PA Co-President for JCHS, Marin IGI Committee of the Jewish Federation, Congregation Rodef Shalom Board Selection committee, Marin Human Resources past Membership Chair, Marin Forum member. Debi raised her two daughters in San Rafael, and is enjoying watching their success in college.

Karen Hawkey

VP, Retail Banking Manager, Opus Bank

hawkey-karen-200pxKaren is a thirty year veteran in business and financial service and a twenty year North Bay resident; is a graduate of the USD, California Professional School of Banking and has served on various boards, before this the most recent  appointment to the Marin Economic Forum. Karen currently represents Opus Bank as VP and Retail Banking Manager serving the North Bay and San Francisco markets. The previous seven years served as VP and Branch Manager for Citibank’s San Rafael Northgate Office while participating in her passion of local community outreach.

John F. Harty, AIF

Director of Wealth Management, Sterling Wealth Management

John leads the Wealth Management Group for Sterling Bank & Trust providing investment and insurance solutions to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits. Prior to joining Sterling, John served as Vice President of Institutional Sales at Forward Management LLC where he managed the institutional sales and distribution of Forwards public and private funds in the Western U.S. He also served as the Director of National Accounts at GE Asset Management and Highland Capital Management LP.

In addition to his work at Sterling, John also volunteers with Junior Achievement, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting important real-world concepts in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship to students in kindergarten through high school. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business & Finance from Mount. St. Mary’s University. He lives in Tiburon with his wife and daughter.

David Hofele

President/Partner, International ProInsurance LLC

As President and CEO of ProInsurance, David is responsible for strategic planning, client development and carrier relations. David’s experience includes senior management positions with Willis-HRH, a leading global insurance broker, as well as managing partner and general counsel responsibilities with Palmer & Cay, a large privately-held brokerage firm based in Savannah, Georgia.

David has over 20 years’ experience building and managing insurance brokerage operations, developing client relations and overseeing production teams. David earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Marquette University and a law degree from St Louis University School of Law. He currently resides in Mill Valley with his wife and three daughters.

Val Hornstein

Attorney, Hornstein Law

hornstein-val-200pxVal Hornstein is a principal attorney at Hornstein Law Offices, with offices in San Francisco and Marin County. The firm specializes in civil litigation and business transactions with emphases in entrepreneurship, technology, intellectual property, securities, finance, real estate and entertainment.

Val has lived and worked in Marin County since 1987 and has raised two daughters through its public school system. Val graduated from Colgate University (A.B.) and George Washington University (J.D.) and is a member of the Bar of the States of California, District of Columbia and New York and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Tim Howard

General Manager, Courtyard by Marriott Novato–Marin/Sonoma

Tim Howard has over 18 years in the Hospitality Industry with Marriott International. Tim attended the University of North Carolina studying Business Administration. He has been a General Manager with Marriott for over 14 years. Currently he is the General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriott in Novato; a hotel that offers services and accommodations to area transient business and leisure travelers. Tim moved to Marin in 2007 where he lived in Sausalito, San Rafael, Novato and now lives with his wife and family in Petaluma.

Tim served as served as a Board Member of the Novato Chamber of Commerce for 6 years, as Chamber Board President in 2015, as well as the Chairperson on the Novato Tourism Committee of the Chamber. He also is a Board Member for the Marin Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tim is a Past-President, and District Representative of the RotarACT Club of Novato, a Community Service based club affiliated with Rotary International for 18-30 year-olds. In his free time, Tim volunteers at the Marin Humane Society and the Novato Humane Needs Center. He likes to travel, cook and play sports. He enjoys socializing with friends, and visits his family in North Carolina whenever possible.

Adam Krivatsy, AIA, AICP

Principal, Adam Krivatsy and Associates

Adam Krivatsy is a Hungarian-born architect and urban planner with five decades of international experience in serving clients throughout the world. He now lives in Sausalito, with his wife of 34 years and serves the City Council and its staff in an advisory capacity through various Committees and Task Forces.

As an immigrant of 1956, Adam spent his first five years in the United States by establishing a solid foundation for his professional career. He was part of the Zeckendorff/I.M. Pei developer/Architect team and rounded out his professional studies by earning a Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s School of Architecture, Department of Urban Planning. After graduation, he assumed a teaching position at his Alma Mater.

Justin Kudo

Deputy Director of Account Services, MCE Clean Energy

Justin is the Deputy Director of Accounts Services for MCE, coordinating billing operations and account services, analyzing customer impacts, building data models, and providing expertise on PG&E programs. Over the last six years, Justin has worked with PG&E to ensure proper integration of the two programs, including maintaining customer access to services and improving billing and messaging. In particular, Justin works closely with impacts for solar customers and the future of Net Energy Metering Policies.

Prior to working with MCE, Justin worked as a political consultant specializing in renewable energy development and policy, serving clients including Florida Power & Light, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the California Solar Energy Industries Association. Justin also was a Planning Commissioner and Chair of the Human Relations Commission for the City of Davis.

Zachary Kushel

Director and Head of Business Development, Glassdoor

Zachary Kushel leads Business Development for Glassdoor, the world’s most transparent jobs and careers community. Glassdoor, based in Mill Valley, CA and founded in 2007, works to help people everywhere find jobs and companies they love. Zach joined Glassdoor in February 2015 and leads a team of Business Development professionals across North America and Europe that owns strategic partnerships for the company. In his role, Zach also oversees product partnerships and serves as general manager for multiple revenue-generating programs. Prior to joining Glassdoor, Zach spent three-plus years at Cisco in San Jose, CA, building partnerships with the global public sector and advising the company’s senior executives on public policy matters.

Zach earned his Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, focusing on International & Global Affairs. While at the Kennedy School, he was elected by his classmates to serve as Executive Vice President of the student government. Zach completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and earning a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and American Studies. He currently resides with his wife in Corte Madera, CA.

Michael Leifer

CEO, Guerilla Marketing & PR

Michael LeiferFor the past 16 years, Michael Leifer has been the CEO of guerilla PR. He has successfully provided B2B, B2C and B4B strategy and hands-on production for many Fortune 500 household brands, agencies and non-profits. His background in integrative marketing, socialmedia, cultural anthropology and technology has enabled him to create game-changing and effective non-profit and for-profit campaigns for his clients. He knows how to translate data, analytics and insight into actionable engagement concepts and retention strategies, which have helped to build markets, cultural movements and annual revenue numbers. His secret sauce is that he knows how to communicate with target segments in their own nomenclatures.


Mary O’Mara, MBA

Executive Director, Marinlink

omara-mary-200pxMary Mariani O’Mara is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Marinlink. She has grown MarinLink from an idea to an effective nonprofit and fiscal sponsor umbrella for more than 100 Marin County based projects. She brings her teaching experience in both schools and nonprofits, and business acumen to create infrastructure and support for MarinLink community based projects, programs, and initiatives. She is currently a Core Adjunct with National University. Mary grew up in Marin County and is a graduate of San Domenico High School, San Francisco State University, and she holds an MBA in Strategic Leadership from Dominican University of California.

Jeff Scharosch

General Manager, Spinnaker Restaurant

Jeff has been actively involved in the Hospitality restaurant business for over 20 years with the past 15 years being in Sausalito as a general manager of the Spinnaker Restaurant. Additionally he is an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco Hospitality Industry Management Program.

Bill Scott

President, Marin County Building and Construction Council

scott-bill-200pxA Mid-South native, Bill graduated from Memphis University with a BA. The following year he started a sheet metal business in Memphis Tennessee, but discontinued that when he moved to Novato in 1977. Bill joined the Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 the next year and worked in the Bay area as apprentice, journeyman, foreman and general foreman until 1994. That year, he was elected as a business representative for Local 104 and served on the pension plan, healthcare plan, credit union and the local joint apprenticeship committee as board member.

Retired in 2006 and was appointed and currently serve as business manager of the Marin County Building and Construction Trades Council. I also chair the construction committee with the Marin WIB and sit on the North Bay Watershed Association and a board member to the State Building Trades Council.

Carlo Serafini

Senior Vice President/Senior Portfolio Management Officer – Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Carlo is a Senior Vice President / Senior Portfolio Management Officer in Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch supporting San Francisco, Marin, Napa and Sonoma Counties. He is responsible for underwriting, structuring and consulting commercial clients on their financing needs. Carlo has single signing credit approval authority which has served as a strategic advantage in expediting the underwriting process for his clients.

Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, he was a Director / Senior Relationship Manager in the Corporate Banking Group at Union Bank, and Vice President / Senior Relationship Manager in the Credit Resolution Group with Wells Fargo Bank. Carlo’s portfolios consisted of relationships from the Corporate, Capital Markets, Middle Market Commercial, and Global Banking groups in the Pacific Northwest Regions. He has a B.S. in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College of Moraga, and an MBA from CSUEB.

Vivien Straus

Manager, Straus Ranch and Cheese Trail Map; Actress

Vivien grew up on her family’s dairy in Marshall.  At first she ran away from the remote existence to become an actress.  When her brother, Albert, transitioned the dairy to organic in 1993 and opened Straus Family Creamery, she came back to help in order to make sure the farm survived.  She served as VP of Marketing of Straus Family Creamery for eleven years, worked as the Public Relations Coordinator at Cowgirl Creamery and currently manages Straus Home Ranch and its vacation rental.  She created and manages the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail project and California’s  In addition, she recently completed a run of her one-woman show “E-i-E-i-OY! In Bed with the Farmer’s Daughter”

David Zwicky, FACHE

Director of Business Strategy, Hospice by the Bay

zwicky-david-200pxDavid Zwicky has a 35 year career in healthcare management that spans the continuum from pre-hospital emergency care, to acute care hospitals and most recently, hospice and palliative care.

For the last 6 years he has been a member of the senior management team at Hospice by the Bay in the position of Director of Business Strategy. His responsibilities include facilitating the strategic planning process and identifying and developing opportunities for program enhancements, collaborative partnerships and strategic initiatives.  His previous positions include Regional Director and Director of Provider Contracting with VistaCare hospice headquartered in Arizona. He was the Vice President of Network Development for Hospice of Michigan prior to that. He serves on the Marin County Workforce Investment Board and is the past chair of its Healthcare Committee.